This year’s crop of Super Bowl ads was disappointing — and not just because there weren’t enough commercials with dogs in them.
I counted two ads in which dogs played a significant role, compared to nearly a dozen featuring celebrities, among them Alec Baldwin, Jeff Goldblum, Helen Mirren, Amy Schumer, Anthony Hopkins, Seth Rogen, Christopher Walken, Kevin Hart, Willem Dafoe, Liam Neeson, Ryan Reynolds and Drake.
And throw in a dizzying amount of special effects.
Yes, there was that stampede of dachshunds, all in hot dog costumes, making a mad dash for the Heinz family of condiments:
And there were those dogs scheming on how to get their paws on some of the Doritos displayed in the grocery store.
Neither of those knocked me out, and they pale in comparison with some of the far more funny, far more human, dog ads of previous Super Bowls.
Several other ads featured dogs in small supporting roles — in an ad with singing sheep, and in one where a town seems to occupied nearly entirely by clones of Ryan Reynolds (as if we’re not already seeing enough of the real one of him).
Then, too, a dog was part — and I do mean part — of my least favorite dog-related Super Bowl ad.
Mountain Dew, in an ad for its new beverage, Kick Start, unveiled a puppy-monkey-baby that looked like it would be more at home in a bad acid trip. I can only assume its creators had a little too much Kick Start during their creative process.
I didn’t keep a tally, but I’m pretty sure monstrous or otherwise fictional creatures far outnumbered dogs in this year’s ads — just as special effects far outnumbered moments of humanity, and flash far outdistanced substance.
I won’t show you the worst of them — that pink blob of bulging intestines wandering the stadium in search of a free bathroom. Nor will I mention the name the prescription drug it advertised. I’ll just remind you that Super Bowl ads cost $5 million per spot — and that’s just for the time.
Throw in the production costs involved with having a celebrity or animated intestinal blob tout your product and you’ll begin to understand why you probably won’t be paying bargain prices for anti-diarrhea meds or your next Hyundai.
All in all, Super Bowl ads this year left me unimpressed, feeling a little cold, and feeling a little old. They often left me creeped out — and I include the “Super Bowl babies” in that group. (Is the NFL so hard up for something to brag about that it must boast that the big game makes people copulate?)
This year’s ads left me longing for some of those ads of previous years — when dogs were dogs, and men were men, and internal organs stayed inside us.
Not being a big fan of talking dogs, dogs in costume, or dogs being part of some monstrous hyperactive multi-species hybrid, I didn’t really have a favorite dog ad among them.
Instead, I’d have to give this year’s top honors to the Subaru ads featured during the Puppy Bowl.
(You can find more of our Woof in Advertising posts here.)
Posted by John Woestendiek February 8th, 2016 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: advertising, alec baldwin, amy schumer, animals, Anthony Hopkins, baby, celebrities, Christopher Walken, commercials, dogs, dogs in advertising, doritos, Drake, heinz, Helen Mirren, humanity, hyundai, intestines, Jeff Goldblum, Kevin Hart, kia, kick start, Liam Neeson, marketing, monkey, mountain dew, pets, puppy, puppy bowl, puppy monkey baby, puppymonkeybaby, Ryan Reynolds, Seth Rogen, special effects, subaru, super bowl, super bowl 50, super bowl ads, Willem Dafoe, woof in advertising
A Salisbury, N.C., woman insists it was just a joke when she posted a photo of her dog with her snout taped shut, but she has been charged with animal cruelty all the same.
Kimberly Ann Howell, 25, posted the photo above on Facebook, along with these words:
“I warned her. I told her I was going to teach her not to bite the baby again, even play biting. LOL. She so pidiful (sic). I can’t even make her keep it on for five minutes. LOL. She jumped up on me and was like but please mamma.”
Amid some critical comments, Howell took the post down, but not before someone — concerned either about the dog or the infant — tipped off county officials, who referred the matter to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, the Salisbury Post reported.
A detective questioned Howell, who insisted the dog, a young mixed breed named Leah, managed to quickly get the duct tape off her face. She also insisted the dog was not harmed.
The detective examined the dog and found her to be in good health with no other signs of abuse or neglect.
Howell, however, was charged with animal cruelty, jailed, and later released on $3,000 bond on the cruelty charge and failure to appear for outstanding traffic charges.
Leah was left in the custody of the family after the detective consulted with animal control officials about the case. Howell was told that a follow-up visit might take place to ensure the dog was being treated properly,
Since her initial post, Howell has responded repeatedly to the barrage of criticism she has been receiving online.
“Wow ok maybe I should of said I was joking when posting that,” she wrote on Facebook. “But honestly though people would know better anyone who spend (sic) a week at my house would see how spoiled and loved my dog is. Anyways guess I really didn’t think through but anyone who knows me knows when I got Leah she [was] skin and bones how (sic) that animal abusee (sic).”
(Photo of Leah from Facebook, photo of Howell from Rowan County Sheriff’s Office)
Posted by John Woestendiek October 2nd, 2015 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animal cruelty, animals, baby, biting, charged, charges, dog, dogs, duct tape, facebook, infant, joke, leah, mixed breed, mouth, north carolina, pets, photos, rowan county, salisbury, sheriff, snout, tape, taped
That 22-pound cat whose aggressive behavior forced an entire Oregon family (including the dog) to take refuge in a locked bedroom is going to get some therapy, according to its owner.
Lee Palmer, of Portland, says the 4-year-old part-Himalayan cat, named Lux, is scheduled to see a veterinarian and to get a house call from a pet psychologist, according to the Associated Press.
Palmer called 911 Sunday to report that the cat had “gone over the edge,” scratching his infant son and chasing the family into a bedroom.
“We’re trapped in our bedroom and he won’t let us out of the door,” Palmer told the emergency dispatcher.
“He’s trying to attack us. He’s very, very, very, very hostile. He’s at our door. He’s charging us.”
You can download an MP3 of the 911 call here.
Palmer says Lux attacked his 7-month-old son, inflicting several scratches, after the baby pulled its tail. He said he kicked the cat in the rear to make it stop, which only led the cat to get angrier.
Officers arrived at the home around 8 p.m., according to the Portland Oregonian, and used a catchpole to snare the cat, who had darted into the kitchen and jumped atop a refrigerator.
Police issued a press release about the incident Monday and by Wednesday it had gained international attention.
Palmer says the family has received proposals from people wanting to adopt Lux, but the family is not taking them up on it
While Palmer told officers the cat has a history of violent behavior, the family plans to keep him, and keep a close eye on him, he said.
“We’re not getting rid of him right now. He’s been part of our family for a long time.”
Posted by John Woestendiek March 13th, 2014 under Muttsblog.
Tags: 22 pounds, aggressive, angry, animal control, animals, baby, cat, cats, dog, dogs, family, held, himalayan, hostage, lux, oregon, pets, police, portland, psychologist, scratched, therapy, veterinarian, violent
Believe it or not, the poster of this video is a dog trainer — though, if you’ve got an infant in the house, you might not want him to teach your dog this particular trick.
Alex Garcia, a dog trainer based in Brooklyn, jokingly says he posted this video on YouTube “in part to discourage friends from asking me to baby-sit.”
According to his website, CivilPet.com, he works with dogs, cats, and companion parrots, providing dog training, dog walking, and pet sitting services.
The website contains videos of several “useless dog tricks” he has taught his dog, Raja.
He also writes a blog, and did an entire entry that features step-by-step directions on how to teach your dog to put a baby (or at least a baby doll) into the oven:
“Step 2: Use shaping to get her to put the (toy) baby in the oven. Hold the baby in the position you want it to land, click your dog for investigating it, then grabbing it. When she grabs it, click and shove food in her face so she’ll drop it in the same position. She should hold the baby, you click, she drops it, then gets fed, then withhold the click until she drops it, then click. Gradually, start with the baby further away from the point in which you want the dog to drop it, then you’ll eventually be able to put the baby on the floor …”
In a disclaimer at the end, he writes: “This is not an actual How-To guide; I’m just going over what I went through to train this for anyone who is curious. If you attempt to train this to your dog, you’re doing so at your own risk. I am not responsible if: your dog opens or closes the oven while you’re cooking; your dog puts an actual baby in the oven; you get bit trying this with your resource guarding pet; your oven breaks somehow; anything bad happens.”
We’re guessing Garcia isn’t so quick to shirk responsibility when he’s on the job; otherwise his repeat customers would be few. As he sees it, he’s just making training a little more fun through his useless pet tricks.
“Training provides great mental stimulation, even when the behaviors themselves have no practical application in the real world,” he says.
Other videos on his website are somewhat cuter and not quite so worrisome, including this one entitled “The Police are Coming.”
Posted by John Woestendiek November 7th, 2013 under videos.
Tags: alex garcia, animals, baby, baby in the oven, brooklyn, civilpets, dog trainer, dogs, doll, infant, instructions, new york, oven, pets, raja, raja takes care of the baby, really stupid pet tricks, responsbility, stupid pet tricks, take care of the baby, video, youtube
For any family that has feared their dog might not adjust to a new human baby in the house, here’s a story that shows dog and babies can, and usually do, mix quite well — and that dogs might not be the biggest worry.
It was a 22-year-old babysitter who was abusing Finn, the seven-month-old son of a South Carolina couple.
It was the family dog, Killian, who helped catch her.
Benjamin and Hope Jordan moved to Charleston last year, and, after a background check, hired a babysitter to help care for their son.
After a few months, they began noticing that Killian behaved strangely when the babysitter arrived.
“We started to notice that our dog was very protective of our son when she would come in the door,” Jordan told Live 5 News. “He was very aggressive towards her and a few times we actually had to physically restrain our dog from going towards her.”
Based on that, the parents decided to leave an iPhone under the couch and record what was going on while they were at work.
When they listened to the audio recording that night, they heard cussing, slaps and crying.
“It started with cussing,” Jordan said. “Then you hear slap noises and his crying changes from a distress cry to a pain cry. I just wanted to reach through the audio tape, go back in time and just grab him up … To know that five months I had handed my child to a monster, not knowing what was going on in my house for that day…”
Charleston City Police arrested Alexis Khan a few weeks later. She pleaded guilty to assault and battery earlier this month in Charleston County Circuit Court and was sentenced to one to three years in prison.
Posted by John Woestendiek September 18th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, arrest, baby, babysitter, behavior, child, child abuse, conviction, dog, dogs, finn, killian, pets, protection, protective, south carolina
You hear a lot these days about young couples foregoing parenthood and opting for a dog instead. You hear a lot, too, about young couples who take in a dog as practice for when a real baby comes along.
There’s nothing wrong, in my view, with either.
What often gets ignored though — amid the kind of scoffing the dogless sometimes do at dog peoples’ commitment to their animals — is the fact that dogs, while not the equivalent of a child, do indeed prepare young couples for parenthood.
And that’s just the beginning.
After that, they go on to help those children grow up with a healthy respect for living things, teaching them about love and loyalty. And, after the kids depart, dogs help fill the void — though usually not the same dog — of an empty nest.
They, like some brands of dog food, in fact, are there for all the cycles of our human lives — including the the onset of parenthood.
Rebecca Dube does beautiful job of describing how her dog helped prepare her for parenthood in this week’s Toronto’s Globe and Mail — in a piece whose writing was prompted, sadly, by death of the family’s beagle, Lily:
“My dog was my baby; and now that I have an actual baby, I see that my dog prepared me for motherhood far better than any of those What to Expect books.”
Rebecca and her husband adopted Lily from a rescue group, altering their lives in numerous ways — from cleaning up shed hair to shifting their schedules, to dictating where to vacation and where to live — and once Lily got sick, affecting the budget as well.
Lily lived much longer with cancer than the three months her vet originally predicted, long enough to meet the newest addition to the family.
Rebecca writes that, once she became ill, they never questioned the time and money they were investing in her: “She was our baby … And then along came a real baby.
“Our son, Elijah, arrived 10 days early, and we brought him home on a Saturday night. All through my pregnancy, I’d hoped for the moment we finally got, when we introduced Elijah to Lily, and stroked his tiny baby hand against her soft fur. In my greedy heart I wanted them to have years together, for him to laugh at her wagging tail, for her to wait patiently for scraps beneath his high chair. But that tiny bit of grace would have to be enough. Lily died early Monday morning…
“My dog was my baby. She taught me that a slobbery, stinky creature could pee on my shoes, poop everywhere, complicate my life in a million aggravating ways – and at the same time inspire so much love that my heart felt like it would burst with happiness. She taught me and my husband how to go from two to three. She taught us how to be a family…
Rebecca writes that, when Elijah gets old enough to understand, she’ll show him the photos of him and Lily, “and tell him that for a few days he had the best dog a boy could ever want.”
(Photo: Elijah and Lily, Toronto Globe and Mail)
Posted by John Woestendiek May 23rd, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, babies, baby, beagle, couples, cycles, dog, dogs, lily, love, ohmidog!, parenthood, parenting, pets, practice, rebecca dube, relationships, responsibility, surrogate, unconditional
The Kentucky father whose 3-day-old son was snatched from a crib by the family’s wolf-hybrid dog last summer has written a book about the ordeal.
A spokesman for AuthorHouse, a Bloomington, Ind., company that specializes in self-publishing, confirmed to the Lexington Herald that the book will be published in late May.
Its mouthful of a title? “Could It Happen to You?: Baby A.J.’s Story of Being Taken From His Crib by the Family Dog Dakota.”
“I think it’s going to answer a lot of questions about who we are,” said Michael Smith, who along with his wife, Chrissie, became the subject of nationwide TV coverage and news articles after their family dog snatched Alexander James “A.J.” Smith from his crib July 20.
Dakota, the female wolf hybrid that had a habit of taking objects from the house, carried the baby outside in her mouth, eventually setting him down in the woods behind the Smiths’ house north of Nicholasville.
A.J. was treated for a cracked skull, cracked ribs, a collapsed lung and a partially collapsed lung and returned home after several days.
Except for a small scar, he has recovered fully, the family says. “He’s a healthy little boy. He’s doing great.” Chrissie Smith said.
Michael Smith said the book will be a behind-the-scenes narrative of the ordeal that included his interviews with Diane Sawyer on ABC’s “Good Morning America” and Deborah Norville on “Inside Edition.”
The book, he said, will clear up any notion that he’s an unfit parent.
The Smiths were investigated for child neglect, but a Jessamine County grand jury found no criminal intent.
The family attempted to get Dakota back, but eventually consented to letting the dog live with another family.
The Smiths still have two dogs, one of them a wolf-hybrid.
Posted by John Woestendiek April 9th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: A.J., animals, baby, baby a.j., book, child, children, could it happen to you, crib, dakota, dog, dogs, jessamine county, kentucky, michael smith, news, nicholasville, ohmidog!, pets, publishing, snatched, wolf hybrid, writes