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Dog Day Afternoon: puppies have been filling my Facebook pages and my heart. PDF Print E-mail
Written by Stephanie Finnegan   
Tuesday, 05 February 2013 13:21

Melissa and Doug are known for their wooden toys and their retro, sturdy puzzles. They are also proud to present a line of plush toys for all ages. Here is the number one breed in America: the Lab. (Shown here, a yellow Lab.)
The second most popular breed is the German shepherd, heralded for its connection with law enforcement and heroism.
Celebrated for its great disposition around children, the golden retriever is number three.
The number four slot is filled by the beagle. The Melissa and Doug dog captures the breed’s alertness.
The bulldog is ranked number five in America. Folks say it’s because of its popularity as a team mascot.
Though it may be tiny, its charisma is mighty. The Yorkshire terrier is number six.
The boxer is the number seven breed in America. The Melissa and Doug rendering is top-notch.
The poodle is sleek and fashionable. It comes in at number eight.
The ninth most popular? Why, it’s the Rottweiler, which looks brave and noble in its M and D incarnation.
The hard-fought tenth berth was won by the dachshund. Alternately known as a “wiener dog” or a “hot dog,” the dachshund has its loyal fans. (My sister is certainly among them.)
The Boston terrier didn’t make the list of the Top Ten, but it’s number one in my heart. I love its color and expression. The Melissa and Doug version keys into its personality and demeanor.
Chip Kelly, a real-live Yorkie/Jack Russell, has joined my niece’s family. He is basking in the well-deserved attention.
Melissa and Doug are known for their wooden toys and their retro, sturdy puzzles. They are also proud to present a line of plush toys for all ages. Here is the number one breed in America: the Lab. (Shown here, a yellow Lab.)
01/12 
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People always talk about the dog days of summer. With winter 2013 being not even two months old, I’d say that the past months of December, January, and now February have been howling with pooches and pups.

    This weekend as I sat down to blog, the Super Bowl was getting hyped on the radio and on TV. For my sister, the NFL has no significance at all. For her, this weekend is all about the Puppy Bowl, which kicks off on Animal Planet. Believe it or not, the annual canine convergence is celebrating its ninth year on television.

    What seemed to me to be a cute little skit worth about 5 minutes of screen time has grown into a fan favorite. People love the Puppy Bowl, and my sister is most likely its number one cheerleader. She hosts a party for the Super Bowl, where she lingers in the background for most of the event. However, she comes to life when she switches on Animal Planet at halftime and lets her pack of dachshunds line up before the flat screen, where they react with bombastic barks and yipping yelps.

    Beyond the Puppy Bowl, there was also the announcement on February 1 by the American Kennel Club of America’s favorite breeds. With a nod to David Letterman, the Top 10 dogs are Labradors (because they come in three distinct colors: yellow, black, chocolate), German shepherds, golden retrievers, beagles, bulldogs, Yorkshire terriers, boxers, poodles, Rottweilers, and dachshunds.

    The Labs have been in first place for 22 years in a row, which is a staggering accomplishment. The second-place German shepherds have long been a popular pooch in the USA because of their high-profile portrayals in police dramas and from their onscreen heroics. (Think Rin Tin Tin.)

    I was saddened to see that my favorite breed didn’t make the cut: the Boston terrier. I love these little black-and-white creatures, with their alert looks and their Art Deco color scheme. If I were to own a Boston terrier, I’d name him “Noir” or “Domino.” Currently, I have the feline counterpart of a Boston terrier. She’s a tuxedo cat—a beautiful black-and-white feline with smart, lively eyes and a great disposition.

    To honor all of these puppy and pooch proclamations—the best way I know how—I strolled over to the Melissa and Doug website and marveled at their menagerie of realistic breeds. (http://www.melissaanddoug.com/) Melissa and Doug are normally noted for their durable, well-crafted wooden puzzles, toys, and blocks. My kids’ toy chests used to spill over with the couple’s creations.

    Priced very affordably (from the $34 to $59 range), these soft-toy critters are surprisingly lifelike and realistic in their poses and silhouettes. Designed for children, but certainly alluring enough for adults, the Melissa and Doug plush dogs are a fantastic way to own any one or all ten of America’s top breeds.

    I showed the photo of the faux Boston terrier to my son, and he was really shocked to discover that it was a stuffed toy, not a real little fellow at all. The creations really are that sweet and heart-tugging. They make you want to scoop them up and hug them all the way home.

    And for those of us who are going to buy or bring home an actual living, breathing dog this year, my niece started off her 2013 with the “adopting” of a Yorkie/Jack Russell terrier. Named Chip Kelly, he is spoiled/indulged/loved/doted upon/and adored. He’s her brand-new family member, and his every move (and non-move) is chronicled on her Facebook timeline. Like she said to me, “He’s made our house feel like a home.”

    That’s the plus side of all pets: regardless of their species, breed, size, or ranking. They have a way of filling our hearts and completing our lives!