Tail of the Year Winner 2021: Tail of Union City

We’re excited to announce the winner, Pauley Walnuts of Union City, for the title of Tail of the Year 2021.  This is the 2nd year in a row that Union City has won.  Tail of the Year is a pet competition where hundreds of pets compete to represent their city and ultimately compete for the title of Tail of the Year.

NAME: Pauley Walnuts

TITLE:  Tail of Union City

How old is your pet? Because he is a rescue, the Vet “guesstimates” that he is between 10 and 12-years-young

What breed is your pet? Shih Tzu

What are your pet’s special skills? Pauley has supersonic hearing; he can hear me open a bag of chips from a mile away.  If I try to sneak out of the room without waking him up, his little head pops up in a flash!  I suppose he has some serious canine cop skills, because he literally does not miss a trick!

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What is your pet’s favorite food? Pauley is definitely a steak and potatoes type of guy, and no, he does not eat gabagool, lol!

What is your pet’s favorite toy? His favorite toy is a stuffed toy lamb that my daughter gave him when we first brought him home.

Where is your pet’s favorite place to sleep? My bed – right smack dab in the middle!

What is your pet’s favorite activity? His activities are limited due to arthritis, so his favorite activity is to chew on his dental stick – it’s the highlight of his day; he lives for those things!

Where is your pet’s favorite place to hang out or walk? Pauley’s favorite place to hang out is at Washington Park on the corner of Palisade Avenue and Paterson Plank Road – he even has a little girlfriend there named Barbie.

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What is the most mischievous thing your pet has ever done?  Pauley is not really mischievous and I think that is because I got him as a senior, but I will say that things are definitely his way or the highway!   When I take him for a walk he has to run the show; if I guide the leash in a direction that he doesn’t want to go in, he will plop right down on the sidewalk or in the middle of the street and I will have to carry him home because he won’t walk a step further, unless of course I let him have his way – which I usually do.

How did your pet come into your life? I follow a rescue in Ohio called Sass Rescue (Save a Sheltered Shih Tzu). I had adopted two other Shih Tzus from them in the past (unfortunately they have both passed). I had just lost my Kevin, and I called the rescue because I was devastated by the loss and the owner told me all about Pauley and I fell in love with him immediately.  A lovely volunteer (a flight attendant) took Pauley on a plane – first class, no less – from Ohio to Newark and the rest is history!

What makes your pet the best pet ever? I think all animals are awesome, but I especially think that Pauley is the bees knees because he really suffered immensely in his life; the rescue along with my vet believe that Pauley may have been used as a bait dog.  His teeth are all broken and filed down; in addition to that he lost his right eye and lived a very sad life; he was found homeless, wandering the streets of Georgia when a volunteer from Sass Rescue picked him up and brought him back to Ohio with her and the rescue saved his life.  What makes him the best is that in spite of all he’s been through he is honestly the sweetest, most loving and affectionate dog I have ever had.  He will let you hold him in your arms for hours and he just wants to be held and loved.  He’s an absolute sweetheart.

Why did you decide to enter the Tail of the Year? My friend told me about it and how she was entering her dog in the contest, and after I read about it I thought this is a great contest that recognizes all animals, not just dogs.  I thought that Pauley would make a great Tail of the Year because he represents rescue dogs, senior dogs and disabled dogs – all of the qualifications that would make a dog like him completely unadoptable. I thought if people could see how awesome he is, it might help other animals in his situation get adopted.

How did you prepare for the contest and get votes? Besides threatening my friends and family for votes, lol, I read a lot about Trusty Tails and talked to many people about the contest.  I also read all of the other animal profiles to get a sense of what type of pets entered the contest.

What do you enjoy most about the Tail of the Year so far? I am enjoying it a lot.  The excitement of voting, the anticipation of waiting for the votes to come in and going from semi-finalist to finalist.  When Pauley made it to the finalist list, my phone was ringing off the hook.  It’s been a very pleasant experience and I am enjoying interacting with your staff, the Facebook finalists, and learning about the services you offer and the other animal profiles.  The best part is seeing my little guy on your website and Instagram page!

What advice would you give to the next tail of your city? Vote, vote, vote!  Besides that, just have fun with it.  Read the other animal profiles, there are some really cool pets out there!  Also, try to take some awesome and creative pics of your pet.

How are you handling your newfound fame?  I am taking my newfound fame in stride, my mother however; is out of control!  She will literally go up to strangers and tell them that her grandson is a finalist in the Tail of the Year contest and then she will whip out her phone and bombard them with pictures and show them your website.  She has been calling everyone and their mother to brag about it.

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Why? I always thought having the ability to be invisible would be cool; you could kind of spy on people or pull some pranks on friends.

What does it mean to be the Tail of your city? The other pets that Pauley competed against from Union City were really adorable and it really warms my heart to know that people were willing to vote for him even though he has an obvious disability and still he prevailed.  I think it’s a real honor to have Pauley be the Tail from Union City.  I think of everything he went through to where he is now and it is a real Rags to Riches story!  I just wish he could understand what a rock star he is!

Follow Pauly Walnuts on instagram @i_am_a_shih_tzu_mom.