Zephyr takes home the top trophy on windy day

It was the big prize, and it went home with the big dog.

Zephyr, the Bernese mountain dog, won both the title of Best Gallon-Sized Pet and the trophy for the People’s Choice at the 5th Annual Hometown Pet Show, held Sunday in conjunction with the Leo Brady Exercise Like the Eskimos ocean plunge in Bethany Beach.

Runners-up in the big-dog category were Forney and Lucy, taking home second and third places, respectively.

They were three of the more than 80 pets registered to compete in the show, which was held on Campbell Place this year, instead of its usual spot on the town’s boardwalk bandstand. That was due to the bandstand renovation project.

But splashers and pet-lovers alike had no trouble finding the new location, with pets competing in various categories.

With temperatures topping out in the mid-40s, even the pets found some extra warmth useful. Topping the “Best-Dressed” category were Kiwi and Chloe, followed by second-place winner Teddy and third-place winner Sasha. And joining with their owners to take home prizes in the “Owner Look-alike” category were Buffy, Clover and Fox.

Giving equal time to the tiniest of entrants, the competition for “Best Pint-Sized Pet” saw top honors awarded to Margarita, with Hershey and Murphy coming in second and third, respectively.

All of the animals registered for the event received a commemorative ribbon. According to Events Coordinator Amy Tingle with the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce, the $300 proceeds from the 2006 pet show are to be split this year, for the first time, between Bethany Town Cats and the Safe Haven Pet Refuge, a no-kill shelter. Donations of pet food were also collected during the event.