As he brushed out a Yorkie with a mass of black curls on her rump, Guiding Light's Jerry ver Dorn cracked, "She looks like Tony Curtis." Drying off a newly clipped terrier, Another World's Maeve McGuire said proudly, "You couldn't see his eyes before!" And when someone pulled a cloth out from under his just-bathed shepherd—prompting it to leap to the dirty floor—Malcolm Groome of Ryan's Hope cried, "That was her security towel!"

The soap stars were at the Brooklyn and Manhattan kennels of New York's ASPCA to plug "Stray Wash," a program to get volunteers to spruce up lost pooches for adoption. The actors were longer on affection than productivity: In two days they washed just 18 dogs. But some took strays home, and Guiding Light's William Roerick gave the ASPCA $100 as an incentive to get the spaniel he scrubbed adopted quickly. Another World's Linda Dano struck a deal too. She washed a large dog, but also turned up with Bebe, the tiny French papillon that appears on her show. "I brought her to have her nails clipped," she explained later. "And they did it."