South’s Greatest Pets 2018: Greatest in Show
With 139 entries and more than 21,000 votes, this year’s South’s Greatest Pets contest was the most furr-ocious to date. So much so, we invited the top ten winners back for one more contest: Greatest in Show.
Photography by Angela Hopper-Lee
Award: “Greatest Sentiment”
Owner: Adrian Wingrove
If ever there was a dog that was in touch with his emotions, it’s Colt, an 11-month-old German shorthaired pointer who wears his heart on his sleeve. Colt loves to play with his siblings and to look after his stuffed animals, which has resulted in Colt’s family labeling the toys his “babies.” As much as he enjoys caring for others, Colt’s natural sweetness comes with a vulnerable sensitivity that his wonderful family is always able to remedy with a little extra loving.
Award: “Greatest Southern Hostess”
Owner: Adriana Normand
Eir is a 2-year-old husky German Shepard mix who is unquestionably a Southern Belle with a flare for drama. Her enthusiasm for making new people feel loved is unforgettable, so much so that she has her own hashtag for when strangers want to take her picture. She will open the door for you and is always ready to entertain by showing off her fabulous collection of sticks or sharing a homemade cookie.
Award: “Greatest Bodyguard”
Owner: Caro Morrison
Moose is a 70-pound boxer who knows when to puff up and bark. He’s got a killer stare-down game and will never lose sight of you, possessing a particular talent for hide and seek. When he isn’t practicing those skills, Moose is usually clowning around, playing with something squeaky, or scouting out bread crusts, waiting at the ready whenever someone opens a bag.
Award: “Greatest Gentleman”
Owner: Gene Harley
Bailey is a golden retriever and cocker spaniel mix with a refined and gentle manner. He loves to shake people’s hands, greet his family and guests devotedly at the door, and is intent on keeping the house tidy, never mistaking a piece of furniture for a chew toy. He is endlessly patient and obliging with the kids he watched grow up and with 12 years of wisdom in the books, Bailey always knows what to do to cheer you up.
Award: “Greatest Athlete”
Owner: Jonathan Claughton
Skipper, an adopted shelter puppy, is a professional tennis player at heart. He can always be found with his tennis ball nearby, and once he gets going with a game of catch, Skipper never wants to stop. He has enough stamina for the whole family and also enough love to make sure everyone knows they’re on his team.
Award: “Greatest Rascal”
Owner: Sarah Harris-Slipke
Milo is a dog on a mission. A little over one year old, this Vizsla is always after the next thrill. Whether sprinting down a beach, scouting out fountains to jump into, or giving squirrels a run for their money, Milo is always up for some light-hearted pandemonium. He is equally persistent when he decides to snuggle up to you, so there’s really no choice but to find his antics endearing. Plus, he looks good in a bowtie.
Award: “Greatest Destroyer”
Owner: Ashley Berry
This three-year-old English bulldog is a 60-pound toy vacuum. He loves his toys—so much so that he frequently needs a replacement for the unrecognizable remnants of his most recent favorite. Despite his enthusiasm for his toys, Romeo has plenty of love left over for his family, reflected in the unending affection he shows them every day. When he is not sleeping for 20 hours at a time, that is.
Award: “Greatest Superheroine”
Owner: Bill Sorochak
Willow is a three-year-old Australian labradoodle who works at Savannah’s Ronald McDonald House©. Her superpower is inspiring children and their families with calm, comfort, and joy in the midst of battles with life-threatening illnesses. Willow can always be counted on to deliver some extra-fluffy love to those in need and she is especially thrilled when they return the love with a belly rub.
Award: “Greatest Sidekick”
Owner: Dani Merritt
Chickens are not well known for being sidekicks, but Dani and her chicken Blondie told a different story. Whether hanging out in the yard, sharing a chair to watch TV, or riding along to pick up Dani’s big brother from school, Blondie and Dani were in it together. They even had matching outfits to show off their incredible, if not unconventional, bond. Unfortunately, Blondie passed away unexpectedly after the contest, so her sister Pepperstink is valiantly stepping up to collect Blondie’s award posthumously.
Award: “Greatest Sass”
Owner: Tara Nobles
Laverne is a dapple dachshund who is little, but fierce. She knows what she wants and goes after it with a vengeance, never quitting a squeaky toy tug-battle until she wins. Laverne is a constant talker and she keeps her family entertained with a sassy personality sharp enough to slice a carrot (her favorite snack). At 11 years old, Laverne does what she pleases, embracing her innate silliness as she struts her short, but lengthy figure.