Talk about a “rags to riches” story — Peanut, a rescue Chihuahua from North Brunswick, took first prize at the Times Square Dog Day Masquerade held in New York City on Oct 19.
Dressed up as Elle Wood from “Legally Blonde,” Peanut won “Best in Show,” and bested more than 85 canines, 20 of which were Chihuahuas.”
Last year’s winner was a Chihuahua also, and people said there was a conspiracy,” said Peanut’s owner, Heather Scheffold, a North Brunswick resident and member of the North Brunswick Humane Association (NBHA).
The 4-pound pooch sported a blond wig, tiara, hot pink sweater and sunglasses, although the glasses were an afterthought.
“That was a fluke. She was squinting and those were mine and I put them on her and she never shook her head once,” Scheffold said.
Peanut, 8, was fostered two years ago by Scheffold when the dog was brought into the Old Bridge Animal Shelter. Her humble beginnings started at the North Brunswick Dog Walk-a-Thon. She’s walked in the North Brunswick Memorial Day parades, and won the 2007 L’Oreal “Your Dog’s Worth It, Too” costume contest, but the Times Square contest put her on the map.
The Chihuahua’s owner learned of the Times Square event through the New Jersey Chihuahua Meetup Group, a group of 70-80 dogs she co-founded one year ago. She’s also championing NBHA’s Project Shelter effort.
This is where Peanut’s “parading” comes into play.
“I do it to socialize her and I want to get the word out that you can find a purebred Chihuahua in a shelter — there’s no need to go to a pet store,” Scheffold said.
Peanut is the NBHA’s official mascot, and emceed its dog walks in 2007 and 2008.
Upon getting the pooch from the shelter, “I didn’t want to leave her home when I first got her, so I brought her to NBHA meetings dressed in a sweater, and they encouraged me to make her our official mascot in their parade,” Scheffold said.
Read more about Peanut.