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Pets

Newsroom dog making headlines

Posted May 31, 2009 8:54 p.m. EDT
Updated June 2, 2009 6:00 p.m. EDT

— WRAL has a new addition to its family: a newsroom dog.  The 3-month-old basset-hound mix appeared as the Pet of the Day on the WRAL noon show May 7.

Leesa Moore Craigie, operations manager for WRAL, saw the pooch on TV and decided to adopt him from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County. He soon got the gig of newsroom puppy. 

The pooch spends most of his work day sleeping in Craigie's office, when he isn't getting petted and walked by newsroom staffers. He will also be featured on some upcoming WRAL-TV and WRAL.com segments.

The puppy is playful with a sweet nature.

“What a precious dog! It makes me want to adopt a puppy. I am rooting for his name to be Cam," WRAL producer Martha Woodward said.

"He is very cute and friendly," WRAL meteorologist Kim Deaner said.

The pooch spends night and weekends at Craigie's house, and she feeds and provides his medical care.

"He is a smart puppy," Craigie said. "He also thinks he’s a big dog, and doesn’t back down from older, bigger dogs on his walks."

WRAL's Gerald Owens took the puppy to the mound Sunday when he threw out the first pitch during the Durham Bulls game at the Durham Bulls Athletic Park.

"He was amazing. It was certainly the most people he’s ever been around at one time, and he was on his best behavior," Owens said. "In addition to being cute, he acted like a grown up dog. And that’s saying something for a puppy."

The pooch was greeted with cheers from the baseball-watching crowd.  He is also already popular among WRAL.com readers.  When the Web site asked for feedback Thursday in renaming the dog, more than 600 comments were posted online.

Craigie has since picked her five favorite names: Cam, Scoop, Bandit, Tracker and Flash.

"We liked all the suggestions for WRAL-E or other variations on the city name and our call letters, but we want the dog to belong to the entire area, not just the capital city," Craigie said.

Cam has two meanings: as a namesake for Hurricanes' goalie Cam Ward, and a reminder of how WRAL does most of its news-gathering – by camera.

Scoop was a popular suggestion based on the old-time news language of "getting the scoop."

Tracker is a reminder of what goes on in the WRAL Weather Center, while Flash represents the quick news WRAL delivers.

As for Bandit, it just seems like a neat name for a dog, Craigie said.

There is still time to vote for your favorite name. The poll is open until 5 p.m. Thursday.