Rhode Islanders will have a hometown hero represented in the world’s biggest game this Sunday (Feb. 3) for the second year in a row.
He won’t be catching passes from Tom Brady or pressuring the high-powered offense of the Los Angeles Rams, but he will be catching plenty of loving glances from charmed onlookers as he struts around a mini football field full of chew toys.
That’s right, for the second consecutive season, a local shelter pup from the East Greenwich Animal Protection League – located at 44 Worthington Road in Cranston – will be broadcast to the masses during Animal Planet’s 14th annual Puppy Bowl, the fan favorite extravaganza that airs at 3 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday.
The Puppy Bowl takes shelter puppies from all over the country and sometimes from nations abroad in order to spread awareness about choosing to adopt a pet in need rather than buying elsewhere. Goose, the local shelter puppy participating in the show, was among a litter that found its way to Cranston after the mother unexpectedly gave birth.
The East Greenwich Animal Protection League will once again set up their own watch party for the Puppy Bowl at their headquarters to cheer Goose via a big screen TV. But those who show up to the shelter between 1-4 p.m. on Sunday will get an additional treat, as Goose himself will be set up in the shelter’s own personal puppy stadium playing with other adoptable pups.
Karen Kalunian, who performs multiple roles for the Protection League, said that Goose has already been adopted by a loving family, but the shelter’s own Puppy Bowl will help give a spotlight to local dogs in need of homes. Many of the participating dogs at the shelter bear a striking resemblance to the irresistible, big-eared goofball Goose.
“A lot of people, when they see a puppy on the Puppy Bowl, they want to adopt that puppy. But because the Puppy Bowl is pre-taped, generally most of the puppies have been adopted by the time it airs,” Kalunian said. “Anybody who wants puppies that look like Goose, they'll be available.”
Goose hasn’t let his sudden fame go to his head, perhaps due to the humbling presence of Chihuahua heritage in his otherwise beagle-like DNA.
“We got the biggest kick out of that,” Kalunian said. “I think Goose’s owner was dying laughing on the other end of the phone when we told him.”
Still, Goose recently enjoyed a trip to Gillette Stadium where he got to take some glamour shots on the field with Pat Patriot and a couple of Patriots cheerleaders. Goose will be among the “starters” when the puppies first “take the field” on Sunday for the channel’s international broadcast of the Puppy Bowl.
Kalunian urged all dog lovers to come down to the East Greenwich Animal Protection League on Sunday, Feb. 3 between 1-4 p.m. to watch the puppies play – but attendees are asked to leave their own pets behind. “There will be plenty of dogs there as is,” Kalunian said.
Tickets are $10 for a family four pack and $5 for individual admittance, and can be purchased via the shelter’s website (egapl.com/event/puppy-bowl-2019/) or on their Facebook page.