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What a Can of Worms

I'm really regretting my decision to continue with the cutest NPR dog. Here are some of the submissions that have come in today.

Hermit crabs

I'm a science reporter. You can't fool me. These are hermit crabs. The one on the left is Cody. Flippy is the one in the process of escaping, apparently relying on the carpeting for camouflage. Rebecca Davis swears her kids know the difference between hermit crabs and dogs, but I think Rebecca's got them fooled, and they love their little Fido and Rover.

Davar Ardalan's dog Lucy.

Then there's this, from producer Davar Ardalan, who says her sons Aman and Amir will be thrilled to see their best friend, Lucy, on the Web. What, I'm supposed to disappoint two kids?

Snigdha Prakash's dog Nikki.

Science desk colleague Snigdha Prakash says Nikki likes to chew winter boots. Snigdha is Nikki's godmother and Nikki thinks Snigdha is a dog.

This is Nikki, not Snigdha.

Sora Newman's dog Carson.

NPR senior trainer Sora Newman's labrador retriever has two modes: Throw the ball, throw the ball, throw the ball. And Feed me, feed me, feed me.

If you don't throw the ball, Carson will toss one himself at the top of the staircase, then bolt downstairs to retrieve it. Sora says it's hard to capture his charm in words.

Meanwhile, Julie Rovner is trying to influence the judges (OK, judge) in favor of her Corgi puppy Gromit (admittedly one of the cutest dogs in the world) by reminding me that she (Julie, not Gromit) was Dog Writer of the Year in 1984. None of the other contestants can claim that distinction. But when attention comes around to the only contest worth holding... cutest equine ... I'll have it known that I'm the only person who can claim having written an article on equine diarrhea for Practical Horseman.

OK, that's probably not a good mental image to leave you with. So how about this visual one:

Elizabeth Shogren's dog Trekker

Elizabeth Shogren's noble Trekker. I'm ending with Trekker because I'm passing the keyboard on to Elizabeth, our very talented environment reporter and tomorrow's Mixed Signals blogger. I'm getting out of here before I get hurt. Elizabeth has to deal with the big question of whether to continue this thread or kill Larry the Lobster. Oh no, wait, Larry the Lobster was a Saturday Night Live skit, and this is NPR. Sometimes that's hard to remember.

Joanne Silberner