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Who let the dogs out? Guilty as charged

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This issue went to the dogs – quite literally.

As you peruse the pages of this week’s Powhatan Today, it would be hard to miss the pervasiveness of Powhatan pooches on several of the pages.

Full disclosure – I am not a dog owner, so there was no bias, intended or otherwise, here. The only lifeform completely dependent on me to maintain its existence is my house plant Stryker, who as I write this I am reminded I need to water before going out of town for Labor Day weekend for a few days.

I do like animals, and dogs in particular, so it was quite entertaining to edit all of the photos on the pages and write the feature story on Brittany Ketcham that graces the front page. It’s funny, but a week ago, none of this was on the radar for an upcoming edition.

It started with a simple Facebook post. National Dog Day was Aug. 26, a fact that was hard to miss for anybody who was scrolling Facebook. Dog owners were sharing photos right and left.

It was Friday, so to have a little fun, I invited our readers to share photos of their “fur babies” to round out the week. I expected a good response; I did not expect a deluge. It was like when I ask readers after a storm if their power is out, only multiplied by five.

I refreshed the page a few minutes after I posted, and with a time stamp of four minutes, there were already 16 photos of dogs in various states of dog-iness. Shout out to those proud puppy parents who couldn’t wait to brag on their dogs, as well as those who didn’t limit themselves to posting on National Dog Day. The last time I looked at the post, there were almost 600 comments, most of them photos.

Deciding to run some of the photos in print was an easy decision – choosing which ones to pick out of hundreds, not so much. I apologize now if your precious didn’t get picked; we only have but so much space and there were just so many great options.

Then things evolved from there. As you see, there is a photo of a beautiful English bulldog named Thor on the front page teasing the photo gallery on Page 6A.

Originally, there was going to be a different photo in that spot. Want to know which one? Look up and to the left from Thor. Brittany Ketcham sent in a different fantastic photo of just her dogs sitting on the bed of a truck in a sunflower field, and I thought it was a great photo to share on the front. But when I reached out to her for a little more information and learned that all eight of these beauties are rescues and most of them have special needs of some kind, it was too wonderful a story to leave at just a caption with their names listed.

A little of Brittany’s work as a professional “petographer” can also be seen in the three photos with similar backgrounds in the farmers market photo gallery on Page 3A. When I saw the farmers market talking about the event, it seemed appropriate for this issue to highlight their Bring Your Dog to the Market Day.” In for a penny, in for a pound.

To top it off, as I was getting close to the end on this edition, I was asked to share a notice about a dog-related event I am sure some of our dog-loving Powhatan residents might enjoy. The Elizabeth Randolph Lewis Powhatan YMCA will hold a Dog Days at the Powhatan YMCA event where people can bring their dogs for demonstrations, competitions, vendors selling items, dog rescue, dogs on parade (costumes are encouraged), and more. The free event will be held from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 at the YMCA, 2269 Mann Road.

There are obviously a great many dog lovers in Powhatan, and I thought that was worth celebrating. Yes, I see this community newspaper as a place for you to get important information about more serious topics such as board meetings and court cases, but it is also meant to be a place where we showcase what is important to our readers.

Whether it was having such an abundance of first day of school photos that it seemed sad not to share a few more this week or, yes, running pictures of people’s pets, you showed it was important to you, and I was just trying to listen.

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