Awhile back, China rescue Bridget entered People Magazine’s World’s Cutest Dog Contest. Some of you helped select her photo to send in as my mom and I couldn’t decide. It was a long shot as over 10,000 entries were received and, sadly, Bridget didn’t make the cut.
Well, we’re at it again!
An area paper, The Terre Haute Tribune Star (Terre Haute, Indiana) is holding its yearly Pet Madness contest, looking for the cutest pets in the Wabash Valley. Mom, Bridget and I are trying again, with odds a tad better. Our little dog is among 142 entries of dogs, cats, 2 rabbits, a cow, a pig, a hamster, a squirrel, a mouse and one surprisingly exotic entry, an African Pygmy hedgehog.
Today began the first round of voting (Sept. 28 – Oct.. 3, Sunday) with pictures of all participants in the paper and on the paper’s website.
Here is what we selected for our Chinese immigrant.
When my mom lost her husband of 60 years, and her canine companion of 9 years, it was a heartbreaking adjustment. As a teacher in China, I was determined to find a little overseas’ somebody for her to come home to. Through CAR (Chengdu Animal Rescue), in Chengdu, China, I learned about Bridget. The 5-pound Chihuahua mix was found under a bridge, thus the name Bridget. She was emaciated, her brown coat spotted with mange, and discovered shivering, huddled on a dirt pile in a tight ball. When her rescuer contacted me, I traveled 4 hours by bus from my small Chinese city to meet her. From that first pet, I knew: She and my mom were meant for each other. It’s been two years since my mom scooped up our little Chinese immigrant and gave her that first welcoming embrace on US soil. Since then, Bridget has reached celebrity status in my smalltown community. My mom often mentions her in her weekly newspaper column. Bridget attends all local events, from summer band concerts, where she gets free popcorn from the popcorn wagon, to numerous holiday parades where attention is abundantly lavished upon her. Whether perched like an empress in her favorite armchair, racing about the house with a beloved toy, or snuggling next to my mom in bed, one thing’s for certain: She’s found forever love in her forever home.
Voting Does Require a donation BUT ……
Naturally, this helps as a fundraiser for the paper BUT a portion does go toward the Terre Haute Humane Society. I had a talk on the phone with Doug Dixon, the Tribune Star advertising director, who mentioned that last year, more pets were featured than this year, and $750 was the amount sent to the rescue group. He explained that, for paper-sponsored contests, after costs of the vender and other expenses are accounted for, 20-25% of the portion left is sent to a local community project, which for the Pet Madness Contest is the local humane society. The rest is kept as a fundraiser for the paper.
I will also add the Terre Haute Tribune Star is one of the few newspapers that continues onward for a smaller city. It was a daily paper until within the past few years when it moved to 5 days a week, skipping Tuesday and Sunday publications. The staff writers have been very generous in their coverage of me and my time in China, publishing numerous articles about my students and overseas experiences. (See this one, as an example: https://www.tribstar.com/news/local_news/from-my-end-of-the-world-the-sichuan-earthquake/article_e33f7755-6ad3-590c-b2a8-6db619714d03.html)
This newspaper publication also gives so much back to the community.
A few weeks ago, the Cutest Kid Contest (similar to the Pet Madness Contest) brought in $1,500 for the Vigo County School’s Backpack Program, which sustains food-insecure children throughout weekends and breaks, and families by sending food parcels.
I furthermore remember donating through the paper to the 2020 Thanksgiving Day food baskets for those in need. The Terre Haute Tribune Star is an excellent small-city paper whose reporters (I’m sure) are not paid much and which deserves to thrive. So I will say it is a worthy cause to support.
Here is the Contest write-up
2021 Pet Madness Contest Entries
*Vote totals for each round will transfer to the next voting round (3 rounds total).
*A portion of the voting proceeds will be donated to the Terre Haute Humane Society.
*At the end of voting for the entire contest: 1st Place $200 prize package; 2nd Place $100 prize package; 3rd Place $50 prize package
If You’re Interested . . .
If you’re interested in adding to Bridget’s chances of a win, go to the below for the contest page to see all the contestants:
Type in Bridget’s name to go to her special page.
Donations online require a vote of 50 at 10 cents per vote which is a minimum of $5.00 US. Credit card information is asked as well. If online is not your preference, checks can be mailed to (or dropped off at): Pet Madness Contest, Tribune-Star PO Box 149. Terre Haute, IN. 47808. Don’t forget to earmark your donation for Bridget!
Rather not the $$?
Of course, “Good Luck” thoughts are always appreciated. I know there are so many worthy organizations, programs and local community projects in need of our help and donations. I always like to spread the love around and this is one way of doing so for my area.
Hope you’ll consider joining me, my mom, and Bridget, giving a little back to The Terre Haute Tribune Star and the Terre Haute Humane Society.
As always, here’s wishing you Peace (平安), Ping Ahn, for your week!