General Deebo was crowned the top winner of the 2023 Eudorable Pets March Madness bracket sponsored by The Eudora Times.


The Beshears family started screaming over the phone with their oldest daughters in college and dancing excitedly as soon as they heard the news. 

“We just couldn’t believe it. We were shocked,” Machaela Beshear said.

Their dog, General Deebo, a 4-month-old basset hound, won the Eudorable Pet March Madness bracket sponsored by The Eudora Times that attracted 101 entries and spanned a week. Winston, owned by Eric Strimple, and Pepper, owned by Marj Spence, were runners-up. 


Eudora Times Publisher Teri Finneman said there were over 4,000 votes on the brackets over the six-day tournament.

“We thought this would be a fun little activity to do over spring break and were blown away by the amount of interest in it,” Finneman said. “It was absolutely amazing to see so many great pets in the community.”

Here are the stories of the pets that made it to the final bracket. Each received a certificate and homemade dog treats baked by Mike Keltner.

General Deebo


General Deebo became a part of the Beshears family after their daughter Abby called with a friend who had a litter of Basset Hounds. The Beshear family had been thinking about getting a dog, but they weren’t set until Abby came home from college with a puppy to surprise their youngest daughter Brooklyn and the rest of the family. 

Mark Beshears named Deebo after the San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel and his wife Machaela chose to put General in front of it for fun. 


General Deebo is joined by the Beshears. The puppy is a new addition to the family, who excitedly tracked his progress in the competition.


This was the first competition he entered and Michaela thought she had to enter him after seeing the bracket on Facebook. She thought the bracket would be a great way to introduce Deebo to everyone they know on Facebook because he is new to their family. 

He is a very playful dog and enjoys playing keep-away where his family chases him around, Machaela said. 

“He likes when the sun comes out of the sliding glass door,” Mark said of Deebo’s favorite thing to do. 

Deebo starts to howl when his family brings out his orange dinosaur toy and his gray stuffed puppy they refer to as his girlfriend.

“He loves to chase Brooklyn and play tug-o-war with Connor,” Machaela said. 

Machaela wasn’t sure she wanted a dog before Deebo came along.

“What’s unique about him is how he has just fit right in so quickly. I like his little heart shapes on his cow-print body,” Machaela said. 

The bracket got the whole family excited with two older girls in college checking in to see how Deebo was doing daily. Their son Connor would ask if he won every day. Their youngest Brooklyn had several people at school congratulate her. 

“I really think [he made it this far] because of his ears. Everyone was commenting about his ears,” Machaela said.

Machaela said his success could have come from the number of people who love Basset Hounds as well as his heart-shaped nose. 

“It was just fun to go to work and hear everybody cheer for my dog,” Machaela said. 

Deebo’s family made sure to tell him he won and took his picture to celebrate. 



Winston was a runner-up in the bracket. The 9-year-old Boston terrier was shared around Facebook by his dads Eric Tweedy and Eric Strimple. 

He has been a part of other competitions at the Pawsh Wash in Lawrence similar to the March Madness bracket. He has never made it to the final four in these competitions. After seeing the Facebook post, Strimple thought, ‘Why not?’ when entering Winston into the bracket. 

Tweedy and Strimple got Winston after hearing about a litter from one of their sisters. Since then, the two have built a strong bond with him. 


Eric Strimple and his dog, Winston, finished in the top 3 of the bracket.


He got his name from his dapper white and black tuxedo appearance on his chest. 

“He is fun-loving. He is always on the go and wanting to do something,” Strimple said.

Winston loves to be with his people and likes to join whatever activities his owners are doing. 

“Whether it’s a car ride to the store or going to get a coffee on a Sunday morning, him and our other dog are usually with us,” Strimple said. ‘

He enjoys being surrounded by people and is very friendly to people he hasn’t met before. He has earned his nickname ‘Spazzy’ from his smart spaz-like moments. Strimple said he has many toys and loves to play fetch until his dad has to make him stop. He even is said to know many of his chew toys by name. 

“He knows them. The box is in the spare bedroom and we will say go get such and such, and nine times out of 10 he has the right toy,” Strimple said. 

Winston has learned tricks like understanding to give a kiss once. Instead of giving someone a face bath with kisses, Strimple and Tweedy are able to simply ask their dog for a kiss and he will kiss them once on the nose and understands to stop afterward. 

Some of Winston's favorite things to do would be car rides and walks during the springtime when the weather isn’t too cold or hot. 

He also has one floppy ear making him unique compared to other Boston terriers who typically have two ears standing up.

“Another fun thing about owning a scrunch-nose dog is their facial expressions,” Strimple said. 

Strimple loves the companionship and bonding he gets with Winston and appreciates his dog’s ability to cheer him up on a rough day. 



Another runner-up in the competition was an almost 1-year-old chihuahua-shih-tzu mix named Pepper. 

Marj Spence adopted Pepper from a woman in Gardner after her dog Gizmo went out one night and never came back. 

After all of her family members put their choice for a name into a hat to draw, she became Pepper, which fit her “peppery” personality perfectly.

Pepper had never entered a competition like this before and Spence was encouraged after seeing her co-worker’s dog, General Deebo, in the running on Facebook. 


Runner-up Pepper celebrated her win with her mom, Marj Spence,  along with her kids and grandkids after the results were announced.

“She is sparky. She learns quickly. She knows how to sit, stay and high-five,” Spence said.

Spence said Pepper is very playful, loves to play with her socks despite having many toys and knows how to bounce a ball to herself. 

“She is just a good sidekick, She is fun to have around. We go for drives and just basically hang out,” Spence said. 

Pepper sits at the top of the Spence family landing in their house and often sticks her head through the posts to say goodbye when her family is leaving.

“She’s just personable,” Spence said.

Outside of loving to sleep, Pepper loves to get the “zoomies” when she goes outside, Spence said.

Something unique about Pepper is that she sheds at the same time as growing hair. Her ears, tail and paws always need to be trimmed. Spence believes Pepper made it so far in the competition because of how cute she is. 

Her grandkids have enjoyed watching Pepper grow and dogsit her and watch her play with their cat. She has become a part of their family. 

“She just fits in so well. She loves kids and usually that’s not something that goes with this trait of a dog. She’s very compatible,” Spence said. 

Reach reporter Annie Gallup at

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