April 10, 2014 Updated: April 10, 2014 at 10:19 am
Pa Kettle didn't expect the good news he got Wednesday.
But thanks to a late social media push by Pa's campaign committee, the bloodhound pawed back to win a heated Divide mayoral race after trailing late in the polls.
The contest divided the small Teller County town, and news of the wild 12-candidate race spread across the country.
On Tuesday, three candidates separated themselves from the pack, including Pa, but the winner wasn't announced until Wednesday morning.
Pa got the news after returning from an early morning search-and-rescue training session in rural Divide. Unofficially, Pa received 2,387 votes - 55 more than Keyni, a wolf.
Keyni conceded the election over the phone, Pa said. In all, 12,091 votes were cast. Pa was down by 300 votes at one point.
In an exclusive interview with Colorado on the Web, Pa said Wednesday's victory is not only his but a victory for dogs around the world.
"My first order of business will be to allow all dogs in Divide a chance for seconds, no questions asked," Pa said.
When reached by Colorado on the Web, Keyni refused to comment but could be heard howling in the background.
The win could catapult Pa, who ran as an independent, into the U.S. Senate race, the gubernatorial race or both.
"Should Governor Hickenlooper or Senator Udall be worried? Yes," Pa said.
Pa's victory was predicted by his owner, Janet Bennett, also head of Pa's campaign, "Vote Bloodhound or Bust."
Bennett told The Gazette on Tuesday that Pa was the best candidate to lead Divide.
"He is the only candidate that has a real job," she said. "And he is the only candidate that has a last name and a verifiable birth certificate."
Pa has been a search-and-rescue dog since his days as a pup.
The mayoral inauguration is set for April 19. Keyni is the vice mayor, and Buster the cat, who placed third with 1,790 votes, is the viceroy.
Pa will replace his longtime friend and rival, Walter the three-legged cat, who decided to retire and raise his grandkittens.
The best thing about the election, Pa said, was that each vote brought $1 to his friends and colleagues at the Teller County Regional Animal Shelter.
"Walter was a fine mayor, but cats can only do so much beyond lying in the sun or licking dirt off themselves," said Pa, who took a second to swipe his ears away from his mouth.
"Dogs are born leaders. Come to Divide and I'll show you."
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In other Colorado on the Web news, the so-called Good Grammar Bandit is still on the loose somewhere, perhaps in Colorado.
The man is accused of robbing four Denver banks this month by handing the bank tellers notes that were noteworthy for their proper grammar.
Not surprisingly, the suspect has made headlines beyond Colorado.
The Washington Post mentioned the Good Grammar Bandit in a Web article that also points out poorly-written holdup notes.
FBI officials in Denver provided photos and information on the suspect and purposely released the catchy name in hopes of grabbing interest from the media.
"Spelling, punctuation, sentence structure - everything is really done well," Dave Joly, a spokesman for the FBI's Denver office, told the Post.
Joly said robbers' notes that feature proper grammar are unusual.
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In last week's Colorado on the Web column, I mentioned a lost dog named Duder.
I have good news to report. Duder, a blue heeler, was found safe and reunited with his owner, according to a Phoenix TV news station.
Duder was on a trip to the Phoenix-area with his Colorado family when he went missing in February, according to MyFoxPhoenix.com.
Duder was missing for a little more than a month. According to the website, Duder was found not long after its report.
Cheers to happy endings.
For more about Duder, visit my blog
Have a Colorado on the Web idea? Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @GazetteDalton.