More proof of the total American Idol–ization of Manhattan: On Monday, May 21, dozens of tarted-up stray pooches, led by makeshift male models including two Maccioni brothers and Marquee doorman Rich Thomas, pranced down an aisle at the SHVO building at 650 Sixth Avenue, “competing” for the title of “America’s Best-Dressed Dog.” The event, which was hosted by Project Runway’s Tim Gunn and predictably dubbed “Project Ruffway,” benefited Stray from the Heart, an organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of homeless dogs.
Acting as judge and honorary co-chair was Howard Stern’s fiancée, toothy and toothsome animal activist Beth Ostrosky. “One of the male models came up and asked if I was a judge, and I told him ‘Yes, so you better kiss my ass!’” Ms. Ostrosky said. Hey, how’s the wedding planning going? “I’m just enjoying the engagement,” she said. “There are no plans yet.”
Co-chair Lorenzo Borgese, of The Bachelor, said he recently adopted a mutt named James Bond, and is about to launch nuzzleplanet.com, a social networking site for dog lovers. “We’re all trying to find our significant other,” he said meaningfully.
Yet another co-chair was Aida Turturro, who plays Janice on The Sopranos and owns a black Lab named Buddy. “They think they’re saving the dogs, but they’re really saving the people who get to keep them,” she said of the charity. “It’s a gift from God.” She compared dog ownership to having a baby. “But without stretch marks!”
Ms. Turturro added that she was suffering from withdrawal symptoms thanks to the imminent end of her hit show. But “everything comes to an end,” she said sagely. Her immediate post-Sopranos plan is to sit by the beach, and she gave no indication about whether her character would be swimming with the fishes.
As for the dogs—well, all were adorable, but the top prize went to Rusty, a chow-chow collie in a purple embroidered coat from Fetch Fashion.