Archive for November, 2007

Top 10 Cartoon Dogs of All Time

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

After months of extensive research and intense deliberation, the votes are finally in. Here is the list of the Top 10 Cartoon Dogs of All Time, approved by Cesar Millan himself! And don’t worry about bringing a poop scooper…the artists just erase it anyway.

10. Tramp

No, not you! I’m talking about the mutt from Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. It’s the classic story of rich girl meets poor boy, rich girl gets muzzled and battles singing siamese cats, then has a litter of poor boy’s puppies. Who hasn’t heard that one before? Extra points to Walt for incorporating the word “tramp” into a children’s movie.

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9. Brian

Although relatively new to the cartoon canine family, Brian (Family Guy) makes the list because, well…dogs who drink martinis and drive hybrids are funny. Brian’s ability to keep the Griffin family united and his role as Peter’s best friend reminds us of our real-life canine companions…except that ours don’t periodically break out into song.

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8. Mutley

Hands down the best laugh of any cartoon dog, Mutley sounded like your grandma’s bingo pal who has emphysema every time he chuckled. Acting as Dick Dastardly’s sidekick in Hanna Barbera’s Wacky Races, Mutley was responsible for laying down tacs and switching road signs in an attempt to sabotage the other racers. Man, some dogs have no manners!

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7. Astro

You don’t remember the lovable dog of the future from The Jetsons !? Ruh-roh! Don Messick was the voice behind all of those R’s (“Rats rall right Reorge!”), as well as providing the gift of gab to Mutley and Scooby-Doo. If there’s one thing we learned from Astro, it’s that you should always watch for cats when walking your dog on an automatic dogwalker. Bonus points for anyone who knows Astros’ real name.

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6. Goofy

First appearing as “Dippy Dawg” in the 1930′s, Goofy is one of the old dogs on the block. Piggybacking off the success of his friend, Mickey Mouse, Goofy starred in two full-length films and his own TV series. Sadly, Goofy’s acting career has been on the decline as is evident by his cameos in The Lion King 1 1/2 and How To Hook Up Your Home Theater.

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5. UnderDog

The caped crime fighter enjoyed nearly 10 years on NBC and CBS. The Shoeshine Boy turned superhero was probably best known for always speaking in rhyme (“There’s no need to fear, UnderDog is here!“). Unfortunately, UnderDog’s drug problem was also well-known. An “UnderDog Super Energy Vitamin Pill” that gives him special powers? Yeah right.

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4. Pluto

Another product of Mickey’s fame, Pluto enjoyed independent success starring in Disney shorts in the 1940′s and 50′s. Still, he has never been able to fully escape the role of being “Mickey’s Dog”. Pluto was recently featured in the tabloids for his riff with Disney co-star Goofy. Said Pluto, “He’s (Goofy) not a real dog! I mean, come on…he wears white gloves!”

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3. Clifford

The star of countless children’s books, Clifford the Big Red Dog has been an enduring icon in the cartoon dog world since the early 1960′s. Born the runt of the litter, Clifford eventually grew to be over 25 feet tall! As a little-known side note, the children’s game “Red Rover” was originally called “Red Clifford”, but was renamed when four children were tragically crushed by Clifford when he was asked to be sent over.

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2. Snoopy

Arguably the most famous Beagle of all time, Snoopy is one of the most recognized cartoon dogs in the world. Snoopy’s fame has allowed him to travel the world, appearing at various Peanuts conventions and other speaking engagements. Snoopy is also an accomplished pilot, and is the official mascot of aerospace safety (seriously!).

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1. Scooby-Doo

Here he his. The Top Dog. Scooby-Doo began his ghost-hunting career in the late 1960′s, and has been a television star ever since. His knack for finding food (even while being chased by blood-thirsty zombies) and his speech impediment have endeared him to fans for years. Scooby’s popularity has boomed with several direct-to-video features, TV specials, and even video games. Scooby’s fame recently took a hit, however, when he turned away several autograph-seeking children at a local Olive Garden, saying “I would be enjoying my lunch if it weren’t for you meddling kids!” .

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Popularity: 49% [?]

Oh Those Crazy Celebrity Dog Owners!

Thursday, November 15th, 2007

Ah, celebs and dogs. It’s a recipe for love, companionship and of course, all kinds of crazy. In case you missed them, here’s a brief recap of some top stories from Canine Hollywood:

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Paris Hilton

Almost single-handedly responsible for the dog-in-purse phenomenon that has swept the country like a bad line dance over the past few years, Ms. Hilton was recently voted the 2007 Worst Dog Owner in America by two leading pet publications. While I’m sure they meant to add “For anyone not named Vick” to the end of that category, there’s no denying that when you start “losing” your Chihuahuas and replacing them with cuter ones, you are not going to endear yourself to PETA. Wow, I wonder who she unseated as 2006 Worst Dog owner in America? They would have to be a special kind of person…


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Britney Spears

The Brit won the same award in 2006 based on the fact that after meeting Kevin Federline, the three she’d been carrying for years just upped and disappeared. No more photo ops before the logo wall, no more late night trips to Pinkberry. Just up and gone. And we all thought that K-Fed was only allergic to work. Silly us.


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Tori Spelling

Did you know that Tori Spelling is the judge of honor at an annual Halloween pet costume contest held in West Los Angeles? Well, she is. Just saying.


Ellen Degeneres

What’s all the fuss about? Ellen and her life partner Portia DeRossi adopted an adorable Brussells Griffon mix that turned out to be a bad fit in their household. So they gave the dog to Ellen’s hairdresser – who brought it home to her kids. Happy ending, right? Celeb finds loving family for dog. Not so fast. Evidently, the agency where Ellen adopted the pooch wasn’t notified of the hand-off – a violation of the adoption agreement. Next thing you know, they send the doggie-Gestapo to reclaim the pooch from some surely now-scarred-forever kids. Even a tearful on-screen plea by Ellen herself couldn’t move the agency to change their mind.


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Michael Vick

Moving on…


Doris Day

The always-spunky 60’s film star owns the Cypress Inn, a luxury dog-friendly hotel located near Carmel California where the restaurants prepare special meals for your pets and serve them table side. In other news, when in Carmel, people without dogs eat elsewhere.


And now the good…

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Joss Stone

Enough with the negative and weird. Joss Stone permanently planted herself in the good graces of dog owners everywhere after her tremendous efforts to save the abandoned pets left in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The teenage singing sensation recorded PSAs and spent countless hours volunteering for the North Shore Animal League – the organization charged with saving pets lost in the storm. Kudos!


Tori Spelling

We don’t want to leave you thinking Ms. Spelling is just a contest-judging oddball. Actually, she’s made incredible things happen with her organization Much Love Animal Rescue in Los Angeles. The non-for-profit group raises awareness in the community and helps find suitable homes for abandoned dogs and other animals.

Popularity: 11% [?]

Finding a Dog-Friendly Apartment

Tuesday, November 6th, 2007

Finding a dog-friendly apartment to rent can be about as hard as finding a Chihuahua in a coal mine. They’re out there somewhere, but you better come equipped if you want to track them down. Here are a few helpful tips for dog owners looking for a new apartment – as well as some hints for making that rental space a pleasant environment for all its two-legged and four-legged residents.

How to find a place for you and your dog

Work with an apartment rental service

With the advent of the web, most apartment rental services (or “finders”) in major cities are equipped with online components that make it a snap to find everything you’re looking for in a new place. Before you begin your search, look for the “dog-friendly” check box found on most of these sites. This will help narrow your search, and keep you from mistakenly getting your hopes about an apartment – only to find they only accept ferrets and hermit crabs under the terms of the lease.

Find a good dog park and ask around

Your fellow dog owners are generally a healthy source of information about owning a pet in the city. Scope out a friendly face at the local dog run, and see if you can get an inside track on who rents to dog owners. Who knows, you might even get a date out of it (for you or Fido).

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Offer up some references

Nothing puts a landlord’s mind at ease more than the word of another landlord who will vouch for the non-Cujo-like nature of your pup. Before you leave your old apartment, try and get a quick letter from the owner or building manager. It can be something as simple as:

Dear Future Landlord:

Scott and his dog Frida are both wonderful. I miss them already. They lived here for five years and my property is still standing and was never once condemned during their tenancy.

Thanks

Old Landlord

The Next Steps

Now that you’ve got some prospects for a new living space, here are some other important considerations:

Proximity to parks and open spaces

Sure, you can drive to the dog park every night. After work. In traffic. When you’re exhausted. But instead, wouldn’t it be great to have a big open space for your dog right nearby? Check out the best dog parks in your area, and then contain your apartment search accordingly.

The trip to the bathroom

Like all of us, when your dog has to go, he HAS TO GO. You don’t want to have to navigate five flights of stairs or a long elevator ride while your German shepherd crosses his legs and tries to think about the desert. Try and select an apartment as close to the exits as possible.

Create a dog-friendly environment

There is a wealth of pet-accessories that really help make your living space more appealing for your canine friend. If you’re going to be gone during the day, do everything you can to create a more enriching, safer environment for your pet. Find the right toys and home potty-training devices to make your pooch more comfortable when you’re not home.

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Apartment-train your dog

You and your beloved pet have to share the same limited-amount of space. So be sure and set some ground rules right from the get go. Find a dog trainer who specializes in helping dogs adjust to small spaces. Read up on how to raise your puppy with a firm, but loving hand. Your couch will last longer and your relationship with your dog will be stronger!

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Popularity: 9% [?]