Tell Your Date, ‘Down, Boy'

Washington Humane Society Bark Ball welcomes dogs and dressed-up humans

It's really not nice to say your date's a dog... well, unless your dining companion actually is of the four-legged sort. And that's a distinct possibility for those attending the 24th annual Washington Humane Society Bark Ball this Saturday at the Washington Hilton (1919 Connecticut Ave. N.W.).

Yes, that means that for the past two decades, people have actually gotten all dressed up and shelled out a hefty amount to bring along a date who prefers drinking toilet water instead of Moet. Oh, come on, you know D.C. hosts multiple variations of this event throughout the year -- stop clutching your pearls in shock.

And anyway, at least dogs don't have expensive tastes -- although these tickets do run $250 a pop.

The formal event includes a silent auction, a sit-down dinner, live entertainment and "special surprises" -- we hope those aren't the kind of surprises that happen when you don't get the dog outside fast enough.

Naturally, there will also be chow for chows, chihuahuas and all their pals. A Doggie Bar comes courtesy of Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery (2006 Mt. Vernon Ave., Alexandria).

This year's gala chair is master of ceremonies is WTTG's Allison Seymour, and she and other local media names will escort WHS dogs in hopes of finding them new homes.

You can also probably expect plenty of luminaries to be attending. Past guests have included Art Buchwald, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Willard Scott, Mary Matalin and James Carville. Some presidential pets -- Socks Clinton, Millie Bush and Spot Bush -- have served as honorary pet chairs.

Our fashion recommendation for the evening: Wear a color that blends in well with shedded fur.

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