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Local dog Kozmo ready for national spotlight

6/20/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Melissa Nagy, of Green, and her dog Kozmo are finalists in the Iams Love Tails contest.
Photo courtesy of Iams
GREEN — Kozmo is ready for his close-up.

The nearly 18-month-old dog, who is a mix of American Staffordshire terrier and poodle, is one of 10 pets selected nationally as finalists in the Iams Love Tails contest.

Kozmo and his owner Melissa Nagy’s story will be featured in a video on pet food company Iams’ Facebook page June 24-28. Based on public voting, Kozmo has a chance to be featured in a national TV ad for Iams, Green resident Nagy said.

Kozmo has already won a year’s supply of dog food and $500, she added. But Nagy hopes his participation in the contest will help other dogs in need of homes.

“I want people to see that even a rescue dog like Kozmo, they’ve got great potential,” Nagy said. “There’s so many out there that need a home. I would like to see more people look into rescue. Getting a dog in your life helps you be more active.”

It’s that point especially that has endeared Kozmo to his owner’s hearts. Nagy said she and her husband, Julius, have come to rely on Kozmo to wake them up and get them going in the morning.

“Kozmo is like a canine alarm clock,” Nagy said. “Before the alarm sounds, every morning before 6, he jumps on the bed and wakes us up. He’s been doing this since he was around 4 months old. He gets so excited and he wants to walk.”

After he awakens his owners, he wakes up the family’s other dogs, Kane and Kahlua.

“We go on a morning walk no matter what the weather,” Nagy said. Those half-hour walks are the first of his four-to five walks a day, she added.

Nagy said Kozmo’s high energy level has helped her get healthy.

“Since getting Kozmo, I’ve dropped 20 pounds and it’s still coming off,” she said. “He makes sure we get out there and exercise.”

Nagy said she and her family have lived in Green for several years, but she and her husband were living in Georgia when they adopted Kozmo. They returned to Green in January.

“We adopted Kozmo through a rescue that saves dogs from high-kill shelters,” she said. “His mother was pregnant, and they saved her and the puppies. When he was 11 weeks old, I saw him on the Internet and I knew he was the dog for us.”

Kozmo, who was adopted on Easter 2012, is now 85 pounds, she said.

To see Kozmo’s video and vote for him, go to Face book.com/Iams. The grand prize-winning family will be announced on July 2, according to Iams officials.

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