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/ Source: TODAY
By Laura T. Coffey

David Rosenfelt is nuts about dogs. Like, really, really nuts about them. He says so himself.

“I first became a dog lunatic in the 1990s,” Rosenfelt told “It all began with one dog: Tara. She was such a great dog. Actually, Tara was the greatest dog in the history of the world.”

St. Martin's Press

Rosenfelt, a longtime mystery writer, said his entire life course changed after he met Tara, a sweet, sensitive golden retriever, back in 1992. Tara belonged to Debbie Myers, the woman who would become Rosenfelt’s wife. After Tara died, the couple founded a dog rescue organization called the Tara Foundation and helped find homes for more than 4,000 dogs that had been on death row at crowded animal shelters.

Tara’s legacy didn’t end there. In more than a dozen of Rosenfelt’s Andy Carpenter mysteries,Andy solves cases with his golden retriever Tara by his side. Rosenfelt’s two latest books celebrate Tara even more: a non-fiction homage called “Lessons from Tara: Life Advice from the World’s Most Brilliant Dog,” and a mystery novel called “Who Let the Dog Out?”

In honor of his new books, the dog-loving author invited readers to post their best lazy dog photos for a “Canine Couch Potato Contest.” The response was astonishing (and nap-inducing). Here are just some of the 25 winning pooches:

Author David Rosenfelt and his wife, Debbie Myers, share their home with more than 20 rescued dogs who have become professional couch potatoes — and "coffee table potatoes."Courtesy of David Rosenfelt
"When Bentley is awake, he is a master yogi," David Rosenfelt wrote about this Canine Couch Potato Contest winner.Courtesy of Carolyn Williamson
"Mr. McDuff is such a workaholic, sometimes he just falls asleep right on the desk," David Rosenfelt wrote.Courtesy of Rozetta Handley Beckman Brittain-Dissont
", nevermi—"Courtesy of Mary Hegeman
"Good lord, Tucker. Have you no class?"Courtesy of Mary Lincer
"This dog dares you to make her follow sleeping conventions."Courtesy of Candace Langford
"Good night whale, good night ball..."Courtesy of Renae Connolly
"Looks like Grandpa fell asleep on the chair again. Oh no, wait, that's Cupcake."Courtesy of Cathy Bonnell Bauer
"Don't be fooled. This guy is ready to spring into action at annnny moment..."Courtesy of Laurel Burk Sherman

To see all the winners, visit David Rosenfelt’s website.

Need a Coffey break? Follow writer Laura T. Coffey on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.