Meet the WINNERS in our 2004 annual
pet lovers star search!

Our 2004 Pet Lover's Star Search Grand Prize winner is:


Though Emma is a registered AKC miniature dachshund, her devoted human reports that she has tiny feet, tiny ears, and the kind of agility uncharacteristic of her breed. Whatever her true pedigree, Emma is beloved and adored by her humans who say that she is the "sunshine" in their days. Emma will be six in February 2005. Our judges couldn't resist her great big eyes and adorable expression. She made us all smile. Congratulations Emma! See Emma's stamp on our canine pages here.
Emma's winning photo and the art work for her rubber stamp



Our 2004 Pet Lover's Star Search

First Place Winners are (in no particular order):
Cheekers, Kobe, Simkin, Twister, and Carl!

Cheekers, First Place Winner - 2 1/2 years old. His proud human boasted that Cheekers has twice been pet of the day at another site. Cheeker's "blaze" markings and bright eyes make him a very handsome fellow and won him a place in our judges' hearts as well. See Cheekers' rubber stamp on our small pets page here.

Masahiko Kobe, First Place Winner - 4 years old; Named for a character on the Japanese cooking show "Iron Chef", Kobe began his life as an abandoned pup thrown out on a local Interstate. Fortunately, Kobe was adopted into a loving home. According to his human, Kobe is a total love sponge, who loves to kiss, and loves to perform an impressive repertoire of tricks. We thought he brought a quiet dignity to his birthday photo. Not every canine has the charisma and bearing required to look so dashing in that hat. See Kobe's stamp on our canine page, here.

Simkin, First Place Winner - 1 year old; Simkin's adoring human tells us that she was a playful kitten who likes to wake up her humans in the mornings and sit on their laps whenever they have thoughtfully provided one (whenever they sit down). Simkin was named after a Beatrice Potter character and is much loved by her human and feline family. Our judges found her playful expression both endearing and a little humorous. See Simkin's stamp on our feline page, here.

YES, there are five first place winner this year... as it was impossible to stop at three. It was almost impossible to stop at five! So, last in our random-ordered list - but NOT least in any way: our fourth and fifth first place winners:

Twister, first place winner - 15 weeks old. According to his humans, twister just seems to "defy gravity." Determined to earn his moniker, Twister spends his days constantly moving: jumping, bouncing, spinning, and twisting like no other ferret his humans have ever encountered (and they have plenty of ferrets in their home). His endless energy made us a bit jealous, but we were able to get past that and recognize his true talents - what a beautiful expression of poetry in motion! See Twister's stamp on our ferrets page, here.

Carl, first place winner - 6 1/2 years old. Before coming to live with his devoted humans, Carl lived and worked at a zoo where it was his job to greet people and educate them about the characteristics of his breed - specifically that rottweilers are not "scary". According to his humans, Carl was born to this task because he is very loveable and playful. Carl loves to pose for photos and enjoys the friendship of his best buddy - a dachshund. Carl is ready for his close-up! See Carl's stamp on our canine page, here.


Our 2004 Pet Lover's Star Search

Honorable Mention (these are just a few of the pets whose most precious of faces made our choice so difficult this year), in no particular order.

Caesar - 6 or 7 years old. Caesar was adopted by his adoring family through an organization which shelters animals via volunteers until they can be placed. According to his humans, Caesar's favorite hobbies include: annoying Stormy, his cat buddy; drowning cat toys in the water bowl and stalking grasshoppers while his humans are working outdoors.

Annie - 2 years old. Although Annie is 2 years old now, she was only 1 day old when this photo was taken. According to her humans, Annie (properly named, Lady Anne) was born weighing approximately 25-30 pounds, and about 3' tall. Llamas are up and walking in minutes at birth. All our judges had to say was, "Awwww! what a beautiful baby!"

Lilly - 1 1/2 years old. Lilly began her life under unfortunate circumstances; she was surrendered to her veterinarian after losing an eye. Luckily for Lilly, she was rescued by two kind-hearted strangers. First, by a veterinarian who treated her eye injury and then and then by her humans who took her to her forever-home to be loved and adored as she deserved. Lilly is gentle, loving, gives "sweet" kisses, and loves to snuggle.

Weasel - 1 year old. A polecat mitt, Weasel was born at a shelter after his mum was found wandering the streets. Fortunately, Weasel was adopted, along with his brother Teasel, into a loving home. According to his human, Weasel's passions include climbing, stealing cups, and burning off excess energy.

Nikkita - 12 weeks old here (she's a year old now and out of that cast!)
According to her humans, Nikkita is a very loved dog and we believe it - they've helped her through quite an ordeal. At 12 weeks old, she broke her knee, subsequently had several surgeries with a canine orthopedic specialist, followed by several months of physical therapy at home with her doting humans in their spa. Due to her strong will, her humans' loving and patient care, and the skill of her surgeon, Nikkita is now enjoying full use of her leg and is happy, healthy and strong. Thanks to her whole family for being such an inspiration to us all!

Birdy - 1 year old. Birdy is a pearl cockatiel. His adoring human reports that he is a cuddly little boy who loves to have his head scratched. He talks. His favorite phrases include, "birdy birdy birdy," "good birdy," as well as the occasional wolf whistle. He enjoys making a running water noise and calling the cats to tease them. Sounds like a bird with a happy and full life - not to mention a very photogenic beak.

Thank you so much to everyone who participated in our 2004 pet lover's star search - whether by sending in a beloved photo of your pet or by voting for your favorite pic. You have all made our star search both fruitful and exciting (and the judging tortuously difficult - we were up half the night for days)!

Nearly every entry had some overwhelmingly charming quality. In fact, there were so many utterly captivating photos and delightful stories, that we ended up with a FIVE way tie for first place - when we had originally planned for only three. Unfortunately, we were limited to one grand prize and FIVE first prize winners - even though many were deserving. In fact, next year we will be redesigning the judging and prize categories to accomodate more winners. It is just too hard to whittle it down to a handful of winners when the entrants are so deserving.

We also chose 6 entries for honorable mention - though we would have liked to have chosen many many more for recognition.

All pet photos have been resized to fit this page; many have also been cropped and a few have been digitally enhanced in other ways - to better suit this page and our purposes. Our judges made their choice based on the original photos as submitted (you'll see this when the art work is finished - drawings will be based on uncropped photos as well); many factors were considered. Tie-breaking essays were also considered in a couple of cases - so be sure to include those next time you enter!

All decisions are final. Prize packages will be shipped out to the addresses that were included with the winning entries - so if you have moved, will be moving, etc., please email us and let us know as soon as possible. We'd hate for your prize packages to end up at the wrong address. Thanks again!

UPDATE (11-23-04): prize packages will be shipped out this week.