She may not be the “Most Valuable Puppy,” but a pup formerly in the care of KCMO animal shelter Wayside Waifs emerged as one of the stars of Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl IX.
The retriever/Siberian Husky mix, known as Aurora, was 10 weeks old when the show was taped last November in New York. Wayside Waifs had rescued Aurora and her littermates from a high-kill shelter earlier that month.
The two-hour program aired at 2 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, and then repeated throughout the afternoon and evening. During the November taping, Aurora scored the first “touchdown,” (meaning she just happened to get a toy into the end zone). But she did not appear on the program until the third quarter.
“Her teammates call her a ‘real goofball,’” announcer Scott Graham said as the big, fluffy pup emerged from the chute. “Let’s hear it for Aurora!” A graphic then came onscreen, stating that Aurora “wants to spend the summer abroad.”
Aurora and another pup got some time on the “Cute Cam,” and also received a 5-yard penalty from actor/referee Dan Schachner for “intentional growling.” After some shoving and tugging with the other puppies, Aurora grabbed a toy and trotted into the end zone.
Although Aurora was in the running for on-air MVP, that honor went to Marta, a tiny schnauzer/Beagle mix from Omaha, Neb. The viewers’ choice puppy, based on votes cast on the Animal Planet website, was Fitz, a Catahoula mix from New Jersey. However, a video of Aurora has been one of the most watched on the Puppy Bowl IX site, getting more than 90,500 views as of Monday morning.
Aurora may never get those summers abroad, but she does have a new home. A spokesperson for Wayside Waifs said Aurora was adopted shortly after returning from New York.