Sage wins Glenwood Springs Post Independent Cute Pet Contest |

Sage wins Glenwood Springs Post Independent Cute Pet Contest

April E. Clark
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Kelley Cox Post Independent

GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado ” Sage is literally man’s best friend. Layla likes to play dress-up. And green-eyed feline Jade is the cat’s meow to her owner.

In December 2008, the Glenwood Springs Post Independent hosted an online cute pet contest on The contest generated a variety of four-legged entries, including dogs, cats and ferrets.

Even an iguana named Rodan.

In the end, a feisty 6-month-old yellow Labrador retriever took first-prize honors with 858 votes. A Shih Tzu-Chihuahua mix came in at a close second with 795 votes, followed by a gray kitty with silver paws in third.

Meet the top three Cute Pet Contest winners, as voted by PI readers:

A student motivated Sage’s owner, Jamie Somerville, a Glenwood Springs Middle School seventh-grade history teacher, to enter the contest.

“We were joking about it and she said she had the cuter pet,” Somerville said. Because of that, he entered Sage in the contest. “Then my friends got a hold of it and it was over,” he said.

Although Somerville credits Sage’s smashing good looks for the win, he admits his favorite football team played an integral role in the win. After the University of Colorado lost a heartbreaker to Nebraska on Nov. 28, Somerville’s CU friends rallied for redemption.

“All of my Buff buddies, they went crazy,” he said. “After we lost to Nebraska they decided if we didn’t win that one, we would win the Cute Pet Contest.”

Somerville has owned Sage since he was a 6-week-old pup. An avid hunter and fisherman, Somerville has been training Sage ” named for a fly rod ” to be a bird dog.

“He went crazy with the goose calls,” Somerville recalled. “The cool thing about him is he has these crazy hound dog eyes. When it’s just him and me he can do this little bear crawl.”

As a young puppy, Sage had his Marley moments ” much like the yellow Lab made famous in John Grogan’s best-selling novel-turned-motion picture.

“He chewed on everything,” Somerville said. “All of my furniture is my college furniture, so I let him have free reign.”

Along with being irresistibly ornery and cute, Sage has helped Somerville in his line of work.

“There can be a lot of student-teacher barriers,” he said. “My favorite thing about him is I can share him with the kids. He’s awesome.”

Part Shih Tzu, part Chihuahua, 2-year-old Layla has brought much comfort to Crystal Kessler.

“Two years ago this last September I lost my childhood dog of old age,” said Kessler, of Rifle. “She was 14 1/2 years old, and I had her since I was 10 years old. It had been the hardest loss in my life.”

Kessler said about a month after her dog’s passing a client mentioned that her dog had an unexpected litter of puppies. Kessler was hesitant.

“I couldn’t imagine what on earth that mix of breed would look like,” she said. “She brought the last puppy she had available to me to see and she looked like an adorable baby pig. I fell in love.”

Layla’s personality extends well beyond her petite four-pound frame.

“She is the princess around the house and she knows it. I have never met such a smart little dog,” Kessler said. “She will lick you to death and loves to be held and cuddled. These are pretty much her favorite things to do.”

Layla also enjoys playing with her younger adopted “sister” Roxi, a Chihuahua.

“The two of them are the perfect fit and love to play tug of war and clean each others faces and ears,” Kessler said. “I think she is the cutest pet not only because of her adorable looks but her wonderful personality and loyalty. She really is the best little dog ever.”

Pet owner Stephanie Barr, formerly of Carbondale, is thankful to be the adopted owner of her 3-year-old cat, Jade.

But she wonders how such an attractive animal became an abandoned pet at the Larimer County Humane Society in Fort Collins.

“I fell in love with her,” Barr said. “Although I am still so baffled as to how someone could leave those gorgeous green eyes behind.”

Barr detailed Jade’s personality ” and good looks ” in her entry.

“The sweetest puffball you will ever meet. And she has the shiniest silver paws in the whole valley, maybe the whole world,” she wrote. “When she is hyper she loves to crawl into cabinets, destroy whole rolls of toilet paper, and play outside till the sun goes down. She loves to roll in the dirt and chase anything that moves. She is an excellent acrobat, and many of my friends have commented on her extreme ability to jump at toys in the air and flip over backwards and such.”

Jade is not always a tomcat, Barr said.

“She is quite the princess and prances around everywhere. She can be very sleepy or super hyper depending on her mood,” she said. “She loves to curl up on my legs when I sleep and lick my face if I am not up when she wants to get up.”

Barr describes Jade as an all-around great cat.

“She is a true sweetheart and is very gentle,” Barr said. “I truly believe she is the cutest pet because of her gorgeous bright green eyes and her compassionate personality.”

Contact April E. Clark: 384-9115

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