Salty Paws

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We asked for dogs, and we got dogs. Hundreds of them. About 200 of you responded to our Salty Paws Photo Contest, e-mailing us more than 400 images of your favorite four-legged shipmates.

The judges, Finley, Charlie and Skipper, deliberate.

Large, small, cute and well ... interesting-looking. Who doesn't love a good dog, a handsome boat and a nice day on the water? And if they aren't all water dogs in the traditional sense, it's clear that they all are boat dogs, which at the end of the day is all that really matters.

Grand Prize Winner - Bailey, golden retriever - Jane King, Mount Desert Island, Maine

For several months, we pinned to our cubicle walls each photo you sent us. As the entries grew, they spilled down our main editorial corridor, into offices and around a corner. Thank you for sharing. Certain photos made me smile each time I looked at them.

We knew that picking the winners wouldn't be easy, so we brought in a select panel of judges, as you can see from the photo above. Skipper is a 15-month-old black lab, Finley is an 18-month-old lab/spaniel mix, and Charlie is a 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier, which probably accounts for her artistic temperament.

Together they had the right eye (and nose) for the task, and they certainly did a good job of keeping the rest of us in line when it came to judging the finer points of dog photography. They insisted that it's all about having fun. We hope you agree.

You can view the entire Salty Paws crew at www.flickr.com/photos/soundingsonline.

This article originally appeared in the January 2011 issue.