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These dogs will have their day at Puppy Bowl X

Chewbaca's owners are training him to wear his winter gear
Chewbaca's owners are training him to wear his winter gear
photo by Carolyn Lauckner

While pre-game festivities focuses on the “bowl” aspect of The Super Bowl XLVIII and the juvenile joke potential, the activity of animal rescue and other nonprofit groups once again gears up to spread a message during Super Bowl commercials.

But, of course, puppy predictors are quite busy all week long in the days preceding The Super Bowl. They reportedly are quite accurate in their work. They appeared on The Tonight Show, courtesy of Jay Leno. The border collie faced off against a room full of balloons festooned with the colors of The Denver Broncos and The Seattle Seahawks. The pups ran around popping the balloons. Legend has it that the last balloon standing is the winner. If those puppy predictors are correct, The Seahawks have it!

Late Night With Jimmy Fallon also got into the puppy predictor game. Puppies raced down a ramp toward bowls of food. Therein lies the choice: a bowl of food with The Seattle Seahawks logo? or a bowl of kibble with the Denver Broncos logo? Oh, the choices! Especially for puppies with stage fright!

Puppies are busy during Super Bowl pregame festivities, that’s a fact!

Recall last year’s slate of commercials? Who didn’t reach for a tissue during Budweiser’s “Brotherhood” campaign?

Well, they’ve done it again with “Puppy Love”: #bestbuds. Keep the tissues handy.

Carmax got into the action this year with its Big Game Commercial 2014, asking viewers to vote on a commercial: one featured humans doing the “slow clap” as a new car owner drives home; the other featured puppies doing the “slow clap” while a new car owner drives home. Carmax commercials suggest everything in life is better with puppies.

What’s your vote?

But the very best of Dog World comes Sunday: Puppy Bowl X!

Puppy Bowl 2014 mimics Super Bowl, complete with two teams of puppies playing inside a model stadium and commentators. This is Animal Planet channel’s signature event that feeds off the festive nature of the Super Bowl. The program airs on Super Bowl Sunday on Animal Planet with puppies from animal shelters nationwide. The commentators offer information on the puppy players as well as how viewers can contact and adopt at their local animal shelter.

For a livestream of Puppy Bowl X preparation pregame, see Zap2it.

This year, the puppies went into intense training with The First Dogs: that’s right. FLOTUS herself and the White House pups, Portuguese Water Dogs, Bo and Sunny, held drills on the White House lawn. Word has it First Lady Michelle Obama got these shelter pups in top shape!

During Puppy Bowl, as a puppy crosses into the end zone for a touchdown, a bio appears on the screen, telling viewers how and where to adopt the pup.

Halftime? A kitty show, of course. A sizable scratching post appears on the field and kitties take the field with lights, laser pens, balls of yarn, and more. This year, Keyboard Cat takes the stage, a feline imitation of Bruno Mars.

"As the Super Bowl is to network TV, the Puppy Bowl is to Animal Planet," says Marjorie Kaplan, network president, in a written statement. “It's evolved into a major, brand-defining event with a huge social-media footprint. Ratings have grown each year (last year's drew an average of 2.6 million viewers for its first telecast, with a cumulative total of more than 12 million when all-day repeats are factored in).”

Building on this exposure, animal shelters and rescue groups nationwide are holding adoption events. In the Capitol Region, it's Lov-A-Bull February at Front Street Animal Shelter: Adult pitbulls and pitbull mixes have $14 adoption fee.

"Pit Bulls accounted for one-third of our dog population in 2013," writes the Front Street Pit Crew on the Facebook page. "While showing the world that “Pounds” can save lives, we also want to empower the misunderstood Bully Breeds. Front Street is offering $14 adoptions* to give our community the chance to see the beauty inside the breed!"

For more information, visit 2120 Front Street, call 916.264.5011, or see The City of Sacramento home page for a list of available companion animals. Opt to Adopt at Front Street!

Annie
Annie Robin Hagy Photography

Annie

This lovely lady is available for adoption from Front Street Animal Shelter. Cu-pitt will shoot an arrow at your heart when you come meet her! She is current on all shots and temperament tested. Come say hello!

Benny
Benny Robin Hagy Photography

Benny

This young man wears his colors well, dontcha think? He is waiting his forever home, so come meet him at Front Street Animal Shelter, 2127 Front Street. He is current on all shots and temperament tested. Come say hello, take a walk and have a catch!

Raine
Raine Robin Hagy Photography

Raine

My name is Raine and I am a young, grey and white pit bull terrier mix. I am a strong and sensitive type, kind of a gentle giant. My eyes will tell you everything you need to know. I am pretty mellow but lonely for a family. Come meet me and let's be a family!

Buddy
Buddy Robin Hagy Photography

Buddy

Yo, Buddy, over here! I am looking for my forever home! I am a neutered male, tan Chihuahua - Smooth Coated mix. I love to play catch and fetch and snuggle up to anyone whose lap is empty. Come to the Front Street Animal Shelter and let's talk!

Bette Midlar
Bette Midlar Robin Hagy Photography

Bette Midlar

This little lady is a red and white German Wirehaired Pointer mix. We think she is about 3 years old. She likes to go for walks and to play catch. She is waiting patiently for her forever home. Come sing along with Bette -- she's no tramp!

Lucy
Lucy Robin Hagy Photography

Lucy

I am a brown and black Beagle, Besenji mix chock full o' love! The shelter thinks I am 2-3 years old. I am the perfect age to go for car rides, walks in the park and to protect against Stranger Danger. Come to Front Street Animal Shelter and let's be friends!

Bart
Bart Robin Hagy Photography

Bart

Bart is your man on the street! He's looking for love in all the right places and waiting, oh so patiently for his forever home. He is a male, black and white Labrador retriever. He is temperament tested, current on shots and neutered. Come meet this handsome fellah at Front Street Animal Shelter and give him a chance. Opt to adopt!