Oscars for Dogs?

February 26th, 2007 by Kathy Hawkins

Unless you’ve just returned from a month-long trek across Antarctica, you probably know that the Academy Awards were last night. As usual, actors, directors, writers, and a plethora of other creative types received glowing accolades and shiny golden statues for their on-screen and behind-the-scenes efforts from the last year. But what of our canine companions who’ve graced the silver screen? Why are there no prizes for the dogs that have barked and frolicked their way to fame in movies and television?

In honor of the Oscar season, I thought I might throw a bone to those dogs who’ve worked hard to entertain us in the recent past. We all know the celebrity dogs of the past—Lassie, Toto, Rin Tin Tin, Benji, and the rest—but who are the doggie stars of the last decade?


Moose as Eddie Crane on Frasier

Moose, a Jack Russell terrier, is most famous for his long-standing role as Eddie Crane on Frasier. During his 10 year run on the show, Moose received more fan mail than any of his co-stars. He also had a role in the movie My Dog Skip. Moose passed away on June 22nd, 2006, at the age of 16 and a half.

Another Jack Russell, Soccer, played Wishbone, the most well-read dog in history. Each week, on the PBS show of the same name, Soccer dressed in costumes and acted in stories based on works of classic literature. He was chosen for the role over 100 competitors. Soccer, who was named for his love of toy soccer balls, also acted in numerous commercials, from Nike to Mighty Dog dog food. He died in 2001.





Soccer on Wishbone

If you’ve got a Golden Retriever, he may be able to fetch a stick, or catch a Frisbee in his mouth. But can he bounce a basketball into the hoop with his nose? A Golden named Buddy first gained renown for his basketball act as a recurring guest on Late Night with David Letterman‘s “Stupid Pet Tricks” segment. Buddy’s skill on the show led him to far greater fame as the star of Air Bud, a family-friendly movie about a basketball-playing dog, released in 1997. Sadly, Buddy died of cancer in 1998.

Paddy, a New Zealand-born terrier cross, is a recent addition to the canine hall of fame. He co-stars in the new movie, The Bridge to Terabithia. He plays a dog, PT, who is given the important duty of hunting trolls in a fantasy world. Read more about Paddy in this Dominion Post article.

Which top dogs did I miss? If you have any to add, post them below.

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