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Tag: Greatest American Dog (1-10 of 10)

Pop Culture Pet Peeve: All 'American' movies (and TV shows)


Hustle. Beauty. Pie. Idol. Gangster. Dreamz. Gigolo. Virgin. Violet. Outlaws. Idiot. Girl. Boy.

They’re a collection of words (or, in the case of “dreamz,” almost-words) that seem to have little in common, until you put the word “American” in front of them. Then each becomes a title, and not just any title — an evocative, slightly ironic title which promises a story that could only happen in these United States, one offering commentary on our shared national experience and way of life. It’s audacious, patriotic, grandiose — sort of like America itself, or at least the idea of “America.”

Either that… or the work’s creators couldn’t think of a good title, so they picked out a random noun and slapped “American” in front of it.

'Greatest American Dog' recap: Presley wins! The elephant returns!

Greatestamericandog_lI had a sneaking suspicion that Boxer Presley was gonna take this title when Laura, owner of Pomeranian Preston, invited me to the finale party she was co-hosting with Presley’s owner, Travis. I’m in NYC, and the party was in LA, or you would so be reading about that right now…

So we all knew that JD was gonna finish third after his interview with the judges. Saying you didn’t learn a thing at Canine Academy — just observed the other owners’ problems — is not the kind of answer you give. Ever. (And if English Border Collie Galaxy’s bathing habits, or lack thereof, was such a problem that Wendy Diamond called JD out on it, why hadn’t we heard of it before?)

Laurie handled herself beautifully in her Final Three interview. She stuck to her talking points: JD intimidates Galaxy; Travis and Presley are newlyweds. And she was honest when she said that this competition isn’t for her Maltese Andrew, it’s for her. He just wants to be a dog and indulges her. I’ll admit that I rewound twice to watch Wendy’s dog Lucky chase almost social Andrew around the Best in Show Arena, because nothing is funnier to me than Andrew hauling ass. Also because I can’t believe Lucky finally got off Wendy’s lap and did something. (KIDDING.)

After Travis nailed his interview (he’s all about the learning and the bonding), judge Victoria Stilwell proved how smart Presley really is when she got him to do the leave-the-food-on-your-paw-trick. (I’d pay to see her try that with Tillman — I was happiest to see his return last night. You?) JD officially got the boot, and please, tell me he didn’t realize how offensive it would look when he raised Galaxy’s hind legs and applauded with them? Showing your dog’s butt to the judges is not pageant protocol.

addCredit(“Eric McCandless”)


'Greatest American Dog' recap: Swingtown

Jdgalaxy_lThis week’s theme was loyalty. And with that in mind, we’ve chosen to picture JD and Galaxy. You’ll recall that the English Border Collie strained her right front shoulder muscle last episode, presumably from the 32-FT. DROP, 50-FT. LONG ZIPLINE she completed in the "Stunt Dog" competition. How sweet was JD when he carried Galaxy to her doggy bed? How sweet was Galaxy when she gave JD kisses as he tried to make her more comfortable? If the judges had seen that, they wouldn’t call Galaxy robotic.

Luckily, Galaxy recovered overnight, and the final four resumed competition with a Survivor-esque Dog Bone Challenge. The owner who could keep his or her dog sitting or standing on a stump the longest won. Maltese Andrew was disqualified first for lying down. Next, Galaxy pooped out. Travis, seeing that his Boxer, Presley, was looking miserable, tried to negotiate a treaty with Teresa that said he would let her win if they could share the leg-up. Very Survivor-esque! But Travis showed too much weakness, and Teresa resisted. Just under 18 minutes in, Travis called Presley off, and Teresa and her Border Collie Leroy retired to the Dog Bone Suite, where they also got to make a video call to her boyfriend.

The Best in Show Challenge was another simple but suspense-filled task: Each owner spent an hour with each of the other owner’s dogs. The goal was to bond, so that they could get that other owner’s dog to come to them instead of obeying his or her owner’s orders to stay. We all knew Andrew was going to win this, and he did. Even better then watching the other owners try to tempt him with toys and treats during the actual competition — as he yawned — was watching his "bonding" time with Travis and JD. He could not have cared less about them, which he proved to JD when he escaped from the house and ran off to find Laurie who was working outside.

After the jump, this week’s training controversy.


'Greatest American Dog' recap: What the F@&%?

Greatestamericandog_lI know I’m late filing my Greatest American Dog recap, and that the 15 20 of you who still read it could be angry. But I have the best excuse ever: Mark-Paul Gosselaar just stopped by our office. (See him meet Annie here.) On to the show…

So last night’s theme was courage. Or, how to scare your dog s—less.

The Dog Bone Challenge involved an elephant. AN ELEPHANT. One-by-one, the dogs were seated in a circle and asked to stay put while a 9,000-lb. elephant walked toward them. The one who stayed in the circle the longest, while his or her owner yelled, " Stay! Stay! Focus!", won. Only Maltese Andrew (pictured) and Boxer Presley (a.k.a. Poopers) had enough courage to let the elephant get close enough to grab a banana that also sat inside the circle. For the tie-breaker, Andrew and Presley both sat in the circle, while their owners, Laurie and Travis, stood in between the charging trotting elephant and them — with their backs turned to the elephant. Now frankly, I think the Dog Bone Suite should have gone to the dog that was the first to tell their owner to get the h— out of the way. (D—, this show is making me swear a lot this week.) But it went to Andrew, who stayed in the circle the longest. That Maltese has nerves of steel. Or does he?…

addCredit(“Greatest American Dog: Eric McCandless”)


'Greatest American Dog' recap: No puppy left behind!

Greatestamericandog_lThis week’s theme was rescue. In the Dog Bone Challenge, that meant one owner had to first get his or her dog to ring a bell, then coach another dog to dig for a rope that would free its master from a box. In the Best in Show Challenge, it involved an owner getting his or her dog to lead three playful golden retriever puppies out of a maze. Puppies, people. PUPPIES.

Bill and Brittany Star and Travis and Boxer Presley won the Dog Bone Challenge. In addition to the leg up (two hours to get their dogs acclimated to the wee ones), they each received the opportunity to call a loved one. Travis phoned his mother, making him the world’s second biggest Mama’s Boy, after Michael Phelps. (If I wasn’t so tired, I might’ve ovulated. He fought back tears!) Bill dialed his wife, and set the hearts of many a middle-aged women aflutter with sweet words about how the ride of life isn’t fun without her, how he intends to cherish and love her forever, how he wants to go out for Mexican food when he gets home.


'Greatest American Dog' recap: Salvador Doggy

Americandog_lAs if having to watch Greatest American Dog instead of the Olympics wasn’t painful enough, last night’s episode featured the pups painting. Why do dogs need to paint, and why do judges need to critique their work? Even I, who lost her s— (in a good way) when she read that straight-to-DVD Anacondas 3: The Offspring stars David Hasselhoff, couldn’t find the joy in this. Here’s what happened:

- With Brandy gone, Travis was finally free to make googly eyes at Laura, though Laura appeared to be putting the moves on Travis’ Boxer, Presley.

- Dog Bone Challenge: The week’s theme was intelligence, and the dogs had to find their way around a three-wall structure to a plate of food. Though Beth Joy was confident that mutt Bella Starlet would win — Bella Starlet once took an IQ test and she was smarter than Beth Joy — Bill’s Brittany, Star, did it in the fastest time, 8.34 seconds. Bill repaid Teresa for her kindness last week by offering her the Suite and the leg-up in the Best in Show Challenge — painting a picture that best represents the bond you have with your dog, with only the dog being allowed to actually apply the paint. Before we move onto that, can we just discuss how whipped Laurie’s Maltese, Andrew, is? He wouldn’t leave her side for chicken and bacon. Is he the most well-trained dog or far too codependent?


'Greatest American Dog' recap: Dancing With the Dogs

Americandog_lIf you’re a fan of awesomely bad TV, you need to see last night’s episode of Greatest American Dog. It doesn’t get any "better" than watching the owners dance with their dogs, particularly JD (pictured) who admitted to being a Michael Jackson impersonator in the ’80s. He immediately grabbed the "Hip Hop" theme for himself and English Pointer Border Collie Galaxy — excuse me, Dr. Pop and G-Money — and they turned it out in the coordination competition. They probably would have won Best in Show had JD not stolen the spotlight with all of his breakdancing. (Judges praised his choreography that involved rolling and jumping with Galaxy.) Instead, Laurie and her Maltese Andrew took the title after their ragtime routine wooed the panel. Andrew walking and stopping in perfect time with Laurie was rather impressive.

Bill and his Brittany, Star, were also standouts. For a good reason: Though Teresa and Border Collie Leroy had won the Dog Bone Challenge, which involved the pooches walking a balance beam raised over a thin layer of mud, Teresa had given the suite and the bonus prize — time with professional choreography Kashaya, whose human clients have included Gwen Stefani and Jessica Simpson — to second-place Bill. He’d been missing his family and the suite’s decor includes pictures and a letter from home. Very sweet of Teresa. Almost enough to make you forget about that snarl band incident from last week. Bill told the judges about Teresa’s sacrifice when they asked him why he was so good at his wigged (!) rockabilly routine. I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what kept her out of the bottom three. Lord knows, it wasn’t Leroy’s bark-filled disco routine. (The judges didn’t feel Leroy was having fun. They said Teresa was stressing him out. Hey, a lot of people hate disco. Why should dogs be different?)

After the jump, Beacon shuts down and Brandy tears up.


'Greatest American Dog' recap: No, not Tillman!

Tillmanron_lDuring the last 24 hours, things have just not gone my way. I’ll spare you most of the details, and just pick up with Tillman (pictured with owner Ron) getting eliminated from Greatest American Dog.

This week was all about personality. It should’ve been Tillman’s time, if you consider barfing and farting in the swimming pool "personality," which I do. In canines. But no. First, Tillman whiffed it in the Dog Bone Challenge, which involved the owners predicting whether their dogs would take or leave things set before them. We all saw Tillman drool on the steak in the obedience challenge, so I was as confident as Ron was that Tillman would as least lick Round 1’s piece of steak. He didn’t. (J.D. and English Border Collie Galaxy went on to win the challenge and banished Travis and Presley to the Dog House.)

The Best in Show competition asked the owners to work with their dogs in a photo shoot to produce an image that best represented an adjective they’d randomly selected. Tillman got LAZY. As J.D. proclaimed, "We have a winner!" But no. Ron was lazy and didn’t work with Tillman on his lounging positions, so Tillman could do nothing at the shoot. According to the judges, the shot of Tillman resting his head on the back of the chair was the most boring shot ever taken of a Bull Dog. I wouldn’t go that far, but it was unimaginative and disappointing. Ron and Tillman ended up in the bottom three, along with Brandy and Beacon, and Teresa and Leroy.

After the jump, Brandy is full of crap and Teresa is in deep doodoo with the judges.

addCredit(“Greatest American Dog: Cliff Lipson”)


'Greatest American Dog' recap: Elvis has left the building

Elvisdavid_lLet me just say this: I’m not ready for Tillman, the English Bull Dog who naps as often as I’d like to, to go home just yet. I found this out last night when he, Maltese Andrew, and Parson Russell Terrier Elvis were in the bottom three, and host Jarod Miller milked the suspense before finally announcing that Elvis was eliminated. In the silence, I repeated "Not Tillman, not Tillman, not Tillman" aloud. What is this job doing to me?

Here’s what you need to know about last night’s episode:

• Elvis (pictured, with owner David) redeemed himself. Though some of the owners wouldn’t let their dogs play with an off-leash Elvis, eventually Tillman’s owner Rob gave "the Hannibal Lecter of the house" a second chance and the pooches had fun together. Elvis also made friends with Andrew, and I’ll go there: I totally thought they might start humping. I spent a good 30 seconds wondering if CBS’ Standard & Practices would have allowed that to be shown. I have half a mind to call the network and ask for a comment, but do I really need to top the time that I had to contact a rep for Talk Sex with Sue Johanson to fact-check that a caller had indeed inquired if you could get salmonella from being intimate with a raw chicken breast? No, I do not. (Unless you talk me into it in the comments section.)

After the jump, Brandy’s Best in Show moment.

addCredit(“Greatest American Dog: Cliff Lipson”)


'Greatest American Dog' recap: Not entirely unwatchable

Bellastarlet_lI’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy this week’s episode. There. You, happy? Here are the highlights:

Most pleasantly uncomfortable moment: Beth Joy got verbally bitch-slapped for dressing up her mutt, Bella Starlet (pictured). This week’s theme was obedience, so in the Best in Show elimination challenge, the owners were judged on grooming of their dogs, as well as their dogs’ responses to the commands "Sit. Stay," "Leave it," and "Heel." I didn’t think anything would top Tillman, the skateboarding English Bull Dog, fighting his desire to eat the steak that was placed before him. (Amazingly, all the dogs left their favorite foods untouched.) But then, when Beth Joy and Bella Starlet were placed again in the bottom three, all bets were off. The judges explained to Beth Joy that by putting Bella in clothing (a dress that wasn’t as cute as Beth Joy thought it was), she was actually masking the body language that Bella uses to communicate with other dogs. After being told that clothing was "completely inappropriate," Beth Joy spoke: "This is a fancy dinner party. Yeah, I’m gonna dress her up because when she walks a red carpet, she dresses up." After judge Wendy Diamond said, "A dog is not a Barbie Doll," Elan got a smug look on her face, thinking that she and her Giant Schnauzer, Kenji, had just been saved. But no, they were sent home…

• Most delusional moment: Elan thought that she and Kenji actually had a chance at scoring the luxury suite by winning this week’s obedience-themed Dog Bone Challenge. Ha! They went out in the third round when Elan couldn’t get Kenji to give her a shake with her right paw. Eventually, it came down to two of my favorites, Laura and her Pomeranian (Preston) and Travis and his boxer (Presley).
Travis got Presley to circle left, then circle right, first. Everyone was happy for him because he’s caused no drama in the house. I was happy for him because he is absolutely adorable. He was so sweet with Presley, petting him between rounds and giving him plenty of "Good boy" kudos. Like judge Victoria Stilwell said after Travis’ performance in the Best in Show challenge, it takes a big man to use baby talk with his dog. ("That’s my good boy. That’s my good boopers.") And it’s a good owner who can use baby talk and still be an authority figure. But back to Elan and Kenji. Elan’s constant "Eh-ehs" to rambunctious Kenji irritated her fellow competitors, the judges, and, I think it’s fair to say, the viewers. That duo got eliminated.

After the jump, an emergency trip to the vet.

addCredit(“Greatest American Dog: Cliff Lipson”)


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