2013 Cover Model Entries
2013 Winning Dog Cover Model
2013 Winning Cat Cover Model
You were there. Sitting in a dark, cold cage at Onslow County Animal
Control, you stared at me as I walked by. Your black coat was thick
with motor oil and grease. Some of the dogs quickly greeted me, but
not you. You had a look of defeat and discouragement almost as if
you knew you had only two days before euthanasia. I looked past your
dirty exterior and saw a soul mate. You slept in my lap the whole
drive home. It was then I named you Chloe.
Jennifer Wilkins with Chloe
Photos by: Dick Parrott
Hello! I'm nominating our wonderful little kitty girl "Sweet Valentine" to be a PawPrints cover model. I could say we rescued her, but I believe she actually chose us, too. We had just moved into a new apartment in June of 2010 and were returning from church one Sunday, when the cutest little stray cat came strolling right up to us, tail held high and wagging and meowing away as if to say "Hello!" My son Jarrett, who was 4 at the time, fell in love at first sight and declared, "She will join our family, and we will call her Sweet Valentine, because she is sweet and we love her and she loves us."
Well, that was that, she officially joined our family within a few days and has been brightening our lives ever since. As a self-proclaimed "crazy cat lady" who has had cats my entire life, I can absolutely say that "Sweetie V" is the most affectionate, friendly and loving cat I have ever had, and she brings a smile to the face of everyone who meets her. Because she lives up to her name as a total sweetheart, because she is absolutely beautiful in my humble opinion, and because she has brought love and joy to my children and I, I nominate Sweet Valentine to be the rescued cat cover model.
Michele Quinlan with Sweet Valentine
Photos by: Dick Parrott
First Runner-Up for Cats:
I found both of these adorable kittens at about one month old running around a
trailer park with a lot of traffic. They were starving and had no water source.
Everyday I went to check on them both and brought them food or water. I decided
to take them both in. Adopting these kittens was one of the greatest moments of
my life. They have both impacted me in ways I can't even begin to describe. My
kittens, Pandora and Wiz, more than deserve to be on PawPrints Magazine.
Everyday I come home they are always at the door waiting for me so they can come
cuddle and lay with me. They are both so happy to have each other and to be able
to grow up together like they did when they were feral.
They treat me as if I'm their real mother and I couldn't ask for more. I can't imagine how my life would be without my two babies - they are the world to me. They could never be replaced and I am forever grateful to be blessed with them both.
Second Runner-Up for Cats:
I rescued Katie, a nine-month-old cat from Pender County Animal Shelter in Burgaw, ten years ago. At the time, we had just lost the “love of our life”, our 18-year-old beautiful, black, green-eyed cat, to diabetes. We were devastated! Yes, we looked at some beautiful $600 Ragdoll kittens. Too much! We found out a Ragdoll kitten was available at the shelter. Our dirty, thin, blue-eyed cat with ear mites, who we thought was a Ragdoll, turned out to be a Snowshoe Siamese now tipping 14 pounds. The indoor cat enjoys a stroll in her stroller on sunny days. Last fall, Katie was blessed during the ‘Blessing of the Animals’ at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Burgaw. Yes, she is special...and we love her!
Nancy and Cecil Bradshaw
First Runner-Up for Dogs:
There was a heavy sadness in our house in the spring of 2012. We lost our two older dogs in March and May. In too short an amount of time, we went from four dogs to two. Additionally, our dog Buddy started having severe separation anxiety issues. The pack was disrupted and he didn’t know how to cope. None of us were dealing with the loss very well. There was such emptiness in our home.
Second Runner-Up for Dogs:
On New Year’s Eve 2008, I went to
North Shore Animal League in Port Washington, NY to adopt my first dog. As I
strolled past the kennels, a tiny Black Lab mix with hiccups caught my eye.
After an hour of getting to know different puppies, I kept going back to the dog
with hiccups, curled up in the back corner of his kennel. A short time later, I
had officially adopted him. He was lively, fun, and sometimes a troublemaker as
When he was 16-months-old, we moved to Wilmington where, upon arrival, he managed to get a Q-tip lodged in his large intestine. After the Vet removed the Q-tip, she came into the waiting room and said, “I’ve found Theory has an extra-large heart.” I replied, “Yes, he is very loving and affectionate.” The Vet said, “Well, that’s not exactly what I mean. His heart is physically too big for his body. He has Dilated Cardiomyopathy. He may not show all of the symptoms yet, but they will likely come.”
I was devastated, feeling sorry for him, afraid of what’s to come. But, then he taught me something. With all of his exuberance and full-of-life personality, he reminded me that dogs live for the here and now. They take on every day by living in the moment, and don’t dwell on the past, or spend every day worried about the future. So, we choose to make the best of the life we have, together. He is unique. He still looks like a puppy, at five. He loves sticking his head out the car window, digging, being his Dad’s shadow, napping, and being a ham for the camera. When the symptoms get worse, and we come to the end of his life, we will know that he has had the best life, that he has had fun, been well taken care of, and that we love each other.
If he could talk, I think he would say, “My Mom says you have to slow down and take time to enjoy life. I think what she means is life is short, and it’s even shorter for us doggies, so we have to treasure each moment.”
Theory should be your cover dog, because he is the epitome of fun-loving! He has a big heart, both literally and figuratively.
Kate & Jeff Bishop
Third Runner-Up for Dogs (tie):
I am submitting a picture of my sweet Yoshi with hopes that he will be the next cover model. After college, all of my friends moved away and I knew that I needed a companion. I found Yoshi 6½-years ago at a shelter in Pennsylvania. He was the first dog that I saw and as he looked up at me with his sweet brown eyes, I knew immediately that I had to take him home. Yoshi has been the best dog. Sure, there was that time that he stole an entire bag of powdered donuts (I know this because he had powdered sugar all over his face). And that time that he stole an entire box of swiss cake rolls, individually unwrapped them, ate the swiss cake rolls, and then licked the cardboard clean. But who can blame him? :) But more importantly, he has always been by my side whenever I needed him. Shortly after I got Yoshi, my mom got sick with cancer and 2-months later, passed away. He was by my side during everything. Even though I had no friends around to get me through that hard time in my life, I had Yoshi. He has always been by my side, including on my wedding day when he was our ring bearer. I think he should be the next PawPrints cover because he has helped me get through so many hardships in my life and he deserves to be recognized. Plus, he is the cutest dog I know - especially with powdered sugar on his face! :)
Third Runner-Up for Dogs (tie):
I cannot begin to describe how lucky I am to have found Jazz. I had inquired about another German Shepherd at Pender County Animal Shelter and that one was adopted. I stopped by and Jazz won my heart immediately. She jumped against the cage and showed such affection; I knew she was for me. She laid down peacefully in the car on the ride home (not that she was used to joy riding in a car). However, she was a very sick dog. She had a raging ear infection that would not let her sleep; she was also heartworm positive to where those critters were lodged in her heart. Jazz lived in a place where she was used as a "breeder" dog and when they were done with her, they abandoned her. I could tell that she never had been in a house as she wagged her tail at the TV when people were talking and barked at her own reflection in a mirror. I also needed to teach her that I would not leave her. I took her to my parent’s house where they had 13 acres fenced in and we took walks with her off lead. At first she would slink down the driveway looking back at me in such sorrow. After two tries, she learned to be at my side and that she didn't have to leave. Now we walk the neighborhood and she is the star attraction. Kids run out of their yards to come and pet her. She pleasantly greets every person and dog she meets - bucks like a bronco, she is so excited. She knows no strangers. I’ve had her for a year now, she is healthy and she is my constant companion. I am soooo excited to be greeted by her when I come home from work! She loves to go for rides daily - especially in my two-seater, riding like a human. She is a true success story of how one can find a true companion under extreme circumstances and would be an example for all to adopt a dog - they will be your friend forever.
2012 Cover Model Entries
2012 Winning Cat Cover Model
2012 Winning Dog Cover Model
After our 10 year-old black and white Little Bit died suddenly in October of 2010, my husband and I thought we would never own another cat. As our hearts began to heal we realized we were not through with cats. Our veterinarian recommended rescued cats, so we started reading PawPrints and learned that on weekends we could actually meet a large number of cats from the rescue shelters at the local pet stores. At PetCo we found that Adopt-an-ANGEL had a black and white kitty named Parker who had markings almost identical to our beloved Little Bit. We could not believe it! His foster mom told us he was found in a park, thus the name Parker. We visited the other two pet stores that day, but found no comparison to Parker so we chose him for adoption. Since Parker looked so much like Little Bit we changed his name to Little Bit 2. After recovering from an upper respiratory infection the meek little kitty we brought home became a lively ball of fur. We soon learned he had a true love for chasing balls, retrieving them, washing them in his water bowl and hiding them. He also loved to climb curtains and leap into blinds. We concluded since no one knows how long Parker was out on his own, he obviously did not know he was a cat. The dogs in the park taught him to chase and retrieve balls, the squirrels taught him how to leap and climb and hide his toys and the raccoons taught him how to wash things. Little Bit 2 has brought us more joy and laughter than we could have ever imagined. We believe that Little Bit 1 approves.
Ira and Arlene Kincaid with Little Bit 2
Photo by: Dick Parrott
Daisy and I met in Al Asad, Iraq. I am a Marine, and went to the Army veterinarian for medical certificates for two rabbits I was bringing back (another story). I knocked on the door, and was greeted with a vicious bark that made me reconsider entering. When the vet opened the door I expected to see “Cujo,” but instead found Daisy - an Iraqi Mutt who was all legs and weighing a mere 35 pounds. The vet introduced me to her and she instantly became a “wiggle-butt!” She had been a Force Protection Dog (local dog trained basically as an alarm/protection system for forward units), but the unit did not need or want her any more. The vet had kept her longer than she was authorized, as the instructions were to euthanize or release into the desert.
I worked with SPCA International to bring Daisy back to the US, intending on adopting her through a SC organization. However, the state restrictions on importing dogs to SC were not feasible, so I brought her to NC. This was a dog who didn’t even know what grass was, and certainly did not know how to live in a home. She did everything she had been trained to do – barked at EVERYTHING, reacted viciously to strangers and other dogs, and even attacked, without provocation, both of my other rescue dogs, requiring stitches and staples to both. I then realized this dog had significant issues, was not adoptable, and would be deemed “dangerous” if I did not keep her and find a solution to her many issues.
But that was then, and this is now. “Crazy Daisy” is now CGC-certified, trains in agility, and attends daycare regularly. She has certainly taught me about patience, tolerance, and understanding. Daisy changed not only my life, but everyone’s she has met. It’s not only because of the unique story of how she got to the US, but because of the dramatic change in her behavior since she has been here. It took a long time, a lot of dog behavior and signal-reading, and positive-reinforcement training for her to be able to relax and just be a dog.
Daisy deserves to be on the cover because she is a dog who has served this country, faced what should have been a death sentence more than once, and has worked diligently to successfully adjust to an entirely different life than she has ever known before. Everyone who knows Daisy – from the daycare attendants at Gilligan’s to the trainers at Azalea Dog Training Club - only ever comment on what an amazing dog she is, and how far she has come.
Gina Carbonari with Daisy
Photo by: Dick Parrott
First Runner-Up for Dogs (tie):
I met the second love of my life (my husband's the first of course!) the
day after Thanksgiving. I was working the front desk at the Hilton downtown and
he ran through our revolving door! He was probably looking for food because he
was so skinny and smelled terrible. He had a huge black "W" on each hip. We
chased him around the lobby and locked him in an office so he wouldn't run back
out into the street. He had a collar but no tags, so we called Animal Control.
He was so sweet and loveable, he never growled or snapped at me when I dragged
him by his collar to the office we kept him in. He didn't bark or scratch on
the door; he just sat there waiting for one of us to come in. He didn't even
steal the chicken biscuit sitting on the desk! (Don't worry, we gave it to
him!) My husband and I had always wanted a dog, but the condo we rented didn't
allow them. When Animal Control came to pick him up I called my husband crying.
I was so sad that such a sweet, loving boy might never see the outside of a
cage again! I don't know how to explain it but I could tell in the little time
I spent with him that he had a good heart. He was such a good boy! One of my
friends at work always says that we have "pet soul-mates," and Wilson is
definitely mine. My husband called his mother, who agreed to keep him until we
could find a place to live that would allow him to be home with us. We called
everyday, for 10 days, until he was released for adoption. The staff at Animal
Control were great (although I am sure they were annoyed with me)! We named him
Wilson because of his "W's", which we thought were branded but have since
faded. We adopted him on December 9th. On January 26th, we moved to our new
place and brought him home from my mother-in-law's. I am so grateful for our
boy, he has completely changed our lives. Please don't give us credit for
rescuing Wilson though. He rescued us...I know he ran into the hotel that day
to find me.
First Runner-Up for Dogs (tie):
Sammy is an awesome dog! We have no idea why anyone would abandon him at a truck stop, but that's what happened. My daughter, Noelia, and I were on our way back from Raleigh in the middle of the night when we stopped for gas at a truck stop along I-40. As we pulled in, a little dog ran in front of our van. I stopped just before hitting him and opened my door to see if he was ok. When I opened my door he jumped in and over me, into the back seat where my daughter was sleeping, curled up with her, and just looked at me. He was dirty and his color was faded, but he looked like he knew exactly what he was doing. I went in to pay for my gas and asked the cashier about the little dog. He said he showed up that morning and had been running around the parking lot all day and night. He was surprised he was still alive!! I left a description of him and my number with them and told them if anyone came by looking for their lost dog, give me a call. I called all the local shelters and left the same description. Three years later, I can't imagine our house without him! He is so well-behaved and we love him! We work at the farmers market on Saturdays at Carolina Beach in the summer, and he always comes with us! He is everyone’s little buddy, and people have stopped just to take his picture! He has a unique look, kind of like a dachshund on steroids! We are told that is because he is part terrier/pit bull. Such an adorable combination!
First Runner-Up for Dogs (tie):
A terrible car accident. Cancer. Getting a new doggy sister at the age of 7. These are all things that our dog, Jonas, has survived. I adopted Jonas from the Pender County Humane Society when I was a college student. Consequently, Jonas and I grew up together and over time he went from being my “pet” to my best friend. In January of 2004 my roommate called - Jonas had gotten out of our apartment and had been hit by a truck. I had never been so frightened as I instructed my roommate to take him to the Emergency Vet. Seeing Jonas carried into the office bloodied and dazed remains the most horrific moment of my life. The veterinarian on call, Dr. Michelle Rohrer, explained that due to internal bleeding, a fractured pelvis and other injuries Jonas may never be the same IF he survived. After weeks of shuttling Jonas from our vet to the emergency clinic, he was finally released into my care. One year after his accident, Jonas had a “survivor” party with over 40 humans and 10 dogs in attendance, a testament to how much he is loved by all those who know him. Jonas inspires others with his love of life, tenacity, and seemingly super doggy ability to overcome the impossible. This past March we discovered a lump on Jonas that turned out to be cancerous. Once again, Dr. Rohrer stepped in to save the day and was able to remove the tumor in its entirety. Jonas continues to act much younger than his years, thanks in part to his doggy sister Maya. Jonas has taught me that any day that our friends and family are healthy is a good day. Money, work, and traffic are small concerns compared to that of the well-being of those we love. I am grateful to Jonas for teaching me this lesson and hope that if he is selected as your cover model his story will inspire others as well.
Fourth Runner-Up for Dogs:
This is my dog Tummy, a chow mix. She is the most sensitive, caring, and intelligent dog I've ever known. On my thirteenth birthday my parents drove my siblings and I out to the Pender County Animal Shelter. I walked around a little, but when I saw that tiny ball of fur barking at me I knew she was the one I wanted. I couldn't resist those barks, it was as though she knew she was already a part of our family and was begging me to take her home. I loved her purple tongue, and she was so fluffy! The woman who was working at the shelter told us she was found running around in the woods by herself, as if abandoned.
Tummy proved to be incredibly smart. She had the basic orders down in no time. We were amazed to find she had figured out how to open some doors. She taught us children responsibility. She was also sweet, never leaving the bedroom if one of us were sick, and always coming around just when someone needed a cry. She was full of boundless energy.
A little more than 14-years later, Tummy is still such an important part of our family. Throughout weddings, nieces, and nephews, she has been by our sides, providing companionship and entertainment. She loves snow, car rides, and chasing squirrels. She can't hear very well now, and isn't full of boundless energy anymore, but she still shows her puppy side for a few minutes a day. I know that one day she won't be with us anymore, but I am completely grateful that I have shared such a long period of my life with such an amazing pet and an amazing friend.
Fifth Runner-Up for Dogs:
She was rescued from the Harnett county animal shelter by Southeast German Shepherd Rescue (SGSR). I am a new volunteer foster for them, and I was so lucky to be able to foster this little girl. It became evident very quickly that this girl was not going to leave, but stay with us and be adopted into our family and her forever home. We have been labeled now as a "foster failure". Unlike the term suggests, this is anything but a failure! We immediately fell head over heels for this beautiful girl, and knew that she belonged with us forever. In October of 2011 we lost our 13-year-old German Shepherd, Gretchen. There was such an emptiness in our home and hearts. I saw an ad in PawPrints for SGSR and went to their website and Facebook page. I filled out a foster application because I wanted to get involved with this wonderful organization and hopefully heal my broken heart. It has been wonderful to be able to rescue, rehab and then rehome some awesome dogs who got a second chance in life.
Kona has been such a wonderful addition to our household and she is very happy to be here too! Her tail wags most of the time and she even seems to smile. She is very outgoing and loves everyone she meets. Our children look forward to me picking them up after school because Kona loves to come along. She greets them with the biggest kisses imaginable! We feel like the luckiest family in Wilmington and know first hand how special second chances can be.
Kona should be on the cover of PawPrints because this publication is what
lead us to her. If I had not picked up PawPrints, I would not have read the ad
for SGSR and experienced the rewards of rescuing, fostering and now adopting a
precious 4-month-old German Shepherd puppy.
First Runner-Up for Cats:
My name is Heather Jiske and this is my sweet girl, Mama Kitty. She was a feral cat that ended up stealing my heart. My husband and I just adopted a cat and he would not eat the food I bought for him. I went outside and saw a cat along the tree line in our backyard. I took the food to her but she ran into the woods. I went back a few hours later to find the food eaten and her hanging around. After a month of feeding her, I got her to come to the front door. After another month, she finally let me pet her. We saw something in each other and she trusted me even though it took some time. We figured out she was pregnant so we made sure she was well fed and took care of her along with her babies. Our neighbors called animal control so we had to move everyone in the house. She had a litter of six and we found all of them homes.
We were relocating and had to make a hard decision. We didn't know with her being a feral cat if she would be ok with relocating. After a lot of thought, we determined that she was a member of our family and we were taking her. When we brought her to our new apartment, she looked at us with such appreciation for bringing her with us. Everything she does now is in appreciation for the things she has. Mama Kitty loves to snuggle and bring your hand to her face for love rubs. She makes a hard day so much better just by laying on the couch with me.
On Valentine's Day of this year she had a lump removed from her neck. There was no reason for alarm but Dr. Dugan wanted to have it tested just to make sure. We got a call about a week later informing us our sweet girl has cancer. This is the hardest thing I have ever endured in my house. I have no children so my kitties are my children. After going through the options with Dr. Dugan, we decided to give her the absolute best with the time she has left. Chemo would only buy us months and I could never allow her last days to be that scary after all she has given us.
I just wanted to tell her story and let people know that the people who say you cannot tame a wild animal has never had the patience to really try.
Second Runner-Up for Cats:
On an unseasonably cool Friday afternoon in early June, 1997, I went to pay our cable TV bill. As I turned into the parking lot at the cable company, I noticed a very small kitten (probably about 8-weeks-old) sitting on the grassy right-of-way. When I came out of the cable office, I noticed the kitten, a beautiful black and white with a very thick coat, was still sitting there. My wife and I did not have any pets at the time so I made the decision then and there to take care of this little baby. After placing her in my car, I took her straight to a veterinarian’s office. With it being late in the afternoon on Friday, the doctor and I decided the “new” kitty should stay overnight for tests, shots and a thorough exam. That evening, not knowing what my wife’s response might be, I said nothing to her about the kitty. Saturday morning, while I went to the post office, the veterinarian called and told my wife that “I” could come over and pick up our new girl. So at this point you might say the cat was “out of the bag.” So over the past 15 years, “Sylvester Anne” as we named her, has been our constant, faithful and totally loyal kitty. We are quite certain she is a “Rag Doll” because she goes limp like a rag doll when held upside down. She is consistently a lap kitty, where she likes to watch TV (especially the Animal Planet channel). I will conclude by telling you about an incident that took place on Saturday morning at about 2:00 am. We were awakened by the ringing of the doorbell. When I went to answer the door, there was a policeman standing there. He asked if we had any problems, because they had received a 9-1-1 call. I was at a loss for an explanation since there was no one there except my wife and myself and Sylvester Anne. We figured out that apparently Sylvester Anne had knocked the receiver off the hook and stepped on the 9 button and the 1 button twice. Needless to say, Sylvester Anne has not called the police out on Mom and Dad since then. So as you can see, Sylvester Anne is quite an outstanding kitty. Thank you for your consideration.
Third Runner-Up for Cats:
Samson was 4-weeks-old when he was rescued by an animal control officer.
As he was too young for adoption, the officer asked Tina at Sudslingers Dog Wash
if she would be willing to care for him. Tina has been a surrogate mother to
many young critters so she, of course, said she would. Tina became the little
kitten's "mama" as she bottle-fed him formula and showed him the litter box.
The little kitten became the dog wash's mascot.
We lost the last of our kitty brood in October 2010 when we came across the little kitten at Sudslingers. Tina told us he needed a good home but we just weren't ready for a kitten. The more we thought about it the more we felt our home needed a cat. We told Tina that if she would keep the kitten until after Christmas then we would take him. He was eating on his own, using the litter box and certainly wasn't afraid of dogs. We brought Samson home with us on December 23, 2010. He was immediately comfortable with our two dogs and settled into our home perfectly.
We have always had several indoor cats and we felt that Samson needed a playmate. Our dogs are in their senior years and couldn't be bothered with a frisky youngster. We visited the adoption group, Adopt-An-ANGEL, with our minds set on adopting a tiger tabby. There she was! Although she wasn't a kitten, we couldn't resist her beautiful markings and her sweet face. Clara came home with us on February 9, 2011. After a very brief adjustment period, she and Sammy started playing and haven't stopped. The two of them entertain us every day with their antics.
Samson and Clara have made our home complete once again.
Jeff and Marsh Todd
Fourth Runner-Up for Cats:
Cookie, our orange and white cat who is Angora, came to us on April 15, 1997 as a kitten of about 8-weeks-old by strolling into our car port while my dad was working on one of his vehicles. He had the hood up and she climbed on the tire sitting herself on the fender and watching him work. He asked her where she came from and told her she was so cute. She was a beautiful orange and white, silky, long-haired cat with beautiful green eyes and very friendly. We started feeding her and giving her milk and she never left. For a stray she was very friendly. No one ever claimed her and she then became part of our household. She was so sweet that my mom started calling her Sugar Cookie. That’s how her name became Cookie. Before that our household consisted of mostly all males and so she became Queen Cookie, sitting on her four poster bed. Eventually we adopted another kitten and named him Mickey and they became friendly. As time went by she became the queen of her castle and he became her servant. She has enriched our lives by becoming part of our family and by interacting with her brother Mickey. I feel that my pet would enhance the cover of PawPrints since she is gorgeous, silky, photogenic and fun to be around.
View Previous Entries