With a smile like Lacie’s, it’s no wonder the photogenic pooch is the winner in this year’s contest for the region’s top dog.

Lacie, who is owned by Bob and Charlene Reed of Elizabeth City, was voted champion in the 2020 Bark Madness Contest and fundraiser, sponsored by Adams Publishing Group Eastern North Carolina.

“She has no enemies,” said Bob Reed, sharing the living room couch with Lacie. “She loves everybody.”

Lacie is about 30 pounds and sports a medium-haired coat with colors that hint at a bit of German shepherd in her bloodline. She was adopted from the SPCA of Northeastern North Carolina in 2012 and is about 8 years old.

The Reeds said their daughter first adopted Lacie, but when she required expensive surgery they covered the costs. They soon after adopted her into their home in the Queenswood subdivision.

“We call her our granddog,” Bob said, laughing.

Charlene said they first learned of the Bark Madness Contest in The Daily Advance. She thought of a favorite photo of Lacie and decided to enter her.

“Well, we had that cute little picture of her smiling,” she said. “(I said) ‘I’ll put her in there and see what happens.’”

The photo is a closeup of Lacie with her mouth open in the form of a wide smile that reveals her white teeth and tiny pink tongue.

Adams Publishing Group owns The Daily Advance, The Daily Reflector in Greenville and The Rocky Mount Telegram in Rocky Mount, as well as several weekly publications, including The Perquimans Weekly and Chowan Herald.

The Bark Madness Contest featured a format similar to the NCAA college basketball tournament, affectionately referred to as March Madness. Initially, readers submitted a photo of their dog, and all submissions were published in The Daily Advance and other APG newspapers on March 15.

For 10 cents a vote, readers voted at dailyadvance.com or their respective newspaper’s website and the dogs who received the most votes were entered into the opening Round of 64.

Each Sunday thereafter the advancing entries were published in the newspaper until the final 2 entries, Lacie and a Dalmation named Apollo, were published Sunday, April 26.

Lacie won with a total of 13,470 votes to Apollo’s 5,280.

“When she started advancing I thought she had a chance,” said Charlene.

Lacie loves the Reeds and stays by their side always.

“If you’re in the house she wants to be with you,” Bob said.

When Charlene is outside working in the yard, Lacie is there with her the whole time.

When it comes to taking car rides, Lacie is like so many other dogs.

“She loves to ride with her head out,” Bob said.

The Bark Madness Contest raised money for the Newspapers in Education program. For winning first place, the Reeds received $300 and a trophy. The second-place winner won $150 and $75 was awarded to the third-place entry.