Watchful and attentive, 22-month-old Skye won July’s Dandy Dog photo contest.

After seeing the winner of the Cute Cat photo contest, dog owner Miki Gabbard thought it’d be a fun idea to enter her golden retriever. While Gabbard describes Skye as a “regular dog” because she does not have many talents, the retriever is quite adept at not missing a thing.

“I chose that photo because it’s very typical of her look,” Gabbard said. “She is truly always watching everything that goes on around her. She’s always paying attention.”

After Gabbard and her husband lost two male retrievers before the pandemic, Skye, in many ways, felt meant to be. The couple found a breeder called Lake Cypress Golden Retrievers near Winnsboro. Lake Cypress Springs is Gabbard’s husband’s favorite place to fish. The breeder’s next litter was slated to be born on Gabbard’s birthday: Oct. 1.

“We thought, ‘Oh my goodness,’ that is just like serendipity,” she said. 

Cypress Skye, the retriever’s full name, also refers to the Gabbards’ special lake. 

“We camped a lot at that lake before. It’s just a beautiful area,” Gabbard said. “We just felt like it was meant to be for us to have this dog.”

Skye doesn’t have an Instagram account or know any special tricks. She has yet to learn her manners. Still, she brings joy to Gabbard and her husband. Now that they’re retired, they plan on having more time to raise their young retriever.

“She’s just kind of a normal family dog,” Gabbard said. “(She) is just funny. She makes us laugh all the time.”

Keyla Holmes is the Scripps Howard Foundation Emerging Journalists Program intern for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her by email at

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