A Conifer woman believes she has a special dog, and she hopes you will think so, too.
Lydia Niederwerfer has entered her English cocker spaniel, Sir Tank, also known as Wyatt or Pork Chop, in the America’s Favorite Pet contest.
In addition to bragging rights of having the country’s favorite pooch, the winner, who will be named on April 7, gets a $5,000 prize and is featured in Dogster magazine. The contest is a fundraiser for the PAWS Foundation, which helps cats, dogs and wild animals by helping fund shelters, rehabilitation of orphaned and injured wildlife and community outreach.
Niederwerfer, 58, says she wants to win for two reasons:
- She wants to give credit to breeder Nancy Praiswater with Star-Vue English cocker spaniels in Monument for breeding such amazing pups.
- She wants to split the prize money between paying her remaining medical bills from the complications of Lyme disease and helping a friend’s parents who live in Ukraine.
Niederwerfer has two English cocker spaniels, Sassy Pants, 7, and Wyatt, 5, both from the same breeder. She chose to put Wyatt into the contest because he’s a ham — loving to have his photo taken — while Jesse is more reserved.
“These dogs aren’t just pretty faces,” she said.
Niederwerfer said she couldn’t have gotten through her medical issues without the dogs, who kept her going and provided comfort when she felt ill. While they haven’t been trained, they are just like therapy dogs, alerting her when something is physically wrong and staying by her side.
“If they are acting strange, I limit my activities,” she explained. “They act in different ways when they know something major is going to happen to me.”
Plus both dogs are championship nosework dogs, meaning they can track by scent.
Friends have posted Niederwerfer’s campaign to get Wyatt to be America’s Favorite Pet on social media.
According to Wyatt’s page on the America’s Favorite Pet website, he should win because: “He brings smiles, laughter and love to everyone. He’s not just a pretty face, he has the work-hard and eager-to-please attitude when in the field. He’s a great scent/nosework partner and therapy dog, too. You love kisses? He’ll give you several. Sees a camera, he’s posing. Even funnier is that he likes to get dirty running in fields, digging, and playing in the snow yet avoids water puddles and mud. Even cuter, he uses CPR to awaken you!”