Winners named in essay contest

The Friends of the Conway Animal Shelter recently announced the winners of its 13th Annual Chase Potter Essay Contest.

Conway fourth-graders are invited each spring to participate in the contest by writing from an animal’s perspective and describe the ideal life as a pet.

Essay contest winners Addison Smittle (from left), Taevon Spears, Annaleigh Thomason and Baylen Dykes with Don Potter (back).

This year’s winners and the cash prize they received:

First – Addison Smittle ($25).

Second – Taevon Spears ($15).

Third – Baylen Dykes and Annaleigh Thomason ($10).

Chase’s father, Don, announced the winners and presented them with their ribbons and prizes during a ceremony held at the Conway Animal Shelter. Each student also read their essays.

Don is the founder and race director for the annual Chase Race and Paws. A portion of the proceeds are presented each year to the Friends of the Conway Animal Shelter. The race was started in 2006 in memory of Chase, who enjoyed writing and loved animals. He was 13 when he died.

A portion of the winning essays:

Addison Smittle 

“My name is Honey. I live in Marcos Pet Shelter. I have a wonderful dream. My dream is to have a real home with a wonderful owner and all the toys I can think of. I would have real dog friends, too. But not yet. Right now that dream is all I have to hold on to. I cannot wait to be adopted and get a home. I just hope it is a good one. Besides, who wouldn’t want a fluffy blonde puppy?

“When I get a home, I just know my owner will be kind and loving. I hope I will be able to cuddle up with her when she is scared and just for fun. She will love me more than anything else in the world. And even when she is feeling sad, she will not take it out on me. Instead, she will sit with me and tell the whole story. Then we will sit together until there is not a tear on her face. In my dreams, I love her just as much as she loves me.

“When I dream, I am not like all the other dogs who want mansions. I just want a loving home. I would not mind if it were big. I just want a home where someone looks forward to seeing me when they get back. I want a nice home, but it does not have to have all of the fanciest new things. I mostly just want something nicer than where I am right now.

“My owner would take me on walks in the dog park. Then maybe I would be able to make good dog friends. She will also play catch with me. Maybe she will even teach me tricks. I would also sit with her on the couch while we watch TV even if it just looks like a blur. I just want to be with her all the time. And in my dreams she is.”

Taevon Spears

“If I was an animal, I would be a dog because they are soft and active. I would like to be in a caring environment with nice people who would take me to the park. I will also give them kisses and lick them. I will not break their things because I wouldn’t want their hearts to be broken.

“I would want a wooden house next to the woods. I would like to have fresh air and nature surrounded by me. Also, I want a lot of space to play fetch. I would want my food to be outside. I wouldn’t want my owners to be on their phone a lot because they wouldn’t play with me and I like to play a lot.”

Baylen Dykes

“I’m a Pug and I’m at the pet store, waiting to be picked up. I have black fur with green eyes and a curly tail. I have always wanted an owner who takes really good care of me.

“The owner should feed me every day and buy me toys that are fun. We should do fun activities like go to the park or watch movies together. Exercise is also important so the owner and I should go on a daily jog together. The type of toys I would want, are chewing toys so I don’t get bored every time the owner goes to work.

“I want an owner who always thinks about his pets before his friends. I want him to always feed me and attend to me. I want an owner who doesn’t hit or scream at me almost all the time. 

“So please come pick me up from the pet store. I won’t ever make messes or tear stuff up at all. I’ll be nice and obey what you tell me. I won’t go to the bathroom inside your house. I’ll go outside to use the bathroom. I will do the right thing and learn from my mistakes. I’ll be the best dog you have ever dreamed of. So please come pick me up and we will have fun and awesome times together.”

Annaleigh Thomason

“I am Misty. I love to chew on things such as shoes and toys. My owner, Annaleigh, is the best. She loves to play and takes great care of me. She is amazing!

“First, she plays with me whenever she is not busy and she loves to play tug of war. Sometimes she needs a break so she goes and watches TV. That doesn’t stop me from being with her, so I just go and snuggle up with her on the couch. We always watch TV together and I like it.

“Second of all, one time she got home late and I thought I was going to die. Then she came in and I jumped for joy. I thought she was not coming back! You are probably wondering why my name is Misty. Well, she found me outside, roaming the streets for food. She picked me up and there was no tag or collar. Then, the next thing I know I am at her house.

“Now, I will do anything to be with her. We got to the park and play with my Frisbee. I love when she gives me treats. One time, Annaleigh found a spot that felt so good on my back. Every time she stopped scratching me, I would give her the look that no owner can resist. Then she would start doing it again.

“Lastly, she is the best and no one can replace her.”