Contest Winner/Participant

Congratulations to the winner (and sole participant) in my Gmail Essay Contest: Simon Miner|!

Simon is one of my co-workers at| He has been interested in receiving a Gmail account for a while, so I was happy to set him up with one.

Simon has granted me permission to display his winning essay on our blog, so here it is!

qqq|If you have ever checked a dog for ticks, you know what a painstaking experience it can be. The procedure basically goes like this. Using your fingers or a fine-toothed comb, you sift through the dog’s fur, feeling for the tiny parasites entangled in the animal’s coat or attached to its skin. Once you find a tick, you must either pull it from its hairy hideaway or extract it from the dog’s hide. The latter can be accomplished by pinching the buried head of the insect and yanking it loose. This task is particularly messy if the tick is engorged from feeding on the blood of its host.

Tick checking used to be one of the most unpleasant aspects of caring for our dog, until we decided to have her groomed.

The grooming package we selected for our dog included a haircut. Our dog, a Cairn terrier, had never had her hair trimmed before, so we chose to style her fur with a standard terrier cut. This type of cut shaves the fur on the dog’s back and flanks very short, but leaves the hair on her belly longer to hang freely.

Little did we know how such a simple choice would revolutionize the tick checking process. Now, scanning our dog for the pests is much easier. With the advent of our dog’s haircut, ticks have much less overgrown real-estate in which to conceal themselves. Furthermore, the short and evenly cut fur on most of our dog’s body makes it difficult for the insects to burrow into her skin. A tick’s only haven is the animal’s belly, which is a small area that is only partially covered with fur. This vicinity can be completely scanned with just a few quick strokes.

A Gmail account offers all the advantages of a dog with a fresh terrier cut. Other email services require you to waste valuable time sorting and sifting through your mail to locate an elusive message. But like ticks on a groomed dog’s belly, Gmail exposes the message you want with a quick and easy search. Gmail offers the ability to categorize a message in multiple ways, a feature which stands in stark contrast to the hairy and tangled single folder filing system imposed by other email providers, which often causes important messages to be overlooked and forgotten. A free email account hosted elsewhere can quickly become engorged with messages due to restrictive quotas on mailbox space. Gmail’s 1 gigabyte accounts ensure that there is always room for more mail.|qqq

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