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Greenwich Dog Earns Fame, Book Cover After Winning AAA Travel Photo Contest

Tibbs, a mixed breed male, is owned by Ray and Elzbieta Sotelo of Greenwich. This is his winning shot as the fog lifts at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.
Tibbs, a mixed breed male, is owned by Ray and Elzbieta Sotelo of Greenwich. This is his winning shot as the fog lifts at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Photo Credit: AAA

GREENWICH, Conn. — A cross-country summer road trip ending in San Francisco with a spectacular view of the Golden Gate Bridge fetched a Greenwich couple – and their mixed breed dog – first place in the National AAA PetBook Photo Contest.

Ray and Elzbieta Sotelo and their pet, Tibbs, spent 16 days crossing the country in a mini-van last summer when they stopped to take in a scenic view of the San Francisco Bay. On that particular day, fog enveloped the bridge’s 746-foot-tall Art Deco towers, sweeping main cables and signature orange color.

“We were waiting for the fog to lift so we could get a nice picture of the Golden Gate Bridge in the background,” said Elzbieta.

Several minutes later, as the fog lifted, Ray positioned Tibbs, an 8-year-old hound/boxer, on a grassy area with the bridge as a backdrop.

As a first-place winner, Tibbs’ photo will appear on the back cover of “Traveling With Your Pet: The AAA PetBook,” which lists more than 13,000 AAA-approved hotels and 800 top-rated campgrounds across the United States and Canada that welcomes travelers and their furry family members. In addition, the Sotelos received a $300 prize, a $150 Best Western gift card, a $50 Petco gift card and five copies of the book.

Tibbs, originally a rescued dog, has been with the Sotelos since September 2010. The couple usually takes Tibbs on vacation because he’s a well-mannered, well-trained pet, they said.

“Tibbs really enjoyed California,” Elzbieta said. “He especially loves going to the beach.”

The photo was selected from among 500 entries nationwide. Visit here and link to “Photo Gallery” on the top menu bar to see other winners and runners-up in the contest. The site also features rules for this year’s contest; submission deadline is Nov. 30.

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