Sunday, February 5, 2012

Super Bowl dog commercials: to VW go the spoils!

I'm not much of a football fan once Boston College finishes its season (this year a tough one for the Eagles) but I belly up to the TV for Super Bowl commercials.

This year—and I'm writing at the half, because I can't lose too much sleep over vapid talking baby spots, violent action movie trailers and all the other predictable ads that make one's eyes glaze over—I was pleased to see a significant number of commercials with canine stars.

My favorite so far? The VW Beetle ad, in which an overweight golden slims down through a tough regimen of pool swimming, running, and stair work, and then glides through the air, a trimmer, stylish creature, much like the car. Mom's first car was a yellow Beetle, the original kind, so perhaps I'm partial. Or perhaps it's because I've had my own weight issues.

Speaking of, I weighed in at a record low of 84.4 lbs at the vet's last week.

Wait til next year: my distinctive voice will join this choir.
Just peeked to see what else will air (see all the videos here) and loved the dogs barking to the Darth Vader theme. Halloween costume idea! Note to VW: a foxhound bay could somehow be written in, and I know just the guy for the job.

I appreciated the stately Dalmatian on the Budweiser wagon, although the faux motion picture treatment was bland; I was almost there with the Doritos' Great Dane, but found the ending too pat; and sorry, but greyhound racing is so not OK, Skechers. Plus, pugs are so several years ago. As for the Suzuki ads, you how I feel about huskies.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Naptime, interrupted

So Mom and Dad had a new mattress delivered, and after a decent interval — I let them sleep on it one night — I checked it out myself.

Mom's been having sleep issues, so my thinking is, why waste a brand-new, premium sleeping structure on her?

She rudely interrupted me for this photo, then I turned around and settled back into the pillows. Right in the middle. Aaahhhh.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Make the punishment fit the crime? As in smaller bowl? No way!

Hilarious, no? No.

While Mom must think so (thanks to the super creative Heather Kelly, for the terrific wanted poster idea), my caloric intake is no laughing matter. A dog must eat, and eat well. Often, too.

Exhibits A and B. While the evidence seems irrefutable,

I believe it to be circumstantial. I'd never eat from a plastic receptacle.
The penultimate* time I destroyed the cup my folks use to retrieve my food, my portions became noticeably smaller. While that was good news to the people at VCA Westboro (after they airlifted me onto the scale) to me, it fell into the criminal realm. Last time someone manhandled me like that, I made sure their back hurt, and good. However, that episode ended up with me being placed on lifetime probation from those particular canine accommodations.

Obviously, a jury should consider mitigating circumstances: in this case, hunger. However, said good man and woman seem to be unmoved.

Therefore, I'll simply have to eat right out of the bin. Case closed.

*Bonus intangible reward to those who do not need to look up the definition of penultimate. I'm far too ravenous to be your dictionary today.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Shark attack! See the video!

It's usually not a good sign when you see something floating that's supposed to be swimming. So when Mom peeked into my sister's room yesterday and noticed her helium-filled, remote control shark cruising along the ceiling–with no one at the controls, she did a double-take.

Then, she collared the culprit. The evidence was all too obvious: body parts ripped off, torn, thrown carelessly around. "Tuck-errrr..."

Yep. I did it in a fit of pique. My sister's back at college, and the C-A-R was leaving, without me in it. After making my expected forlorn appearance at the window, I trucked up the stairs and headed right for the shark, intent on revenge.

Listen, I could have torn the thing to bloody bits. Instead, I made it a nice repair challenge for my handy sis. Let's see whether she's able to get that thing to fly again...I mean swim.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A dog wins the 2012 Caldecott!

I've loved, lost and destroyed plenty of toys in my time, and no one thought to write a book about moi. 
("Actually," says Mom, "I have...but no one's published it...yet.")

So I might be a tad jealous that a scruffy little pup is the subject of this year's Randolph Caldecott Award for the most distinguished American picture book for children.

However, my readers know me to be rather discerning when it comes to picture books, and dog books in particular. They must be honest. They must be extraordinarily well done. They must touch some part of my doggy soul.

Alas, dear reader, this book, while true enough in story, neither touches my soul or seems well done enough to merit this medal.

I like whimsical, expressive artwork and appreciated it in The Hello, Goodbye Window, for which Raschka won the Caldecott in 2006. But I don't like sloppy. The Caldecott committee chair called the illustrations "deceptively simple." I'm not deceived: many of the illustrations are not simple. The ones that look simple, however, are brilliant. The others...well...are sloppy.

Daisy is adorably portrayed in her scruffiness (although I of course am far more handsome), yet I am surprised the book's creator was happy with the panels in which Daisy sinks miserably into the family couch. I was confused by the depiction of Daisy's human—she looked different each time she was portrayed.

The story itself was fine: dog gets ball, dog destroys ball, dog gets new ball. Best wishes to Daisy, but it's not a book I can really chew on.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

And in the best actor category, canine, that is...

One of BB Simon's crystal-encrusted leather collars.
I could rock that look.
Let's be practical: just what would I do with a globe, golden or otherwise? Plus, the only films I've ever starred in are those shaky old home videos. (Anyone interested in Hex Bug Horror, starring moi?) I mean, if the Blair Witch Project worked out, well...

Anyway, The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop on the Golden Collar Awards, to be designed by BB Simon of Newport Beach and given out next month by Dog News Daily. The categories:

  • Best Dog in a Theatrical Film 
  • Best Dog in a Foreign Film 
  • Best Dog in a Direct-to-DVD Film
  • Best Dog in a Reality Television Series 
  • Best Dog in a Television Series  
 Check out THR's Oscar Dog Showdown photo gallery for more scoop. Or, better, yet, Hex Bug Horror.
Nominees will be announced Wednesday. Look for a surprise entry.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Take me out to rink? And pass the poetry, please

Now here's an event to rival any "Take Your (son, daughter, pet) to Work Day": watch the Worcester Sharks with your humans! It's called Pucks and Paws, it raises funds for the Worcester Animal Rescue League, and it's happening Jan. 15 in Worcester (I would have called it Pucks and Pups, for the assonance, or better yet, Pups and Pucks, putting the more important part first, but no one asked me).

Not sure of the definition of assonance? Apparently, you haven't brushed up on your poetry lately. Assonance is when a vowel sound is repeated in a nearby word, enough to make you sit up and take notice. That's why Pucks and Pups rolls off the tongue much more easily than Pucks and Paws. Did you notice anything about the repeated first consonant in those two words? Yep, it's the p. So when consonants are repeated, that's called alliteration. Even though Pucks and Paws contains alliteration, it's just not as pleasing as Pucks and Pups. Alliteration and assonance=awesomeness.

Back to the game. It's at 3 p.m. against Syracuse and promises to be a riot!  Contact the Sharks office: or 508-929-0500. $15 for humans, $10 for dogs, with $5 of every dog ticket donated to the Worcester Animal Rescue League. It's sponsored by VCA Animal Hospitals (a shout out to Dr. Schettino in Springfield). You can even get a discount on a pet-friendly hotel. And read some poetry before bed. For the right active vibe, I recommend A Dazzling Display of Dogs by Betsy Franco. There's a whole bunch of alliteration for you. Test after the game.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Happy 99th, Great-Grandma!

Happy Birthday, dear Great-Grandma!
My Italian great-grandma is 99 years old today, and going so strong she could stop me in my tracks—and that's saying something, especially considering that she is extremely teeny.

Great Grandma has long been fond of dogs. For example, worried that I might catch cold here in the northern regions, she sent away for a splendid shearling coat in which I look downright fashionable. She wonders why I don't visit more often and worries that I'm not being fed properly. In short, she dotes on me.

What a woman!