By Vicki Croke, Globe Animal Beat Columnist, 08/23/99
The agony and the ecstasy of our annual Pet Photo Contest has a twist this year: We've gone cyber. The rules were the same (there weren't really any to speak of). The excitement remained. And the high caliber of photos continued.
The nice part is that many photos that simply would not have reproduced well in the paper -- newsprint turns a lot of snapshots to mud -- look glorious on the screen. And every color photo will appear in color, instead of many being converted to black and white as in years past.
Sifting through hundreds of shots reaffirms something we already knew -- we adore our pets. They share our beds, our bathrooms, our pools, our vacations, and everything we do. They protect our kids, swipe our lunches, and watch TV with us. Looking at all those incredible images is the ecstasy part.
The agony comes in deciding which photos to post. We have published as many as possible, dividing them into categories that popped into our mind as we reviewed the pictures.
In contests past, a single image has stood out so clearly that there is no question it is the winner. This year, three pictures tugged at our hearts equally, so our Best of Show is a Triple Crown.
Those three winners will receive a Pet Contest '99 T-shirt and a bag of goodies from Boston.com.
And 24 pets make up our Winners Circle. Their humans will receive T-shirts.
To the rest, pictured here in categories ranging from On the Move to Water Sports, as well as those whose photos weren't chosen this year, our sincere thanks. We hope you all enjoy this photo celebration of life with our trusted companions and best friends.