Web Site of the Week

http://www.ratemykitten.com and http://www.justshepherds.com/dawgindex.htm

Rate My Kitten and Hot Diggety Dawg

One of the best things about this gig is that everyone loves to tell me about their favorite Web sites. A day doesn't go by when I'm not directing my browser to whatever wacky/informative/kinky page out there because my friend, co-worker or editor insists I just have to check it out. Given the sources, I have to admit that some submissions require more immediate attention than others.

Which brings me to Rate My Kitten, a Weekly Planet office favorite.

I'm not a big cat lover, but every mammalian instinct is raised to full alert when confronted with pictures of adorable little furballs in every imaginable mood. This Pepto-Bismol pink Web site follows the same formula made infamous with www.amihotornot.com, providing you with an endless loop of kitty pics that you can view as long as you "rate" each snapshot on a scale of 1-10. Sidebars provide statistics on the top five (and bottom 20) kitten snapshots, and you can gush about each photo to your heart's content by clicking "add a comment."

But I favor dogs, so I viewed it as my personal mission to even the score with a similar puppy page. Pet pictures are a hot commodity on the World Wide Web, but I finally narrowed it down to my favorite in the canine division of the "rate my pet" genre: Hot Diggety Dawg.

Not only a beautifully designed and maintained site, this page hosts a monthly pet photo contest, where visitors can vote (one vote per ISP address, folks) on their favorite picture. The winners participate in a finalist round each December, and all contestants come complete with short profiles. The site also offers instructions on how to make your puppy picture-perfect, as well as holiday-themed dog shots and musings on current hot topics in the canine world, such as abandonment, abuse and the role of dog rescuers after 9/11.

This sight will tug at your heartstrings as you revel in charming pictures of beloved pets and appreciate the priceless services rendered by man's best friend.

Oh, and those kitties were cute, too.

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