Beautiful photo, the photo appears to be front focused with the sharpest part on its paws. This could be a downsizing issue though, keeping sharpness on fur while downsizing a image for the web has been a challenge for me. At any rate the lighting is beautiful and its a gorgeous creature
I'm not sure it's worth the hassle, I can usually photoshop it out in a matter of seconds lol and it doesn't seem to be as bad anymore. Next time I'm at a camera shop I'll definitely ask their recommendation, though!
9/10 times it's a piece of dust. Your camera should have a "cleaning mode" or if it doesn't set it to bulb and be careful lol. In good light take the blower and blow the dust off your sensor. You could purchase the cleaning wipes, but most likely don't need too, plus wet cleaning makes me kind of nervous. The other option is to have them do it. I don't know about yours but the shops here send stuff out so it takes 3 weeks and it costs 60$
good job on the edit. be careful what you put in the photo manipulation category. i got scolded last year because the definition now says it has to be composed of at least two pictures. now i put my heavily edited shots in digital darkroom or in the appropriate photographic category.