Sandpoint Ambassadog :: Ambassador Dog for Sandpoint, Idaho

Meet our new official Sandpoint Ambassador Dog!

During Summer 2016, Visit Sandpoint and the Panhandle Animal Shelter held a fun contest to name an Ambassador Dog for Sandpoint—that is, our Ambassadog.

And we are pleased to announce our very first Sandpoint Ambassadog is …


Rosie, a two-year-old Blue Heeler mix and former shelter dog that wowed the judges with her sweet disposition … and some nimble tricks.

“This pooch is nothing short of a mighty dog,” says her owner, Lindsey Simler. “She may be small but she has the heart of a wolf.”

In the coveted role of Ambassadog, Rosie will help Visit Sandpoint represent the spirit of our beautiful town. And the contest that she won helped to raise awareness and money for Panhandle Animal Shelter – more than $2,400, in fact!

Our new Ambassadog will have some official duties over the year of her reign, including appearances at some of the animal shelter’s Yappy Hour events, marching in local parades, and proudly representing Sandpoint to the world. Watch for Rosie out and about Sandpoint during the year!

How the contest worked: Dog owners were invited to nominate their dogs during the Summer 2016. The public was invited to visit this website to see about the dogs and vote for their favorites. All dogs had a chance to be drawn as one of five finalists, with each vote giving the dogs an additional chance in the drawing. As the fundraiser, participants could also “buy” votes for $1 each, with all money going to the Panhandle Animal Shelter. Some dogs raised hundreds of dollars for the shelter! Thank you, fundraisers!

On Tuesday, September 20, we drew the five finalists. They were:
Apple •
Owned by Debby Curran
Austin •
Owned by Karen and Larry Olson
Falcon • Owned by Lilly Mitsui
Mago •
Owned by Eric Fulgenzi
Rosie • Lindsey Simler
Alternates, in order:
Winston •
Owned by Catherine Helms
Lola •
Owned by Richard Smith

Watch the video of the September 20 drawing captured on Facebook Live»

Scroll down to the Nominees section to see more about the finalists and all dogs entered.

Finally, on September 29, 2016 at the Panhandle Animal Shelter Yappy Hour at Eichardts Pub in Sandpoint, the finalists appeared before a panel of celebrity judges, who selected the very first Sandpoint Ambassadog.

Thanks to some generous prize sponsors, our Ambassadog and her human also won some terrific prizes. Click “Grand Prize” below to see details.


WIN-60pxGrand prize was a two-night getaway to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with her humans, plus a gift basket of delightful goods.

Other prizes included a gift certificate from EzyDog, dining at Trinity at City Beach, wholistic goods from Winter Ridge Natural Foods, fine wine from Pend d’Oreille Winery, a cruise with Lake Pend Oreille Cruises and a book from Keokee Books. Click “Grand Prize” below.

Please browse around and check all the fine dogs nominated, or see more about how the contest worked. And be sure to watch for Rosie, our Sandpoint Ambassadog, out and about our town during the year. 

Official Rules

Contest Rules

Nominations were accepted here at beginning June 10, 2016. The entry deadline for dogs closed Sept. 10, 2016.

Five finalist dogs will be chosen in a random drawing among all nominees, but there’s voting, too. Voting continues until 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2016.* For every vote your dog gets, he or she will get an additional entry in the drawing. Everyone who visits this page can vote once per day per dog for free, or “buy” additional votes by donating more to Panhandle Animal Shelter. For each $1 you donate you will receive one more vote for your favorite dog. Remember, this is a fundraiser!

The five finalists will be drawn and announced the afternoon of Sept. 20, 2016. Then, at Panhandle Animal Shelter’s Sept. 29 Yappy Hour event at Eichardt’s Pub in downtown Sandpoint, the finalists will go before a panel of celebrity judges, who will choose Sandpoint’s first Ambassadog.

*Rule change note Aug. 27: Voting originally was to close on Sept. 10, but we’ve extended the voting period to 10 a.m. Sept. 20, to give dogs nominated later more chance to get votes.

Ambassadog Duties

The Ambassadog will be Sandpoint’s official spokesdog for Visit Sandpoint for 2016-17, so entrants must commit to appear with their dog for at least three community events in the next year. (It’s light duty; the winning Ambassadog will get to choose events that work with his/her schedule.)

For more information

Got questions, comments, something to get off your chest? Click to contact us»
Note, the contest is being administered on an all-volunteer basis by Keokee, a media company in Sandpoint, so if you do have questions or comments, the folks at Keokee will likely be the ones to get back to you.


Grand Prize

WesternPleasure-LogoThe Sandpoint Ambassadog will win a two-night getaway to Western Pleasure Guest Ranch with his or her humans of choice! Enjoy the stunning views, fresh mountain air and country quietude at one of Idaho’s premier working guest ranches; depending on season there are horseback rides, hikes, sleigh rides, cross-country skiing and more to enjoy. Some blackout dates apply. See more at

The Ambassadog will also win a terrific gift basket of goods for dog and owner, including:

Trinity at City Beach, Sandpoint IdahoEnjoy $50 in dining at Trinity at City Beach, Sandpoint’s premier waterfront dining experience, with a to-die-for menu along with a fully stocked bar overlooking our amazing lakefront vista.

Ezy Dog gear for dogsOutfit your dog with great gear from Sandpoint’s home-grown maker of smartly designed harnesses, leashes, collars, backpacks, toys and more. Certificate for $50.00 at

Winter Ridge Natural Foods in Sandpoint, IdahoYour winning Ambassadog will have fresh breath at all of their appearances with a bag of “Greenies” and a $25 certificate to Winter Ridge Natural Foods, our locally owned wholistic grocer.

Pend d'Oreille Winery in Sandpoint, IdahoThink Green, Drink White with our refillable magnum of Bistro Blanc. Pend d’Oreille Winery has been vinting award-winning wines for 21 years in Sandpoint. Visit our tasting room and restaurant at 301 Cedar St. Value $27.

Lake Pend Oreille Cruises in Sandpoint, Idaho.Take a memorable Sunset Dessert & Eagle Watching Cruise with Lake Pend Oreille Cruises on the Shawnodese, built in the 1990s in a classic style by Captain Curtis Pearson and now making daily excursions from City Beach. Two tickets worth $54!

Keokee Books in Sandpoint, Idaho

Win one book of your choice from Keokee Books; choose from among hiking and field guides, history, photo books or other titles by local and regional writers. Value to $34.


Here’s how it works:

  • 1. NOMINATE YOUR DOG. Submit a photo or video and a paragraph extolling your pet’s virtues and qualifications to represent our fair town, along with a (suggested) $5 donation for Panhandle Animal Shelter.
  • 2. VOTE. Five finalist dogs will be chosen in a random drawing among all nominees, but for every vote dogs get they will get an additional entry in the drawing. You can vote once each day. Tell your friends (and your dog’s friends) to vote!
  • 3. STACK THE DECK! If you have a favorite dog, for every $1 you donate to Panhandle Animal Shelter your favorite will gain one additional vote. Donate $5, $10, $100 – and get a like amount of votes!

Enter Your Dog

The Nominees

Click & read to vote!