Our sincere thanks to all of you pet parents who entered photos of your recuperating pooches in our i Love Dog Casts and Cones photo contest last month. We’re very glad that so many of your dogs have completely recovered!
It’s never easy for our judging panel to single out their favorites, but this contest was particularly challenging.
“My heart bleeds for each and every one of these dogs and their stories, especially those that indicate enormous commitment and sacrifice by owners to accommodate their dogs’ physical limitations while dealing with recuperation issues,” said contest judge Greg Kleva.
“I also love the common theme about how dogs maintain their positive, fun, upbeat, ‘invincible’ personalities, even while hampered by casts, cones and bandages.”
Without further pawdo, here are the winners, including a three-way tie for first place.
First Place (Tie): Alasdair
Alasdair is a Chocolate Lab who’s now 5 years old.
“Due to a series of disasters and puppy-mill-caused allergies, he has spent far too much time wearing a variety of oversized collars,” said his dog dad, Nick.
“He hates each and every one of them. In this particular photo, from about three years ago, he was recovering from surgery to remove a benign growth from his leg and destroying yet another collar.”
“Alasdair’s photo indicates what I imagine most dogs must be thinking while subjected to ‘the cone of shame’… specifically, ‘Get this thing off of me!’” said Kleva of his first-place choice. “And apparently if his owner isn’t going to do it, he’ll find a way to get it done himself.”
Nick said the vet was amazed when he asked to purchase extra collars for Alasdair. “I think it’s pretty obvious why. I think we went through about a dozen with this particular surgery,” he said. “Despite his issues, his personality, which comes through in this photo, is amazing.”
Kleva agreed: “What I like most about this photo is that Alasdair is ‘caught in the act’ of trying to chew his cone off, but that’s not stopping him!”
First Place (Tie): Charley
“It was a rough couple of weeks after surgery because he ended up having an allergic reaction to tape and developed dermatitis,” said his pet parent.
“Charley looks so sad in his cone of shame, but we all know it’s for his own good,” said contest judge Nikki Moustaki of her selection for first place.
“He has an almost human expression on his face that is the universal wrinkly-forehead sign that says, ‘I don’t know how it came to this, so I’ll just lay here and wait for cookies.’”
First Place (Tie): Darla
Darla, an 11-year-old Maltese, had to have the mammary glands removed from the right side of her little body two years ago.
“She recovered surprisingly well,” said Geri, her dog mom. “She was a real trooper.”
“I love how Darla shows her super chic side in perfect pink while recovering from mammary cancer,” said contest judge Dr. Patrick Mahaney of his first-place choice.
Second Place: Forrest
“While taking our newly adopted kitty into the vet for a check-up, this little guy was sitting behind the counter, looking for a forever home,” said RT, pet parent of Forrest, a Boxer mix who was about 10 weeks old when this photo was taken, and who’s now 10 months old.
Forrest’s previous owners had hit him with their car but didn’t want to pay for his treatment, so the vet’s staff took him in.
“We had recently lost our 17-year-old dog and weren’t looking for a new puppy,” RT said. “But all it took was one puppy kiss to my nose and I knew we needed to adopt him and take him home. Of course, with those legs, we had to name him Forrest!”
“Run, Forrest, run!” Moustaki said of her second-place choice. “This puppy is showing such dignity despite his condition, and I bet he was as bouncy as he would have been if he didn’t have two casts on his legs.”
“While there were several ‘double cast’ photos entered in the contest, Forrest caught my attention,” said Kleva. “I couldn’t help picturing him looking up from behind the vet office counter with those puppy eyes, injured and abandoned by his family, legs in casts, asking everyone, ‘Even though I’m broken, please take me home.’ Who could resist?!”
Forrest has recovered from his injuries and is now healthy and playful. “He never let those casts get in his way of showing his affection!” RJ said.
Honorable Mention: Petey
“When I was just a few months old and living with my foster parents, a roaming dog got into my backyard and nearly mauled me to death,” he writes. “I was lying in a pool of blood until my foster mom came home and rushed me to a vet.
“I had to have several surgeries. My front leg was in such bad condition, and that is why I have that huge splint on my leg in the photo. Despite looking a bit raggedy for months, I was always such a happy boy and always wagged my tail. Now that it has been awhile since I nearly died, I still have a limp sometimes, but that doesn’t matter because my mom says it makes me who I am!”
Congratulations to our winners! Alasdair, Charley, Darla and Forrest will each receive i Love Dogs Reishi with Green Tea, which will help keep them out of casts and cones by boosting their immune systems, acting as an anti-inflammatory and providing organ support. Their pet parents will also receive a coupon good for a 50-percent discount on their next purchase of i Love Dogs vitamins and supplements.
As the fan favorite, Petey wins an i Love Dogs bag filled with pawsome goodies!
- Greg Kleva is a professional dog behavioral therapist and master trainer with Bark Busters Home Dog Training. He hosts “It’s A Dog’s Life” on Martha Stewart Living Radio on SiriusXM 110, and also makes appearances on TV and in print.
- Patrick Mahaney, VMD, CVA has a thriving veterinary practice in Los Angeles and is i Love Dogs’ Ask a Vet. His clients respond favorably to his combination of Eastern and Western medicine, including acupuncture. In addition to making house calls, Dr. Mahaney makes himself available via his blog.
- Nikki Moustaki, an author, TV and radio personality, and dog trainer, is considered one of the country’s leading pet experts. She founded the Pet Postcard Project to help feed homeless animals.
Does your pooch have a pawesome pair of peepers? Show us in our i Love Dog Eyes photo contest for the month of June!