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Barclie, Canine Icon, To Be Remembered at Woofin’ Paws Contest

I first met Barclie when he was a puppy in the office of Shriver’s Saltwater Taffy about 17 years ago. His best friends and caretakers were Meryl Berwick, now Merlyl  Vangelov plus Meryl’s Mom Ginny Berwick and Hank Glaser, both co-owners of Shriver’s on the Boardwalk at the time.

Barclie was an endearing, affectionate pet. Meryl told me he was a Labradoodle, a cross between a Lab and a poodle. She had rescued him from an unscrupulous dog peddler who had threatened to put the puppy down if someone didn’t buy him. She took one look at the puppy’s sad, little eyes. The rest is history.

When I visited Shriver’s offices, Barclie was usually the first one to greet me. He would look me over, sniff a few times, remember that I was okay and let me give him a belly rub. Then he would return to a pillowed cot for a snooze.

Barclie soon became a favorite of hundreds of Shriver’s customers and Boardwalk strollers. When taken for a walk, he would nuzzle children and let them hug him. Boardwalk and beach goers were enchanted by his friendly, nonchalant personality. He was a small dog. The Lab in him was in his facial structure. He was a little larger than the average poodle mix but not as yappy. Barclie didn’t bother to bark much.

At the time, we were looking for a Doggie Mascot to complement our Hermit Crab, Martin Z. Mollusk. I was a “Peanuts” fan and thought of naming the mascot “Cool Joe Canine” after Snoopy, Charlie Brown’s intrepid  pet. I thought Barclie would be perfect. So did Shrivers. They outfitted him with sun glasses and a colorful Hawaiian Beach shirt that made him look really, really cool.

Barclie would sit still for photographers, a public relations blessing. He visited the Beach on Martin Z. Mollusk Day, posed with the hermit crab and then buried him in the sand as he attempted to see his shadow.  He judged canine contests for the Humane Society. He rode in the Doo Dah Parade with our late City benefactor, Esther Weil and checked out the Basset Hounds. He attended the re-dedication of Hobo’s statue at the City’s Community Center. Hobo was the legendary dog who roamed City streets early in the last Century.

In 2003, Barclie traveled to Atlantic City to pose with Joe Millionaire, star of one of the first TV reality shows. Joe’s real name was Evan Marriott and he was a huge personality for about a year. Barclie made him an instant friend as the cameras clicked away.

Barclie was family oriented and so agreed to a simulated wedding during a “Repeat Your Vows” extravaganza at the Borgata. He was dressed in a tuxedo and his pretend mate in a fluffy gown as Weeb Eubanks  conducted the ceremony .Hundreds were enchanted and numerous tears were shed.

Barclie retired about five years ago at the age of 13. He was more interested in taking naps than life in the fast lane. He passed away recently at the age of 18. We have decided to dedicate this year’s Woofin” Paws Pet Fashion Contest to Barclie on Sat., March 30 starting 11 a.m. at Carey Stadium, 6th St. off Boardwalk. We will conclude the contest with a massive belly rub in his honor.

The Woofin’ Paws Contest is for any pet that will not eat another pet. There is no advanced registration. Just show up a few minutes ahead of time. There is a $5 entry fee that benefits the Ocean City Humane Society. You may enter as many categories as you wish for $5. (Call ) 609-525-9300 for details.

Other Easter events include the Great EASTER EGG HUNT, also on March 30, starting 2:30 p.m. between 11th and 14th Sts. on the Beach. There will be 5 age groups, 0-2 years old and 3 to 4 years at 11th St., in separate sections; 5 years and 6 years at 12th St. in separate sections and 7 years at 13th St. Only 0-2 may have an adult accompany them into the area.

On March 31, Easter Sunday, the Annual SUN RISE Service will be held 6:30 a.m. at the Music Pier, Boardwalk and Moorlyn Terrace. The Easter FASHION PROMENADE competition starts at 1 p.m. in front of the Music Pier. The Easter Bunny will be present to pose for photos and present chocolate bunnies to children.

(March 28-29) The Ocean City TABERNACLE, 550 Wesley Ave. will bring Leonardo Da Vinci’s painting, The Last Supper, to life at 7 p.m. Free admission. The program is directed by Carolyn Lothian. For information, call (609)399-1915 or visit www.Oceancitytabernacle.org.

DOO DAH PARADE: The 28th Annual Doo Dah Parade is set for Sat., April 13 starting at noon at 6th and Asbury Ave. It goes through the center of town and ends at the Music Pier on the Boardwalk. The Parade features impersonators of legendary comedians, unusual humorous Brigades, six bands, floats, over 500 basset hounds, costumed characters…You can be in it if you want to do something funny in good taste. Entry is free. All who enter receive a free T Shirt and hotdog lunch from Dietz and Watson our major sponsor.

Following the Parade there is a PieAsco in front of the Music Pier where folks sit in grandstands and smoosh each other with shaving cream pies. Entry is free to all Doo Dah events.  For more information, or to register to be in the Parade call (609) 525-9300,after hours (609) 364-4010 or email msoifer@hotmai.com.

(March 11) The Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce will feature Congressman Frank LoBiondo as guest speaker at its monthly membership meeting. The event is set for noon at the Flanders Hotel, 719 E. 11th St in Ocean City. The lunch is $20 per person, open to the public. Call (609) 399-1412 or email info@oceancitychamber.com.

(March 16) The Ocean City PTA will hold its Spring CARNIVAL from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Ocean City Primary School, 550 West Ave. All are welcome. There will be games, prizes, refreshments, activities and fun. For information, call (609) 425-8844.

(All month long) Art on Asbury 608 Asbury Ave. (609) 814-0308 and the Ocean City Arts Center, 17th and Simpson Ave. (609) 399-7628 are both presenting month long, free exhibits. Call for information.

OCNJCARE continues its work to help those who still need recovery assistance. Visit www.ocnjCARE.org or access the City’s Website www.ocnj.us for assistance with your storm related problems. The organization is offering cash grants to residents and businesses in need of help. To request funds fill out online grant application at www.ocnjCARE.org or call 1-855-622-2730.

To help with their ongoing work, send a check to  OCNJCARE, PO Box  807, Ocean City, N.J. 08226, drop off a donation at Ocean City Home Bank, 10th and Asbury Ave. or donate on line at www.ocnjCARE.org.

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