Local writer featured in ‘Chicken Soup for the Soul’ bookWritten by Matt Liasse | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Twenty-five years ago, a radio contest got Toledoan Judy Gyde’s attention.
The WYSZ-FM (89.3 YES FM) disc jockey asked listeners to call in and have their dogs bark on the line for one minute, prizes going to whichever dog barked the most times. Gyde was interested but one thing held her back: she wasn’t a dog owner.
“This contest was hilarious and I decided I wanted to become a part of it,” Gyde said in an email. “Plus, I was a little envious of the prizes. I hadn’t won anything since eighth grade.”
Gyde entered the contest by with her neighbor’s dog, Belle, a dog who barked a lot. Gyde and Belle won the radio contest that day.
Gyde’s story, “The Barking Dog Contest,” is published in the new book “Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Dog Did What?” available from Chicken Soup for the Soul Publishing LLC. The book is a collection of 101 stories involving man’s best friend (or the neighbor’s).
“I have to admit that I wasn’t always thrilled with Belle’s yipping especially when the family next door let her outside early in the morning,” Gyde said. “She would wake me up before the alarm clock. But she was awfully cute.”
After winning, she split her winnings with her neighbors. Gyde said she doesn’t remember what all the prizes were, but one was a 50-pound bag of dog food.
“Lugging [it] wasn’t easy,” she said. “After I picked up the prizes, I told my neighbors the good news. I put a big red bow on the bag of dog food. … It was a joy to bless my neighbors with Belle’s treat.”
Gyde, a freelance writer for 15 years, has published works in more than 40 publications. Another story she wrote was published in “Chicken Soup for the Soul: Angels Among Us.”
She wrote “The Barking Dog Contest” years ago.
“I thought it was funny and I didn’t want to forget the details,” she said. “When I heard that ‘Chicken Soup’ was looking for stories about dogs, I thought it could work well there.”
“The Dog Did What?” is one of the newest collections in the “Chicken Soup for the Soul” series and features a foreword by country singer Miranda Lambert.
“I hope you read something that reminds you of your favorite dog and suddenly realize that the relationship with him or her helped to create the thread of the person you became,” Lambert writes in the book’s first pages.
In 2007, USA Today named “Chicken Soup for the Soul” one of the five most memorable books in the last 25 years with more than 100 million books sold in the United States and Canada. Royalties from “The Dog Did What?” support the American Humane Association.