DOGS OF INTEREST
DOG OF INTEREST: Blaze
HIS HUMANS: All of us?
Blaze is a dog of interest because he possesses a unique, somewhat tragic, attribute: no matter how kind he is, how considerate, how gracious and respectful he may be towards other dogs and humans–no human or dog seems to actually like him except Berlinerblau (who is human and is pictured here with Blaze). Millie the dog (see below) reflexively chases him, kettles him under a bed for hours on end, and generally seeks to make his life miserable. Smaller canines upon seeing him, give him side-eye. Larger ones waste no time in making it clear they would happily tear him limb from limb if only their owners would oblige (and their owners. momentarily, seem inclined to do precisely that). Humans, for their part, find him needy. Even Berlinerblau’s wife–a gentle lover of all creatures great and small–complained that he was “just too beige.” Blaze is a luminous, gracious soul who has been subjected to the Job-like misfortune of being too good, too solicitous of others, too empathetic. Blaze, when you think of it, is a cipher for the human predicament itself. Blaze, when you think of it, is us.
DOG OF INTEREST: Leo (Sometimes called LeoDog)
HIS HUMANS: The Berlinerblau Family
Leo (pictured here outfitted with teal snow booties) is one of those “It” dogs, a member of the extremely popular lagotto romagnolo breed whose cache is on the rise in certain neighborhoods, in certain American cities. These gorgeous, clever animals are skilled truffle hunters. Given the expense of that commodity, trained lagottos are quite valuable. There are even rumours that their special skills have made them lucrative pets for criminal enterprises in some parts of the world.
But none of this applies to Leo. He'd only be "lucrative" if his humans received Bitcoin payments every time he lost his marbles at 2:30am upon glimpsing a chipmunk walking past his window. He is untrainable. He has a hard time focussing, leading his human family to believe that he--like his human family--occupies numerous positions on “the spectrum.” He cannot be incentivized to do anything, unless beef jerky is involved...and even then. He has no noble qualities. He has no appreciable skills, save one.
LeoDog is a Dog of Interest because he possesses a preternatural ability to sniff out concealed plastic bags of exquisite, A-grade marijuana. How many times has a frantic, irate, and out-of-breath teenager tried (vainly) to chase Leo down in the parks of northwest Washington where leashes are optional and folks do not attend to their backpacks?
DOG OF INTEREST: Milli (sometimes called Millicent, Milli Moo, or just Moo)
HER HUMAN: Scholar; wishes to remain anonymous
Milli Moo’s actual gentle character belies the ferocity she projects in the accompanying image. In the picture we have provided, a salty ‘Moo looks like she’s just devoured a dozen sideways-scuttling crabs (to invoke Thomas Mann’s lovely phrase). But Milli, a rescue, is a very sweet soul. She has lovely lashes, always seems to be wearing eyeliner, and loves nothing more than: 1) processed jerky treats, and, 2) staring into your eyes for minutes on end. She is a Dog of Interest, not because she fancies beef byproducts, but because she is so interested in you. If Milli had a Tinder account, her little paws would never swipe left. She wants to look at you, to emote with you, to meld with you. She craves you.
DOGS OF INTEREST: Athena the Boxer & Finn the Springer Spaniel
THEIR HUMANS: The Pozorski Jones family (Aimee, Jason, Eliot)
THEIR MANTRA: Play! Play! Play!
Athena is a born huntress, exceedingly dignified and wise, like her namesake. Finn, on the other hand, just wants to be loved and will go to great lengths just for belly rubs. Finn is one of eight litter mates rescued in the neighborhood of Sunnyslope Drive. When he takes walks, he sees his sister, brother, and mama on the route. Athena is stubborn, clever, and loyal. Finn is silly, affectionate, and loyal. They have an uncanny knack of failing to look at the camera at the same time. What makes them Dogs of Interest? They are the ultimate odd couple: fawn vs. black and white; strong vs soft; task focused vs people focused; hunting dog vs lap dog. But they are united in their love for play, with each other, with their humans, with their pack scattered all around the block.
DOG OF INTEREST: Ruffles the Webkinz
THEIR HUMAN: Ria
Ruffles lives an unrestrained and carefree life as an online dog on the popular children’s website Webkinz. Though his human lost the password to his account over ten years ago, Ruffles has taken this opportunity to engage in all the virtual dog world has to offer. Digging for gold, playfully splashing around in rivers, and hanging out with his puppy friends are just a few of Ruffles’ favorite activities. Ruffles hopes to one day reunite with his human and actualize his full potential as a Dog of Interest.
DOG OF INTEREST: Jake the Bulldog
THEIR HUMAN: Alex
Jake exists sometime in the future, or possibly in a parallel universe. He is a bulldog ceaselessly spoiled with upscale treats (likely the reason why he is just a tad bit overweight), too many shiny toys to count, and a mini penthouse. On a typical day, Jake likes to practice his haughty, dignified strut and his commanding bark so that he can supplement his cuteness with an air of authority. Despite living a glitzy city life with his best friend Alex, Jake feels that he is imbued with a greater purpose in life--that is, to roll up to the Hilltop in the toy motorcade that he got for Christmas, meet his look-alike Jack, and vie for the heart of every Hoya.
DOG OF INTEREST: Rusty
THEIR HUMAN: Emily S and Family
Rusty is an 11 year-old golden retriever from Warren, NJ. He is the living embodiment of that cynical immigrant Dad maxim that Americans treat pets better than people. Born in Ithaca, NY, the beloved dog's favorite foods include Basmati rice and Costco rotisserie chicken. He also loves a good milk bone. Rusty is affectionately called "Rus" and "the disputed King of New Jersey." His hobbies include modeling, chasing deer, chewing on his Nyla bone and going on medium distance walks. Rus’s gentle temperament, his unflinching loyalty, and his ability to make even the grumpiest person smile makes him the ultimate* dog of interest.