Dear Patch Readers,
First, meet the winners of the regional Top Dog contests:
- from Manchester
- Diesel from Berlin
- Hunter from Waterford
- Sandy from West Hartford
- Harley from Simsbury
Now, for the details on why there are five names on that list:
The 31 Patch sites in eastern Connecticut launched our first ever Top Dog contest on June 1 with a dual goal - get out the word about the importance of licensing your dog, and have a contest on our sites that would be fun for everyone.
Mission accomplished on the first part - mission sort of accomplished on the second.
It turns out the "fun" part of this contest was lost on a number of Patch users in the region that included West Hartford and Simsbury. We witnessed terrible behavior in the comments, including profanity, personal attacks on dogs, personal attacks on other commenters, and in general, bad and immature behavior.
But the worst part was that someone (or someones) sabotaged the votes for Harley, the dog from Simsbury.
The voting between Harley and Sandy was very close. So close that, because of the shenanigans involved, we decided to name them both the winner of that region's competition, and move on to the next level.
The winner of this last level will receive a painted portrait of their pet from noted Connecticut artist (and former Patch local editor) Carrie Jacobson.
And because some Patch users have shown themselves unable to conduct themselves in a mature manner when it comes to a competition involving cute pictures of dogs, we are turning the final round into a random drawing.
We are also not allowing comments to go on this article without first being moderated. I guess this is a Patch version of a 'time out' for people who are not mature enough to participate in a fun and friendly competition.
I apologize to the majority of Patch users out there who participated in this contest in the way it was meant to be - fun, friendly, and in the community spirit. We had several dog owners offer, if they won, to donate their prize to their local Animal Control facility. We had other commenters offer to make donations in the name of a certain dog if it won. That's the kind of reaction we were hoping for when we launched this idea.
We met many great dogs since this started on June 1 - and many great owners. I am so sorry that a few spoiled it for everyone else.
The winner of the grand prize will be posted later this week.