Forget the Super Bowl, watch the Puppy Bowl

puppy bowl logoI used to think the biggest TV sporting event of the year was the Super Bowl. I was wrong. Puppy Bowl 12 kicks off today at 3 p.m. Sponsored by Animal Planet, and billed as the cutest sporting event ever, the bowl of dreams features 49 players from different animal shelters across the United States playing for #TeamRuff or #TeamFluff.

There’s a tailgate party starting at 2:30, Pup Close and Personal features on each player and a Kitty half-time show.

If you’re on Twitter you can follow @MeeptheBird for the latest news, puppy drama and locker room moments from inside the stadium.

Who are you going to cheer for, Bonnie, Clyde, Wrinkles, Cream Puff or maybe Brooklyn? All the puppies playing in today’s bowl are either up for adoption or have been adopted.

As they say in one of their trailers for today’s show, “They can smell victory, and I’m pretty sure they will lick it too.”

This week’s #HappyAct is to forget #SuperBowlSunday and watch the #PuppyBowl. Check out this video featuring some of this year’s line-up. And special thanks to my friend Tim Aylesworth for helping me discover Puppy Bowl mania!





Hug a dog

Girl hugging dog
Grace giving Bella a bear hug

There’s an incredible story circulating on the internet about a seven-year old German Shepherd in Italy and its devotion to its owner (watch this one-minute video).

It made me think, what makes us so devoted to our dogs and pets? I think the answer is simple. They are devoted to us, and like children, they give us unconditional love. They also instinctively know when we need comfort or companionship. Whether we’re laid up in bed sick with the flu, in tears after an emotional day, or curled up on the couch enjoying a coffee on a snowy Sunday morning, they are always there by our side. (Even now as I write this, I say Murphy’s name and he starts thumping his tail, raises his head, looks up at me with his big brown eyes and groans in contentment.)

Studies show that pet owners tend to be happier people. Pet owners exhibit greater self-esteeem, are more physically fit, less lonely, more conscientious and socially outgoing, and have healthier relationship styles. I swear that my father lived longer because of our old dog, Bailey.

Most hospitals or long-term care facilities have programs where they bring dogs in to visit with the residents, and there have been some inspirational stories about the positive effects dogs have with children with autism. From a practical standpoint, they are also one of the best home security systems you could ever have (I used to work for a home and property insurer, and I can unofficially tell you we’d rarely get claims of stolen goods from houses where there was a dog.)

Yes, dogs are incredible creatures.

This week’s Happy Act is to hug a dog (or cat if you have one). If you don’t have a dog, offer to take a neighbour’s dog for a walk, or better yet, drop in to your local animal shelter. Most animal shelters are looking for volunteers to help exercise their clients. And when you’re finished, don’t forget to give them a big hug and a pet. Leave a comment, what do you love about your pet?