Could the Puppy Bowl get any cuter?
Why yes, it could.
Animal Planet’s 13th annual Puppy Bowl on Feb. 5 — Super Bowl Sunday — will feature three special-needs dogs.
First up is Winston, an Australian shepherd who is both sight- and hearing-impaired.
“We think he’s going to hit the field hard, take a nap right in the middle and perhaps get tumbled over a few times by the bigger pups,” Cristene Justus, founder of Double J Dog Ranch, a sanctuary for special-needs dogs in Hauser Lake, Idaho, told USA Today.
“He gets around very well with his nose, so he will smell the toys. We’re hopeful that he’s going to engage and score many touchdowns.”
Winston will meet Doobert on the field.
Doobert, who is completely deaf, is learning hand signals from his doggie parents, Tom and Dianne Ireton of Goochland, Va., who adopted him from Green Dogs Unleashed in Troy, Va.
“He’s very visually focused, always looking to us and the other dogs for cues,” Dianne told USA Today. “Other than not hearing, everything else is normal.”
And then there’s Lucky, found abandoned on the side of a road with her brother, Ricky.
Lucky was not so fortunate when she had her right front leg amputated after it was slammed in a crate door. But she got her mojo back when she was adopted from an animal rescue in Tennessee.
At the taping of the Puppy Bowl in October, Lucky was the most frightened dog on the field. She reportedly didn’t get involved in many plays, but she’s certain to get some precious screen time.
Seventy-eight dogs from 34 rescue organizations and animal shelters across the country will compete when Team Ruff meets Team Fluff.
More than 9 million viewers watched last year’s game.