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Back in July, JoAnna Lou let us know  about a southern California dog portrait artist named Aimée Hoover , who connects with friends and admirers as DogArteest  on Twitter. Inspired by the 140-character limit on that social networking service, she thought she’d try creating portraits in 140 minutes. (By contrast, her commissioned portraits can take between 25 to 40 hours.) When she tweeted a call for photos, her experiment became a contest with a free portrait as the prize.
We were happy to spread the word, and among those who read Lou’s blog was Diane Houghtaling, aka Louisebear2 on Twitter. Houghtaling promptly entered the contest with an image of her senior rescued Pit Bull-mix Bud, and then went on to win. Yeah! (It’s been a big year for Bud. He and his “sister” were among the Smilers  in the Sept/Oct 2009 issue of Bark.) Feeling a little responsible for Bud’s victory, we had to see the winning photo—too handsome really!—and then, more obviously, the resulting portrait—seriously lovely. (Experience the portrait’s arrival .)
Hoover’s only request of winners is that they pay it forward—somehow do some good for somebody else. Houghtaling is already a volunteer for her local SPCA and volunteers weekly with a Puppy Mill Awareness group (NPPMWatch ) in her community. For her “official Pay It Forward,” she made a donation to Dogs Deserve Better. 
The contest continues  in December--what are you waiting for?