pet parade and contest.

"Several years ago an artist at one of my art festivals noticed how a lot of Colorado residents, 2nd home owners, and tourists are dog people. He suggested that I have some sort of dog event at my art festival to celebrate Colorado and specifically Summit County as a dog friendly place. I listened and now is the time." - Darren Skanson, festival director.

Summit's Top Dog -
pet parade and contest.
1st prize = Grand Champion - Summit's Top Dog

  • Summit's Top Dog Trophy
  • $1000 pet portrait in pencil by Leslie Schafer

2nd prize = Best Dressed
  • Best Dressed Trophy

3rd prize = Perfect Puppy
  • Perfect Puppy Trophy

How To Enter
...coming soon.

About Leslie Schafer - Artist for the Grand Champion "Summit's Top Dog" pet portrait prize - $1000 value.

Leslie is a Wyoming artist with an avid love of the outdoors. She grew up in Lander on the family ranch situated at the base of the Wind River Range. Through out her childhood, her mother worked and produced fine art from their home  (oil paintings, bronze sculptures, watercolor, leather craft).  Through her example, Leslie learned to produce works that she found inspiring. She loves bringing images to life and sharing them with people who appreciate wildlife and the outdoors.

The Story Of Leslie and "Moose"

Moose is now a two year old English Mastiff living a happy couch potato life but his outlook wasn’t always so good. Moose was purchased in a “mercy” transaction from a puppy mill. His owner recognized right away that something was not right. He was the last of the litter and offered at sadly discounted prices by the breeder who has since disappeared. Taylor had already purchased one of the litter-mates, Duke, and couldn’t imagine what Moose’s fate might be if she didn’t take him too. One mastiff puppy is a big job but two for a struggling college student was almost overwhelming.

At his regular checkup for vaccinations, Moose’s veterinarian expressed concern about his small head and lethargic rate of growth compared to his brother. A few sets of blood tests revealed the worse case scenario. The veterinarians were certain that Moose had a liver shunt. His prognosis was heartbreaking; pay for an extremely expensive surgery that was not guaranteed to work or have the pup humanely euthanized. Without the surgery he would have no chance at life and would slowly deteriorate through a painful, starving death as the shunt prevented any absorption of nutrients to his body from his food.

When owner, Taylor Meeks, contacted the breeder the news got worse. The breeder offered to take the dog back and have it put down, likely with a
bullet since veterinary visits were so expensive.

Taylor reached out to her family and friends, including local artists. I entered the heartbreaking story at the end of my summer show season and was able to dedicate all funds from one show (RiverFest, Lander Art Center) plus pet
portraits to all who would commit to helping with his surgery. Wyoming Pug Rescue (Dani Schafer) helped promote the pet portraits while I drew pictures as fast as I was able to. By the second week of August we had raised enough money to get him to Colorado State University Veterinary Hospital. CSU kindly donated a scholarship in exchange for Moose’s contribution to their research on liver shunts. On the day of the eclipse 8/21/17, Moose went in for a surgery with a hopeful CSU team and family.

Under the careful supervision of CSU staff, Moose began to show improvements right away. Now he is living a happy life with plenty of energy and few noticeable effects of the shunt. His veterinary team successfully put in place a device around the shunted liver portal vein that has since closed and a new healthy blo

od supply to his liver has taken it’s place. Dogs with liver shunts often suffer irreparable brain damage from the presence of toxins in the body that are not filtered by the liver. In this respect, Moose is somewhat of a miracle dog and without a doubt a celebrity in his community. While his appearance can be quite ominous, a sweeter more loving Mastiff would be hard to find.