Dogs En Vogue ‘shop dog’ also goes real ‘Vogue’

It wasn’t very long ago that Marathon pet groomers and Dogs En Vogue owners Sophia Pierce and David Zuniga packed up an employee, six dogs, and two birds to evacuate north when Hurricane Irma was threatening the Keys.

“The dog community is a very tight-knit group of people,” said Zuniga. “We had offers from dog owners, strangers, all over the country to take us in.”

The group evacuated to one of the stranger’s homes Ohio. “She said she had show dogs, too, and lots of room,” said Pierce. While evacuated, Genesis, the local 18-month-old Afghan Hound “shop dog,” known to many as Genny, qualified for the 142nd annual Westminster Kennel Club dog show, which took place Monday.

The competition was fierce in the Westminster ring in Manhattan, while Genny competed in first tier non-champion female, bitch, Afghan Hound. She placed second in her class.

“I was a nervous wreck and wanted to cry; I was freaking out,” Pierce said. “I have wanted to do this since I was a little kid. It’s a really tough show for the dogs and she handled it really well for her first show.”

But placing second wasn’t the only icing on the cake.

“Someone came by to ask if they could professionally photograph Genny,” said Pierce, who was apprehensive at first. “When I walked Genny over to their booth, it said Vogue, like the magazine.”

Genny is technically the cover model of the web article and is already featured on Vogue’s Facebook page and website and may be highlighted in an article in an upcoming issue.

The most heartwarming part of the trip was the people who recognized Sophia and Genny from their hurricane evacuation posts. “So many people came by to ask about how we are holding up in the Keys,” she said, adding that she represented with Conch Republic and Marathon Strong towels adorning the crate and grooming equipment. “I didn’t expect it to radiate this far north, but it did.”

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