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And The Top Dog Winner Is ...

You have to keep reading to find out!

Four weeks. Hundreds of entries. Thousands of votes. Controversy. Heartbreak. Redemption. The American Idol finale? Nope. Patch's Top Dog.

And the first Connecticut Top Dog is ... !

Harley is owned by Janice Kern.

"Harley, Jude and I are very grateful to have won the portrait done by Carrie Jacobson," Kern said when told Harley had . "We have seen her work and it is phenomenal. We know all the dogs are top dogs and we wish that all five of these wonderful dogs can receive the title, so congrats to Connecticut's top dogs!!"

Patch echoes that - congrats to Harley and to every single great dog that was entered in this contest - the purebreds, the rescues, the old dogs, the puppies, the dogs that make us laugh and lick our faces when we cry.

Dogs are awesome and we were thrilled at Patch to be able to celebrate so many of them with our readers. Thank you to everyone who participated!

gerry crowley June 28, 2012 at 12:22 PM
maybe they had to take care of a friend. what kind of contest was this anyways where the rule get changed halfway through. someone should show them how to run a contest fairly. if they cant take heat from people who's dog was not making it that they had to change the rules, as the saying goes, "if you cant take the heat get the hell out of the kitchen." what a joke this whole thing was.
Ellie June 28, 2012 at 12:26 PM
Carole and Jerry quit being sore losers. They showed a video of the method of voting just for people like you guys. And they switched the method of voting before this round started so you were just wasting your time if you thought Gizmo being popular during this round would be matter, I followed the whole thing and each of these dogs had a huge following. Both Sandy and Harley in the Farmington Valley region had over 150 votes so they were all Popular. Get over it
Ellie June 28, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Carole, did you follow the other contests? Seriously how would you know who would have Won when it comes to popular public vote. When they changed it, most people stopped having their friends and family voting for their dogs. Just because Gizmo still got comments doesn't mean he got votes since they werent accepting votes... End of rant
Robbie Tangreti June 28, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Glad to hear this result! Any dog but Gizmo. A bunch of sour grapes with all you people.
Peggy N June 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Congratulations to all the dogs that were entered and to the owners who thought enough of their dogs to enter them. I enjoyed looking at all the photos and reading about each animal.
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 12:40 PM
Im so excited that Harley won! Id like to say again that ALL 5 of the dogs are top dogs, just because Harley won the drawing doesn't mean he is better then any of the others. It really hurts me that people are bickering already on this thread, it was a fun little contest. I would like to assure Gerry that Patch was not "helping a friend" they showed the drawing so skeptics can see. Any of three dogs had a good chance of winning if they stuck with voting, problem is we never saw them voted on against each other. They decided to change it, not in the middle but before a round started. CONGRATS EVERYONE!
Amy Cappadora June 28, 2012 at 12:59 PM
People really ruined this contest and it amazes me that the whining continues because they lost The popular vote was a joke - it was all recruiting for Gizmo across the country rather than a local contest vote All dogs are cute and special in their own way and it is really sad that adults can't play nice and have such poor attitudes It was supposed to be a fun local contest and those people who feel the need to get upset and angry and bitter over losing should be embarrassed Of course everyone thinks their own dog is the best but as a dog lover I still very much enjoyed sharing my dog and seeing others and I think that's what it was supposed to be about
Tom W June 28, 2012 at 01:07 PM
Congradulations Harley! Neiko who was voted Top Dog in Enfield sends his congradulations also.
Jenifer Adams June 28, 2012 at 01:42 PM
It wasn't popular vote. It was a drawing. It touched me that so many people know and love Gizmo that they wanted to comment. Most people don't understand that every comment was made by someone who really knows Gizmo, it wans't a mad campaign on FB by random people. Not every dog has that kind of exposure. And, quite frankly, this isn't about Gizmo anymore. Not here. This is ALL about Harley. Let's give that sweet lil guy who was rescued by some very kind hearted people the recognition and celebration he deserves. We ecstatic that Harley, who came from bad times in his life, has risen above it and come so far, thanks to the guidance from his owners. He truly is very deserving. Goooo Harleydog!!!!!
Kim Lank June 28, 2012 at 02:35 PM
A GREAT BIG CONGRATULATIONS TO HARLEY - WAHOOO TO CONNECTICUTS TOP DOG -- from Southington's Top Dog Lucy Lu and her Mama Kim!!!!!
Allison Belfonti June 28, 2012 at 02:37 PM
Many congrats to Harley! I think it's wonderful that he won!!! I am a close friend of Jen and Gizmo and I can tell you that we are all so happy to have gotten so far in this contest, and they are all top dogs in our eyes. Go Harley!!!!
Chris Marquardt June 28, 2012 at 02:56 PM
As a supporter of Gizmo, I want to say Congratulations to Harley. I know that he brings great joy to many people just like my little Moxie, who wasn't even in the contest. All dogs are amazing creatures sent by God as examples of how we should all behave. With true unconditional love and forgiveness, their mission in life is simply to love...not be "right"...not to notice rules or whether they change...not even to compete. Contests are human ways of recognition. Congratulations Sweet Harley, for being someone's beloved soulmate and spirit guide...for being above the need for recognition...and for simply being a loving dog put into a contest by a proud owner. You won and you rock cuz you remind people regularly that Dog is God spelled backward. And that in itself really is enough.
Carrie Jacobson June 28, 2012 at 03:28 PM
Jenifer and Janice, I applaud your sensitive and respectful responses and your continued optimism and patience. I agree, all the dogs were great! Gizmo is clearly adored, and that's wonderful. But Harley won, and that's wonderful, too. It makes me sad that bad behavior by Patch readers forced changes in the contest, but a random drawing (and believe me, it was random) seems like an honest and workable solution.
Jacquelyn Leopold June 28, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Congratulations to Harley!! (Love, Brody, Jacqui, and Sean)
Alan June 28, 2012 at 04:15 PM
I have a suggestion - make the voting private and not cast by people commenting. I passed on voting for this as well as the Father's Day poll because frankly I hate it when people beg for votes or state their choice as if it's a fact. Some people invest way too highly in popularity contests and you're always going to have a few who take it too seriously, or take it personally. Maybe this is what you did "half way through" as some have mentioned? I don't know because I tuned both contests out as soon as I saw the responses and the fact that it was being cast by comments.
Kathleen Arbacheski Kondracki June 28, 2012 at 05:09 PM
how do you know what gizmo i entered one,,, dont take this serious we all know each of our pets are the best ,,, its a cute way to get our pets reconized,,,
Joe StAmond June 28, 2012 at 05:57 PM
I'm glad Gizmo did not win...all the comments were making me feel ill
Clark van der Lyke June 28, 2012 at 10:02 PM
We should be as interested and motivated in making sure people are registered to vote in elections for those who are supported by the tax paying public and leave "cutest doggie" contests to city and town clerks as the state intended. Elections are not easy to conduct are they? Lucky Patch didn't have to contend with voter ID and absentee ballots too!!! ...or apparently a recount.
Geri Jones June 28, 2012 at 10:58 PM
I've said it before, and I will say it again - all of these dogs are winners in their own rights. As Chris said above, each one is a gift and all love unconditionally. None really needs to be in a competition, but it was a fun idea that went a little askew!! Still, Harley is the winner and I sent my deepest congratulations. Each dog is a winner just like all of the finalists in American Idol are winners so I send congratulations to all of them. Gizmo is a personal friend of mine and he will always be a winner in my eyes, no matter what a competition result says! Love and blessings to all.
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:51 PM
Thank you Jenifer, that was very nicely written
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:56 PM
Thank you! I just looked at that region, Neiko is adorable!
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Thank you! Lucy Lu is too cute!
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Thanks!
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Aww that comment touched me deeply. Thank you.
Janice Kern June 28, 2012 at 11:59 PM
Thank you!
Janice Kern June 29, 2012 at 12:00 AM
Thank you! Brody is one cute dog!
Janice Kern June 29, 2012 at 12:01 AM
Thank you!
Meredith Tiffany June 29, 2012 at 01:44 AM
Congrats to Harley and his proud mama and daddy from Xander (Montville's "top dog", however one of four in our home!)
Marty Salvatore June 29, 2012 at 02:47 AM
My MAN! Give me "five!"
Beverly Torell November 13, 2012 at 06:36 PM
Congratulations to Harley and I hope you are enjoying the portrait of him (if it's done). My girl Zita won for Clinton and had to be laid to rest @ 13.7 years of age before I returned to teaching in August. I was so proud of her in so many ways. I put her top dog photo (11x14) in a beautiful frame over my bed where she will forever watch over me. RIP Zita. For Harley: Long may you run!

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