Katie has always been a good dog – rambunctious, smart, independent, gorgeous, said her human companion, Brian Foster.
Now Foster and his wife, Diane, can call their precious goldendoodle a celebrity of sorts.
Brian Foster’s photo of the 10-year-old pup, sitting on a California beach with the ocean behind her and sand coating her beard, won the grand prize in a national contest featured on the “Live With Kelly” TV talk show.
Katie’s winning image will send the retired Lake of the Pines couple on an expenses-paid trip to Hollywood at the end of the month. They will be treated to three nights of luxury lodging, $1,500 in cash, bleacher seats to watch the stars walk the red carpet at the Oscars, an Oscars viewing party, and participation in a live taping of host Kelly Ripa’s “Oscar Party Show” the next morning.
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Oh, and a year’s supply of kitty litter. The contest was sponsored by the makers of Cat’s Pride kitty litter but was open to photos of all types of pets, including dogs, goats and rabbits.
Brian Foster, an amateur nature photographer, said he entered the “PawParazzi Photo Contest” on a whim, after hearing about it on the morning television show.
“I didn’t even check to see what the prizes were,” he said. “I figured I might have a chance to get a mention on TV or a hundred dollars.”
When Katie’s photo was revealed on the show and its website last week as the grand prize winner, “I was blown away,” he said.
The couple, who retired to the Auburn area from the Bay Area in 2001, have raised Katie from when she was a puppy. She’s a cross between a golden retriever and a poodle. The sand and the ocean are her favorite playgrounds.
“Put her on a beach, and she’ll just go and go and go, chasing balls,” Brian Foster said. So he thought it appropriate to enter the contest with a photo he called “Another Great Day at the Beach.”
It was one of “thousands and thousands” submitted by contestants from across the United States and Canada, according to the TV show. A panel of judges decided that Katie’s photo was the best, based on its “dramatic nature,” quality, composition and originality.
Now Katie’s owners are packing their bags for the Oscars. Katie, who recently weathered a painful infection, will have to stay home. Some of the cash award may help pay for her veterinary bills, Brian Foster said.
As for the avalanche of kitty litter that will be coming the couple’s way?
“I guess we’ll donate it,” Foster said.