Boy, did I have writer’s block this week! I could not make myself write another thing on the articles I have been working on for a while, so I decided to take a look at some representative dog human-interest stories to see if anything inspired me, and found things that interested me, but not enough for an individual column. I didn’t want to use things from the usual aggregators like HuffPo or The Bark, so I went straight to Google News to see if I could get some timely content. Here are a few of the stories/ads that got my attention, (and a few that friends brought to my attention) and whether they are worth viewing.
- This teacup poodle visits with nursing home residents. The story isn’t particularly novel or creepy (not like that cat that predicts deaths), although I guess you could describe it as a comeback story, since Nala was originally booted out of her first job as a therapy dog. It made me think that I would watch a buddy film about a cute little teacup poodle who visits seniors, and her best friend, a gigantic boxer who insists on jumping on the beds and snuggling up to the seniors. Novelty Score: One of five paws. Cuteness Score: Five of five paws (Nala has sparkling button eyes! She’s so tiny on the elevator!)
- This stray dog got his head caught in a bucket, earning him the nickname Jughead. He’s now named Gulliver. I approve of that name change. I always feel bad for dogs who are named for bad things that happened to them — I know they don’t care about it, of course, but it feels very negative to me. His story caught the attention of a local couple, and he has now been adopted. He has also regained the weight he lost while his head was trapped, which I’m sure was a joyous experience for him. This happens more often than you’d think — stray dogs look for food and get their heads trapped in containers. In my experience, it is especially common among hounds, labs, and beagles, or as I think of them, the greed breeds. Novelty Score: One of five paws. Nostalgia Score: Four of five. Gulliver is a run-of-the-mill black lab mix, and who among us hasn’t known a dog like that? Cuteness Score: One of five paws (they just show a picture of him with the bucket still on his head).
- There are a lot of creative ways to market shelter dogs, but these photo-booth portraits rank at the absolute top of the list. They’ve done a brilliant job of capturing certain types of dog expressions. Cuteness Score: YOU MUST GO LOOK AT THEM, NOW. YOU NEED THIS. Here’s one to get you started. The link is in the caption.
- This is something I’ve never heard of before — a dog chasing a shark. That must have been seriously terrifying to watch. And it’s a chocolate lab (named Tootsie)! Tootsie apparently likes to swim after dolphins, who are probably all, “Oh, it’s Tootsie again (sigh)” but in this case, she made a mistake. She emerged unharmed. Come to think of it, our group has taken several labs who should have died due to their misadventures, but who instead are unharmed. Some labs have all the luck. Novelty Score: Five of five paws. Cuteness Score: One of five paws. (They only show a picture of the dog swimming behind a shark.)
- This isn’t from this week, but this ad is a source of constant discussion in my household. “When did these animals meet? What do they do together? Do they go to visit each other’s houses? Did they meet when they were young? How did they meet? What made them become friends? Are they boys or girls? Have their families met?” Those are only the starter questions. The follow up questions are things like, “Which are your favorite friends, and why? Which are your second favorite friends? Can you guess which are my favorite ones?” I’m very lucky that my family is so patient about answering my questions.
- Then finally there’s this, which is a few months old, but I had never seen it. This ad really taps into the (insert German word) of shameless pet ownership. Novelty Score: Four of Five Paws. Cuteness Score: That depends on you, really.
I had just submitted this article when a friend posted an article on Corgi Beach Week where somewhere between 500-600 Corgis frolicked together on a Southern California Beach. I would attend an event like this. In fact, I would PAY to attend an event like this. It would be my Coachella. It would be my religion. The next gathering is in July.
Hope you have a great week and next column I’ll be back to making up breeds, grinding axes, or extolling shamelessness.