Petfood maker Iams selected a therapy dog from Augusta, Georgia, USA, as the grand-prize winner of the Love Tails contest. Brooks, a 2-year-old Golden Retriever, is a trained therapy dog who visits local assisted living facilities with owner, Derek Underwood.
The Love Tails contest received story submissions from more than 500 pet owners from February 14-March 3. Of these, 11 finalists were selected to have their stories presented in videos on Iams' Facebook page, where fans voted for the winner. A national ad campaign for Iams will feature Underwood and Brooks.
To create his winning video entry, Underwood, a local filmmaker, teamed up with another local filmmaker, Hodges Usry, in an effort to show the genuine reactions of people who encountered the therapy dog for the first time. Underwood worked with a local facility, Morningside Assisted Living, which Brooks had never visited before, to film the dog's interactions with residents.
"My mother decided to get her certified (as a therapy dog) so we could volunteer with her," Underwood said. "It's always a really positive experience whenever you're visiting. You see the way they light up," he said.