Grade A, Choice Picks: Top Dogs in Pop Culture

The readers of this blog can be split into two camps: those who we know in real life and those who we don’t.  I think we are now to the point where we have more stranger-danger-readers, which is awesome!  If you DO know me in person, this will not be news to you because I have not stopped instagramming pictures, but this past week I got a puppy and named him Steve!

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As you can see, he is pretty much the cutest thing ever.  However, he is also a massive time suck so I have had little time to think of anything but dogs.  That being said, I give you a list of my favorite dogs from pop culture.  I know that some of you are going to give me grief for leaving off some of the more iconic pop pups so I have made sure to include them in the honorable mentions.

Honorable Mentions: Pluto, Scooby Doo, Tramp from Lady and the Tramp, Chance and Shadow from Homeward Bound, Hooch from Turner and Hooch, the 101 Dalmatians, Beethoven from Beethoven, Clifford the Big Red Dog, Blue from Blue’s Clues, and Nana from Peter Pan

10. Ren from The Ren & Stimpy Show – Sure, he’s got some anger management issues but I’m pretty sure that I would too if I was always having to put up with Stimpy’s “happy, happy, joy, joy” “eediot” schtick.  I respect occasional control and this is coming from someone who doesn’t usually like chihuahuas.

triumph-insult-comic-dog9. Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog – Right along with Ren, Triumph doesn’t take any crap and, in fact, will insult you right to your face.  Whether he is calling out nerds at the premiere of a Star Wars movie or humping fellow dogs at the Westminster Dog Show, Triumph’s humor is always biting and not in the way that is going to get him sent to the dog pound.

8. Snoopy – As my new little buddy is a beagle, I have a newfound respect for this ace flying pooch.  I suppose I have an affinity for wise-cracking dogs because Snoopy is also not a dog to be pushed around.  He isn’t one to take Lucy’s ribbing lying down and he doesn’t have much respect for his owner, but then who does?

airbudgoldenreceiver_photo_037. Air Bud –  What other dog can play basketball, football, soccer, baseball, and volleyball?  And yes, those are all real movies in which a dog plays all those sports.  That happened. Makes you feel pretty lame about your dog, huh?  Oh, big deal, your dog can play dead?  Air Bud can make the penalty kick that wins the championship game.  Probably.  I don’t know for sure.  I didn’t actually watch any of these movies.

6. Brian from Family Guy – There are few dogs out there with the class and sophistication of Brian.  This dog can croon with the likes of Frank Sinatra Jr., get some serious tail from a myriad of pretty hot chicks, travel through space and time with Stewie, and may someday finish that book he has been working on.

ScreenShot2013-04-03at4_38_48PM_crop_exact5. Hercules from The Sandlot – The dog, the myth, the legend.  This poor guy gets quite the bad reputation for being a man-eating beast from hell who got locked up FOR-EV-ER when in actuality he is just a protective, slobbery softy with an affinity for baseballs signed by the Great Bambi.  “That wimpy deer?”

4. Dug from Up – There is no other dog in pop culture that more perfectly captures the happy-go-lucky loyalty of real life dogs.  He instantly loves people upon meeting them and he is always on the lookout for squirrels, just like pretty much every dog I have ever met.  Dug and his high tech speaking collar perfectly give voice to dogs everywhere.

wishbone as robin hood3. Wishbone – This Jack Russel Terrier has played Tom Sawyer, Romeo, Sherlock Holmes, Rip Van Winkle, Mr. Darcy and Ichabod Crane, to name a few.  I would like to see you get that kind of range from another dog, let alone another human.  He’s basically this generation’s Laurence Olivier.

2. Rowlf from The Muppets – I may be in the minority but Rowlf has always been my favorite Muppet, both as a puppy on Muppet Babies (I watched that show so hard as a kid) and an adult dog.  He is a cool cucumber who always keeps it together despite the madcap shenanigans that the Muppets get into.  As long as he’s got his piano and deadpan sense of humor, it’s all good, baby.

Gromit_thumbs_up1. Gromit from Wallace & Gromit – I considered naming my puppy Gromit, that is how much I love this claymation pooch.  Gromit is far too wise for his dorky owner but that doesn’t stop him from being a loyal pet.  Gromit faithfully protects Wallace from a thieving penguin, a sheep-napping cyber dog, and a were-rabbit and is still able to kick back and share some cheese with his “old chum”.

I know that nobody is going to agree with me on the ranking, but who is your favorite pop pup?  Feel free to leave comments about how cute my puppy is.

Ellen

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Grade A, Choice Picks: Top 5 Patriotic Moments

Seeing as how it is the 3rd of July, the 4th of July is tomorrow!  What better way to celebrate the eve of this great day for this great nation of ours than to watch some patriotic moments.

5. Mr. Smith Goes to Washington “Fillibuster”   Is there anything more American than a fillibuster?  You’ve got democracy in action, freedom of speech, and Americans love to hear themselves talk.  “You all think I’m licked.  Well, I’m not licked and I’m going to stay right here and fight for this lost cause.

4. Team America: World Police “America: F*** Yeah”   I haven’t even seen this movie but my brothers have sung this song enough times for it to make me feel patriotic.  For the sensitivity of some of my readers, I won’t include the video.  But I will link it.

3. Independence Day “President’s Speech”   Maybe one of the best movie speeches out there and certainly the most patriotic.  “And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day the world declared in one voice: ‘We will not go quietly into the night!’ We will not vanish without a fight! We’re going to live on! We’re going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!”

2. The Sandlot “Fireworks on the Fourth of July”   This one ranks high for me partly out of nostalgia for the movie but mainly out of nostalgia for those summer days as a kid, running around the neighborhood with the smell of BBQ hanging in the air.  Also, Ray Charles’ rendition of “America the Beautiful” is just the tops.

1. Miracle – Pretty much the whole movie  I had a hard time picking a specific moment so I’m not going to.  BUT, if you held a gun to my head, I would probably pick the moment where Mike Eruzione exclaims “I play for the United States of America!”

Honorable Mention: I tried to stick to movies only, but everything out of Ron Swanson’s mouth gets an honorable mention.

What moments from film or TV make you proud to be an American?

Ellen

In with the Old: The Sandlot

The-Sandlot-SquintsBaseball season.  The smell of freshly cut grass, the taste of peanuts and Cracker Jack, the sound of the crowd roaring in the stadiums.  But for this girl, the best part of baseball season is the yearning I get to watch The Sandlot.   Granted, this is coming from the girl who spent a good portion of a Dodgers game analyzing the Padres right fielder’s butt, but everything I know about baseball, I learned from The Sandlot.  How else is a 7-year old to learn who the “Great Bambino” is?

If you’re reading this post, you probably don’t need me to tell you what a great movie it is, but it’s a great movie.  It’s one of those rare family movies that the whole family can actually enjoy.  We must have watched it at least 100 times (no joke) in my family.  It’s the only way to explain why I can still quote the entire movie.  And why I still think that Benny “The Jet” Rodriguez is the perfect man.

More than anything, I love Sandlot for it’s heart.  There are few movies that capture childhood as well as this movie.  It only makes me sad that kids don’t seem to have summers like that anymore, running around the neighborhood getting up to antics kids get up to.  Blame it on To Catch a Predator, kids with iPads, or whatever it is we are blaming these sorts of things on these days.

So here’s to summers of big dogs, throwing up on Scramblers, Wendy Peffercorn, playing ball “like a girl”, S’mores, and shaving your dog’s butt and teaching it to walk backwards.

Don’t lie.  You want to watch Sandlot now, right?  Don’t be ashamed, it doesn’t take much for me either.

Ellen