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Cranberry family strikes gold in AAA photo contest

| Thursday, April 25, 2013, 10:22 a.m.
Submitted | Cranberry Journal
Cody Bear, the golden retriever of Kathy and Paul Havey of Cranberry, was selected to be featured on the 15th edition of 'Traveling with your Pet: The AAA PetBook.'

A local busy traveler won a AAA book's cover shot for his furry and family-friendly vacation views.

Cody Bear, the golden retriever of Kathy and Paul Havey of Cranberry, was selected to be featured on the 15th edition of “Traveling with your Pet: The AAA PetBook®,” while visiting Seven Springs Mountain Resort in Seven Springs, Pa.

The Haveys won for the photo they had taken of their dog relaxing on a rock near a lake at the local Pennsylvania resort, a place they frequent with Cody Bear and his sister and fellow golden retriever Ginger, said Kathy. After seeing the contest advertised, Kathy was sure she had a shoe-in.

“I said ‘my boy can win that' and I never thought he would,” she said.

After entering Cody Bear's submission in late 2011 for the annual AAA PetBook® contest, sponsored by the Best Western hotel chain, they were notified he was a finalist in January 2012. But she didn't find out until early 2013 that he was the editor's pick for the book's cover.

AAA contest judges search previous years' entries to find the perfect photo, and that's when they discovered the Havey shot, according to Heather Hunter, spokesperson for the AAA's national office.

“The photo portrays the excitement in traveling with your pet and shows how a pet and family (can) have a good time,” Hunter said.

The photo is also required to be of very high quality and clear while portraying a pet traveling, to which something Kathy said her animals are accustomed.

“We all travel together. (Cody Bear) has been across the country ... from California to New Jersey,” she said.

They also occasionally take along their cat Lucy.

For winning, Cody Bear received a $50 Petco gift card, a $150 Best Western gift card, and a $350 check, said Kathy. The family also won a framed photo of the cover and copies of the book.

Hunter, of Orlando, Fla., said the constantly updated book is an “excellent resource for traveling with your pets frequently.”

She said they mostly receive dog submissions for the annual contest with an occasional photo of a pet iguana or rabbit. She encourages future submissions by visiting for information on upcoming next contest rules.

“Be sure when you're planning your next pet-friendly vacation to pack your camera,” she said.

But Kathy said Ginger isn't going to take the backseat.

“His sister's saying, ‘now it's my turn',” she said.

Natalie Beneviat is a freelance writer with Trib Total Media,

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