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Puppy Bowl: Alexandria Chihuahua Ready to Score Along with Five Other Local Pups

Raven from Alexandria-based Operation Paws for Homes is ready to run in and save the day–think of the movie “Rudy” and root for her to get off the bench in the 16th Annual Puppy Bowl. (PHOTO: Animal Planet)

ALEXANDRIA, VA – Remember the movie “Rudy” based on the real Daniel Eugene “Rudy” Ruettiger who dreamed of playing football at Notre Dame, but lacked the grades and money to attend, and the talent and physical stature to play major college football?

But remember also how he had all that heart and scrapped his way onto the team, even if he did just ride the bench?

Well, among the puppies on the bench ready to go in for Team Ruff at Puppy Bowl XVI on Animal Planet Sunday, February 2 at 3 p.m is a little 18-week old Chihuahua/Pomeranian named Raven representing the Alexandria-based shelter group Operation Paws for Homes.

It might happen. Puppies on the bench like Raven have a chance to get in the game when players are pulled for various rules violations including “unnecessary ruffness” and “premature watering of the field,” says Animal Planet.

To score, the puppies have to successfully carry a toy across the goal line of the opposing team.

Quick Puppy Bowl Facts 

  • This is the 16th year for the Puppy Bowl.
  • There is a 100% adoption rate for all participants.
  • 96 puppies will participate.
  • The puppies represent 61 animal shelters from 25 states and beyond – largest group yet.
  • The 2020 Puppy Bowl has more international puppies than ever before, with canines from Cartagena, Colombia; St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands; and Toronto.
  • According to Animal Planet, Puppy Bowl 2020 will feature five special needs puppies — including Ferris, a three-legged Labrador Retriever mix; two hearing impaired pups – Kismet, a Great Dane, and Paprika, a Chihuahua mix; Filbert, a blind and hearing impaired Shetland Sheepdog mix; and Rooster, an American Staffordshire Terrier /Bulldog mix with a cleft palate.

The Six Local dogs are:

  • Anise (Team Fluff) is an Australian cattle-dog-lab-mix Last Chance Animal Rescue in Waldorf, Md.
  • Killian (Team Fluff) is a great Dane from Green Dogs Unleashed in Virginia.
  • Gina (Team Ruff) is a chow chow/Labrador mix Last Chance
  • Poppy (Team Ruff) is a bichon fries also from Last Chance.
  • Kismet (Team Ruff Bench) is a great Dane from Green Dogs Unleashed.
  • Raven (Team Ruff Bench) is a Chihuahua/Pomeranian mix from Operation Paws for Homes.

Here’s a preview of what to expect in the big match of Team Fluff versus Team Ruff:

Check out Animal Planet’s photos for the 42 dogs in the starting lineup!

It’s a two-hour event, but it all starts with the Pre-Game Show at 2 p.m. with commentary and analysis.

Locally, there is the annual watch party at Alexandria’s Wag and Brew, 14 S Pickett Street, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. where you can even bring your own pup, but they will have to stay on leash in the tap room. The event is free, but word is that if you buy a souvenir cup for $10, it comes filled with a free beer.

Have fun, and root for Raven!



Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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