Comet, a seven-year-old Greyhound with a dramatic life story and a dazzling, healthy smile, took the top spot in the Superstar Smiles Photo Contest sponsored by Petrodex®, a dental brand from Sergeant’s Pet Care Products, Inc. Radio personality and pet enthusiast Steve Dale served as the celebrity judge of the nationwide contest, which received nearly 2,000 photo entries in just four weeks.
“The competition was fierce, and choosing the five finalists from the huge number of entries was not easy,” Dale stated. “In the end, Comet’s personality showed so clearly though his photo that I knew he was the winner. That dog truly has star quality!”
As the Grand Prize winner, Comet will be featured in a full-page advertisement for Petrodex pet dental products in a national magazine. He will also receive a professional photo shoot and his owner, Barbara Masi of Boynton Beach, Florida, will receive a framed print from the shoot as well as a variety of Petrodex pet dental products.
The aim of the contest was to help raise awareness among pet owners about the importance of keeping their dogs’ teeth clean and healthy. Only after Comet was chosen based on his photo appearance and healthy smile was his dramatic life story known to the judges.
Comet started life as a racing dog, and his early success in that field would likely have prevented him from retiring early except for a twist of fate. After placing well in a high stakes race, Comet broke his leg. Despite numerous surgeries and therapies, the break did not mend well enough for him to return to the track, ending his racing career when he was just over three years old. Barbara Masi adopted Comet at that time, bringing him home to join her family of seven assorted rescue dogs at that time. Many were older and have since passed – and Comet now has two greyhound and one Irish wolfhound brothers.
Comet’s unique personality and friendliness inspired Masi, president of the Greyhound Pets of America – Southeast Coast of Florida Chapter, to create a program that teaches school-age children about kindness to animals. The program was soon brought into the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department and Comet’s second career was born.
“We visit preschool, elementary and middle schools to teach students about kindness. Both of us wear Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department uniforms for our public appearances. Comet is such a good sport, everyone just loves him. I am thrilled he won! It couldn’t have happened to a more deserving dog,” Masi shared.
“Thank you to everyone who participated in the contest,” said Caryn Stichler, vice president of marketing at Sergeant’s. “We received so many photos of so many beautiful, loved dogs. It was an inspiration for those of us who work in the pet products industry. Comet’s happy, healthy smile and his great life story make him a wonderful choice to represent Petrodex in an advertisement!”