LUMBERTON — The affection Albrina Dial feels for her best friend Nalla could only be described as puppy love.
“Nalla is one of my top priorities,” said Dial, a student at The University of North Carolina at Pembroke who is majoring in Biology. “She is part of our family at home. I treat her as if she was a child.”
Nalla, who was a birthday gift to Dial, won The Robesonian’s Cutest Pet contest, which was sponsored by the Farm and Family Center, a store sells products for pets.
Sniffing through the pile of cute animals, including one chicken, Nalla won with her striking height and her spotted coat. She received 2,321 of the 5,575 votes, about 42 percent, to claim the $250 cash award.
“It means the world to me that Nalla won Cutest Pet simply because she was a … gift to me from a very special person,” Dial said. “Not only that, but she is my dearest friend and she deserves it… . She was the only Great Dane in the contest.”
The two enjoy spending time together. Nalla likes to swim and rest her hind legs on the sofa when Dial is relaxing.
“Anybody that has a pet knows that an animal is a human’s best friend and gives you love unconditionally. Dogs for example can sense a person’s mood. Nalla can tell when I’m happy, and when I’m not, my mood affects her. The good thing about having a dog as a pet is they will let you know when someone is coming, and if something is wrong. Pets are a good way to teach kids responsibility.”
In addition to companionship, Nalla also provides many laughs, especially when savoring watermelon for the first time.
“When I attempted to take it from her, she picked up half of the watermelon and ran around the yard with it in her mouth,” Dial said.
Even when Nalla is acting out, Dial finds it cute. So what kind of treat will Dial give Nalla for winning the contest? Don’t be surprised if it’s a little extravagant.
“Nalla had her very own birthday party when she turn 1 year old, all the chicken she could eat, with cake and ice cream,” Dial said.