By Judy Reed
When Madeline Sagorski, of Solon Township, found out that her dog, Lucy, a golden Labrador Retriever, had been chosen Challenge Champion in the Eukanuba 28-day Challenge Champion contest, she was bursting to share the news. “I was very excited, and it was hard to keep it a secret,” she said, noting that she had to wait just a bit to share it until it was announced publicly.
According to Eukanuba, it was a close race, but her unique and inspiring story was chosen among many notable canines, including the four other contest finalists, Holly (Sheltand Sheepdog) of Magna, Utah, Chloe (Shih Tzu) of Yardley, Pa., Gunner (Australian Shepherd) of Bloomingburg N.Y. and Alex (Dalmatian) of Beverly, Mass.
Dog owners across the country who took the 28-day challenge between February 15 and April 30 were invited to submit in 100 words or less their dog’s transformation from good to extraordinary, while eating Eukanuba for 28 days.
Madeline decided to enter Lucy in the contest after trying Eukanuba. “She’s a very active dog. We have a lot of property (40 acres and a 20-acre lake) and she does a lot of running. We had been buying the cheaper dog food at the grocery store, and we noticed that Lucy was gaining weight, even though she was so active,” said Madeline. “She also didn’t have the muscle tone we’d expect, so we decided to try some other brands.”
Madeline said they tried several brands before trying Eukanuba, which can only be found in pet or feed stores. After they switched, Madeline said they noticed her coat was softer, her digestion was better, she was leaner and had more muscle tone. “Overall she was healthier,” said Madeline. “She had more energy and stamina.” That energy helps her enjoy some of her favorite things, such as swimming in the lake, retrieving and duck hunting.
Eukanuba liked what they saw in Lucy’s results. “The goal of the contest was to find the best example of a dog going from good to extraordinary as a result of our premium nutrition,” said Manuel Miyar, associate marketing director, Eukanuba. “Lucy is a fantastic example of a beautiful dog who with the right nutrition flourished in just 28 days. We’re very proud to name Lucy a Eukanuba dog and look forward to sharing her advertising and magazine debut with America in the coming months.”
As a finalist, Lucy won free dog food for a year, and a subscription to Dog Fancy magazine. For her grand prize, Eukanuba gave Lucy the “pink carpet” treatment. She won a Hollywood-style photo shoot with Eukanuba and Dog Fancy magazine, which they did at Madeline’s parents’ home on Ware Lake in Sand Lake earlier this month. According to Madeline, they brought lunch, all kinds of toys and treats for Lucy, a collar, leash, medal, dog trainer, groomer, photographers, etc. “She really did get the pink carpet treatment,” said Madeline.
As a result of the photo shoot, Lucy will appear in both the September issue of Dog Fancy magazine and a Eukanuba print advertisement.
But that’s not all. On Tuesday, they did an interview with “The 1-7,” the local FOX-17 talk show. “She’s like a celebrity,” said Madeline with a laugh.
Eukanuba also gave Madeline a pink polo that says “Proud parent of a Eukanuba Champion.” And is she proud? You bet.
“I saw great results, so it’s awesome that she gets to represent a dog food we really like will continue to use,” said Madeline.