A couple of nights ago my two sons and I were sitting in the living room watching a football game when one of our dogs, Dakota, jumped up and went tearing through the house.
He ran down the hallway, his claws clacking and sliding across the floor, then he turned and ran just as quickly back to the living room. He went after one of the cats — they by-and-large have learned to ignore Dakota, but on this night, once seeing what sort of mood he was in, they scattered to their various hiding places.
He sprinted down the hallway and back again. He leapt on the sofa and barked at us, tail wagging, eyes sparkling. Next he picked up a ball and tossed it into the air, an action he repeated a few more times. Then he began barking again, the playful sort of bark that was more common when he was younger (Dakota is 7-and-a-half now).
While these sorts of outbursts are not unheard of, they don’t happen often. The boys and I looked at one another, trying to figure out what had prompted this, when I noticed a copy of The Mount Airy News on the table next to our sofa.
The edition included a story I wrote about the Mount Airy News Cutest Pet Contest, and it dawned on me Dakota was trying to make his case for us entering a photo of him.
Well, that left me with the unenviable task of explaining to him that while I could take his picture and post it the website, he really wasn’t eligible for any voting or prizes since he’s in the household of the editor (our employees and their pets are not eligible).
He took the news well, and wasn’t too disappointed. I think handing him the slice of bologna while I explained might have had something to do with his good-natured acceptance of my explanation.
But, you don’t have to give you dog or cat any bologna while you explain they can’t be part of the contest. That’s because, unless you work for the Mount Airy News or Heartland Publications, you can center your pet. Absolutely free.
Now, I surely would not want to have to explain to Dakota why I didn’t enter him if he was eligible, and I hope you don’t have to go through the same thing with your pet. So go ahead and enter your little furry (or feathery, or scaling) little friend right now!
It’s easy as can be. Just go go mtairynews.com and click on the little button that says “Cutest Pet Contest,” usually in the right hand side of the website, click there and follow the simple instructions. If entering online is not your thing, then you can drop off your free entry at either of our two sponsors, Lucky Bones Country Club and Animal Medical Services.
But hurry. Voting starts Sept. 17, and you don’t want to have to tell your pet he (or she) missed out on some votes because you didn’t enter him (or her) soon enough.
John Peters is editor of The Mount Airy News. You can contact him at 336-719-1931 or at firstname.lastname@example.org