COVER GIRL: Newcomer wins Pet Photo Contest

Published 3:00 am Wednesday, September 12, 2018

For Joette Booker, the final minutes of the Humane Society of Pike County’s 2019 Pet Photo Contest were nail biters. She watched as her Maggie took the lead and then lost the lead to another pup, Emma Dickey’s Pepper. Then, up popped a cat in the dogfight.

Back and forth went the voting. Even when the deadline for voting passed at 5 p.m. on September 1, with Maggie in the lead, Booker didn’t blow the paper whistles. On-site votes and mail-in votes still had to be counted.

Booker laughs as she remembers the tense times as she waited.

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“I really wanted Maggie to win,” she said. “She’s so wonderful but so are all of the pets. I loved them all. And that little calf, it stole my heart.”

For the first time in the history of the HSPC Pet Photo Contest, the winner has been a newcomer to Pike County.

Maggie and her best friends, Joette and Bruce Booker of Dothan will soon homestead in the Needmore community. They are in the process of renovating the home of his parents, the late E.C. and Annie Maude Booker. If plans hold, the Bookers will be at home in Pike County by Christmastime.

“I want to be involved in the community and that’s why I entered Maggie in the Pet Photo Contest,” Booker said. “It was our introduction to our new hometown.”

And Pike County is the perfect place for an Australian Shepherd that is country through and through.

“Maggie has never been a city girl,” Booker said. “She is a true country girl. She loves to run. She loves to chase lizards and she loves to swim. At Needmore, we have 200 acres where she can run and chase lizards. We have a pond where she can swim anytime she wants. Maggie is a great swimmer. She can swim for 15 minutes without stopping. Our new home is perfect for her and for us.”

Booker readily admits that Maggie is spoiled rotten and also admits that she is the reason Maggie is spoiled.

“Maggie is as smart as a whip – that just comes with the breed,” Booker said. “She is 3 years old and Australian Shepherds live long lives, around 15 years, so Bruce and I look forward to having Maggie with us for a long time.”

Booker expressed appreciation to the Humane Society of Pike County for its commitment to the humane treatment of animals.

The Pet Photo Contest is an annual fundraiser for the HSPC’s spay/neuter program. Booker said she and Maggie are proud to be a part of the fundraising efforts and strongly support the HSPC’s efforts to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Pike County.

“We are looking forward to being Pike County residents and being involved in the community,” Booker said. “Maggie thanks everyone who voted for her in the 2019 Pet Photo Contest and looks forward to being on the calendar with all her fur friends.”