"When we got him for Christmas, he was only about that big," Frankel said with hands inches apart. "And he kind of looked like a peanut."
The victorious Piggy grunted in contentment after leaving the spotlight. She had been coerced into participating with her favorite treat, Cheerios, and was now rewarded with a belly rub.
Earlier, her family had waited for the show and tried to keep her cool and calm. She wasn't buying it and let them know exactly what she thought of the event.
"Right now she's a grumpy pig," said Lorrie Westerfield of Parksville, whose son owns Piggy. Charlie Westerfield, 8, said Piggy is normally stubborn but still gets pampered at home. She has her own pen, a wading pool to cool off in, and regularly romps with a Boston Terrier named Oreo, he said.
"She likes to make her own mud puddle. She likes to roll in the mud," Charlie said, clutching one end of a lead rope.
With a 36-inch waist at the tender age of 5 months, Piggy is now watching her weight. She still managed to look pretty in pink at the pet show's costume contest. Wearing a set of gossamer wings and an intricate sequined gown, Piggy came in second for her themed costume called "When pigs fly."
First place was given to a set of Scottie dog clowns and a tiny Chihuahua sporting a leather bomber jacket and goggles, looking every bit the part of an aviator.
Scooby Dee, one of the largest dogs of the show, displayed her sleek curves and long legs beneath a hula skirt and pink swim suit. The Great Dane also competed in the pet tricks and purebred divisions, and won a third place ribbon for obedience. The 120-pound performance queen had come from a Great Dane rescue center in Louisville, said owner Rosalind Montgomery of Perryville.
"They call them the gentle giants, and there's a reason for that," Montgomery said, adding that rescue centers and shelters are great places to find pets.
"This is a pure breed dog and I gave $50 for her ..." she said. "In my opinion you save the animal from being put down."
As Piggy celebrated in her a water puddle and costumed clowns were transformed back into pets, baby pageant contestants began flooding the audience. Soon the shedding contestants were replaced with pig-tailed toddlers and a new wave of proud owners.