Journal of the San Juan Islands


A Dog Gone Good contest

Journal of the San Juans Editor
May 16, 2013 · 8:31 AM

First Place Winner: Coco Chanel / Contributed photo

By Scott Rasmussen, Journal editor

She likes nothing better than to watch the world go by from the front seat of the family pickup. Presumably, that would be with the window rolled down and a steady breeze slapping at her face as well.

No doubt that her namesake, founder of the Chanel line of cosmetics, Coco Chanel, would be proud. Coco’s owner, Laurie Burns, says when the 3-year-old French Poodle is perched up high in the front passenger seat of the family’s Ford F-150, that she has an air about her that brings to mind the two qualities that Chanel believed every girl should have: “she should be classy and fabulous”.

Evidently, Coco carries with her another quality that the famous French fashion designer prized as well —— a mind of her own.

“She doesn’t come when she’s called,” said Burns, adding that Coco is herself famous for coveting and stealing her sister’s sweaters.

With 111 votes to her name, Coco Chanel (her full name and the one Burns uses when that independent streak is in full bloom) has a new perch from which to view the world. She will carry home the distinction of “Top Dog” in the Journal’s second annual “A Dog for All Seasons” online contest, snatching first place by outpacing the next closest vote-fetcher, Chief, a 3-year-old Labrador Retriever, by a decisive 49 votes.

The first, second and third place winners will each receive a Doggie Goodie Bag, and “howling” rights for at least a year.

Because Coco was a late entry into the three-week contest, in which 22 dogs competed and a total of 111 votes were cast, Burns said that she campaigned aggressively on behalf of her dog and pulled no punches to make up for lost time.

“I’ve got a very threatening personality, and people have to support my dog,” she said. “I just couldn’t be happier.”

All’s fair when it comes to love and war, and our dogs, right?

ChiefAfter the final tally, only a single vote separated the contest run… run… run, runner-up, Chief, and his younger blood-brother, King -- owner Alexandra Forgie entered the pair -- and the third place winner, Yogi, a Chihuahua-Papillon-Terrier mix.

A rambunctious, muscular 95-pound dog, Chief, and his 4-month-old 45-pound younger brother are all Lab, Forgie says.

“I got them both from the same breeder,” she said. “They’re both world-class swimmers and duck chasers. We’ve got a trampoline out back and Chief loves to jump up on it and sleep there. Sometime if people are out there bouncing on it he’ll get up there and jump on it too.”

At 15 pounds, and full grown, Yogi may not have the heft of a Lab, but owner Gabriella Salas says the 10-month-old mix has the heart of a showman, and is pretty good in the tricks department as well.Yogi

“He sits when you say ‘Sit’ and he’ll shake your hand if you ask for it,” Salas said. “And he dances too. If he sees other people dancing he likes to get in and dance too. He’s unique. He’s a little character.”


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