'I anticipate a certain amount of skepticism'

'I anticipate a certain amount of skepticism'

ALBANY, Ore. - Smokey the Gordon setter doesn't know he's a model.

But walk into most any pet food store, and you'll see his face on the cover of packaging for Innova dog food.

"Well, it's certainly fun, and it's sort of amusing how it all came together," said Smokey's owner Jim Delapoer.

The 4-year-old hunting dog was selected last August by Innova to be on the cover of their beef and lamb dog food.

"We didn't have a lot of advanced notice that he was selected," he said. "We decided as a lark to see what it was like and took a day to drive up to Washington and did the photo shoot."

Delapoer said he bought Smokey from a kennel Eagle Point. That same kennel submitted his photo to Innova and his modeling career was born.

"The dog was walked around in a circle and whenever the dog would get next to the post that you see in the image, they would take rapid fire photos," said Delapoer.

Delapoer loves Smokey so much, he comes home almost every day for lunch to spend time with him.

But at the office, where Delapoer serves as Albany's City Attorney, he's had other dogs on his mind, like Blue, who was put on doggy death row in 2010 after biting a toddler.

"It would be kind of a nice fringe benefit if people who thought that city officials were not sympathetic to dogs would realize that's not the case," he said.

He and other city officials took heat for Blue's death sentence. Blue literally got busted out of death row and has not been found.

"Certainly I am a dog lover and I think everyone else from the city side of that whole Blue controversy were similarly dog lovers and I hope the public will understand that."

As for Smokey, now months later, packages of his food are making their way into stores, including Petsmart.

"It's going to be kind of cool although when I  go into a store and say that's my dog, I anticipate a certain amount of skepticism."

He said Smokey doesn't have any plans to model again anytime soon.