Monday update: I got an email from the winner and am happy to say they are from Anchorage and will be accepting the award. If you're a sucker for happy endings like I am, you might appreciate Rocket's story. Here's an excerpt from the winner's email:
"Rocket was an Alaska SPCA rescued dog from a 60 dog rescue in Sterling in 2001. There were several dogs frozen to the floor of a school bus. There is a video of the rescue at the library. He must be one of the last survivors. We believe he is 13. We are his 8th home and live in Anchorage."
Congratulations to Amy McCullough and her supermodels of Grandma Rocket and Lily Red Riding Hood for winning our Sixth Annual Dog Blog Howl-oween Costume Contest.
In one of our closest contests yet -- from top to bottom, the entries were especially creative this year -- McCullough's entry tallied 24 of a possible 25 points from a panel of five judges, who awarded points on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis.
Second place went to Holly Kennedy and Zoe the leopard, who may look familiar to regulars in our contest. Zoe was the two-time defending champion, having won in 2011 and 2010. Holly is a professional hairdresser and dyes Zoe's hair, and this transformation was perhaps her most ambitious yet.
Third place went to Terri Lyons' Bonzer, a world-record 93-pound dog salmon. If the contest were strictly for Alaska-theme entries, this one would have been tough to beat.
The prize -- a studio photo session of the winning entry with an ADN photographer -- is for Alaskans only, and I'm not sure if McCullough is in-state. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know and set up your appointment. You'll receive an 8 x 10 enlargement of your favorite picture and a disk with the best shots from the session.
Thanks to everyone for participating in our contest. Win or lose, your entries made a lot of people smile, and that's what this contest is all about.
And don't forget to vote for the People's Champion in our Reader Poll. There's no prize for that title, but bragging rights can be sweet. The winner of the reader poll will be announced on Wednesday at noon.
(Five judges awarded points on a 5-4-3-2-1 basis, with 5 being the highest)
1. Grandma Rocket and Lily Red 24
2. Zoe the leopard ready to pounce 22
3. Bonzer, a world record dog salmon 21
4. (tie) Lila is Honey Bark Bark 20
4. (tie) AT-AT AK-K9 20
4. (tie) Magic Mike and the Bachelorette 20
7. (tie) Kimchee as Chewbacca 19
7. (tie) Pirate Dog with Peg Leg 19
7. (tie) Azula and Foxy Brown 19
10. (tie) The Pug Dynasty Crew 18
10. (tie) Goldie Girl 18
12. (tie) The beagle magician 17
12. (tie) Captain Boozer 17
12. (tie) Purple Costumed Hula Dog 17
12. (tie) Steed with pumpkin 17
12. (tie) Holy Cow! Hickok dressed as a cow 17
17. (tie) Dirk the headless horseman 16
17. (tie) Lucy Gaga 16
17. (tie) Hippie dog with wig and hands 16
17. (tie) Superhero dog 16
17. (tie) Ewok (Photo by Russel) 16
22. (tie) Boo Bee 15
22. (tie) Marley the Dino Dog 15
22. (tie) Sammy does not like dressing up 15
22. (tie) Chunk the basketball player 15
26. (tie) Haas the King 14
26. (tie) It's Josie to the rescue 14
26. (tie) This is his excited face 14
26. (tie) Rocky the pirate 14
26. (tie) Hooper the giraffe 14
26. (tie) Dog in dreadlocks 14
26. (tie) Rhett, Scarlett and Cherry 14
26. (tie) There's a new sherriff in town 14
34. (tie) Britta the Princess at AACCC 13
34. (tie) Tan pug in K9 Unit costume 13
34. (tie) Dot, the 3-pound elephant 13
37. (tie) Shadow, wolf in sheep's clothing 12
37. (tie) Mavis the Devil 12
37. (tie) Lilly casts a spell on Sweetie 12
37. (tie) Pumpkin Prince strikes again 12
37. (tie) Sir Penguin & the Pumpkin Prince 12
37. (tie) Dog embraces his Mexican heritage 12
37. (tie) Jessie is one of Santa's Elves 12
Since we don't have any losers in this contest, the rest are listed in no particular order.
Zero the firedog
Panda the husky-rottweiler mix
Black pug in blue costume