It’s been a while, but I finally received another submission for the Critter of the Year contest.
I received a letter in the mail from our good buddy, Ben the Prison Dog. Ben is a longtime Dog of the Year contestant and he wrote that he’d like to nominate the youngest and newest member of the “Critter Cadre” at their house for the prestigious pooch award.
“Eli (name explained later) just showed up one morning almost three years ago. Dad (Wayne Peterson, of Topeka) saw Eli as he was leaving for work, but could not get close to Eli,” Ben wrote. “Dad returned to the house to tell Mom (Karen) that there was a stray dog running around outside. When Dad returned home from work, Mom greeted him at the door with Eli in her arms.”
Eli, a mix between a Chihuahua and a miniature pinscher (a.k.a. “a Chipper”), turned out to be the lap dog that she always wanted, Ben wrote.
“Canine #2 in our household, a Yorkie/Shitzu mix named Scooter, was supposed to have been Mom’s lapdog, but never cooperates to the desired extent,” Ben said. “Eli has been termed Mom’s ‘lapwart’ because of his extreme bonding with mom. Usually, if he’s not on her lap, all Mom has to do is look down and there he is!”
He said Dad’s sister calls Eli’s appearance “just another God thing,” and Ben wrote that Eli is named as such because the couple had recently gone to a concert by the rock group Three Dog Night — famous for the 1969 classic “Eli’s Coming,” among other songs — and Eli just happened to be the third dog in their household.
“I nominate Eli for Dog of the Year because of his extreme aversion to squirrels,” Ben wrote. “There are a number of squirrels around our place, and Eli will announce with a raucous exhortation whenever one is in the proximity. When outside, he will give them a close race to the nearest tree. He will frequently try to climb a tree after them, but has not been successful so far.
“Being much younger than me, it is my pleasure to watch him chase the squirrels with the abandon I once had.”
If you’d like to submit your favorite dog, cat or other animal for the Critter of the Year contest, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org with your animal’s name, breed (or species), photo and its backstory. Don’t forget to include your own name and city of residence!