Talula, an English Bulldog, takes the acreage during Animal Planet’s countdown ‘Dog Bowl,’ a aftereffect of the caressible ‘Puppy Bowl’ airing Super Bowl weekend.
Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY
NEW YORK — Super Bowl weekend is activity to the dogs.
Fourteen years afterwards Puppy Bowl fabricated football admirers of alike the best blah sports viewers, Animal Planet is spinning off its caressible game-day accident into The Dog Bowl, a one-hour appropriate airing Feb. 3 (8 ET/5 PT) that turns the spotlight on beforehand canines in charge of “furever” homes.
Like Puppy Bowl, which affectedness on Feb. 4, Super Bowl Sunday (3 ET/12 PT), Dog Bowl splits apartment pooches into two “teams” — Paws and Tails — for a antic bold of pigskin, complete with a bright (and clamorous) array of cheep toys, tennis assurance and frayed ropes. But the more complete adjunct is a accomplished altered brand of competition, with mutts from 15 shelters in 11 states, alignment from 2 to 15 years old.
“They’re calmer with anniversary other” on the field, says Dan Schachner, Puppy Bowl’s official “ruffaree” of seven years. “We don’t get fights like the puppies back they yip at anniversary other. They assume a little added aloof” and like to “stake their claim.”
Which agency ceaseless cleanup duty for their handlers, armed with cardboard towels and artificial accoutrements on the sidelines of the miniature Dog Bowl acreage on a alveolate Manhattan soundstage, area the appropriate was taped in mid-October. Within 30 abnormal afterwards scampering assimilate the field, the wiry-haired Stewart has already aerial his leg and peed on a blimp toy; moments earlier, the shaggy black Betty sniffed an opponent’s base and pooped on the 50-yard line.
While the senior lineup requires added adulation to collaborate and run plays, “we don’t apperception that,” Schachner says. “In fact, it’s affectionate of a plus. Part of the bulletin that we’re aggravating to get out there is sometimes beforehand dogs are added sedate and easygoing for families that ability be attractive for that. In a absolute world, a ancestors watches this and goes, ‘Oh, that bi-weekly is so chill!'”
Josie, an English Bi-weekly arena for Team Paws at the countdown ‘Dog Bowl.’
Most of the 50 pups aggressive in the Dog Bowl accept been adopted, including four English Bulldogs from Long Island Bi-weekly Accomplishment in Stony Brook, N.Y., who pant, rather than punt, back they hit the field.
“Bulldogs don’t usually do tricks — the big ambush is that they grab your heart,” says accomplishment founder Laurette Richin, absorption amid abode with Josie, a drooling 5-year-old who was accustomed up for acceptance afterwards she gave bearing to a clutter of puppies. Although the brand was called the fourth most-popular in the United States by the American Kennel Club in 2016, Richin says that abounding are alone due to eye and breath problems, which can amount to thousands of dollars in bloom bills.
But for some people, the tail-waggers are as acceptable as medicine. Rommy is a 5-year-old Labradoodle from Denver who was rescued and trained through Freedom Account Dogs of America, a foundation started by Tennessee Titans wide receiver Eric Decker and his wife, country accompanist Jessie (James) Decker. He was akin with Army and Navy adept Shon Wilson, who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and suffers from PTSD.
Rommy, a account dog and rescue.
At first, “I wasn’t abiding I capital the stigma of accepting (a service) dog with me. I capital to be tough, (like) ‘There’s annihilation amiss with me,’ ” Wilson says. “But it came bottomward to my wife and advisor saying, ‘You’re not accepting better. Let’s do article else.’ “
Now, Rommy helps Wilson with baby tasks such as throwing abroad debris and axis on lights, as able-bodied as situations anon accompanying to his trauma, including alive him if he’s accepting nightmares or creating amplitude amid him and others in awash places.
Mellow and shy about his Dog Bowl teammates, Rommy may not look like the abutting Bark Favre or Peyton Man’s Best Friend. But off the field, “he’s consistently playful,” Wilson assures. “He’ll accomplish a bold of anything.”
RELATED: ‘Puppy Bowl’: Consistently adorable, now inspiring
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