Category Archives: entertainment

Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit

Dogs! A Science Tail

An interesting podcast that I listen to is “Can I Pet Your Dog” hosted by Renee Colvert and Alexis Preston. This week they had a fascinating interview with Dr. Chuck Kopczak who lead the team creating “Dogs! A Science Tail” that was developed by the California Science Center.

A quick note about the podcast for those not familiar with it, Renee and Alexis host this weekly hour-long rollicking adventure about topics of interest to dog owners. Lighthearted dialog between the two hosts, along with serious interviews with experts make this a podcast worth adding to your playlist.

While “museum exhibits” might not be common water cooler talk, this interview about the contents and development of this science exhibit about this history of dogs and the role they play in society was a definite win on this weeks episode.

Dr. Chuck Kopczak was a great guest who talked not only about the history and background in developing the exhibit, but also walked listeners through an auditory tour of each section of the exhibit and told us why each one is important to feature.

He explained that from concept to opening, that it takes two years to plan and roll-out an exhibit of this size. (Dogs! is approximately 7,000 – 9,000 square feet). He said the planners worked closely with the directors of the Superpower Dogs movie to release both at the same time.

The most interesting fact that Dr. Kopczak shared was that oxytocin is released in humans as we gaze into the eyes of dogs, similar to how it is released when we gaze into the eyes of children or other humans. When dogs smell this hormone, it increases their gaze back at us! (I found this article in Science Magazine for further reading)

This exhibition reveals where dogs came from, how dogs experience the world, what makes our bond with dogs so special, and how to care for our canine best friends. There is also a demonstration area where dogs can show off their talents from police dogs finding scents and agility exercises, to service dogs helping individuals in daily life.

Highlights include an interactive Jeopardy! game show for attendees to challenge each other with, a dog grooming station, and activities where you can see how a dog sees, and hear how they hear.

Also playing concurrently with the exhibit is Superpower Dogs in IMAX.

Join an immersive IMAX adventure to experience the life- saving superpowers and extraordinary bravery of some of the world’s most amazing dogs. In this inspiring true story narrated by Chris Evans, our best friends are also real-life superheroes. Journey around the globe to meet remarkable dogs who save lives and discover the powerful bond they share with their human partners. Follow ‘Halo’, a rookie puppy training to join one of the most elite disaster response teams in America. Meet ‘Henry’, an avalanche rescue expert in the mountains of British Columbia , ‘Reef’, a Newfoundland lifeguard with the Italian coastguard, ‘Ricochet’, a Californian surf legend helping people with special needs, and the Bloodhound brothers, ‘Tipper and Tony’, who are lea ding the fight to save endangered species in Africa. As we discover the incredible abilities of dogs and the astonishing science behind their superpowers, we’ll never look at our best friends the same way again!

The Dogs! A Science Tail exhibit is set to start traveling to museums and science centers around the world after it’s initial run in California, so look out for a stop new you!

Resources mentioned in this post:

Best Movies Featuring Dogs

Recently Variety a slideshow titled “The Best Movie Dogs of All Time“. It was prompted by the release of the movie “Dog Days” and features twenty of the best appearances by dogs in movies through the years.

I will save you a ton of clicking and put the top 10 here, but following that I will list a few recent movies that I feel should have made the cut.

10. Buddy in “Air Bud” (1997)
9. Beethoven (1992)
8. Arthur from “Beginners” (2010)
7. The Beast in “The Sandlot” (1993)
6. Old Yeller (1957)
5. Flealick from “Babe: Pig In The City” (1998)
4. Marley in “Marley and Me” (2008)
3. Toto in “The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
2. Lassie in “Lassie Come Home” (1943)
1. “Benji” (1974)

I would like to add a few movies to this list to make it a little more current.

Bailey (Bailey, Bailey) from A Dogs Purpose (2017). While this wasn’t reviewed well by the Rotten Tomatoes critics, it definitely tugged at the heartstrings of the audience. In parts it was a hard movie to watch as it deals with the passing of “Bailey” several times as he comes back in a new incarnation, but because it was handled in a tasteful way, we were able to connect to the main storyline. Even though Bailey is played by several dogs, the ‘spirit of Bailey’ narrates the movie and brings us along on this journey.

Max from Max (2015) is another recent movie where the dog takes center stage. IMDB describes the movie as “A Malinois dog that helped American Marines in Afghanistan returns to the United States and is adopted by his handler’s family after suffering a traumatic experience.” Not only did it resonate with audiences, but provided the foundation for a sequel.

Because of the bond humans have with dogs in real life, it is no surprise that we can connect with canine-led stories in the movies. While a lot of movies are based on conjecture (us creating a story based on what we want to see rather than what dogs actually may be thinking or doing), they are inspirational and bring out the hope in all of us.

One agency that certifies that “No Animals Were Harmed” in the filming of these movies is the American Human Association, through their Humane Hollywood initiative. When you see their logo and the “No Animals Were Harmed” tagline in the credits of the movie you just enjoyed, you can know that the animals shown in the movie were treated fairly and safely during their time on and off set.

Rescue Dogs Take Over ABC’s The View

On the August 3rd, 2017 episode of The View, rescue dogs from the BARC Shelter in Brooklyn were the stars, along regular co-hosts Whoopi Goldberg, Sunny Hostin, Joy Behar, Sarah Haines, and Jedediah Bilah.

Bill Smith of BARC introduced several adoptable pups of an assorted mix of breeds that would be suitable for all kinds of families.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC's The View

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter in Brooklyn holding Athena a Doberman-mix on ABC’s The View

BARC’s mission is “to provide a safe haven for abandoned animals and to find permanent loving homes for them. While in our care, we provide them with quality food, shelter, medical attention, and the love they deserve.”

Check out the website for The View to see all of the dogs featured on the episode.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

Bill Smith from BARC Shelter showing Whoopie Goldberg an adoptable dog; Teenie.

The View has long been an advocate for rescue dogs. They feature an annual episode “Mutt Show” also featuring dogs available for adoption from shelters across the U.S.

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View's "Best In Shelter" episode

Jill Rappaport with Nicolle Wallace and Mario Cantone on The View’s “Best In Shelter” episode

Jill Rappaport, a long-time animal activist, has made several appearances on the show. She highlights dogs and is an advocate for adption; hosting her own NBC Special “Best In Shelter“.

 

rescue dog in the spotlight

National Popcorn Day

What goes with popcorn like butter and a movie? To recognize #NationalPopcornDay, let’s look back a this post from last year: Rescue Dogs Take The Starring Role that spotlights rescue dogs in the movies and on TV.

This year was another dog-filled movie year with films like Max, and the upcoming A Dog’s Purpose. Not live-action, but The Secret Life Of Pets gave us a look at what happens when the people aren’t home.

Grab a bucket of popcorn and your remote, and get settled in for great stories with our canine friends.

American Humane Association Pawscar Awards logo

And The Pawscar Award Goes To…

This year was the seventh annual Pawscar Awards from the American Humane Association. The award celebrates the top animal stars in film and television.

This year, hosts Pauley Perrette (CSI) and Lou Wegner (The Pledge, A Christmas Tree Miracle) presented awards in eight categories plus three more voted by the public. The list of categories and winners is below.

During the ceremony, from Perette’s house, she and Lou gave facts about the AHA and what was involved in the recording of iconic scenes from each movie. Did you know that in the rain scenes of The Hunger Games, Buttercup the cat, was covered in warm water. When the scenes were over, the cats were towel-dried and moved to a warming tent.

 

Best Family Dog Love the Coopers
Best Moving Performance The Hateful Eight
Best Hitchcockian Hound The Gift
Best Rodeo Romance The Longest Ride
Best Bribe Daddy’s Home
Best Repurring Cat Performance The Hunger Games Series
Best Ensemble Performance Cinderella
Best Hero Dog Max
Favorite Animal Buddy Movie of All Time Turner and Hooch
Favorite Animal Drama of All Time Seabiscuit
Favorite Animal Movie of All Time Old Yeller

For more than 75 years, American Humane Association’s “No Animals Were Harmed®” program has acted as the only official film-industry sanctioned group ensuring the humane protection, safety and welfare of animal actors on the sets of movies, television shows, and commercial shoots. Each year the program oversees the protection of more than 100,000 animal actors on more than 1,000 sets in the U.S. and around the globe.

Check out the “No Animals Were Harmed” program detials and guidelines at: www.humanehollywood.org 

Article picture credit: screenshot AHA Youtube channel.

Winners of the CW Network “The World Dog Awards”

Celebrities and their famous canine companions honored man’s best friend at THE WORLD DOG AWARDS hosted by George Lopez.

The CW published a complete list of winners including these below. Be sure to visit their website for a complete recap of the show!

 

Full list of winners from THE WORLD DOG AWARDS:

  •  Dog of the Year: Gabe, therapy dog to wounded U.S. Army veteran Justin Lansford
  •  Top Movie Dog: Carlos as “Max” (from the film “Max)
  •  Top TV Dog: Scruffy as “Whoopty Woo” (television series “Empire”)
  •  A-List Dog: Amanda Seyfried and Finn
  •  Pawpular: Manny The Frenchie (@manny_the_frenchie on Instagram)
  •  Supporting Actor to a Dog: Jason Schwartzman in the film “7 Chinese Brothers”
  •  Best Dressed: Doug The Pug
  •  Most Amazing Journey: Sissy
  •  Top Spot: “Mastery” / Chase (a commercial that featured a dog)
  •  Celebrity Dog Selfie: Joey Graceffa and Wolf
  •  Top Trick: Norman, the Bike Riding Dog
  •  Happiest Reunion: Calla and Wrigley and Army E-5 SGT Krista Coey
  •  Hot Dog: Dally, the Horserider
  •  Most Dog-Like Animal: Amy Trotter, the Pig
  •  My New Puppy: iJustine and Matt
  •  Pop Dog: “All of Me” (Charity) – John Legend, Chrissy Teigen, Puddy and Pippa
  •  Performing Pups: Nathan
  •  Best Rescue: Joel Silverman and Duchess
  •  Top Video Game Dog: River as “Dogmeat” from “Fallout 4”

HONORARY CATEGORIES:

  •  Underdog: Khalessi
  •  The Dog’s Life Achievement: Toto (from “The Wizard of Oz” and “The Wiz”)
  •  Subaru Pet Hall of Fame: JJ
  •  Award of Loyalty: Saint and Chief Warrant Officer 2 Brandon Harbaugh

The awards are presented by IAMS brand and SUBARU.

Source: Winners of “The World Dog Awards”