2018 Writing Competition Nominees

Regular Categories


A. Newspaper Articles and Columns

1. Article – Health or General Care

Taking the Pet Out of Petrified – Dr. Marty Becker, “America’s Veterinarian” by Denise Alexandra Fleck

Everyone Should Have Their Pets Microchipped by Susan Ewing

Have a Heart for a Shelter Shepherd by Joanne Anderson

It’s A War by Kim Kavin

2. Article – Behavior or Training

 Do Dogs Really Get One Free Bite? by Patti Lawson

 Dogs Can “Read” Us by Joanne Anderson

 Making Vet Visits Fear Free by Susan Ewing

 Separation Anxiety Not Just For Shy Dogs by Kim Campbell Thornton

3. Article – Rescue

Adopting the Right Furry Friend for You Takes Some Forethought by Kim Campbell Thornton

Go Dog Go Pooch Powers Through Race by Allen Laman

Oldies But Goodies by Jen Reeder

Saving the Chain Dogs: Dog by Dog by Pam Gleason

4. Article – Art or Any Other Topic

Are Pets Gaining Personhood Status? by Patti Lawson

Baxter’s Pet Pantry by Joanne Anderson

Dog Fight by Kim Kavin

What Happens If You Die Before Your Pets by Patti Lawson

B. Magazines

5. Single, Related, or All-Breed

 AKC Family Dog by Liz Donovan and the staff of AKC Family Dog

 Dogster Magazine by Melissa L Kauffman and Annie Shirreffs

 The Pointing Dog Journal by Jillian LaCross

 The Retriever Journal by Jillian LaCross

6. Annual, Special Interest, or Any Other

Chronicle of The Dog by Devon Hubbard Sorlie and Chris Guzicki

From Rescued to Rescuer – USA Today Pet Guide by Nancy Monson

C. Magazine Articles

7. Article– Health or General Care

A Better Biome (Fecal Transplants) by CJ Puotinen

Cancer, Canines and the Human Connection by Rachel Brix

The Fear Free Revolution by Jen Reeder

Ticks’ Increasing Threat by Kim Campbell Thornton

8. Article– Behavior or Training

Behavior Matters! by Laura Donaldson

Communicating Effectively- Proper Diagnosis, Correct Terminology Essential by Melissa McMath Hatfield MS, CBCC-KA, CDBC

Look At That by Laura Donaldson

Taking It to the Streets by Mara Bovsun

9. Article – Rescue

 From Shelter Dog to Therapy Dog: The Story of Murray by Cori Solomon

 Rising from the ashes: Former shelter dog helps firefighters cope with stress and grief by Laura Teresa Coffey

 The Soul of Saving a Senior Pet by Christy A. Doherty

10. Article– Breed

Comfort Dogs: Golden Retrievers Offer Emotional Support in Difficult Times by Amy Hempe

For Laughter and Little Ones by Mara Bovsun

Lab Lifeguard by Jen Reeder

Using Degenerative Myelopathy Genetic Test Results in Predicting Litter Outcomes by Nancy P. Melone, Ph.D

11. Article/Column – Art or Any Other Topic

A Veterinarian’s Prescription for Grief (or, How I Mourned My Own Dog) by Karen R. Fine, DVM

Home Growing Our Heroes by Penny Leigh

Testing the Limits by Penny Leigh

Safety, Comfort are the New Black by Laurren Darr

D. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters

12. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters

DogWatch newsletter by Cynthia Foley and Debra M. Eldredge, DVM

GRRAND GRROWL of Golden Retriever Rescue and Adoption of Needy Dogs by Devon Hubbard Sorlie

The Companion – Canine Companions for Independence by John Bentzinger & CCI Editorial Staff

Tufts YOUR DOG Newsletter by Larry Lindner

E. Canine or All-Animal Newspapers or Newsletters Articles and Columns

13. Any Topic

 Canine Cataracts by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM

 Choosy About Chews by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM

 Hands-On Healing: Physical Rehabilitation for Animals by Lyn T. Garson CVT, CCRP

 OP/ED: The Integrity of Our Words by Kate J. Kuligowski

F. Online

14. Blogsite Or Website

Dogster.com by Melissa L Kauffman and Cait Kelly

Goodnewsforpets.com by Lea-Ann Germinder

Help is a Four-Legged Word by Canine Companions for Independence

National Purebred Dog Day by Susi Eniko Szeremy

The Pet Safety Crusader’s BLOG & VLOG by Denise Alexandra Fleck

15. Magazine or Newsletter

AKC Canine Partners News by Penny Leigh

For Active Dogs! Newsletter – Canine Sports Productions by Chris Zink

Speaking of Dogs Rescue newsletter by Lorraine Houston, Nancy Foran and Cathy Vandergeest

The IAABC Journal by Mychelle Blake, Jesse Miller and Marjie Alonso

G. Online Articles or Blog Entries

16. Article Or Blog – Health or General Care

Achy Joints? – Pet Connection/Andrews McMeel Syndication by Kim Campbell Thornton

Flu Factors – Pet Connection/Andrews McMeel Syndication by Kim Campbell Thornton

Inside Heartworm – Pet Connection/Andrews McMeel Syndication by Kim Campbell Thornton

Twist of Fate – Pet Connection/Andrews McMeel Syndication by Kim Campbell Thornton

17. Article Or Blog – Behavior or Training

On “Fixing” Behavior Problems: Reachable Goals and Wishful Thinking by Jennifer Leigh Summerfield

Through Thick and Thin: Caring For and Training Companion Dogs With Disabilities by Nee Kang, Jeffrey Lee and Nan Arthur

Top 10 Tips for Dealing with a Traumatic Dog Experience by Nancy Tanner

What Big Ships Can Teach You About Walking Your Dog by Pamela Douglas Webster

What Type of Training Do Therapy Dogs Need? by Risë VanFleet

18. Article or Blog – Rescue

A Passion for Helping Pooches by Jayson Kimberly

How the Internet is Changing the Way Dogs Find Homes by Gray Chapman

Saving the Dogs of Kauai by Christy A. Doherty

The Special Bond of Older Dogs and Older Owners by Jen Reeder

19. Article or Blog – Any Other Topic

Fly Away Home by Susan J. Kroupa

No PAWS About It: Hiring a Professional Pet Sitter is the Right Move for Your Pet by Denise Alexandra Fleck

Paw Preferences & Dog Emotion by Chris Zink

The Power of Rescue: How a Dog Helped 2 Boston Marathon Bombing Survivors Heal by Laura Teresa Coffey

H. Graphics

20. Single Photo

Hank Dock Diving by Kevin Cummings

Jasper “Nose” Leaves by Susan C. Willett

Lab Rescue of the L.R.C.P. Inc. by Janet Ann Brake

Tucker Has a Ball in the Fall by Susan C. Willett

21. Series Photo

How Good Breeders Raise Puppies Who Grow Into Happy, Confident Dogs by Linda C. Rehkopf

Show Me the Bunny – The Rip Van Wrinkle Basenji Club by Joe Stewart

22. Single Illustration or Painting

Blue Stove Beach – The Rip Van Wrinkle Basenji Club by Susan Kamen Marsicano

Fall Fun with Fido by Melanie Feldges

The Tail End: Delta Airlines Toughens ESA Policy by Jeroen van Rossum

23. Series of Illustrations or Paintings

Clean Paws are Very Important For A Scottie, You Know by Pilar Kuhn, Rod Ott and Valeria Moldovan

Marla Wears A Halo – Hartwood Pet Lodge LLC by Carol McElhaney and Joan Critz Limbrick

Ollie the Autism-Support Collie – LawMux Press by Billie Holladay Skelley, James Paul Skelley

Wish and Hope: Images from the National Dog Week Blog honoring its 90th Observation by Lisa Begin-Kruysman

24. Posters, Calendars, Brochures or Pamphlets

Bernese Mountain Dog Calendar 2019 by Dr. Bernd Guenter

Chester & Friends 2019 Calendar by Christina Potter and Taylor Potter

Guide to Dog Walks, Beaches and Pet Services by Judy Macomber and Beverly Haney

Portuguese Water Dog 2019 by Nutmeg Portuguese Water Dog Club, Inc.

I. Humor, Poetry, Short Fiction, Essays/Editorials

25. Humor

Bark Out Loud by Heather Blaine Marcoux

Bunny Come Home – The Aussie Times by Elizabeth M. Jarrell

Trade Secrets by Nancy Tanner

When Your Dog Is Socially Awkward (And So Are You) by Kristin M. Avery

26. Poetry

A Thousand Tears . . . Song For A Magical-Dawg by Amy Shojai, CABC

Haiku by Dog: Chasing by Susan C. Willett

Haiku by Dog: Laughing by Susan C. Willett

She’s Just Like Me by Debra Lampert-Rudman

27. Short Fiction

 Balance Due by Susan J. Kroupa

 The Poodle Who Picked Pockets by Lynn Franklin

 There’s Always Room For Jell-O by James Colasanti Jr.

28. Essays/Editorials

Cloud-based Hope by Susan C. Willett

Doodlewhacked: a Memoir by Susan J. Kroupa

Crossing Off the List by Zach Hively

What I’ve Learned from Smudge, Lola, and Dewey by Kendle Rae Frank

J. Other Media

29. Video, DVD, or TV Broadcasts

 Behind the Scenes With David Frei: Live on Facebook by Carol Bryant

 Canine Reproduction, Whelping and Puppy Intensive Care Seminar by Myra Savant

 How to Judge the St. Bernard by Janice Davis

 WGN TV Midday Fix: Dog Walking Tips with Laura Monaco Torelli by Laura Monaco Torelli, Kristina Miller Liberatore and Vicki Zwart

30. Radio, Podcast, or Other Audio

LEPTOSPIROSIS SYMPTOMS, TREATMENTS AND PREVENTION by Laura Jane Reeves

LORI WELLS AND PIGLET – CATAHOULA LEOPARD DOG|SEARCH AND RESCUE by Laura Jane Reeve

Reliable Recalls – Dog Talk With Dr. Jen by Jennifer Leigh Summerfield

The Doggie Bucket List – The Raven Narratives by Zach Hively

K. Club Publications (National, Regional or Local)

31. Magazine format

Australian Shepherd Journal by Kathleen Glaes and Leslie Ziesing

Spotter – Dalmatian Club of America by Katherine Szomoru, Debbie Zink and Jennifer Cramer

The Bagpiper, Official Publication of the Scottish Terrier Club of America by Scottish Terrier Club of America

The Courier – The Official Publication of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America by Susan Myrick

32. Newsletter format

BCOA Bulletin Board – Basenji Club of America by Mary Ellen Chaffin & Suzanne La Croix

Five Ways to Make Your Entle’s Walk Extra Special on “Walking the Dog Day” February 22nd by Linda Liebrand

International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants by Jesse Miller

National Search Dog Alliance by Sue C. Wolff and Norma Snelling

L. Club Publication Articles

33. Article – Any Topic

Hurricane Harvey Horror and Heroes by June Greig

Off-Colored Bostons Not the Standard by Patricia S. Johnson

Rocky’s Hemangiosarcoma Journey by Matt Repko

Test Your Testicle Knowledge by Michele Gawenka

34. Regular Column or Series

Breed Standard Column: Getting the Full Picture & All in the Family by Matthew Mullin

In The Path of a Hurricane by Barbara E. Magera, Jody Sutton and Elaine L. Mitchell

Tervuren News Tales by Joni L. Freshman, DVM

The Advocate – Owner Handler Association of America by Richard E Grant

M. Club Special Publication

35. Club Special Publication

40 High Points in 40 Years: Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club Celebrates 1977-2017, Mayflower Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club, Dr. Michaelann Cox Mako, Rae Becerra and Cynthia Read

BCOA Yearbook – Basenji Club of America by Mary Ellen Chaffin and Suzanne La Croix

Chronicle of The Dog, 25th Anniversary Issue by Devon Hubbard Sorlie and Chris Guzicki

Westminster Kennel Club 2018 Official Program by Gail Miller Bisher, Lisa Peterson

N. Books

36. Single, Related, or All-Breed

Entlebucher Mountain Dogs – What I Wish I Knew by Linda Liebrand

JONATHAN: Wolfsong’s Last Chapter by Alice Lovejoy Carnahan

Samoyed Tales Trilogy by Jim Cheskawich, Annie Reid and Cheryl Lynn West

37. Rescue or Adoption

Another Good Dog: One Family and Fifty Foster Dogs by Cara Achterber

Let’s Git Outta Here by Kate J. Kuligowski

The Returned: Chewy’s Story by Samantha K. Riggi

38. Training or Sports

Barn Hunt: A Game of Hide & Seek for Dogs by Deb M. Eldredge, DVM and Eva M. Raczka

K9 Search Rescue Troubleshooting by Susan Bulanda

Modern Enthusiastic Tracking, the Step-by-Step Training Handbook by William R. Sanders

Training Your German Shepherd Dog by Joan Hustace Walker and Brandy Eggeman

39. Behavior, Health, or General Care

Keeping the Peace: A Guide to Solving Dog-Dog Aggression in the Home by Nicole Wilde

Let Dogs Be Dogs by Marc Goldberg and the Monks of New Skete

My Patients Like Treats: Tales form a House-Call Veterinarian by Duncan MacVean, DVM

Secrets of the Snout: The Dog’s Incredible Nose by Frank Rosell

40. Human Animal Bond

Adventures with Durango Pete by Stephen Hinman

Animal Assisted Play Therapy by Risë VanFleet and Tracie Faa-Thompson

Dogs with Jobs by Laura Greaves

Leaving the Wild: The Unnatural History of Dogs, Cats, Cows and Horses by Gavin Forbes Ehringer

41. Reference

City Dog Walking Safety & Etiquette – Pups & Purrs Press by Sunny Weber

Let’s Make You a Winner: A Judge’s Perspective on Showing Dogs by Pat Hastings and Erin Ann Rouse

The Teaching Dog by Nicole Larocco-Skeehan

The Ultimate Pet Friendly Road Trip by Amy Burkert

42. Fiction, Young Adult or Humor

Ears for Murder by Sue Owens Wright

Maritime Summer by Karen Anne Harbert

Medium Rare by Karen Anne Harbert

Ghosts of the Buffalo Wheel by Joe Jennings

43. Children

Clean Paws Are Very Important For A Scottie, You Know by Pilar Kuhn and Rod Ott

Miss Olive Finds Her “Furever” Home by Susan M. Campbell

Ollie the Autism-Support Collie by Billie Holladay Skelley and James Paul Skelley

Pepe Learns to Run Again; an inspirational true story by Christina Potter


Nominees and Winners: Special Awards
Previous Year’s Nominees and Winners
Writing Competition Logo

Celebrate the winners at the DWAA Awards Banquet on February 10, 2019. All nominees receive certificates. Winners receive the DWAA Maxwell Medallion, named in honor of the late Maxwell Riddle.

Get your Event Tickets!


Maxwell Medallion
The Maxwell Medallion
Awarded to All Winners in Regular Categories

When asked to write about the history of the Maxwell Medallion I gleaned some information about the DWAA I had not read before. The Dog Writers Association of America was not always our name. We were known as the Dog Writers Association. About the time of the McCarthy era and the House Un-American Activities Committee, we had a member, Harvey Barcus, a Past President and writer for the Detroit News, who thought we should be more American and thus the name, Dog Writers Association of America came into being.

In the early 1970’s Maxwell Riddle called Sue Jeffries and asked her to run the writing contest. We were awarding plaques to the winners and had second and third place awards. Sue recalls that Bill Denlinger, then President, wanted the finalists to be called nominees. Bill wanted to ensure the awards were given out like the Academy Awards with an elaborate presentation. Sue called on Carol Lea Benjamin for help in establishing this award.

Carol Lea was reading the New York Times one morning and she saw a photo of the Medal of Freedom. It was a medal on a ribbon worn around your neck. Carol claims that was her inspiration for designing the Maxwell Medallion. Since the Medal of Freedom was presented to winners with their heads bent down during the presentation, Carol Lea thought that should be the same for the DWAA Contest winners.

I am sure by now you are all saying, “why Maxwell Riddle”? Maxwell worked for 35 years for the Cleveland Press as a feature writer and reporter. His syndicated dog column ran for 30 years. A Past President of the DWAA and wrote a column for Dog World for 50 years. He was an AKC Dog Judge and judged in Japan, South America, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Canada, Australia, and all over Europe. He was the founder of the Ravenna Kennel Club and had been their President for 47 years. He was known in his day as the greatest authority on dogs and wrote many books on puppy training and various other dog subjects. He was known all over the world as a dog expert.

The then Board of the DWAA honoured Maxwell Riddle by naming the medallion after him. We can thank Sue Jeffries and Bill Delinger for the idea and Carol Lea Benjamin for designing the medallion. Sue had it made in Kentucky and it is still made there after all these years.

To me, the Maxwell brings memories of having known this great man and I have many pictures of my dogs winning with him as judge.

To those who knew the history of the Maxwell it was a thrill to watch Sue and Carol Lea place the medallions around the winner’s necks in 2008 for the 2007 contest. It was a tribute to their work for the Maxwell Medallion.

— Pat Santi,
Historian, Member since 1989

All nominees receive certificates.
Winners receive cash awards.

Sponsors of the Special Awards are not involved in the judging.


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