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It’s that time of year again: Time for kids in grades 3 through 8 to warm up their computers or pencils and write some cool poems about their pets to enter in the 6th annual Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest!

Thomas and Bella cuddling with PAL logo in thought bubbleThe third-grade winner in last year’s PAL Poetry Contest, Sophie of Minneapolis, Minnesota, wrote a poem about her cat, Dasher. The final verse was “My first pet / My non-human friend / Conversations with no talking? / Dasher. Definitely.”

Six students nationwide will win the contest, one in each grade division. Winning students will get a $250 gift certificate for pet products and a $1,000 scholarship for their classroom for pet-related education or to support a class pet. The winning students will have their poems published in a nationally circulated magazine or online outlet, too.

To enter, submit poems via PAL’s Facebook page, through the online entry form at PAL’s website, or mail final poems and submission forms to: Pets Add Life, 661 Sierra Rose Dr., Reno, NV 89511. The deadline for submissions is January 31, 2014, at 5 p.m. EST.

Teachers are welcome to include the poetry contest in their lesson plans and submit poems on behalf of their students. For more information, entry forms, and all the rules, visit the 2013 Pets Add Life Children’s Poetry Contest web page.

Siouxsie, Thomas and Bella crowding into the best sun puddle in the house

Siouxsie, Bella and Thomas crowd into the best sun puddle in the house.

Bella: Mama. Mama?

JaneA: Yes, sweetie. What is it?

Bella: Can I write a poem, too?

JaneA: Sure, but I’m afraid we won’t be able to enter it into the contest because you’re not in school.

Bella: That’s okay. I just want to share my poem! Can I do it now?

JaneA: Sure. Go ahead.

Bella: Okay, here goes. “My Snuggle Buddy,” by Belladonna Moonshadow Kelley:

A happy purr-pile,
A heart beat by my ear,
Stripey fur tickling my nose,
A sandpaper tongue licking my head,
And then Siouxsie comes along and growls at me and I have to chase her and we chase each other all over the house while she growls and hisses at me and Mama tells me to stop it and Thomas tells me to be nice to my Siouxsie and nobody understands me! *sniffle*

Siouxsie: Oh, for goodness’ sake, that’s not a poem! Here’s a poem:

My nap is disturbed
By stinky claws in my nose.
Bella’s a bully!

Bella: Oh yeah?

Siouxsie growls at me.
I didn’t do anything!
Old cats are no fun.

Siouxsie: Oh yeah, well …

JaneA: Ladies, please! Be nice! By the way, it really is great to have pets, even when they’re griping.

The PAL – Pets Add Life campaign is designed to demonstrate the joys and benefits of pet ownership, thus driving increased adoption of pets and responsible ownership of pets.

I am blogging on behalf of BlogPaws Pet Blogger Network and the Pets Add Life (Pal) campaign. I received compensation for my time from Pal for sharing my views in this post, but the views expressed here are solely mine.