By Reader Staff
After a tough decision by the celebrity judges at last week’s Yappy Hour, Sandpoint has its official Ambassadog. She’s a blue heeler mix and former shelter dog named Rosie, owned by Lindsey Simler. The event was a fundraiser for Panhandle Animal Shelter co-sponsored by Visit Sandpoint, Idaho.
Mandy Evans, executive director of the Panhandle Animal Shelter, recently praised the Ambassadog contest and canine participants.
“All the dogs were fantastic and a wonderful representation of Sandpoint,” Evans said. “Our winner, Rosie, displayed all the essential qualities for an ambassador such as shaking hands, kissing babies and being an exceptional listener!”
Rosie was chosen as the culmination of a summer-long nominating contest in which 59 dogs were entered. As part of the contest people could “buy” votes for their favorites to improve their chances in the drawing to be a finalist and appear before a panel of judges. All told, the contest raised more than $2,400 for the shelter.
Kate McAlister, executive director of the Greater Sandpoint Chamber of Commerce, concurs on the success of the contest and the eventual winner: “It was so much fun. I loved the dogs and Rosie has definitely set the bar.”
Now that Rosie has been selected, her community “Ambassadog” work begins.
“First, we will arrange a photo shoot and get her lined up with a seamstress for an official Sandpoint Ambassadog vest,” said Evans.
Following will be meetings and events for her to attend.
“It should be a busy and fun year for our first Ambassadog,” said Evans.
In the coveted role of Ambassadog, Rosie will help Visit Sandpoint represent the spirit of this beautiful town. The winner also landed a prize of a two-night getaway at Western Pleasure Guest Ranch plus a gift basket with certificates and goods from Trinity at City Beach, Ezy Dog, Winter Ridge Natural Foods Market, Pend d’Oreille Winery, Lake Pend Oreille Cruises and Keokee Books.
Rosie’s owner, Simler, is proud of her dog’s accomplishment: “This pooch is nothing short of a mighty dog,” Simler said. And the love comes full circle for Rosie, a rescue from the animal shelter. “I adopted her, she rescued me, and we have been inseparable ever since.”
View more about the contest and Rosie at www.SandpointAmbassadog.com.