Before the 2016 Best City for Pet Travelers March Madness tournament ended – the Blogging from A-Z Challenge began.

The Boys and I never got a chance to properly thank you for carrying us to victory…

websiteTrust me when I say

Contests are not my strong suit.

But Charleston has my ❤️

I love this city and their outrageous pet friendly attitude.

When Pam Webster of Somethings Wagging This Way Comes told me about the tournament – I wanted to give it a try.


See how far we could make it. Take each round one at a time, and pray.

Making it to the “Elite Eight” round exceeded my expectations.

Mayor Techlenburg boosted votes when he met with and re-named Harley & Jaxson the “Charleston Boys”…


Then there was the Charleston Post & Courier story

Screen-Shot-2016-05-09-at-10.13.41-AMThis quickly went from public to personal. #inittowinit

Battling last years winner (Port St. Joe, Fl.) for the Final Four spot turned me into a competitive maniac.

With the assistance of Fuel Restaurant and Kitchen 208 passing out our “Vote for Charleston” cards all weekend long…


…we made it to the championship round against Colorado Springs, Colorado. #unbedoodlelieveable


I grew up in the era of –

If it ain’t broke – don’t fix it!

So that was my plan! #sillyme

I would continue what I had been doing.


  • friends
  • family
  • church members
  • social media contacts
  • strangers

The Pet Mahal grooming salon graciously stepped up to ensure a Charleston championship win.

They offered $1.00 per vote for the first 100 votes. Proceeds going to the Charleston Animal Society.

Needless to say those votes came quickly.

But Colorado would not go away!

The last 12 hours of that championship round wore me out. #yesIcountedthehours

My kitchen became campaign headquarters.

It was almost 7pm before I realized the Boys hadn’t even eaten dinner. #baddoodlemom

Only thirty minutes left – I couldn’t stop. Too many people had worked so hard to help us –

  • My husband was literally laying on the floor with his phone connected to the charger texting and talking simultaneously.
  • My 10 year old grand niece in NC walked her street that evening after school carrying  the website information  written on a clipboard soliciting votes from her neighbors. #goAVA
  • Childhood, college, military and blogging friends from around the globe were rallying their friends to vote for Charleston.

It was 8:59pm. The tournament would end in less than a minute. I stood up for the first time in what seemed an eternity, and went to the potty. #tmi?

At 9:03pm Lee asked me to check the score. I screamed to the top of my lungs.

Go Pet Friendly captures the final moments perfectly…

The final match-up saw Charleston jump out to a significant lead, and with just 12 hours remaining in the round, she appeared to be walking away with the win. But Colorado Springs wasn’t going down without a fight. All day she steamed along until, with just a few hours to go, she’d taken the lead! More than 1,000 people had voted, and with just two minutes remaining, only four votes separated the two cities. And then they were tied – dead even with just seconds remaining! Charleston claimed the win in a buzzer-beater, edging out Colorado Springs by just three votes.

The weeks following the tournament seem so quiet now. Occasionally someone will recognize the Boys when we’re out and about. #thatsalwaysnice

The prizes already started coming in…


squ 123


I cannot begin to thank the hundreds of people who carried us to the winners circle. I wish everyone could come and visit Charleston SC just once #withorwithoutpets

You’ll quickly understand how it stole my heart…


Don’t forget to enter our Deluxe Waterproof  Car Seat Dog Cover giveaway – it ends at midnight!

Make this a Doodle*tastic week


  • Monika & Sam
    May 9, 2016

    Your pups are terrific ambassadors for your city. Congrats on the win.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      Thanks Monika – you and Sam helped a great deal and we’re forever grateful. If you’re ever entering a contest and you need some help – just bark! We’re here for you friend!

  • Emma
    May 9, 2016

    You definitely dove head first into the challenge and it paid off. Awesome work!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      Yes Emma, that’s also one dive I will probably never take on again! LOL Thanks so much for your support – anytime you need us – just bark!

  • The Daily Pip
    May 9, 2016

    You definitely convinced me that Ruby and I should make a trip to Charleston very soon! Congrats!

    P.S.: Believe it or not, we found the doggie French maid costume on amazon. It comes in all doggie sizes.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      I tell you – those maid costume photos you took should be in advertising. I love them. You captured the essence completely! That face OMDoodle! Yep – you should definitely give Charleston a try. It’s a lovely city….

  • Two French Bulldogs
    May 9, 2016

    Sure looks like a nice place
    Lily & Edward

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      Come on down and check it out you two.

  • Tenacious Little Terrier
    May 9, 2016

    Congratulations again, guys! I want to visit Charleston with Mr. N someday.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      When I think of all the incredible “things” for Mr. N. to climb – I can’t stop grinning. We would love to show you our city!

  • Kevin
    May 9, 2016

    What an awesome story and great job representing your city. I really wish Rochester was that dog-friendly – maybe someday! We will have to make our way down to Charleston for a road trip!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      YES!!!! Come on down Kevin – the Boys and I would love to meet you all.

  • Sand Spring Chesapeakes
    May 9, 2016

    Congrats, well deserved!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 9, 2016

      Thanks my friend – it was a once in a lifetime experience LOL

  • Jan K
    May 10, 2016

    Wow, Cathy, you really went all out! I imagine Charleston is thrilled to have you as one of their citizens.
    I would think your phone is now ringing off the hook with calls from politicians trying to sign you up on to their campaigns. 🙂

    But seriously, I’m so happy that the hard work by all of you and your family and friends paid off! Congrats again!

  • Lindsay
    May 10, 2016

    Congratulations Cathy, that’s fantastic!!! 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 12, 2016

      Thanks Lindsay! We appreciate all the support you and the rest of our blogging / social media community showed us. #wefeltthelove

  • Slimdoggy
    May 11, 2016

    Congrats on the hard fought battle! You & the doodles do your city proud.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 12, 2016

      Thanks! We love it – and we wanted the rest of the world to know 🙂

  • Kimberly Gauthier
    May 11, 2016

    I thought your campaign was managed with sheer brilliance. You have come a long way for sure and I love how you quickly and smoothly branded yourself and your dogs as THE blogger for your city. Well Done!

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 12, 2016

      Thanks so much for such kind words. I love our blogging community and the support we give and get from each other. You’ve been with me from just about the beginning and I love all the time you’ve spent helping me understand how and what to do with my “niche.” Thanks girlfriend.

  • Callie, Shadow, and Ducky's Mom
    May 12, 2016

    Cathy, that contest was a blast and I had a great time pushing for you guys and Charleston! Our college basketball team – Clemson – was knocked out of the other March Madness even before the madness began, so you and the boys and my favorite southern city gave me something to cheer about. 🙂

    I hope that some day hubby and I can get down to Charleston again and meet up with you and Lee! It’s only a few short hours from Taylors, but neither of us really enjoys driving much any more. And I hate leaving the pups, especially Shadow now that she doesn’t have Callie to snuggle with any more.

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 12, 2016

      You were truly one of my secret weapons during the tournament. Forever grateful for your unwavering support. I totally understand what you mean about not wanting to leave Shadow. Please know that I have no intentions of moving, so whenever you decide to come, we will be here!

  • Alicia @ TheThriftyBark.Com
    May 13, 2016

    Congrats on your win! Charleston is a BEAUTIFUL city. Love being able to visit in the Summer. 🙂

    • Cathy Bennett
      May 14, 2016

      Thanks Alicia! We had a really good time – stressful but in a fun way. Please let me know when you come to Charleston this Summer – would love to hook-up.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *