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Magic 94.9 @ The Formation World Tour!

Dog Day at the Rays!

Move over 'America's Next Top Model.' Here's America’s Top Dog Model

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Sherlock, a 3-year-old labradoodle, spends his days as a medical alert assistance dog in Loxahatchee, Florida. On Saturday, however, he was dressed as Theodore Roosevelt, wearing gold wire-rim glasses and an olive green uniform.

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Twenty-nine dogs, including Sherlock, competed at the 12th annual America’s Top Dog Model casting call at the South Florida Pet Expo in suburban West Palm Beach. This year’s theme was “Meet the Paw-liticans” and featured dogs dressed like presidents and others as political figures throughout history.

Kate Kilpatrick, Sherlock’s owner, said she trained the rescue dog to help her college-student daughter keep tabs on her blood sugar levels years ago. Now that her daughter wears a monitor to keep track of her levels, Kilpatrick said she gets to keep Sherlock to herself most days and enters him in contests whenever she can.

“He’s doesn’t work for free, but he works cheap,” Kilpatrick joked, “paying” him with a doggy treat.

America’s Top Dog Model was founded in 2005 by Jo Jo Harder, who has watched the growth of the national organization that includes her own 7-year-old miniature greyhound, Romeo. Harder is also taping a reality show that she plans to pitch to different networks.

“It’s been wonderful. (We’re) just one big family,” she said.

Lulu, a 2-year-old Harrier who splits her time between West Palm Beach and New York with her owner, Gautam Dasgupta, was one of four finalists chosen Saturday. Dasgupta said he’s never entered his rescue dog into any contests but was convinced by Harder to enter, and he was glad he did. Lulu, though, went as herself instead of as a politician.

Finalists go on to be featured in the America’s Top Dog Model calendar and the top winner gets to be on the cover.

Peaches, a 3-year-old Yorkie, wore a golden tutu while sitting on the sideline as the reigning top dog model. Her owners, Claire Spielman and Bob Spielman, said they got Peaches when they retired and then got her certified as a therapy dog. It wasn’t until winning the competition in 2015 that they realized her other talents.

“It really changed everything for us,” Claire Spielman said. Then came magazine shoots, a website and dozens of prizes and honors.

But even with all the publicity, Peaches still spends Mondays playing with children at a local hospital and on Thursdays she comforts adults in therapy.

“It’s how we give back now,” Bob Spielman said.

2016 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival

Thousands of pounds of snow shipped to Alaska for Iditarod dog sled race

This video includes clips from Alaska Dispatch News and Discovery and images from Getty Images.

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Officials in Anchorage, Alaska, have combated an unusually low amount of snowfall with an effective solution. 

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Seven rail cars packed full of snow arrived in Anchorage on Thursday morning ahead of the annual Iditarod dog sled competition. Those seven rail cars of snow are in addition to the 1,000 truckloads already gathered.

Unseasonably warm temperatures forced event organizers to outsource for their snow this year — a cost that is budgeted as a part of regular street maintenance in the city.

While many U.S. states pay for the removal of snow from city streets, Alaska allocates some of a $60,000 budget to bringing in snow ahead of dog races. 

The famous Iditarod competition is a tradition that dates back more than 40 years. It brings hundreds of dogs and people to the ceremonial starting line. 

This year, race leaders had to shorten the starting leg of the race from 11 miles to three miles because of a lack of snow, but organizers are confident spectators won’t be able to tell the difference.

One race organizer told NBC, “race fans concentrated in downtown Anchorage will not notice any changes to the race start as the excitement of having more than 1,000 of the most finely tuned sled dogs in the world will, as always, make for an electric environment.”

The 1,100-mile race kicks off Saturday morning. 

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Magic @ Rays Fan Fest!

Magic @ Blast Friday!

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Chadd @ A Celebration of Harry Potter!

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