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Home Special Feature: Favorite House Pet Contest 2011

Mar 01

Special Feature: Favorite House Pet Contest 2011

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Contest Shows PIs Love Their
Household Pets

Judging from the many entries that flooded in when Principal Investigators Association announced it was seeking nominees for "favorite household pets", many researchers obviously have a warm spot in their heart for their at-home critters. "Comfort", “cute", "loving", and even "moral support for grant-writing" were some of the words submitted with charming photos.

The majority of entries were dogs, with cats a close second. A few guinea pigs represented the third species seen. Unexpectedly, there were no nominations of gerbils, fish, snakes, spiders, iguanas, or other more exotic creatures. Many submissions were accompanied by touching stories of pet behavior and/or acquisition. Thank you to the hundreds of researchers who submitted their pet.

Judges had a difficult time, but the winners (and their owners) in the contest's three categories were:

Cutest Photo: "Dooby"
Charissa Cheah, Ph.D, Associate Professor, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Grand Prize: $300 Gift Card To Amazon

"During times of uncertainty and stress, such as the painful grantwriting process, both my husband (who is also a researcher) and I often look to Dooby for inspiration and intellectual guidance! Dooby often sits on one of our laps as we work away on the computer, providing both a source of comfort and heat, which is especially welcome during these cold winter months!"


Best With Kids: "Remus & Romulus"

Jeannina Smith MD, Clinical Assistant Professor, Transplant Infectious Disease, University of Michigan

Grand Prize: $300 Gift Card To Amazon

"Remus and Romulus were our wonderful gifts from the animal shelter June of 2009.  Remus (the tuxedo cat) was very tiny and sickly and I nursed him back to health.  I caught them snuggling one day when I got home.  I thought nothing could be sweeter until my son was born.  Remus fell in love with my son (or as we speculate the cats think of him, "the bald kitty") when he was born 7 months ago and as you can see he lets baby Blaise kiss him on the mouth!  They are now best friends (they often enjoy the same toys).  Remus acts like Lassie from the old TV series and anytime the baby cries he comes to find me to let me know.  I could not ask for a pet who is better with kids."

Most Interesting Trick: "Pandy"
Kira Snedden, University of South Dakota

Grand Prize: $300 Gift Card To Amazon

"Pandy doesn't perform jaw-dropping tricks such as jumping through hoops of flames, but what he does do, in my opinion, is even more wonderful. Everytime I come home after a long day of classes and work, Pandy lets out his high pitched "Welcome home!" squeal, picks up his toy jingle ball, and starts shaking it around as though he is the leader of the cutest parade on earth. It is nearly impossible to be upset when witnessing this joy every day."

To view all Honorable Mentions and the Winners, please visit PIA's Facebook Page or visit our Flickr Page.

Honorable Mentions will receive a digital certificate suitable for framing.

Feel free to post your comments below.
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