The Dog Days of Summer have officially come to an end, and so too has the Dog Days of Summer photo contest. More than 130 photos of cute pooches (a few adorable cats and one tiger) poured into RhodyBeat.com, and users commented on and rated their favorite shots.
There were dogs in costumes (Ellie dressed in a raincoat for the Hurricane, and Yuki looked like a snowman); dogs in unusual places (Coco the Chihuahua in her bike basket, Dolce at the dinner table and Bailey in his pool); and even talking dogs, like Harley the American bull dog. It’s a great video. You can watch it here.
Celebrity judges Doreen Collins and the honorable Buddy Cianci said they had a difficult time deciding who would be “top dog.”
“Believe me,” said Collins, “They were all so cute. I wanted everyone to win.”
Collins said she looked for more mature dogs that took great candid pictures.
“I didn’t go with puppies. All puppies are cute. And I didn’t pick the studio portraits. I went with dogs who seemed to be saying, ‘How you doin’?’”
Collins said the mixed-breeds also drew her attention.
Both Collins and Cianci said they wish they could have gotten a feel for the dogs’ personalities.
“It was very difficult picking a top dog because, as a dog lover, I know how each dog has its own unique personality,” said Cianci. “Every dog is special.”
Ultimately, the judges narrowed it down, and the winner was decided: Emma, pictured in a photo entitled “Making a mess is hard work.”
“I chose Emma because not only is Emma a beautiful dog, the photo clearly displayed her playful nature,” explained Cianci.
Jeff Gale, of Cranston, is Emma’s owner, and said the picture was taken when she was a puppy.
Now 3, Gale adopted Emma from a Tennessee shelter when she was 11 months old.
“She was pretty much a terror,” he laughed.
Gale said the scene depicted in the picture (a nearly destroyed living room) is all Emma’s work.
“She did that a lot,” he said. “She chewed my leather sofa.”
But Gale said Emma had matured into a great dog.
“She’s a very nice dog, very loving.”
Emma is a German Shepherd-Beagle mix.
“I call her a ‘sheagle,’” said Gale.
Collins said she’s happy to hear that an adopted shelter dog won the contest. She adopted her own dog, Albert Einstein, from an animal shelter.
Gale said Emma loves to go for walks and still loves to chew on things.
“Right now she’s staring intently out the window looking for the cat walking by,” said Gale, “but soon it will be time for W-A-L-K.”
Gale explained that he has to spell certain words in order to not get Emma too excited. “Walk” is one of those words.
“Although, she’s probably so intent on the cat, she wouldn’t even hear me,” he said.
When Gale was notified of Emma’s “Top Dog” title, he was surprised to hear that his dog had won something; he didn’t realize the Dog Days of Summer was a contest; he just thought it was a chance to showcase cute pictures.
Now Emma will receive a pet gift basket and spa session from Ahead of the Pack pet pampering.
Emma’s gift basket will include a Swarovski pet charm, Barkery-Bakery treats, ESPREE oatmeal shampoo and conditioner, pet toothpaste and a toothbrush, a plush play toy and a grooming brush.
According to Ahead of the Pack owner Karen Mulcahey, Emma’s spa grooming package will begin with a stress-free welcome in Ahead of the Pack’s VIP lounge, filled with pillows and toys. Next, Emma will receive a gentle oatmeal shampoo bath followed by a conditioning treatment massaged into the coat by a professional with pet massage certification. Emma will then be blow-dried and gently brushed. She’ll also receive a manicure and pedicure.
After two hours of pampering, Emma will be ready to great her owner back in the VIP Lounge, smelling great and adorned with beautiful bows.
“It will be a wonderful spa experience and the pet will go home looking and feeling great,” said Mulcahey.
In addition to the pampering and publication of her picture, Emma will also get to make her television debut on Collins’ “Rhode Bytes” show in October.
Gale said Emma is “very honored” to have all of this attention, and to be crowned “Top Dog.”
Cianci said he has learned something from judging this contest: people truly love their pets.
“People have very special relationships with their dogs,” he said. “And the photos entered in this contest really show what a big role these dogs play in each person's life. There is nothing like the unconditional love of a dog.”
More contests to come
Thanks to all of those who entered their photos on RhodyBeat.com. Please keep an eye out for future contests and calls for content.
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