Celebrity, whether human or animal, is an interesting thing to most people. We wonder at the special qualities that confer that star quality to the select few that claim it, and we want to know everything we can about those celebrities, especially those who may live near us, right here in Gardiner. Toddie, also known as “GCH BISS DeWitt’s Court Hot Toddie, DCat” was the first Grand Champion, natural-eared, Harlequin, Great Dane in the United States, and is a celebrity/model/actress. But what did it take for the Gardiner born-and-bred Toddie to become an A-list, dog celebrity? First, it takes generations of breeding for a dog to achieve the Championship-worthy, physical, mental, and emotional attributes that make competing possible. In Hot Toddie’s case, her pedigree goes back 4 generations with every predecessor listed in her pedigree papers: 30 dogs have contributed their genetic material, through repeated puppy-making, to make Toddie what she is, a Grand Champion Great Dane and one hot mamma, I mean one “Hot Toddie”!
Meeting with Gardiner resident Christine Compeau, Toddie’s owner/trainer, and her daughter, Kayla, was a treat. As she approached with Toddie on her leash in the Gardiner Library’s parking lot, I was amazed at the beauty and grace of this magnificent animal. She walks like a super model on the runway! You’d think Toddie might have a big head about her accomplishments, but she struck me as a kind and generous personality, ready to make friends and be “one of the pack”. Don’t get me wrong, Toddie’s head is HUGE, and it came up almost to my chest when I faced her, but she was not intimidating, rather she showed a gentle calmness that draws one in–qualities that obviously make her “a natural” to work in advertising. Of course, Toddie has an agent, and she has worked with well-known super models including Gigi Hadid for Harper’s Bazaar, Christy Turlington for Vogue, and recently with Camila Cabello on the cover of Glamour, and she has also acted in TV commercials! I asked Christine what it took to train Toddie for ad work, and she said with a laugh, “Toddie is very food oriented and as long as I am there with her boiled chicken, she does everything she’s told to do.”
Toddie is also a sterling example of how a star can use their celebrity for the good of the community. I asked Christine, “What are your and Toddie’s favorite causes or organizations?” She replied, “We support multiple animal causes, including the Ulster County SPCA, The Humane Society, and Bleu’s K9 Rescue, to name a few. We also support the Shawangunk Kennel Club of which I am the current Vice President.” When the Gardiner Gazette team invited Christine and Toddie to be the human and dog ambassadors at our upcoming fundraising event, “Pups on Parade: A benefit to support the Gardiner Gazette and Bleu’s K9 Rescue”, Christine agreed immediately and enthusiastically.
The event will occur on Saturday, June 3rd, 2023, from 9am -12pm, at the ballfield next to Town of Gardiner Town Hall, with overflow parking at Majestic Park. All well-mannered, friendly, non-aggressive dogs are welcome but are limited to 2 dogs per walker. Leashes are required (no longer than 6 feet and no retractable leashes), and walkers must please give each dog their personal space. The parade will take place rain or shine, and pooper scooping is required (bags will be provided); costumes are encouraged but not required. Dogs and their owners can win various prizes, observe presentations on agility, obedience, FastCAT and FIT DOG presented by the Shawangunk Kennel Club. All the proceeds from this event will be shared equally between the Gardiner Gazette and Bleu’s K9 Rescue, and all donations will be fully tax-deductible. Save the date (June 3rd) and look for more event details at the Facebook and Instagram (IM) pages of the Gardiner Gazette and Gardiner NY.
To volunteer to assist at the event, please email email@example.com. Those interested in sponsorship opportunities, vendor slots, or who wish to donate goods or services for the silent auction at the event, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Check out Toddie “at work” on Instagram at @gdmako_toddie_echo.