Coweta’s Rose is 'America’s Top Dog Model'
by Sarah Fay Campbell
Coweta County certainly has its share of celebrities. Now, thanks to a recent win in a prestigious modeling contest, Rose can be added to the list.
Wild Lil Ramblin’ Rose, a teacup poodle from north Coweta, has been named America’s Top Dog Model for 2014.
Rose beat nearly 1,000 contestants in the 2014 contest, and will be featured on the cover for the 2016 America’s Top Dog Model calendar. She’ll also be featured on the cover of an upcoming issue of “Pet Style News.”
And she’ll be a special guest at the Georgia SPCA’s upcoming “Evening in Paris” fall gala.
“There are going to be a number of opportunities for Rose,” said Jo Jo Harder, founder of America’s Top Dog Model.
Rose’s owner, Wendy Foskey of Sharpsburg, has received interest from designers of dog fashions. She’s even had designers ask for Rose to model their fashions exclusively.
Doggie fashions are a big business.
“I’m not the only crazy person out there who does this,” Foskey said. “There are people who spend thousands and thousands of dollars on clothes.” She’s seen designer dog gowns that go for $2,500.
Foskey got interested in dog modeling years ago with her poodle Katie. There was a St. Patrick’s Day dog beauty contest and parade in Tyrone, and Katie won.
After that, Foskey took Katie to a dog beauty contest in Warm Springs.
She then heard about America’s Top Dog Model and entered Katie. Katie was named a finalist in 2008, and was featured in the 2010 calendar.
Foskey enjoys that her dogs can bring joy to others. Often, people want to pet and hold her dogs.
Anytime she takes the dogs out, they have ribbons and bows in their hair, and sometimes they wear clothes. Her teacup poodles are so small they can wear bracelets as collars.
Foskey recalled one particular time at an antique mall. She saw a teenaged autistic girl who appeared highly agitated.
“She seemed to be having a horrible time and Katie kept looking … I finally took her over to this girl.” Foskey asked the girl’s parents if it was OK for Katie to sit in the girl’s lap.
“When I put Katie in her lap, the girl suddenly calmed down and all she wanted to do was pet Katie. Her mother thanked me and said, ‘We are getting a dog now,’” Foskey said. “They have that effect on people.”
Foskey was set to take Katie to Boca Raton for the America’s Top Dog Model Golden Paw Awards last fall.
Katie was getting sick, and Foskey was worried she wouldn’t be able to walk the red carpet, so she created a carriage out of a baby stroller so that Katie would be able to ride in style.
But Katie passed away on Oct. 24 of congestive heart failure.
The theme of this year’s Top Dog Model contest was “healthy living,” and Foskey researched how to keep dogs healthy.
In her essay for the contest, she wrote about the importance of feeding her dogs properly and exercising together as a family.
When Foskey got the call Rose had won, she was shocked.
“I was screaming, I couldn’t believe it,” she said.
She gives a lot of credit to the photographs of Rose by Connie Fore of T&C Pet Photography in Columbus. Foskey met Fore last fall at the Atlanta Pet Expo.
Foskey recently got a new poodle, Mocha Baby. “I’ve got a diva in training right now,” she said.
Foskey has begun making more “Katie Carriages” for dogs, and will be donating one for the silent auction at the Georgia SPCA event. She’d like to continue to get her dogs involved with charity events, and to make more carriages.
She also wants to get her dogs licensed as pet therapy animals.
Foskey encourages people who want a dog to get one.
“I can’t even imagine life without them. They bring me so much happiness … they’re just joy.”