Cuteness | Cuteness http://www.dogster.com/cuteness Cuteness en-us Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Orion <![CDATA[Corgi Puppies! We Can't Get Enough]]> http://www.dogster.com/puppies/corgi-puppies We are all fascinated by Corgi puppies. Is it their low center of gravity, their innocent and cheerful faces, or their indomitable spirits? Whether we’re talking about the two major breeds -- the Pembroke Welsh Corgi and the Cardigan Welsh Corgi -- or any of a variety of equally delightful mixes, Corgi puppies command attention when they enter a room.

Corgis trace their roots to Wales in the United Kingdom, where they protected homes and farms, and worked to shepherd domestic farm animals ranging from cows to pigs to geese. Corgi puppies, as we shall see, are a brilliant lot -- puppies who are attentive, playful, adventurous, and outlandishly lovable.

We present these ten Corgi puppies as a representative sample of a breed thought to have kept company with the fairy-folk and who has been immortalized by its association with royalty.

Bring on the Corgi puppies!

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Toby, the Cardigan Corgi puppy. Posted at corgiaddict.com on Tumblr, photo by justbriann.

This is Toby, the Cardigan Corgi, taking it easy among the fallen leaves. Corgi puppies love nothing quite so much as playing out of doors. For Corgi puppies, the world exists to be explored and comprehended. No detail of their surroundings goes unchronicled or unnoticed as Corgi puppies make their way, but even the most active must take a moment for quiet reflection.

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Chuckles helps dad prepare his thesis on Persian Dynastic Politics by chuckles the corgi on Tumblr.

Meet Chuckles, the Pembroke Welsh Corgi! Don’t let the name fool you; if you read into Chuckles’s history, it becomes apparent very quickly that neither the name nor the decision to adopt Corgi puppies is undertaken with anything but the greatest solemnity and care. Chuckles here repays that consideration through dedication to his one of his parent’s scholastic pursuits.

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TBT, when his head was smaller than corgdad's hand by Fawkes News on Tumblr.

Here's Fawkes, a Pembroke Corgi, when he was but a young puppy. There’s no doubt that Corgi puppies are as adorable as any puppies, but with a charm and style all their own. The greenness of the grass matches well with the hopeful curiosity of Corgi puppies, don’t you think?

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Gus the Corgi puppy looks out over Bodega Bay. Photo by wandering nebula and a dog on Tumblr.

Gus is a little bit older, a little bit more established among the Corgi puppies we’ve seen so far. One is reminded of the reflective sublime in the paintings of Caspar David Friedrich as Gus gazes out over California’s Bodega Bay. The Welsh Corgi puppy overlooking the sea of fog, if you please.

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Some Corgi puppies just want to hang out with mom. Two cute welsh corgi cardigan posing by Shutterstock.

Some Corgi puppies just want to spend time with mom. The Corgi personality is widely renowned, celebrated, and typified by loyalty, and there’s no sight that comforts more than a Corgi puppy sharing moments with his loved ones. Have you seen anything cuter today than this baby Corgi giving his mommy a kiss?

The Corgi is an active breed, though, and while a quiet scene tugs at our heartstrings, Corgi puppies want to play! Take a peek at this Pembroke Corgi; he’s ready for excitement and mischief-making! We hope you’re enjoying these Welsh Corgi puppy pictures as much as we are!

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Don't you love this little Pembroke Corgi? A Welsh Corgi puppy sits in a pile of Autumn leaves by Shutterstock.

Here’s a Corgi puppy poised for fun among the fall leaves! This tiny Pembroke Corgi is beckoning to you with her lovely little face, and her perky little ears are waiting to hear you say, “Hello there!” If I were you, I wouldn’t put her off a moment longer. These Corgi puppies can hear you cheering from every corner of the Internet.

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This baby Cardigan Corgi is here to greet you and ready to play! Posted by Smiling Doggies on Tumblr.

Do you know what we really need now? A Cardigan Corgi puppy, bright-eyed and full of joy to greet you! We understand and are here to deliver. All of these Corgi puppies fill us with a sense of life’s promise and unlimited possibilities that wait just around every corner. This Corgi puppy’s fur is so beautifully colored that you could spend hours doing nothing but admiring the little brown eyebrows on the face or little white booties covering the feet.

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Smudge the Pembroke Corgi surveys the forest. "Adventurepuppy!" by Smudge the Corgi on Tumblr.

Back into nature! Smudge is this Pembroke Corgi puppy’s name, and Smudge longs to be in the forest. Fallen trees make for a good perch, giving this Corgi puppy a clear vantage point from which to assess and survey the land all around. Alert and attentive, Corgi puppies might be short in stature, but regardless of breed, the Corgi personality is expansive. Don’t you want to explore the forest with Smudge?

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Time for a nap! "Third time this week we find her sleeping on shoes." Photo by Colin on Tumblr.

After a long day of playing in fields and forests, or even just running around the backyard, even the most energetic Corgi puppies need a nap. This Cardigan Corgi has found a good place, right where everyone leaves their shoes! We’ll let you fawn and coo over her while she sleeps.

Never enough Corgis!

Do you love these Corgi puppies? Of course you do! Share your Corgi puppy pictures and stories in the comments below!

Check out some cuteness with Dogster:

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Thu, 26 Dec 2013 04:00:00 -0800 /puppies/corgi-puppies
<![CDATA[A Siberian Husky Learns to Howl With the Humans]]> http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/husky-learns-to-howl For starting off a Monday morning, nothing beats cuteness overload. It's better than coffee, especially when it's genuinely adorable, and not the synthetic kind regularly pumped out by greeting card manufacturers.

The video below clearly falls into the genuinely adorable category, enough so that it can melt even my grinchy heart. It shows Belka, a 20-day-old Alaskan Malamute/Siberian Husky mix, learning how to howl with a little help and encouragement from one of his humans.

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Siberian husky dog wearing red necklace by Shutterstock.

One of the things that makes it so inescapably endearing is that a lone dog howling against the icy northern wilderness is such an iconic image. Even if we haven't read The Call of the Wild, a lot of the imagery that Jack London used has been scrawled deeply into our cultural language. You never think about the dogs learning to howl, in the same way that humans learn to sing or talk by mimicking mom or dad or whatever's on the television.

And in the short space of a few seconds, it also evokes how closely humans and dogs have bonded. The howl has come to symbolize a very solitary wildness. Humans mimic it when they want to show that they can't be tamed, or that they're feeling wild and want to break free from the bonds of everyday life. Usually when I see images of human boys howling, it's in a story about a feral child like Mowgli in The Jungle Book. It's a sign of how much the child has left his humanity behind.

But when you watch the pup learning how to howl with a boy, it feels more like the pup is embracing humanity. It's adorable not because it's another rendition of clichés about a boy and his dog, but because anyone who's owned a dog can feel the sense of companionship here, and knows that it goes a lot deeper than mere cuteness.

Via Pawbonito.

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Mon, 23 Dec 2013 12:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/husky-learns-to-howl
<![CDATA[The Best Wedding Proposal Ever, Brought to You by 16 Pugs]]> http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/pugs-wedding-proposal-central-park It's every person's dream to meet someone they can love and confide in -- someone to depend on who celebrates you as you are. Someone who gets your sense of humor and is willing to do things just to make you smile.

Perhaps someone like Ed, a man from London who proposed to his fiancé in the best way possible -- with sixteen adorable Pug dogs.

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Adorable.

Initially, Ed envisioned just a few Pugs when he contacted the New York City Pug Meetup group to help him propose to his paramour, Alex. The couple doesn't have their own Pug, but according to Ed, Alex simply adores the breed. Her face lights up like a Christmas Tree whenever she sees one. So, what better way to propose to the person you love than with her favorite dog breed?

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The Pugs assemble.

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Alex looks more into the Pug than Ed ...

However, when Ed showed up to Bow Bridge in Central Park in New York, he was greeted by not a few Pugs, but sixteen wriggly, snorty little bundles of ecstasy. The scene was completed with a bouquet of heart-shaped balloons. When Ed dropped to his knee to propose to Alex, they was no way she could say no. (I mean, really, how do you turn down a guy with 16 Pugs and a ring?)

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Surprise!

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You can't say, "No!"

 

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Congrats to Alex and Ed.

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Everyone looks so happy!

The event culminated with a stroll through the park and a quick photo op. Every Pug who participated received a commemorative tag.

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What a great time for everyone.

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Wishing them many years of happiness … and hopefully their own Pug one day!

These are seriously the best photos ever, right? Maybe love is real after all!

Check out The Bark Post for the original story.

Read other posts on Dogster:

About Liz Acosta: Dogster's former Cuteness Correspondent, Liz still manages the site's daily "Awws," only now she also wrangles Dogster's social media. That's why she wants you to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and -- her personal favorite -- Instagram. See ya there!

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Mon, 04 Nov 2013 14:10:00 -0800 /the-scoop/pugs-wedding-proposal-central-park
<![CDATA[Don't Let His Humiliation Be in Vain: Vote for Moxie in Animal Planet's Costume Contest]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/animal-planet-halloween-costume-contest-editors-picks You have to hand it to Animal Planet. If you want to guarantee your online pet Halloween contest will be shared far and wide, invite a bunch of web editors to dress their pets and compete. Then, sit back, relax, and watch the pageviews roll in. Rinse and repeat. For extra points, make sure some of the competing costumed dogs are from sister publications.

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Imagine my surprise when I visited the contest page and saw that Sam, the sweet Pittie my friend Mandy (deputy editor at our sister pub, xoJane) adopted was going head-to-head with Mr. Moxie in the poll! I won't be upset if Sam wins -- I do love when Pitties win at life in general -- but Mr. Moxie isn't going down without a fight! So please vote for your favorite pup (Moxie! Moxie! Moxie!) over at Animal Planet.

Here are some behind-the-scenes shots of Moxie modeling AP's orca outfit. He was a good sport and got many (tiny) treats for his efforts. Don't let his complete humiliation be in vain:

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Thu, 17 Oct 2013 10:42:34 -0700 /doggie-style/animal-planet-halloween-costume-contest-editors-picks
<![CDATA[Is Your Dog More Expressive Than Kristen Stewart? Mine Is!]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/kristen-stewart-dog-photos-more-expressive My husband told me recently that our Miniature Pinscher/Dachshund mix, Pinch, smiles more in photos than I do. A quick glance through the "My Pictures" folder on my computer showed that, yes, Pinch is a lot more expressive than most humans, myself included. He's a natural in front of the camera and doesn't seem to mind getting his picture taken. This is definitely not the case for me, however, and apparently not for actress Kristen Stewart, either.

Kristen Stewart, 23, is best known for her role as Bella Swan in the insanely popular Twilight films alongside on-again/off-again boyfriend actor Robert Pattinson. But while Kristen may have an impressive filmography for someone her age, the media often focuses more on her seemingly expressionless face both on- and off-screen. Stewart even addressed the critiquing in an interview with Elle magazine saying, "I think it's funny that when I go onstage to accept an award, they think I'm nervous, uncomfortable, and awkward -- and I am -- but those are bad words for them." And then of course the Internet got involved and Kristen's not-so-emotive visage became a popular new meme.

Kristen, I'm a fan of (some of) your films, and I hope you don't mind me saying my dog is more expressive in photos than you are. But I'll let you Dogster readers be the judge of that! Let's check out some examples.

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Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

Ms. Stewart looks less than thrilled to be at an awards show, but Pinch is giving me his best "Why the heck are you making me wear this personalized bandana?" face. (Note to self: That bandana might be a little big for him.)

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Photo of Kristen Stewart used with permission from celsydney

Another less-than-impressed Kristen Stewart alongside a quizzical-looking Pinch, who's using his eyes, ears and snaggletooth to really sell the look.

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s_bukley / Kristen Stewart at the Hollywood Foreign Press by Shutterstock.com

Is Kristen happy? Sad? Nervous? Hard to tell, but we can definitely see that Pinch is flashing us some serious puppy dog eyes, which plead "get me out of this ridiculous plaid coat."

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Helga Esteb / Shutterstock.com

What's the matter, Kristen? It may be hard to read her expression, but Pinch's relaxed smile and soft eyes let us know that he's a happy dude and not afraid to show it!

Kristen could very well be angry in this photo, but really, how would we know? Pinch, on the other hand, gives me his signature furrowed brow and snarly lips to show that feline sibling Noé (whose dainty ginger leg makes a cameo) is getting on his last nerve.

Apparently Ms. Stewart has won an award here and can barely contain her excitement. When I tell Pinch he's getting a cookie, he doesn't hesitate to bust out a dazzling (underbite) smile and lift up his furry brows to show me he's thrilled! (Floppy ears optional.)

I actually think Kristen and Pinch are making similar expressions here. Kristen looks a bit uncomfortable, while Pinch is definitely giving me his best GQ face. Someone call Tyra Banks -- this dog can smize!

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Photo of Kristen Stewart via Wikipedia.org

Kristen is hinting at a smile, but she should ask Pinch to show her how it's done -- he's got a grin that goes from floppy ear to floppy ear. (His ears have actually disappeared in this photo, as I think he was simultaneously listening to some noise outside while hamming it up for the camera.)

At awards shows and public appearances, reporters and journalists are often shouting questions at the celebrities from all directions. Kristen seems a bit annoyed, but ask Pinch a question and you'll get this cocked head and pearly white grin in response!

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Helga Esteb / Kristen Stewart at 2011 MTV Movie Awards by Shutterstock.com

You are a beautiful young woman, Kristen, and a smile looks great on you. You should wear it out more often. Everything is better with a smile -- just ask Pinch!

And just to prove that I can laugh at myself, too (and that I have something in common with Kristen Stewart), here is my face in about 95 percent of the photos I'm in (with Pinch being cute and silly and expressive, as usual):

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Photo of me by my photographer friend, Niko.

See? All in good fun! Kristen, please don't be mad.

We'd like to see more great canine expressions -- Post a photo of your pooch in the comments making his or her best face!

All photos of Pinch by moi, Crystal Gibson.

Read more about Crystal's life with Pinch:

About Crystal Gibson: A child-sized Canadian expat in France who is fluent in French and sarcasm. Owned by a neurotic Doxie mix, a Garfield look-alike, and two needy Sphynx cats. An aspiring writer and pet photographer with a love of coffee and distaste for French administration, she can be found blogging over at Crystal Goes to Europe.

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Fri, 09 Aug 2013 02:00:00 -0700 /lifestyle/kristen-stewart-dog-photos-more-expressive
<![CDATA[Why Is Moe the Dog Following Me on Instagram?]]> http://www.dogster.com/bolz/moe-the-dog-pug-photos-instagram Sometimes I find myself thinking, "Wait, I'm tweeting a dog?" Then I begin to wonder whether there really is a dog on the other side of the computer. I don't know how a dog would use a computer or a smartphone, but stranger things have happened. You know what they say: "On the Internet, no one knows you're a dog."

I took an Instagram of my friend and her dog at the park yesterday, and it was liked by Moe the dog. Dogs following me on Instagram? Sure, why not?

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You can always beg.

Moe is an adorable scruffy Pug mix who might be destined for Internet fame. It happened for Momo, the hide-and-go-seek Border Collie, and for the stylish Shiba Inu of Menswear Dog, so maybe it will happen for Moe (he should definitely check out our tips for becoming a social media superstar).

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That's a killer underbite.

If there's anything the popularity of Boo proves, it's that to claim your spot on the Internet Animal Walk of Fame, you need to be able to strike a winning pose.

Does Moe have what it takes? Scroll through the photos below and cast your vote for your favorite photo of Moe by clicking on the little Vote icon in the corner. Tell us why you voted for that photo in the comments below. Bonus points if you can figure out what else Moe is mixed with!

Photos via Moe's Instagram

Check out other celebrity dogs on Dogster:

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Wed, 27 Feb 2013 06:00:00 -0800 /bolz/moe-the-dog-pug-photos-instagram
<![CDATA[We Are Dying to Hug Chesty, the Marines' Adorable New Bulldog Puppy Mascot]]> http://www.dogster.com/the-scoop/marine-corps-bulldog-mascot-puppy A new, impossibly green recruit reported for duty earlier this week, stepping off the bus from his hometown of Stephens City, Virginia, and joining the ranks of his esteemed peers in the armed forces.

His name is Chesty. He is a nine-week-old English Bulldog.

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Photo by Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez

But before he can assume his duties as the official United States Marine Corps mascot, Chesty must survive a relentless boot camp, a hell-on-earth struggle that will test his resolve and bring him face to face with his worst fears -- he'll go to obedience school, in other words.

“After obedience school and recruit training, the young puppy will earn the title Marine, joining the ranks of his well-known predecessors,” the Marine Corps said on its website.

Those predecessors include 13 other Bulldogs named Chesty, all of whom are named after the late Lt. Gen. Lewis “Chesty” Puller, one of the most decorated officers in the history of the Marine Corps. The post -- mascot -- goes back to World War I, when our boys, responding to the German habit of calling Marines ‘teufel-hunden,' or devil dogs, created a U.S. Marine recruiting poster with a snarling English Bulldog wearing a Marine Corps helmet. 

After the poster with a Bulldog, the Marines set about getting an actual Bulldog, according to author Marion F. Sturkey, who wrote Warrior Culture of the U.S. Marines.

“At the Marine base at Quantico, Virginia, the Marines obtained a registered English Bulldog, King Bulwark. In a formal ceremony on 14 October 1922, Brig. Gen. Smedley D. Butler signed documents enlisting the bulldog, renamed Jiggs, for the ‘term of life.’ Pvt. Jiggs then began his official duties in the U.S. Marine Corps.”

He was later renamed Chesty, after the famed Chesty Puller, and the naming tradition stuck.

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Photo by Sgt. Dengrier M. Baez

As for this Chesty, his duties will include marching in the Friday Evening Parades and supporting various events around the National Capitol Region, according to the Marine Corps' website.

That is, after he gets into fighting shape.

"We do like what we do with regular recruits, our human recruits," said Captain John Norton, according to Fox 59 News. "We’re going to take a good civilian and we’re going to make him a little bit better and turn him into a U.S. Marine.” 

Via Fox 59 News 

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Wed, 20 Feb 2013 13:00:00 -0800 /the-scoop/marine-corps-bulldog-mascot-puppy
<![CDATA[Jesse the Dog Makes Our Own Pups Look LIke Slackers]]> http://www.dogster.com/bolz/dog-tricks-by-jesse-the-helpful-dog Sure, we've built and destroyed civilizations and perfected the art of comfort; we also have opposable thumbs. But where would we be without dogs? Shivering in loincloths around a timid fire afraid to sleep for fear of the jaguars lurking in the darkness ready to pounce and eat us?

No one knows for sure, but when we befriended dogs so many years ago, it was probably pretty beneficial to us. They even say that while we've been selectively breeding and training dogs, they've been selectively breeding and training us. It's a relationship unlike any other.

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"Really, human, do I have to clean up after you AGAIN?"

Which leads us to Jesse, a very talented Jack Russel Terrier. Jesse's loving human has worked very hard with the little dog to teach him a canon of clever and cute tricks. Or, at least that's what she thinks. In this video, Jesse helps his human friend get ready for the day by waking her up, making her breakfast, fetching her a towel, cleaning the house, flushing the toilet, checking the mail, wiping up mysterious messes, doing the laundry ... hey, wait, it sounds like Jesse is doing everything!

And that's exactly Jesse's scheme. See, Jesse has made his human friend entirely dependent on him. Sure, she thinks she's the one commanding cute tricks, but the reality is that Jesse is just planning on the day when he'll "accidentally" forget to wake up his human friend. Joke will be on her!

Just kidding -- Jesse and his human friend are a pretty cool team. Check out more of Jesse's videos here.

Photo via Jesse's website

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Fri, 25 Jan 2013 04:00:00 -0800 /bolz/dog-tricks-by-jesse-the-helpful-dog
<![CDATA[Be the Envy of All the Other Kids With 80%20's Pupped Up Kicks]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-fashion-shoes-modcloth-pupped-up-kicks-8020 Who, me? No, I wasn't window (browser) shopping at work today.

OK, look, when part of your job description includes looking for the Internet's cutest dogs, sometimes your work distracts you from your work. But I found something to show you! So I wasn't looking at shoes, I was doing research. Yeah, that's what I'm gonna tell my boss. "Sorry this story is late, I was researching!" 

And what did I find? I found, count 'em, not one, but two pairs of dog shoes.

First, it was the punny name that caught me -- "Pupped Up Kicks," like that Foster the People ode to stylish retro shoes. And then I clicked and was all, "Awww!"

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The lace-up wedge shoe is a little silly, recalling the upholstery of your mother's ottoman, but we can imagine them adding a little levity to your work outfit, as well as a little height, without sacrificing comfort. Designed by 80%20, the idea is that wear your "favorite 20% of your wardrobe 80% of the time." Add dogs and it be 100 percent of the time.

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But if you're looking for something a little sexier, I also found these Jeffrey Campbell -- wait for it -- heels. Styled after the classic Mary Jane, these shoes can add a quirky touch to an otherwise demure outfit.

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After showing these shoes to Dogster Editor-in-Chief Janine, she was heard saying, "These come in my size!" Can you blame her? She has a dog wardrobe to keep up! [Editor's Note: I totally bought the 80%20 shoes, and it's all your fault, Liz.]

Images via ModCloth

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Mon, 24 Dec 2012 05:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-fashion-shoes-modcloth-pupped-up-kicks-8020
<![CDATA[Golden Retriever Puppies: A Surefire Way to Curb Holiday Blues]]> http://www.dogster.com/bolz/dog-video-golden-retriever-puppies-snow Are you ready for something that will make your heart burst with happiness? Don't keep this to yourself -- invite a friend over to watch it with you. Come on ... who else are you going to hug when your heart expands, absorbing all the love and light in the room?

Personally, as a Southern Californian native, I've never seen snow, and from all the Facebook photos from friends in the middle of the country with piles and piles of it, I'm a little intimidated by it. Is it cold? Does it hurt? Do you slip on it? Are you still supposed to go to work? I don't know if I can deal with it!

But then I saw this video and I wanted nothing more than to go see snow, especially if my first adventure in it includes a bunch of floppy Golden Retriever puppies. If they can bound through the snow, then I bet I'll be okay too!

Accompanied by a song I am pretty sure you're familiar with, these five cuties romp and frolic through the powdery snow in slow motion. They even help a human make a snow angel!

The cuteness is almost unbearable -- especially watching the puppies leap up and then plunk down into the drifts, which instantly bury them.

Via Tastefully Offensive

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Mon, 17 Dec 2012 08:00:00 -0800 /bolz/dog-video-golden-retriever-puppies-snow
<![CDATA[How I Started Making Miniature Felt Corgi Sculptures]]> http://www.dogster.com/doggie-style/dog-mobiles-felting-pocket-pause-tutorial Editor's Note: A few months ago, I stumbled upon Miranda Rommel's Etsy shop, Fiber Friends, and was blown away by the highly-accurate felt Corgi sculptures she included in the dog mobiles she had for sale. I emailed her to ask if she'd do a little tutorial for us on how to go about making a felt caricature of our favorite dogs, and she replied thusly:

"[That] totally sounds like fun, though a tutorial is kind of not possible as I just sort of stab the felt until it looks like a dog! Haha! But I could do a tutorial on how to make the fuzzy balls I string between the critters on my mobiles."

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I told her that would rock. This is that tutorial, as well as a little backstory on how Miranda started felting Corgis in the first place! --Janine Kahn, EIC

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Although I love all animals, and have lived with a menagerie from horses to turtles, I am particularly inspired by a particular, short-statured breed: the Corgi. I met my first Corgi three years ago and obsession hit instantly. When our Husky passed away, my husband and I began the search for our first Corgi. Even before we met our puppy, a name was chosen: Pocket. Little did I know, however, that bringing home our much-anticipated first Corgi two-and-a-half years ago would be an even bigger turning point in my life.

I have been a children's book illustrator since around 2005. Inspired by my own animals, my illustrations are always full of chickens, pigs and now, Corgis. Lots of Corgis. The inspiration for all these drawings is my Pocket. Isn't she adorable? She's smart too, and she's the reason Fiber Friends exists and a big reason my personal blog, Pocket Pause is so popular. Since Pocket came into our lives, not only do we have more fun playing at the beach, frapping around the living room, or "herding" chickens into their roosts, my business has really taken off. Thank you, Pocket!

The best-selling items from my Etsy shop and website are custom pet portraits, with a heavy focus on (yes) Corgis. I love hand-crafting every little doggie, and especially love having my inbox flooded with photos of other peoples' cute Corgis! I've even shed a tear or three when working on commemorative pieces for skin parents mourning a recent loss of their fur baby. I knew I'd really hit the jackpot when I put together my first Corgi mobile. What's better than a tiny felt Corgi? Several tiny felt Corgis spinning around on a brightly colored mobile! Yeah!

Since that first mobile (featured here on Dogster!) I've had the honor to create custom mobiles for new and expecting parents and have fulfilled several baby shower dreams. My mobiles can range from very simple to as elaborate as imagined and can be strung with individual portraits of a family's favorite pets, or cute generalized animals. Often, the doggies will be strung with their favorite toys to chase, as well as colorful felt balls. I string the mobiles using a fisherman's swivel at the top which allows the mobile to spin freely in the air over a baby's head. They really are mesmerizing! (Confession: I have one over our own bed and love waking up to fuzzy sheep bellies every morning.)

I just love creating adorable critters, on paper or in felt. It brings me such joy to read positive feedback and to know I've made something special that my clients will love for years to come. Hint: I'm currently accepting orders in time for the holidays! I often have a waiting list, so plan ahead if wanting to place an order!

Tutorial time!

While each dog takes me up to 3.5 hours or more, the decorative balls included in each mobile are a quick and easy design element that anyone with some wool and a felting needle can create! Here's how:

1. Pull off a bit of wool fluff. I use "core wool" that felts very well and is inexpensive to purchase. Batts work better than roving and can be found from felting supply places or your local yarn shop. I hear you can also use non-wool fluff like the stuffing that comes out of Corgi-eaten dog toys.

2. Roll the fluff towards you to make a log, folding over each side to make a roundish "ball" so that fluff overlaps and is coiled tightly.

3. With a course felting needle, or set of needles stab the overlapping fluff where it connects with itself, rolling it in a ball, stabbing anywhere that it's not tight.

4. Keep stabbing! Once you have the core in a ballish shape, pull off a bit of colored fluff (never cut!). Lay the colored fluff on top of the ball and stab. Again roll and stab, coating the ball evenly, adding or pulling more fluff over thin areas. Each ball may take you 15 minutes or more to get smoothly felted, depending on the type of wool and needles used.

5. Switch to a fine needle and continue dragging and stabbing until the ball is smooth all around. Roll ball in your hands to get a uniform ball shape. Use scissors to trim any flyaways if necessary.

Felt balls make for great mobiles all by themselves, and can also be strung as necklaces, bracelets or party decor. If you've never needle-felted before: beware, those needles are SHARP! Even with my experience, I stab myself a few times every week - occasionally letting out a blood-curdling yip that wakes even Pocket from her deep slumber. Keep some bandaids on hand and focus - felting is not a "do this while you watch TV" activity.

Check out my Pinterest board "FELT" for some great inspiration for using your felted balls! And Have fun!

About the Author: Miranda can be found homesteading, blogging, flyballing and stabbing cute animals into life at PocketPause.com.

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Mon, 19 Nov 2012 10:00:00 -0800 /doggie-style/dog-mobiles-felting-pocket-pause-tutorial
<![CDATA[Jiff the Pomeranian Shows Off His Bag of Tricks]]> http://www.dogster.com/bolz/dog-video-jiff-pomeranian-bag-of-tricks Jiff is a little Pomeranian who has a lot to show off. The darling, petite actor-slash-model knows a list of tricks that includes basic obedience, rolling up into a burrito, playing dead, dancing, and -- his greatest trick of all -- melting our hearts.

In this video, the incredibly talented lapdog runs through a routine of commands, and it's pretty clear that Jiff and his human friend share a special bond, where Jiff is really happy to please her and she cares deeply for Jiff.

One of our favorite Jiff tricks is when he rolls himself up into a little doggy burrito and then poses with eyes that hypnotize us into loving him.

When Jiff isn't busy performing frown-defying stunts of cuteness, he enjoys posing for the camera in different doggy outfits. From the looks of it, Jiff loves the camera and the camera loves Jiff -- his little teddy bear face always has a smile on it.

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Jiff doesn't let the fame get to his head -- he is a perfect gentleman.

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Angel or dog? We're not sure.

Don't worry -- it's not all work and no play for Jiff. Jiff and his human make time to hang out and relax. Jiff is a natural beach bum and also has a shell-collecting hobby. Don't believe us? Here's Jiff hitting the surf and sand to a Weezer soundtrack.

Yeah, how cute was that? It's his best trick!

Photos via Jiff's Facebook page (Don't forget to like it!).

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Mon, 12 Nov 2012 08:00:00 -0800 /bolz/dog-video-jiff-pomeranian-bag-of-tricks
<![CDATA[How a Ratty Little Dog with an Underbite Got Me Into Rescue]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-rescue-ratty-little-underbite It all started with a light-hearted comment at work about getting a dog one day. I had been married about a year and my husband worked for an airline, so we were enjoying our chance to see the world ... or at least the United States. Then a phone call from a co-worker changed our entire lives of wonderful freedom to go wherever, whenever. 

I wasn't excited about the phone call, because it was from one of my least favorite sales guys. I expected some outrageous request, but instead he asked if I was still interested in getting a dog. He told me about this pathetic little dog he and his wife had found roaming a busy street. He told me that the dog's tongue stuck out and she had an underbite, which conjured a very ugly picture.

He also said that he was planning to take the dog to the pound, because he and his wife already had dogs. I didn't want to seem heartless, so I asked him to bring a picture to work. I figured that would give me time to come up with a great excuse as to why I could not take her.

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Yes, her tongue is almost always hanging out.

Since I had no plans of getting the dog, I did not even mention it to my husband. The next day, the salesman came in carrying a medium-sized dog carrier. Then I remembered -- but I had told him to bring a picture, NOT a dog! I was speechless. 

He set down the carrier and opened it and the littlest, rattiest, most pathetic dog walked out, jumped on my lap, and looked in my eyes. She was extremely thin and had fur missing around her neck, but she seemed to melt into my arms. Her sad eyes seemed to tell me that I was her last hope. 

That was the end of my freedom. "I guess she is yours!" the salesman said. One of my co-workers wanted to hold the ratty dog, so I went to hand her over, but the dog did not want anyone but me. Seven years later, so it remains. She chose me, and that was the end of the discussion.

I called my husband to let him know. He started asking crazy questions, like "Is she fixed?" "Is she house trained?" "Does she have her shots?" I told him the only thing I knew was that she was coming home with me. He was not happy with this, or the decision I had made without his input. 

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Roxy likes to hide in the couch.

I headed to the closest pet store and got everything I could think of that she might need: food, bowls, toys, leashes, beds. Then we headed home to let the little ratty dog's eyes make their case to my husband, who was not OK with losing his freedom (especially to a little ratty dog). 

My husband was sitting, resolute, on the couch. I sat the little ratty dog with the extra-long tongue and the underbite on his lap. She gave him the same look she gave me, and just like that, she had found her home!  

I would like to say that everything went smoothly, but this is real life and a real rescue. That night, the little ratty dog jumped on the bed and burrowed under the covers as soon as my husband said that no dog would ever sleep in his bed. (Needless to say, she still sleeps there today!)

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Roxy is never far from my lap.

I woke up to her sitting on my chest, staring at me. I assumed this meant it was time to go out. So we went out and she completed her business. We came back to bed and I threw the leash on the floor. About 10 minutes later I noticed that the little dog was lying next to the leash, shaking. I went to try and pick her up and she growled and snapped at me. 

I couldn't figure it out, because she had just been outside, frolicking. I pulled the leash from under her so I could grab her but she snapped at me again. Not knowing where to turn, I called the vet. The lovely assistant at the vet's office asked me a series of questions that led to the discovery that my little ratty dog was guarding her leash.  

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A couple of the dogs we rescued after Roxy.

This was one of many odd behaviors that we would later learn most likely stemmed from previous and extensive abuse. The poor little ratty dog was scared of men, bowls, and plates. She guarded and stashed food all over the house, she did not like my husband to touch me, and she HATED her tail or rear end to be touched. 

This little ratty dog, who we named Roxy because it was the only thing she would respond to, had become the biggest pain and yet the biggest blessing. I had no idea that dogs were just abandoned on the street. I had not wanted a dog because I knew about the responsibility caring for another life would bring.

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What I did not expect was all that I received from this little ratty dog. Little Roxy was the catalyst who thrust me into animal rescue. 

Because of Roxy, I now have five misfit dogs, each with their own issues from their former lives, and each with their own valuable lessons in life, love, trust, and healing. Each has a story as great as Roxy's, and countless others have passed through our little pack on the way to their own happy ending in their own forever homes. And it's all thanks to one little ratty dog. 

Got a Doghouse Confessional to share?

We're looking for intensely personal stories from our readers about life with their dogs. E-mail confess@dogster.com, and you might become a published Dogster Magazine author! 

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Fri, 09 Nov 2012 11:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/dog-rescue-ratty-little-underbite
<![CDATA[Monroe the Samurai Beagle Wins Our Halloween Contest!]]> http://www.dogster.com/lifestyle/dog-photos-halloween-costume-contest-beagle-rescue-ink Hey Dogster readers, thanks to everyone who participated in our HOWL-O-Ween Costume Contest. We were trying something new, so there were a few glitches, but we got a lot of awww-mazing entries (and thanks so much for your patience, by the way). Narrowing the photos down to just five to vote on was really difficult, but we managed it, and then we opened it up to all of you to decide which costume you liked best.

Well, you voted, and the Samurai Beagle came out as top dog. We got in touch with the entrant behind the photo, and were touched by the response we received.

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The winning photo.

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Monroe in his samurai costume looking pretty slick.

The pup in the pic is named Monroe, and his human friend, Ben, made his Samurai costume for the Philippine Animal Welfare Society's (PAWS) annual Scaredy Cats and Dogs Costume Contest. Monroe's puppy brother, Daffyd, went as Cerberus.

Monroe and Daffyd both lost that contest. However, when we told Ben that Monroe was the winner of our contest, Ben asked that we donate the $25 Petco gift card to the Rescue Ink Shelter, which needs help after being hit by Hurricane Sandy. According to Ben, he and his partner promised Monroe that they would get him treats equal in worth to the Dogster prize if he was willing to give up the gift card to charity. Monroe, ever gracious, agreed.

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Monroe at the PAWS costume contest with Daffyd.

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Monroe and Daffyd cuddled up together -- so cute!

Gift card or not, Monroe and his human are winners in our book for their generosity.

They did, however, opt to keep the bragging rights. With kindness like that, they can brag all they like! Thanks so much to Ben for letting us share these photos.

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Fri, 09 Nov 2012 08:00:00 -0800 /lifestyle/dog-photos-halloween-costume-contest-beagle-rescue-ink
<![CDATA[What's Cuter Than a Pile of German Shepherd Puppies?]]> http://www.dogster.com/bolz/dog-video-german-shepherd-puppies-keith-hopkin From the same filmmaker who brought us the exquisite unbridled euphoria of "Dogs in Cars: California," we get another video of unabashed indulgent cuteness and sentimentality. 

Mia the white German Shepherd made her debut in Keith Hopkin's first "Dogs in Cars" video, sticking her head out of a window and very obviously enjoying the wind in her face and the rush of smells past her nose.

And now Mia the dog is a mama! She recently gave birth to a litter of 11 (!) healthy puppies, and now we get to awww-dore the precious little darlings in Hopkin's new series of videos.

The first video features mama Mia and her brood at just 10 days old, bonding through feeding time. The little puppies certainly keep Mia busy! But that's OK, being this adorable is no small feat, and it takes a lot of hard work and practice to get this cute! Accompanied by a whimsical soundtrack, the video reaches maximum cuteness when one of the puppies climbs up on Mia's back for a nap, then puppy and mama nuzzle nose to nose.

But the adorableness doesn't stop there. There's another video of Mia's puppies at 25 days old, snoozing and cuddling and wrestling with each other.

Hopkin plans on adding more videos, so make sure to check back with the Puppy Pilelike him on Facebook, or follow his Twitter.

Photos via Keith Hopkin's Facebook page

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Fri, 09 Nov 2012 05:00:00 -0800 /bolz/dog-video-german-shepherd-puppies-keith-hopkin