Now You Judge for the MOST FESTIVE PET CONTEST

What Are Your Pets Wearing for the Holidays Photo Contest is a success! Well, it's a success because thousands looked at the 80 uploaded photos of your pets. And that means thousands of smiles. Really you can't look at this gallery without smiling, probably your serotonin also gets a free boost. You feel good. It's what happens when you look at pets.

My job was one of the most challenging of my career - if not nearly impossible....that's choose six photos which now YOU will vote to determine THE MOST FESTIVE PET.

All the 80 pets uploaded were darn cute....including the hamster and hedgehog....and appreciate all the entries. Still, how do you narrow this amazing group to six images? I couldn't do it alone - too daunting, too much pressure for one pet reporter, so I enlisted help, from my wife Robin and my sister Lori.

So, here they are - the six nominees, the best of the best. Now you vote!

You know what they say about the Internet, it's the Wild West - so what the heck, vote early and often, enlist friends and relatives, neighbors, inmates, co-workers (inmates and co-workers may be one in the same), whoever you like.

There can only be one pet deemed - by you - the most festive! That winner will appear on a WGN Radio Petcast with me, and also a donation will be made in the winning pet's name to the Tree House Humane Society in Chicago.

Now, may the best pet win!

poll by twiigs.com

 


Chloe



Lewdo



Nookie



Phoebe



Rufio



Timmy


Comments

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  • If Rufio is what I think, something pretty sick is going on there.

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    In reply to jack:

    Really! How is dressing Rufio up as a snowman SICK!!?? Dont be a hater!!

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    In reply to jack:

    Rufio is adorable!!! There's nothing sick about having a hobby that you and your dog enjoy together. Maybe you should consider a better hobby than slamming nice people and their gorgeous dogs!

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    I love them all Steve!

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    agree all is not well with rufio--photoshopped

  • I call animal abuse on Rufio! It's one of those droopy-jowled mastiff dogs constrained in a strait-jacket-like snowman suit with a fake carrot stuck on the poor dog's nose and a pipe in its mouth! Steve, if there is contact info. included with these submissions I would report that dog's person to animal welfare and control.

  • In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Actually, I thought the carrot was on the other end of the dog.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    I am sorry you feel this way. Rufio is very famous for his costumes. We help a lot of dogs in need also. I take great offense to what you are implying, Look at his website before you judge us. www.RufiosRumblings.com We donate 20% of his card sales to NeoRescue.

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    Rufio is my buddy and to those making these ridiculous, inappropriate comments clearly are ignorant because everyone who knows Rufio and his family know what a great life he has, how loved and well cared for he is and it is totally absurd for Kathryn to feel she has to justify a photo she put in a contest. These comments are very hurtful, so why don't you just stop and think how you would feel if you were attacked like this...and don't say you wouldn't because you (obviously) can't get your pet in a costume and get a great picture like Kathryn can...just sayin!!!!

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    I wish you would report him, then Kat can turn around and sue you for slander and filing a false claim. The police might even arrest you themselves for making filing false reports. Why can't you people lose with a shred of dignity? You love resorting to gorilla tactics and really, since most of the people voting are already fans, you simply end up with those sour grapes all over your face. It's not very attractive. Get a Life or better yet, if your going to be entering you pet in contests...get a better pet!

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    You are a maniac... Infact not even that you are just plain stupid. How about you look up Rufio and his Momma and all she does for rescue animals.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Abuse really...I see no abuse of Rufio. Do you not have anything better to do with your time . There are plenty of animals that need rescuing from abusive situations, help them. Rufio is fine. Go Rufio........

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Your ignorance is blinding. If you took any time at all to find out about this much loved dog and his family you would know there is not a modicum of accuracy in your assessment.

    Also, what was the last good, positive, decent thing you did for your species? Rufio works at giving daily. He has what you lack, home training.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Report Rufio's owner for playing with him? What is wrong with you??

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Rufio is a much loved dog whose family do a lot of work to help animals in need! Why dont you concentrate on helping seriously abused animals that are tortured and killed every day instead of picking one that has been dressed up for 10 mins for a photo comp!!!

  • OMG, I just read Rufio is one of the finalists?! I call foul. This dog's person s/b reported, not rewarded!

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    You a silly fool you clearly haven't ever owned one of these dogs. They don't do ANYTHING they don't want to and I know this coz I have one. Jealousy is such an ugly trait get over yourself keyboard warrior!

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    In reply to Claire Wareing:

    Thank you, Claire, I couldn't agree more!

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    If you don't like seeing Rufio why don't you not visit this site then . Leave Rufio & his Momma alone. They do good this for other dogs.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Rogers Parker - perhaps you should spend some real time understanding what animal abuse looks like. Or neglect. Rufio and his family are well known and I can vouch that he's spoiled rotten actually. Rufio and his family also consistently donate to non-profit rescues. I know because I am the president of one and always help out and as Rufio's mom stated, even the sale of his greeting card line benefits abused, neglected and abandoned animals. I think honestly, you are the one that needs to be reported and sued for slander. Oh Merry Christmas to you.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    what is wrong with you Rogers Parker? How is that abuse? You really need to get a life!

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    I'm not quite sure who you are, and I don't know why you seem to have an issue with Rufio or his owner. Maybe you need to educate yourself before you start making FALSE accusations. Rufio is a well cared-for member of the Dunlap family, and the family donates a significant portion of funds raised each year to animal groups. This contest has been a disgrace, you for your petty and disgusting comments, and the people in charge who have allowed ignorance and hatred to mar it.

  • OK, now that I've done some research on the breed, there's no way a Neapolitan Mastiff could be crammed into that costume. These dogs are huge! I agree with the comment above that this photo must have been photoshopped. Regardless, it's not an appropriate costume for such a dignified, noble dog. Steve, I think you, your wife and your sister show bad judgment in selecting this image as one of the six finalists for your contest.

    Check out the links re: Neapolitan Mastiff. Good family pet, but HUGE!
    http://boncherry.com/blog/2011/02/15/neapolitan-mastiff-the-ancient-dog-breed/

    http://www.redhookfarms.com/aboutthebreed.cfm?id=2

  • Well, then maybe people won't vote for Rufio - it's not up to me - up to all of you.....as for animal welfare issues, not sure this dog is really suffering...and most people seem to agree, Rufio is leading the voting as of this moment.

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    In reply to Steve Dale:

    Mr. Dale, I would never hurt Rufio, he is my life. Together Rufio and I have been making people smile with his crazy costumes for the last couple years. He is a remarkable model and happy to be part of the fun. We have been on television, radio and in many magazines...folks are crazy for him. The only thing photo shopped are the twig arms, there was no way for me to add them otherwise. I know contests bring out the worst in people..but some of these remarks are really hurtful. If you want to remove Rufio that is fine. I don't want you put in an uncomfortable position.

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    Please do not remove Rufio!! There is nothing wrong with this outfit. It's not like she leaves it on him all day, it takes less then 5 minutes to take a picture.
    I voted for Rufio an I am not friends with his mom, I seen your nasty comments and decided to come give him a vote so thanks for the negativity it just gave him more attention!!
    Go Rufio <3

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    In reply to Debbie Weddle:

    I voted for Rufio too, and I don't know his mom personally, I just think what they do together is beautiful. The dog clearly loves her, she clearly loves him, and anyone who can't see that is ... things I won't even say.

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    I think Rufio is great & you both do great things and put smiles on alot of faces each day. I look forward to seeing his photos & costumes.

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    In reply to Steve Dale:

    Mr. Dale, I am the president of Orphaned Paws Rescue and we know Rufio and his family. I can assure you not only is Rufio not being abused, he is spoiled rotten. Rufio and his family are committed to helping truly abused, neglected & abandoned animals. They continully support rescues through donations and proceeds from his card line. These people have no basis for their remarks and honestly they can be considered slanderous. Also, I assure you - if a dog his size was miserable in a costume while snapping a picture - there would not be a picture here. This coming from the mom of two great danes who continually tries to get reindeer antler pictures and has to take no less than 50 to get one good shot.

  • But, Steve, you wrote in your article that you, your wife and sister chose the finalists. So, it is up to you. You could have chosen a different photo and looked into reporting Rufio's people for animal abuse. Now that I've seen the size of the dog on various websites (what happened to my comment with the links, btw?) I agree with a comment above that this image was photoshopped. I didn't read the rules for your contest, but wouldn't an altered photo be disqualified?

    I don't have personal experience with Rufio's breed (Neapolitan Mastiff). Therefore, I sent a link of this article to a nea mastiff breeder in Missouri to ask their opinion about the animal's welfare. Having had dogs my entire life, I wouldn't even THINK of constraining a dog like Rufio was --especially such a big, dignified breed.

  • In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Hmm...I actually wrote all three of us determined.....

    Why wouldn't an altered photo be disqualified....it's because you can't always tell it's altered. Or I can't anyway. This is supposed to be fun!

    If you feel another should win, feel free to vote for another.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    You people are being rediculous. For one thing if your going to talk about the breed get it right. Its neo mastiff not nea. They are known as gentle giants. And are the most laid back easy going animal you'll ever see. There is nothing wrong with what their doing. You must have a dog that, 1. don't stand a chance 2.refuses to let you dress him up. Get a life...

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    In reply to Laurie Turner:

    ridiculous is spelled with an "i".

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    You don't know what you are talking about. Rufio is very loved by his owner and does wonderful work. How do you know he is "constrained" in the costume?

    Keep up the good work Rufio. You always make me smile.

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    In reply to Rogers Parker:

    Rufio is very well cared for, he is well loved and his owner is an amazing, compassionate woman. They do so much to raise awareness and help others.Not sure what your problem is but I feel sorry for your pets. You sent a link to a breeder asking about Rufio's welfare? Wow, the only abuse here is you abusing your right to freedom of speech because every comment you leave makes you look more ignorant than the last.

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    Way to go Timmy!!!

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    ummmm... rufio's photo is waaaaaaay too photoshopped.

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    I don't understand how a photoshopped picture should win a contest that shows who is most festive when there was no effort involved.

    I disagree with the animal abuse accusations entirely, it is obvious there was no costume. All they did was take a picture of their dog and photoshop a bunch of christmas stuff onto the picture.

    At least the other animals showed their talents for staying, paw, or hold. Those pets should be rewarded for good behavior, and those parents should be rewarded for great training.
    :)

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    Rufio's is not only photoshopped, worse it's photoshopped badly. Were the arms drawn in with a marker or something? If I knew photoshopping was allowed, I would have had my dog dressed as Santa going down a chimney, but that's not fair to people who got their dogs in cute stuff without computer aid, now is it?

  • ok Curt, Blanca ---- I know but didn't say 'No photoshopping' in the rules....Maybe I should have....but I can't always tell - so vote for others, and tell friends, neighbors, relatives, inmates or co-workers....to do the same....Really just balance votes the other way, and someone else wins. So far, that strategy isn't working. And why aren't people voting for the cats?

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    In reply to Steve Dale:

    Rufio's mom makes the most adorable, creative costumes for him so if she does a couple of photoshopped arms does that take away from the overall creativity of the costume and presentation? Maybe she's just better at these things than you are, and instead of slamming her you should learn from her.

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    Vote for Timmy he is holding a holiday sign!

  • Timmy is very cute, and has more votes than at the start...but still trailing. Chloe and Lewdo and both cats are nearly in a sort of dead heat. This is not be confused with being in heat.

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    In reply to Steve Dale:

    Thanks Steve I didn't know he even made the final six until Sunday. When does the voting end?

  • In reply to Melissa Arteaga:

    Friday at 10 a.m. CDT (December 21)

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    I am Rufio's owner and the only thing added is his arms. He really wore this costume.....he owns more clothes than me. Please be kind, he is an awesome dog who loves me enough to dress him in silly costumes. Happy Holidays!

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    Awesome how did you attach the carrot and the pipe?

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    In reply to Melissa Arteaga:

    The nose has a little black string and he know how to how lots of things in his mouth. We do a greeting card line and he has also been on 4 Hallmark cards. We have so much fun together, I even take him to schools, he loves kids. I don't know why folks are being so mean :(

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    I am sorry for my terrible sentence above...I am kind of upset. Rufio knows how to hold lots of things in his mouth :)

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    I can not believe what I am reading!!!!! Rufio abused??? I think not!!! Rogers Parker....I assume you have a pet entered in this contest?? Rufio isn't any more "abused" than any other pets pictured above. Get with the program!!!!! It's a PHOTO CONTEST!!! I own a Neapolitan Mastiff (172lbs) and there is absolutley NO WAY it is possible to put this breed of dog in a straight jacket!! Are you kidding me???? Please EDUCATE yourself!!! If you are going to be upset with not being in first place DO NOT take your frustrations out on other people who have entered!! GET OVER IT!!!!

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    Rufio is an awesome dog. Trust me, if a dog that size did not want to be costumed.. he wouldn't allow it. He and his owners do much to help shelters and rescues. The costumes are only on long enough to photograph . I have never seen such rude comments in my life as on this page. Mastiffs always look sad and droopy eyed by nature.. it does not mean he is being abused. My vote is for Rufio.

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    HELLO....haven't you ever seen Rufio before??? He's kinda FAMOUS!!!! This dog is loved so much it's crazy!!

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    Nice Timmy is kinda famous as well on YouTube he is well know for his beer trick and many others. He is muched loved luved and well know by many not for his costume wearing but for his well trained tricks

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    In reply to Melissa Arteaga:

    Maybe someone needs to be turned in for teaching their animals alcohol tricks..

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    In reply to Laurie Turner:

    Are you for real ?

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    In reply to Laurie Turner:

    The only bitches who are allowed in this competition have four legs and can't type.
    MAYBE you should take some notes LAURIE TURNER.

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    In reply to Melissa Arteaga:

    That is wonderful. You must work very hard with him. Rufio is not much on tricks, he is kind of big and goofy. I wish you the best of luck and I hope you and Timmy have a nice holiday.

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    Thanks Kathryn we wish you luck too. Rufio is very handsome :)

  • You people all suck! You have taken something that was supposed to be fun and turned it ugly with your ugly comments on animal abuse. Let me start by saying that I own a Neapolitan Mastiff and what Rufio's owner has done with him is so far from animal abuse its not even funny. If she is to be blamed for anything its for loving that dog more than life itself. I know Rufio through the media and have even spoken via social networks to his owner. This dog is extremely well trained (wish i could get mine to sit like that with a costume on!) and well trained dogs do not sit like that! Well trained dogs are well loved dogs however your all exhibiting signs of being small dog owners. And if your not maybe your should be. Small hearts small minds. Stop being so mean and judgmental and just have fun! That's what this is supposed to be about anyway! I think the best comment I read was if you don't' like it don't vote for it period!!

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    Seriously Kathryn I would remove Rufio from this competition if I were you, you are getting it way more attention that it would if not and they don't deserve it! You claim to know so much about dogs and animal abuse how many of you actually own one of these dogs? Thats right none of you coz if you did you would know they are about 10stone and won't do anything that they don't want to do. Do you know that Rufio has a sister Sugar? and she doesn't like doing this kind of thing so guess what she doesn't. Turn your focus around put your money where your mouth is and donate money to a shelter who is dealing with REAL abuses cases. Seriously you are idiots all of you!

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    This contest has now become very upsetting and not fun at all. Rude and nasty comments are being made about contestants that have done nothing wrong. If you are upset by a comment someone left about Rubio direct it at them not contestants that have nothing to do with it. At this point I wish I could take Timmy out of this contest. We have done nothing yet we get nasty comments like We should be turned in for teaching my animals alcohol tricks? First of all I only mentioned Timmys awesome tricks because No he is not as famous as Rubio but yes he still deserves a chance to win. Second my dogs do not drink alcohol nor is it illegal to teach them to bring you something from the fridge. And for someone to even write that comment to be rude and nasty for no reason is ridiculous. And so is the comment "like get a better pet" I don't have any clue who this Rogers Parkers is so if you are upset with her then talk to her don't be rude about other peoples pets. I love my dogs very much and was surprised Timmy made top six. But at this point Id rather not be a part of something so upsetting

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    In reply to Melissa Arteaga:

    Unfortunately the responses are not all listed under the comments they were intended for, however, if you look it does say quite clearly in response to... then the persons name at whom the comment is directed. So, no one other than that person should be getting upset however, due to the way this page is laid out everyone can see all comments. I posted no rude comments to you or your dog. I did however defend a friend who absolutely LOVES her dogs more than life and in no way harms them. She puts more time and thought into costumes and comments than most people put into raising their children. And if ever I come across another negative comment about her or one of her dogs I will again defend them. The world needs more people like Kat and more pets like Rufio, Sugar and Wilma! P.S. His name is RUFIO

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    Please don't say anything mean about Melissa or Timmy, they have been very nice to us. Learning tricks is a wonderful thing, it builds trust and love between dog and owner. I am sorry Melissa and kiss Timmy and tell him I am sorry if anyone hurt his feelings. Your Friends, Kat & Rufio

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    ok so Rufio shouldnt even be in the contest and i would prefer to own a dog like Timmy over that ugly mutt any day!!

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    In reply to Julie Hrovat:

    Rufio is not an ugly mutt please refrain from using mean comments. Rufio is quite handsome and I understand you are a Timmy supporter but feeding in to all the nasty comments is not helping

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    In reply to Julie Hrovat:

    Wow Julie, you sound like a true animal lover....it's people like you I worry about when it comes to animal abuse. I'm sure you're on the wagon to ban Pitbulls too....

    Merry Christmas

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    In reply to Julie Hrovat:

    that is just rude

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    Melissa, it's no use they have all gone crazy!!

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    In reply to Kathryn Dunlap:

    Agreed!

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    Please don't say anything mean to kathryn or rufio. We like them and wish them the best. Sorry for any rude comments from our supporters they are just upset at previous comments directed at us. Much luv Melissa and Timmy

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    Ive read all the comments..seriously enough!! This is a contest ...not a grouo for jealous, haters!! I know Kat and she is a wonderful person with a huge heart that loves dog!! The Neo breed are wonderful but they do not do what they dont want to!! Please stop the ridiculous accusations that Rufio is being abused!! He is a great dog with a very happy life!! Kat..hold your head up high hun your doing great! Keep donating proceeds to help this wonderful breed!!! We love you!!

  • Everyone's in the contest....No one can drop out. You're in it...and you all should be - GREAT photos, all.

    What some of you are saying - as I catch up....You've gotta be kidding? This is supposed to be fun....My gosh, what if I had made the prize $1,000,000 - then what? Some of you might have gone crazy all together....the idea of the contest was and remains to put smiles on faces, at a time when we need those smiles more than ever.

    I am now assured the photo in question is not photo shopped. If you believe it is photoshopped - or somehow (though I have no clue how) there's animal abuse involved, don't vote for that one....vote for another. ....You have five other great choices.

    If I had one wish - it would be for more votes for cats....they are always under-rated...but all the pets here, and all of the original submissions rank very high on the fun and cute scale.

    Let's lighten up - and remember voting ends 10 a.m. CDT Friday. So, keep voting - and really try to smile....thanks for all the submissions.

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    In reply to Steve Dale:

    Steve, I think you helped set everything in motion. You have not clearly stated anything!!! You hedged on the "photoshopped" issue, you hedged on the "abuse issue" and you have done nothing to stop this.
    I think I am ready, since I have been able to "photoshop" all that is going on proof that maybe you wanted this to happen, to make this one sided and did nothing to help this become a fair competition.

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    Maybe you all should check your facts before ranting about rufio. They do wonderful work for the neapolitan breed and rescue. And before you jump to conclusions about how he is stuffed in a costume, maybe you should stop and talk to his mom about the custom made costumes she makes for him that are not restraining and maybe you should consider he is only in those long enough for a picture. You might also consider that they donate to money to rescues and do wonderful things for our breed education. And while you're @ it, why dont you go spend your negative energy griping about something that IS terrible, like all the millions of animals in shelters and pet owners who neglect their dogs. Owning a neo is not an easy job, and Kathryn does an excellent job with that boy.

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    First off Julie Hrovat you are an idiot, You know nothing about what you are talking about and your opinion means nothing to anyone. You most likely do not own an animal and have no clue about the breed and what Kathryn does for her animals and others. Also Rogers Parker if that is even your real name becuase it sounds kinda fake, you have no clue what your talking about we have all of these dogs out there being abused and you want to bring up abuse on Rufio you are so mistaken and I think you owe kathryn an apology for your ridiculous comment. Shut your mouths and keep your comments to yourself these dogs are here for a contest not to get bashed on. And Rufio keep up the good work. Now if you want to comment about my post Message me Ill tell you were to shove it. ;)

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    Kathryn - just wanted to let you know that, yes I feel an altered photo isn't totally fair in a contest, I understand that you did a very minor alteration, so I apologize for any insult in my original comment.
    I certainly have nothing against you personally or Rufio, who is quite the handsome lad, and if I hurt your feelings I'm very sorry.
    As for everyone else, no matter how the votes turn out, the winner is Tree House Humane Society, who will receive Steve's donation. If you feel so strongly you need to rant and rave, then put your money where your mouth is and donate in the name of the dog you prefer and prove you're not just another internet troll. Follow the link that Steve posted for the rescue and there are instructions on their site for doing online donations.

  • Curt, appropriate and kind of you to apologize....and well articulated - this is all supposed to be fun and way to give some $$$ to a Chicago animal shelter...No more - no less....thank you!!!! And thanks to the majority - just voting, not involved in the drama (not sure I'd really call this drama, though.....in the scheme of things).

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    Hi Curt, I agree, it's all about the animals in need. Some dogs will never know the kind of love our babies do and that is very sad. This donation is so very generous and really the winners are the animals who will benefit from it. Have a wonderful holiday.

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    Yep I am voting for RUFIO and I do know he does good. I love LOSERS!! There are alway people who complain because their dog/cat doesn't win. Maybe there is a reason for that. They arent popular like Rufio.
    I see people like this all the time, they complain and spew false accusations and so many GOOD people who do GOOD things for others get forced to leaving a contest to help OTHERS!!!

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    Is this a wait 24-hour to vote? I voted yesterday for RUFIO and wanted to vote again today...have been trying since early this morning but I can't see a "vote" button! HELP!!!

  • Riley - I don't know the answer --- perhaps if you turn your computer on and off....I don't honestly know.

  • Rogers Parker----- You must not be the brightest apple on the tree!!! Anyone who would pay the amount of money it takes to purchase a well bred and HEATHLY neapolitan mastiff, certainly would not be the type of person who would abuse their pet! I would bet almost anyone that owns a neo knows Rufio!!! He is like THE POSTER CHILD for this great breed and I think we should take our hats off to Kathryn for all she and Rufio have done not only for the neo's, but for all dogs in general. I think you should do your homework before you run your mouth!!!

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    I think all of the contestants are wonderful it is to bad we cannot vote for them all. I wish everyone the best of luck and hope everyone has a wonderful holiday <3

  • I do not have a dog in this contest but I am completely amazed at the mean comments. People please!!!! If you want to be angry...be angry the four sweet innocent children were buried today! This should be a fun contest...all animals are God's angels...please stop being mean. Steve Dale..you should delete the haters....just saying!

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    Hi everyone this is Timmys mom. I have never said anything bad about any other entry. Rufio is handsome and I wish him the best. Yet I keep seeing nasty comments how Rufio is famous and we will lose ect. Timmy is also famous he has a great you tube following for his tricks. I am also a dog trainer so yes we also have many friends I think we all lost focus on what this is all about. Its a holiday event and is for charity.

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    Melissa, I apologize for the rude comment I made the other day. I fell into the same category those other fools are in and I don't do that. I just think there were so many haters against Rufio and Kat and they do so much for that breed and many others. There isn't a morning that I don't look at facebook to see what Rufio is dressed in. You did not deserve that and I'm sorry. Timmy is a very hansome lad and deserves to win as in
    all the rest. I always tell my daughter to not stoop to that level and that'd exactly what I did. I guess I need to practice what I preach. You did not deserve that
    I also have 2 neos and 1 English mastiff and they are my world . I am sorry and I wish you and Tiimmy the best

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    Melissa sorry I didn't mean to repeat myself something funky happened when I was typing and it copied part of a sentence. Take care and happy holidays.

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    Kathryn loves Rufio there is no abuse going on I can assure you of this. Rufio and his loving mommy do so much for rescue

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    You guys this is just silly...I want Timmy to win, I saw his videos last night and he is so smart and such a showman. Rufio just wears silly costumes!! Once this crazy thing is over, I am going to friend Timmy and his Mom and I hope we can be friends. Timmy you have a some new fans, me and Rufio!!!!!

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    I think everyone needs to really go back and read what Mr. Steve Dale has commented on!!! "If you really think abuse is going on go vote for some one else" "I didn't clarify if you could photoshop and maybe I should have" I think that Mr. Steve Dale has done his best to keep this crap going on. Most would put a stop to the bashing and the finger pointing and all but Mr. Dale has made underlying comments to keep this whole mess going. I think this could have been a very fun contest had Mr. Dale stepped up and stopped the name calling and the accusations when first started instead of flaming the fire

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    In reply to Katie Waterman:

    Katie, I have to agree. Other contest take down hateful remarks. This one seemed to embrace them. I should have pulled Rufio from this mess. Rufio loses lots of contesst, but we have NEVER been treated so horribly. Thank you to all that voted and I know the comments got ugly, but abuse, neglect and cheating are serous accusations. I will not be posting again. Thanks Kat & Rufio XO

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    Mr. Dale, this has to be the worst contest I have ever seen. You have allowed people to attack a perfectly wonderful person and her dog, who happen to do great things for animal rescues. Yes, I am a die-hard Rufio supporter and fan, and that dog does NOTHING unless he wants to do it. Kat did not photoshop that costume, nor does she abuse Rufio.

    The fact that you have continued to egg everyone on through this shows what kind of person you are. You should void all of the votes and donate whatever the prize is to charity. This is ridiculous!!!!!

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    All of these hateful remarks and comments are so sad. This contest was supposed to be fun! Seems to me that we all need to back up and remember that if you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all! I don't know any of these animals or people and yet I am saddened by attacks on their efforts. Trust me, the animals in all of these contests are well loved, spoiled rotten, members of the family. Why is it that some people have this overwhelming need to judge and to spread their negativity to the masses. Find a cause that can use your passion and change something! But leave these poor people and their beautiful pets alone. This is supposed to be for FUN, remember? And to whoever it was that made the comment about small dog owners having small hearts/minds or some such nonsense... shame on you too! Bigotry is bigotry, whether it's directed at a person for the color of their skin or an animal for it's size or heritage. We could all take a lesson from the animals - they don't seem to have the same propensity as people to judge, find fault, criticize, blame, or blast. If you can't play nice, go Home!

  • Linda London, thank you...well said. Please first, allow me to thank all of those who uploaded cuties - all the original contestants - from the hedgehog to the hamster, to the many dogs and cats.

    Choosing a pawful of finalists wasn't easy because it was honestly tough for me to say one pet is cuter than another. I enlisted help from my wife and my sister....And we somehow managed to come up with what we did, the finalists.

    The point of the contest, well there really was none....except we thought - seeing photos of pets might make folks smile....and I thought I will make a contribution to a shelter (Tree House Humane Society) in the winning pet's name.

    Then some (a small minority) began to hollar at one another. I can't claim what was photo shopped or not....but it's not in the rules. So, if it was photo shopped, or wasn't - still allowed. I personally believe Rufio's owner that it greatly wasn't. No matter, I said - vote for who you want.

    I didn't vote - but I do concede pushing for both cats, feeling badly they didn't receive more votes. Cats are sometimes like the Rodney Dangerfield of pets, getting too little respect.

    Then, somehow, I'm attacked for allowing people to speak their minds in this comment section on my blog. This is what blogs are though. I also don't believe in censorship. And if people are determined to make fools of themselves, the community will figure it out. They have here.

    I hope all understand there was no other motive....so toss out any conspiracy theories you may have - and try to have a happy howliday! I do hope to continue seeing your comments (reasonable comments) in future blog posts and maybe future photo contests. If nothing else, you've told me you're interested.

    I wish all of you - your families, including members with four legs, feathers and scales - a great season, and Happy New Year!

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