The results are in! Five winners were selected from the 58 entries in the Speaking for Spot Halloween Contest. Each winner received an adorable canine Halloween costume compliments of OhMyDogSupplies.com.
Ready to meet the winners and hear the stories supplied by their human companions? I’m ever so pleased to present Buddy, Gayle, Marty McFly, Roxy, and Elmer Fudd. Before you begin reading about them, grab a couple tissues. I think you might just need them!
Nebraska winner: Buddy, a devilishly handsome (and lucky) doggy doctor
According to Buddy’s mom Linda “Buddy is 10 3/4 years old and will turn 11 in January. I have known him since he was born but he wasn’t a member of my household until a little over two years ago. He used to be shown in the conformation ring but because of medical problems was neutered. He has been trained as a Delta therapy dog and has made many trips to hospitals and rehabilitation centers to help others feel better. On a Sunday morning in August, 2008 his owners (and my best friends) were murdered at their rural home north of Lincoln by a young man who was looking for money for drugs. Why he and his granddaughter were spared we will never know. He was found later that day by a neighbor as he and Annie (the granddaughter Boxer) were wandering the neighborhood, probably looking for help. He was turned in to animal control and I went and got the two dogs the next morning. A daughter took young Annie but asked if I would like Buddy to stay with me. He has been my constant companion since that time. I had back fusion surgery this summer and Buddy was at the door to greet me when I came home and lay beside me to comfort me during the three months of recovery. We are now pretty much back to normal and taking the walks that we both love. He is a memorial to the friends that I lost and whenever I am missing them I talk with Buddy. I am so glad to have him in my life.”
Tennessee winner: Gayle, a vampire who’s a sweetie pie
Charon, Gayle’s human companion, tells this story. “Gayle was a found puppy (during a thunderstorm in Texas) in May 2000. In January of 2010, (when Gayle was ten years old) we noticed a small lump on her right front wrist. It was a soft tissue sarcoma, grade III. Gayle had her leg amputated February 17, 2010, followed by five rounds of doxorubicin chemotherapy. She is the bravest girl I’ve ever known. She’s ever once backed away from doing what we’ve asked, and she never really complained, even though there were a few times when the chemo was pretty rugged. I’ve been by Gayle’s side during every step of this journey. I’ve knitted a zillion socks watching her recover, sitting through chemo, and just being in the moment with my sister. Every day with Gayle is a gift and a learning experience. She’s not only my ‘sister’, but she’s my teacher. I learned a big lesson when I was diagnosed with breast cancer in July. Through surgery and now radiation treatment, Gayle is by my side every step of the journey. We both know how lucky we are to have each other, to have such supportive family and friends and to be enjoying every moment. Gayle keeps a blog to document our challenges and achievements – www.etgayle.tripawds.com.”
Maine winner: Marty McFly, an insanely adorable “Maine lobstah”
Here’s what Lisa has to say about her little dog. “Marty McFly is thrilled to be selected as a costume winner. He is a very special Miniature Dachshund whom I rescued from a shelter in Ohio two years ago when his time as a stray was up. He arrived skin and bones and with pneumonia, and almost didn’t make it. After lots of TLC, he gained five pounds and blossomed into an incredible dog who has taught us so much. He has been a therapy dog, and made lots of friends at a local nursing home. He adores children, and if we’re out for a walk and he spots a child he makes a beeline right to them to give them kisses. It makes us wonder whether he had children in his previous home. We do not know his true age, but estimate he is about 14. He has lots of spunk, loves to chase squirrels, and ‘sings for his supper.’ There are thousands of senior dogs in shelters with so much life left. We feel so fortunate to have this one in our life. Of our five dogs, he makes us laugh the most.”
Northern California winner: Roxy, a cherub of a chimp
Karen adores Roxy as you can tell from her description. “As a volunteer dog trainer and foster provider at my local shelter, I was asked to come to meet a couple puppies that had been placed in the back of the shelter in a small enclosure with their mama. The mama was a confiscated ‘breeder dog,’ that is, a dog whose sole purpose is to become impregnated with money-making pups. The shelter’s plan was to euthanize the mama once the puppies could make it on their own due to her being a Pit Bull and that fact that she was a black dog. Add to the fact that she was engorged with milk, and you have a dog whose adoption chances are nil. I went down and met the puppies and mama and learned she had been in that small enclosure with them for over a month without ever having gotten out or any contact aside from being fed. She was scrawny and scared, but she still had a sparkle in her eye and absolute love of people. I brought the pups home along with the mama who we called Roxy. We spent the necessary time socializing the pups and eventually they were adopted, but since the day I brought her home Roxy has truly been my best friend. We eventually adopted Roxy. Her adoption essentially saved the lives of four dogs: Her life was spared, her two pups’ lives were spared, and another stray dog had a chance at life since an enclosure was empty. Roxy has become a great teacher of life. She has taught us to live in the present and not dwell on the past, as she never looks back at her hard life with regret. She does not let the bad things that have happened to her affect her today. She taught us that we can change if we just let go. Against the odds, Roxy has become an ambassador to her breed and is now effectively helping other shelter dogs become stable and happy dogs. She has opened the eyes of so many people with misconceptions about this breed. She is a friend to anyone she meets. Roxy has impressed us all with becoming a certified ‘Good Canine Citizen’ and is currently in training for therapy. Roxy’s story is important and we want to send this message to the masses: Many many shelter dogs are put down needlessly every day. So many of them are good dogs like Roxy that just need a chance at a good life. Provide food, shelter, leadership, exercise, and love and the benefit you receive in return is immeasurable.”
Southern California winner: Elmer Fudd, a precious little vampire
Anne shares her home and heart with Elmer Fudd. Here is how she describes him: “Elmer is about 13 years old and I adopted him from the LA city shelter about six months ago after a plea went out for him from the shelter staff. He’s probably a Jack Russell/something mix and they said he was geriatric and visually impaired, but he’s actually a pretty active and somewhat hyper little guy. But he’s got some kind of brain damage. I’m not sure what caused it. We saw a neurology specialist but without spending a lot of money on an MRI and spinal tap, we don’t have a definitive diagnosis and I decided to watch and wait and see how things go for now. He mostly walks in circles, always in the same direction. He can’t go up and down steps and if he’s on the sofa he’ll walk off and fall on the floor instead of jumping – I think it’s a visual problem. He has hearing impairment too, he can hear but can’t identify the source of the sound and has not really learned to understand any words. He has a bunch of other quirks but he’s very sweet and full of spunk. He likes to be picked up and held, having his ears rubbed and eating. Especially eating, he is just crazy about food. He is very curious and loves exploring the yard (in a circular fashion) and chasing the cat when he has the chance. I could go on and on, but anyway he’s a special dog and I think he makes an awesome vampire.”
Now here’s wishing you and your four-legged family members a safe Halloween and abundant good health.
Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association 2009 Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, 2009 Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, 2009 Eukanuba Canine Health Award
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Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.
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