I have a funny story that I like to tell…years and years ago, I wrote an essay about our family dog to compete for the Walmart “Ol’ Roy Dog of the Year” contest…well, the good news is that we DID win…

I was in college and my oldest two kids were both pretty young. I entered the contest, telling our adopted dog’s story: She was dropped in a farmer’s kennel with his eight hunting dogs. The farmer really liked her, but took her to the shelter knowing he couldn’t afford to feed another dog. That’s where we found the pup. My abuser, our then only child who was four years old, and I adopted her on the spot. She was a sweet and a perfect family dog! I wrote the essay after we’d had her nearly two years.

Honestly, I wrote it as an example of my writing skills for my college portfolio, turned it in, and forgot about it. About a month later, Walmart called me and told me we had won! The prize was a large bag of Ol’ Roy dog food (that I ended up donating to the shelter where we got her), a certificate, a Walmart $50 gift card, and our picture in the paper. We posed and were immortalized in the newspaper and I picked up our prizes. It wasn’t until I got home and showed my abuser, that he started laughing.

“Laura, they put your name instead of our dog’s!”

“What????” I said, alarmed. I grabbed the beautiful color certificate and looked. Damn. I was Ol’ Roy Dog of the Year!

To say I was outraged was an understatement! I called the Walmart manager, who proceeded to tel me that there is nothing he could do. Corporate had only sent him one award certificate. He was sorry, but again, nothing he could or would do. I decided to embrace it and hung it on the wall with my other certificates, to see if anyone would notice. I also used it as a humorous story, whenever I went on a job interview (which helped them to remember me and for me to stand out). JC, our dog didn’t mind in the least.

To this day, my kids (and six dogs) proclaim me HBIC: head b*tch in charge. Oh and guard dog. Woof! I have the credentials to prove it!

Be sure and pet a dog today in my honor!