Don't be camera shy - you and your dog could become the latest Internet video sensation and help Wheeling win $100,000 to build its very own dog park.
As a finalist city in PetSafe's "Bark for Your Park" online voting contest, Wheeling is required to submit a 30-second commercial by Wednesday highlighting why it needs a dog park.
Filming for Wheeling's video begins at 9 a.m. today at the Oglebay Park Amphitheater and should take about 90 minutes if all goes well, according to Jeremy Morris, co-founder of the Wheeling Needs a Dog Park community group.
PetSafe will post all 15 commercials to YouTube, and each community whose entry receives at least 1,000 views will earn 1,000 bonus votes in the contest, which ends July 26.
Morris is hoping to see at least 100 dogs and their owners turn out for the taping.
"Come out, bring your pets, bring your family. We just need to show a well-rounded view of our community," he said.
The commercial will be set to an original score by Wheeling musician Jamie Peck and feature shots of a pooch visiting various points of interest in the city, including Heritage Port and the Capitol Theatre. The planned final scene will include a wide-angle shot containing as many dogs and their owners as possible.
"We want to show all the best attributes of Wheeling, and that the only thing missing is a good dog park. ... That's what we're trying to capture with this commercial," Morris said.
Wheeling sits in third place overall, but it remains in great shape to win one of four $25,000 runner-up prizes.
Cities are divided into three categories - small, medium and large - and PetSafe will award $25,000 each to the top vote-getter in each of those categories, as well as to the community that registers the highest vote total relative to its population.
Wheeling has a solid lead over its nearest competitor in the medium cities category, but Morris said people need to keep voting - and remember that each Friday presents the opportunity to gain extra votes.
At noon every Friday, PetSafe will post a hidden question somewhere on its website. A correct answer means your vote will count for seven that day instead of one - but you have to answer the question before voting for it to count.
The Wheeling Needs a Dog Park group will post detailed instructions to find the question on its Facebook page once someone finds it.