Popular Belmont Shore canine passes

Rosie dies picAfter several weeks of health issues, Rosie the bulldog, the four-legged Belmont Shore icon, passed away in the early morning of Jan. 24, 2010. Community activist Justin Rudd and public-relations professional Frank Groff had welcomed the red-brindle, four-month-old English bulldog into their home in January 1998. Shortly thereafter, Rudd and Groff got their new puppy her first red wagon so they could enjoy her company on their strolls along 2nd Street. For most of her life, she was escorted around Belmont Shore in her wagon (with a license plate that simply read “Rosie”), bringing joy and smiles to both out-of-towners and locals.
Rosie became the inspiration for Rudd to begin his Haute Dog events and projects, including the creation of the Long Beach off-leash dog beach, the Haute Dog Easter and Howl’oween Parades, the Interfaith Blessing of the Animals, the Bulldog Beauty Contest, the Haute Dog Poetry Contest, Operation Santa Paws, a spay/neuter voucher program, a weekly 13,000-subscriber DOG e-newsletter, and other animal-related activities.
The 38-pound dog received some high-profile media attention during her 12 years, including an appearance with Rudd on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, a game show on Animal Planet, and an episode on HGTV in which Rudd and Rosie made a trip back to Rudd’s hometown in Alabama. She was also on the cover of Westways magazine and was featured in an Associated Press photo in an internationally released story on dog beaches.
As part of Rudd’s “Bulldog Beauty Contest” and “Senior Dog Contest” that will take place this year on Sun., Feb. 28, at the Marketplace Long Beach, Rudd will dedicate the top awards in memory of Rosie. The 6th annual event attracts some 300 English bulldogs and several dozen senior dogs of all ages breeds and mixes, as they parade down a 100-foot red carpet in front of a few thousand spectators.
A tribute will be held for Rosie on Saturday, Jan. 30 at the Long Beach Dog Beach at 11am. Parking is free if attendees enter the beachfront parking lot at 1 Granada Ave.
Photos and video of Rosie can be viewed at HauteDogs.org/rosie.

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