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Pet Parade winner is ’spot on’

Pet Parade winner is ’spot on’
Dalmatian-Basset hound mix Iota is the winner of the 2013 La Vernia News Pet Parade contest.

“You pays your money, you takes your choice,” so the old saying goes. Folks contributed $1 each to vote in the second annual La Vernia News Pet Parade. And when the votes were tallied and the money counted, the winner was Iota, a female Dalmatian/Basset hound mix and beloved furry family member of Gretchen Brummer of La Vernia.

All proceeds benefited the Wilson County Spay/Neuter Group, founded by Eli Bryan. The organization provides low-cost neutering and spaying services for pets and strays where circumstances determine need.

Gretchen has always had a soft spot for Dalmatians. After losing her family pet, Tikka, last year, she searched to find a new spotted puppy. She found a rescue puppy in southern Illinois at only adopts shelter and rescue pets and does not promote puppy mills. Gretch’s application included an essay about how she would love and care for the puppy. She wrote that her puppy would become part of her family and she would treat it like her own child; her application was accepted.

Gretch traveled to Anna, Ill., to pick up the 12-week-old, short-legged pup and started thinking of what to call her. The puppy sports a big spot over her left eye, and Gretch wanted to name her with something to do with a spot.

Looking at the puppy’s eye surrounded by the spot, she came up with “I...ota.”

“Iota” is part of a common English phrase, “not one iota,” meaning “not the slightest amount.” It refers to a phrase in the New Testament, “é until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law” (Matt. 5:18).

Iota is low to the ground, with short, stubby legs and front feet that turn outward, a common Basset hound trait. She is white and has some spots that indicate she is Dalmatian. She will celebrate her first birthday in September, around the time of Gretch’s birthday.

A very sweet-natured doggie, Iota loves to wrestle with the family cat and this writer’s puppy, and has a weekly “play date” with her Boxer friend, Rocky. She also likes to play tug-of-war with her sister, Zany, a Border Collie. Iota doesn’t like the swimming pool, but loves the fish pond. Her favorite trick is to jump straight into the air after Gretch throws her ball vertically. She also crouches down on the garage floor until the door comes up just a foot or so, and launches herself down the driveway at top speed.

According to Gretch, Iota has taken puppy obedience classes and knows basic commands such as sit, stay, and so forth. However, Iota has her own mind. When Gretch was a child, she said her mother would call her name over and over then ask her, “Gretchen, do you hear me?” To which Gretchen would reply, “Yes, I hear you. I’m just not listening.” Iota seems to do the same thing!

The Brummers hope the next step in Iota’s training will be becoming a therapy dog so she can visit nursing homes and hospital patients.

This adorable, funny-looking dog is sure to bring smiles to patients’ faces.

We wish her luck with her training!

No hot dogs, please!

Last year, second place in the Pet Parade went to Tikka, Gretchen’s Dalmatian/Jack Russell terrier. Sadly, Tikka passed away last summer in a tragic accident.

Unknown to the family, she had climbed into the Brummers’ car and expired in the heat. Gretch was devastated. She encourages people to not leave their pets in their cars, even for a few minutes while running in to do some quick shopping. The Texas heat quickly rises in the interior of a vehicle and that can spell the end for a beloved pet.

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