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Behind-the-Scenes of our Cover Dog Shoot

TEXT BY HEATHER DOWDY
PHOTOS BY MICHELLE CONNER

Meet Cocoa, the beautiful, sweet and spunky winner of our 2015 Cover Dog Search! When this miniature sized, adorable Muppet came onto the set of our Cover Dog Search, plopped down, and gave us an adorable pose, she immediately won our hearts. But looking at Cocoa’s shots after the event, it became even clearer that this girl was our Cover Dog winner. I mean, she just can’t take a bad picture! We also loved her rescue story and her amazing family.

So, when we met up with her and her parents, Wendy and C.T. Blackmore, on the historic Murfreesboro Square in June, we knew it was going to be an awesome shoot. Despite the heat and humidity, this magnificent mutt posed like a champ and our photographer, Michelle Conner, captured this beauty:

Could she be any more gorgeous? We think not.

In fact, the hardest part of our job was trying to pick just one photo for the cover! She had so many great shots!

We especially loved this one:

Of course, being a cover girl isn't all glitz and glamour. It was pretty hot out on this afternoon, so we treated Cocoa to a break in the car with the A/C on full blast. There may or may not have been organic treats and bottled water involved...

We could not be more happy for Cocoa and her amazing family, who adopted her from Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue about a year ago. Can you believe this beautiful, friendly pup had been set out on the side of the road by a field? Thankfully some awesome folks rescued her! And the rest, as Cocoa says, is history. She is a beloved member of a wonderful family, and loving every minute of it!

What a happy little gal! Life is good when you're a rescued pup!

We also enjoyed a fun and snuggly photo session with our Crowd Favorite winner, Marshmallow. Pulling in 813 votes (that’s over 200 more than last year’s crowd fave!), this super fluffy and friendly Great Pyrenees won the interwebs by a landslide!

This gentle giant was dumped at a shelter due to a congenital condition. Thankfully, National Great Pyrenees Rescue (NGPR) came to his rescue, bringing him into their foster program and giving him the operation nexccessary to try and correct his advanced stage luxating patellas—or, rotating kneecaps—in his rear legs. In fact, the poor guy could hardly walk. But thanks to lots of love from foster mom Michelle Stout, he's loving life!

While he has a ways to go after two surgeries and continued physical rehabilitation and therapy, he's such a trooper and is doing great. Look at this big teddy bear! We're in love.

Congratulations, Cocoa and Marshmallow! Be sure to pick up our Cover Dog Issue to check out Cocoa and all 118 canine contestants in our special feature! You can find a free copy at one of these locations... or, subscribe to have it mailed, and we'll donate $10 in your name to local animal welfare!

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