A lot of people call their pets “good,” as in, “Good dog!”
But what if your pet is better than that? What if your pet is the best pet in the Capital Region?
As part of this year’s Best of the Capital Region, we’re asking readers like you to tell us in word and image why your pet is the best. And there won’t be just one winner; there will be three. Entries can be submitted in one of three categories: Dogs, Cats and Other.
As if the glory of having your dog, cat or other (snake, fish, ferret, bird, etc.) named the best pet in the Capital Region isn’t enough, the winner in each category will receive a $50 American Express Gift Card.
Here’s what you do:
- Take a high-quality photo of your pet.
- Fill in the entry form, which asks for your pet’s name, your name, your city or town, and for you to complete the sentence: “My pet is the best pet in the Capital Region because …”
- Be brief and clever. Nothing more than 60 words. You can add the kind of pet you have, along with its name to the beginning of the sentence. For example, “My guppy Orca is the best pet fish in the Capital Region because …”
- Don’t forget to include your contact information (address, phone number and email), which won’t be for publication.
Entries will be judged based on the following criteria:
- Quality of the image: This includes such things as focus, composition, light and exposure.
- Relationship between image and words: Do the words restate what is happening in the photo, or do the words build on what’s visible to add another layer of meaning? Spelling and grammar count, too.
- Relationship between image and theme: Considering we’re talking about the best of the Capital Region here, how does the image refer to the region? A photo of a pet at a public park, for example, is likely to do better than a photo of a pet at home. Some pets, though, may not be the outdoorsy type, though. (Tropical fish come to mind.) In that case, then photos in which the pet is somehow interacting with something recognizable as being from the Capital Region are more likely to do better.
A few ideas that come to mind, for example, include tropical fish swimming among a model Albany landscape that includes The Egg; a cat playing with a ball of yarn purchased from a vendor at one of the region’s many farmers markets; or a puppy being housebroken with copies of your local newspaper on the floor. (Well, maybe that last one isn’t the best idea. Please don’t tell my boss I suggested it.)
How to submit:
Send your entries (photo, where taken, your name and city, sentence completion and contact information) to the Times Union by email with the text in the body of the email and with the image attached as a jpeg (a file size between about 1 and 2 megabytes is preferred) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you can send your text and photo (printed on photo paper) by postal mail to My Pet is the Best, Features Department, Times Union, Box 15000, 1 News Plaza, Albany, NY 12212.
Only one entry per person. Multiple entries (either the same person entering more than one, or the same image submitted by multiple people) will result in disqualification.
Entries must be received by noon Friday, May 24.
All entries may appear online and in print. Submissions will not be returned.