It took nerves of steel, and a noseful of sand, but in the end Audi the pup captured cute pet gold.
After a final round of late September voting, Audi took first place in the 2012 Grayson County News-Gazette Cutest Pet Contest.
The snapshot of the pup, relaxing in a sand-filled wading pool owner Tiffany Deviney had set up for the family’s chickens, had the “aww” factor. Audi received 1,503 votes in all, beating closest rival Paisely by 146 votes.
The wading pool, filled either with water or with sand, was one of Audi’s favorite hangouts, Deviney said. Rolling about in the water or digging in the sand were greeted with smiles from tickled family members, she said.
Now about 14 weeks old, Audi is a former “pound hound” — adopted by Deviney from the Grayson County Humane Society’s shelter in Leitchfield.
“Somebody had left her outside without food or water,” she said.
“Hound” might not be the proper breed identification for Audi — Deviney’s not sure where the pup’s roots stretch to, so predicting her adult size is a little tricky now.
Jessica Hayes, owner of contest title sponsor A Shaggy Dog Pet Grooming, remembered Audi’s humble beginnings. Hayes volunteers grooming services at the shelter, and said Wednesday she remembered working on Audi there.
Now considerably larger than in her contest photo, Audi’s the type of dog who doesn’t know a stranger and is quick to beg for a little attention, whether that’s a pat on the head or a few words of praise.
Still Deviney said her pup — her only dog right now — isn’t a perfect angel.
“We have four chickens at home, and she loves to chase them,” she said of Audi. “They used to chase her when she was smaller, so I guess it’s payback.”
Deviney will receive $100 for winning the contest, enough to keep Audi in doggy treats for a while. And she’s looking forward to their next chance at showing off, trick-or-treating later this month.
In all, snapshots of 22 pets were entered in the online contest, including one squirrel, a horse, two chickens and four cats. Dogs made up the bulk of the entries, and received the highest vote totals overall.