Patriotic Pups Maggie and Sophie Jo Win Pet of the Week

From a cat caught red-handed stealing a taco to a hamster snuggling up with its napping owner, this week we've been loving catching up on animal antics.

Better still, our readers have been sending their pet pictures and telling us all about their companions. Given the difficult task of choosing the Newsweek Pet of the Week, this week a duo of patriotic dogs captured our hearts.

Don't forget, if you want your pet to feature on Newsweek, scroll to the end of this story for details on how to get involved.


Maggie Mae & Sophie Jo — submitted
English bulldog Maggie Mae, left, and Labrador basset mix Sophie Jo, right. These patriotic pups bring joy to their owner in Greenville, North Carolina, and are this week's Pet of the Week. Michele Connors

This week we've chosen two winning pets—best friends Maggie Mae and Sophie Jo the dogs.

Submitted by their owner Michele Connors from Greenville, North Carolina, she says that the adopted girls are her "best friends."

In the adorable picture, the dogs are seen wearing extra special American flag bandanas around their necks. "Both girls love the USA," said Connors: "Their brother and grandparents are AirForce and Navy veterans."

According to recent data from insurance company PetSecure, pet ownership in the U.S. has increased by more than 300 percent since the 1970s. Now, 90 percent of Americans say that a pet is part of their family.

Connors told Newsweek about English bulldog Maggie Mae and said: "She always has a toy in her mouth, ready to play. Her stubborn traits and her silly personality keep us laughing."

Maggie holds a particularly special part in Connors' heart. She explained: "Maggie is my angel dog. She was born on the day my dear sweet 97-year-old grandmother died. It was during the COVID-19 lockdown and I couldn't go to the funeral."

Not the only pup in the house, her best friend and partner in crime, 9-year-old Labrador and basset mix Sophie Jo, was adopted by the family when she was 2 years old. Connors said: "We call her our lowrider. Sophie is motivated by food and has the most talkative eyes. She is an old soul, we always feel like she is trying to talk to us."

While many will get their new family member from a breeder, the Humane Society of the United States says that around 3.2 million cats and dogs are adopted from shelters every year.


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Closely following our first-place winners this week are 6-year-old Australian shepherd mix Ellah and 4-year-old pointer mix Gator.

Living with their owners in Southern Alabama, the pups had a difficult start in life before finding their forever home.

"I got Ellah for my birthday when we found her and her brother being given away at a gas station in Louisiana," said their owner: "She was so sick and boated with worms, and her tail had no fur because her brothers had chewed on it. Today, she is a happy and utterly spoiled dog."

Following Ellah, the family gained another canine friend in the form of Gator: "We found him as a puppy in a ditch near our house," explained their loving owner: "After failing to find his original owner, we took him in as our own. He's very protective and loves to sunbathe."

This week's only feline finalist, ginger cat King Arthur lives with his owner Caroline Gifford. Holding tight onto the remote control in the pictures, Gifford said: "I believe he's attempting to find his favorite screensaver."

This mischievous cat is also a fan of getting involved during Gifford's reading time: "He feels the need to tear pages out," she said: "Now I read when he's asleep."

Last but not least, our finalist Boo the 13-year-old golden retriever. Her owner Rhonda submitted adorable pictures of her best friend kicking back at home.