LOGAN SQUARE — While a nation was riveted by the presidential race between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Logan Square dog lovers had their attention focused on another contest — the one between Ninja, Beau, Doogie, Nacho and others.
Logan Square resident Roxann Ruiz and her dog, Nacho, were among 12 finalists in the Beneful Dream Dog Park Contest put on by dog food maker Purina. For the last three years, Beneful has awarded $500,000 to be used to build a "dream" dog park.
Ruiz was one of 841 people who entered the contest with an essay, and one of 12 finalists to submit a video featuring their pups, neighborhood and proposal for a snazzy dog park.
From Oct. 10 until Nov. 7, the public was allowed to vote once a day on its favorite video.
From the beginning, Ruiz and her supporters campaigned hard, sending emails out to other dog lovers with subject lines such as "Nacho Leads Obama and Romney by 99%," "Nacho Sniffs Out Corruption" and "Nacho's Citizenship Brought Into Question!" (The citizenship question, supporters explained in the email, was brought up by "New York poodle Donald the Tramp.")
Despite the frequent, and adorable, pleas for votes, it was not to be. Beneful announced earlier this month that the winners were a spotted-brown mutt named Beau and his owner, Angela, from Lancaster, Pa.
Ruiz could not be reached for comment, but Logan Square Dog Park committee member Chris Hewitt wrote in an email that "while this is the end of the road for Nacho's underdog run for office, this is not the end of our campaign to bring a world-class dog park to Logan Square."
The group is still about $50,000 away from its goal of $75,000 to build the park, Hewitt said, adding that fundraising efforts continue, despite Nacho's loss.