When Cadbury invited pet owners to nominate their best friends as the next Cadbury bunny, and let America vote online for their favorite, there wasn't even a rabbit in the top ten! The winner, a dog, has no back legs so he uses a special wheelchair or he "bunny-hops". That may be his secret advantage - along with his great attitude and personality! Congratulations, Lieutenant Dan!
Most folks know the name Cadbury – especially if you like chocolate. And at Eastertime we all enjoy those Cadbury commercials with a basket full of chocolate 'creme' eggs and a bunny clucking like a chicken.
Last year, Cadbury had a contest in which folks could nominate their pets to be the “bunny” with the basket. An English Bulldog named Henri won that contest and appeared in the commercials wearing rabbit ears. Early this year Cadbury announced “tryouts” for their 2020 campaign. People could send in pictures of their pets and America would decide the winner. Four thousand pets were nominated, representing all 50 states.
With hundreds of thousands of votes cast online, it was narrowed down to the top ten, which included three dogs, two cats, a duck, a hamster, a llama, a pig and a miniature pony. And the final winner was – “Lieutenant Dan” from New Richmond, Ohio. He is a Coonhound that uses a wheelchair.
You see, Lieutenant Dan was born with defective hind legs that eventually had to be amputated. But that doesn’t slow him down a bit. He loves to run, swim, hike, and wrestle. He has a great personality and a joy for life that makes people smile.
In addition to featuring Lieutenant Dan in the Cadbury bunny Easter commercial, his owner was awarded $5,000, and Cadbury made a $10,000 donation in Lieutenant Dan’s name to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
So this Easter, as we deal with COVID-19 and quarantines and social distancing, our celebrations of the holiday may not be as traditional as we might like. Maybe Lieutenant Dan can inspire us to recognize that non-traditional can still be a good thing, that it is okay for a dog to be an Easter mascot.
We also see that we can still enjoy life even if it must be lived a little differently. For us, we hope the difference is temporary and life will return to “normal”. Until then, let Lieutenant Dan remind you to celebrate life as it is today, especially when you’re speaking of pets.