The winner: Bear

This afternoon we drew a name out of a big bowl filled with the names of all the dogs who entered our Senior Dog Photo and Story Contest. The lucky winner is Bear, a soulful daschund who is on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

I wish I could give everyone a prize, because every single entry was beautiful. But it was a random drawing, so at least I didn’t have to make any difficult choices! (For all 80-ish dogs who did not win, please check out the slide show I made with all the entries. It’s not a portrait, but it’s sort of a consolation prize.)

Bear’s people will be winning a custom portrait of Bear by artist Kathryn Beals. Bear would have been a top contender if I were judging. Check out his story, and the lovely use of the portrait Kathryn will paint:

This is Bear.

We adopted Bear at the local Humane Society. We fell in love with her as soon as we saw her. She was a stray, and had just been brought in off of the street, so she wasnt adoptable yet, But we kept calling and coming back every couple of days to make sure they knew we wanted her and to be sure they didnt let her go to anyone else!!! She is so tiny just 8 lbs when we got her. with scars all over her tail and bottom. And her right eye is damaged beyond use and the ocular bone is crushed. She had such bad tooth decay (stage 3) that she had to have 9 teeth pulled ($1000 later ouch). But shes home now!!! Shes a cuddly little lap dog almost a cat She loves to snuggle and give tongue baths. Shes gained a pound and her teeth are clean and her mouth doesnt hurt anymore and no one is going to give her any more scars or damaged eyes or broken bones!!! She deserves better how could anyone not love her?! (Please adopt a shelter dog dont go to a pet store!!!)

Teddy Bear:
Shes a cuddly little lap dog almost a cat She loves to snuggle and give tongue baths. Shell climb in bed with us and burrow under the blankets, then curl up in a ball in my arms or behind our legs. She thinks shes a puppy even though shes about 10 shell play fetch for hours if you let her ! And to catch balls in the air, she jumps on the bed like its a trampoline Air Bear !

Bear passed away peacefully (after a battle with pancreatitis and kidney failure) on Wednesday, September 16, 2009. She is deeply missed! Mrs. Michelle Hillier

Congratulations Bear, and everyone else who entered the contest. We are the richer for having seen your photos, read your stories. Old dogs rule!