Introducing Gucci, North Valley Magazine’s Cutest Pet Winner!

Top Dog 

Introducing Gucci, North Valley Magazine’s Cutest Pet Winner!

By Sondra Barr

Photos of Gucci and his family by Chadwick Fowler

Our second annual North Valley Cutest Pet Contest proved once again that pet owners from around the area love to snap and share photos of their beloved critters. This year, we received dozens upon dozens of adorable pet submissions from their doting owners. The contestants were mainly dogs but also included some cats and a perky pony! The voting was heated and generated a lot of chatter, but ultimately, one dog pulled ahead. Now, without further ado, meet 2015’s top North Valley dog, Gucci! He received 3,364 votes to score the cutest pet honor. We sat down with his “parents,” Donna and Ken Meadors, to find out more about this adorable pooch who brought a sense of purpose back into their lives after the tragic death of their son.

20150505_northvalley_12.40.04THE WINNER


Q: How old is Gucci?

A: He’s 11 years old

Q: What breed is he?

A: An Irish wheaten terrier

Q: Where did you get Gucci?

A: I had fallen in love with the wheaten breed. They look like little adorable teddy bears as pups. My husband, Ken, knew I had wanted one and had been flying to Ireland frequently as a commercial pilot. He had located a veterinarian who had a wheaten that was soon to have a litter. He would be bringing a puppy home with him in a few short weeks as a present for me. I was unaware that he had been searching for a puppy.

One morning, I was breezing through the classifieds and noticed that someone was giving away a wheaten. I assumed the dog would be a mix of wheaten and just knew it was meant for me. I drove an hour away to meet him. Imagine my surprise when I found out that the dog was full wheaten! The owner could not control him. When I arrived, he was chasing a cat through the entire house––nonstop. I quickly learned that the dog was not housebroken and had zero manners. He was already eight months old. Imagine the shocked look on my husband’s face when he returned from his trip and opened the door and received his first wheaten greeting! Imagine my shock when I learned he had secured one for me on his trip! We were able to cancel.

Q: Does Gucci have any unique characteristics?

A: Gucci learned to run with me. He senses when it’s my day off and paws the side of the bed until I get up. He loves car rides and somehow learned how to turn on flashers and the overhead lights. He has the ability to recognize my phone ringing and chases through the house to alert me; however, he nips at me the entire time we are headed toward the phone.

Gucci has survived a dislocated disc in his neck and being gored by a herd of javelinas. We can only assume that he was injured playing with our other dog CJ (Calamity Jane). Recovery was slow, but he did recover.

Q: How has your household changed since you brought Gucci home?

A: Gucci came home with me in late January of 2005. My daughter, Amber, and son, Ryan, were both college students. Tragedy struck Christmas 2005. While employed in Beijing, China, my son passed suddenly and unexpectedly. As I would have preferred life in bed, this dog would have none of it. Every morning, as always, he pawed at the bed and willed me to get up and run. So you see, Gucci is a true rescue dog in every sense of the word!

Q: What does this win mean to you and Gucci?

A: A co-worker had given me the bottle of wine pictured in his entry photo. The bottle reads Lucky Dog with a photo of Lucky on the label in remembrance of the owner’s own rescue dog from their winery, River Ridge Winery in Missouri. I randomly decided to snap a photo of the bottle of wine with Gucci toasting the dog as a thank-you to Susan for the wine. Susan entered Gucci in the North Valley Magazine Cutest Pet contest as a surprise to me. The tremendous amount of support in voting by friends and co-workers at US Airways/American, my daughter Amber’s Fairmont colleagues, and my fellow wheaten lovers is truly amazing!

Gucci is now 11 years old. We both run a little slower and the hills seem a little bigger, but we are a team. His photo on the cover of North Valley Magazine will grace a wall in our home. I feel like I have given something back to him with this win!






An adorable purebred Samoyed named Sedona came in a close second in this year’s contest, with 2,823 votes. Here’s a bit more about this playful pooch from to his “dad,” Rich Meyer.

Q: How old is Sedona?

A: Sedona is 1 year and 3 months old.

Q: What breed is Sedona?

A: Sedona is a purebred Samoyed.

Q: Where did you get Sedona?

A: We got Sedona from a wonderful breeder in Idaho, named Darlene Rautio.

Q: How did you happen to bring Sedona into your home?

A: My wife had a Samoyed growing up, and she always knew that she would eventually get another.

Q: Does Sedona have any unique characteristics?

A: Sedona is always called the whitest, softest, and fluffiest dog that people have ever seen.

Q: Does Sedona have any unique personality traits?

A: Sedona is incredibly energetic, outgoing, and friendly to both dogs and humans. He also loves giving high fives!

Q: How has your household changed since you brought Sedona home?

A: Sedona has been the best gift that my wife and I could have ever asked for. He makes the tough days easier, the sad days happier, and the good days better.



Cocoa Puff

Cocoa Puff

Cocoa Puff

Coming in third with 1,705 votes is Cocoa Puff, a 5-year-old cuddly Pomeranian from Scottsdale whose “mom,” Kristen Coons, entered him in the contest.


Thank you to all the cute contestants that participated in this year’s competition!


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