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Puppy Bowl V

 Puppy Bowl V
Puppy Bowl V (Animal Planet)

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Jessie Dinh
Producer, Discovery Studios
Friday, January 30, 2009; 2:00 PM

The yearly canine competition is back as a new cast of adoptable shelter pups -- free agents, so to speak -- takes to Animal Planet Stadium for another year of field action full of stumbles and falls.

Kicking off Puppy Bowl V on Sunday (3-5 p.m. ET on Animal Planet)will be Pepper the Parrot who "sings" a unique rendition of the National Anthem and later on the felines are back with the Kitty Half Time Show consisting of tabbies and calicos batting around a toy mouse, among other things. Good alternative TV.

Jessie Dinh, Discovery Studios producer, was online Friday, Jan. 30, at 2 p.m. ET with all the details.

Here's a preview of this year's matchup:

A transcript follows.

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Jessie Dinh: Hi everyone! Jessie Dinh here from DIscovery Studios. Looking forward to answering all your questions about this year's Puppy Bowl!

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Panama City Beach, Fla.: I care absolutely NOTHING about the Super Bowl, but always tune in for the Puppy Bowl. I LOVE IT! Thanks for rescuing these sweet little stress relievers.

Jessie Dinh: Thanks for the feedback! The show is extra special this year in that all of the puppies featured came from area shelters. There was some fighting going on within the film crew on who had dibs on adopting which puppy!

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Kitties: Do you have the kittens chase a laser light? My cats LOVE that.

Jessie Dinh: We added some motorized toys to this set this year which were a big hit. Great idea though on the laser light...there's always room for improvement!

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Arlington, Va.: Are all the puppies in homes now?, how was the 'casting done?

Jessie Dinh: Yes! We are proud to say that all the puppies that participated in this year's Puppy Bowl have since been adopted and are now in happy homes! In regards to the casting, we work with Petfinder.com to reach out to area shelters who are always more than thrilled to participate. We had puppies come from as far as PA and NJ this year!

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Ben Israeli: Who is your pick to win the Vince Lombardi trophy this year? I would either have to go with Charlie Brown or Mac. I think being the German Shepard gives Mac a slight advantage over the Doberman mix.

I will admit if you were giving out points for just being adorable Roscoe would be the hands down winner.

Jessie Dinh: Roscoe was indeed adorable. Being there in person, I have to say Schroder and Eli were my personal favorites!

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Vienna, Va.: My husband and I (and now our young kids) LOVE the Puppy Bowl. Just two weeks ago, we were watching the NFL playoffs, and at halftime at one of the games, I asked, "No Puppy Playoffs?" I can't help but associate big football game halftimes with the Puppy Bowl now! So, my question is, any chance you'll expand, maybe add a Puppy Playoffs?

Jessie Dinh: Puppy Playoffs would be a fun idea! We could have viewers vote on who should make it to the big game. I need to write these ideas down!

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Philadelphia, Pa.: Does Pepper the Parrot have a repertoire of other songs or sayings?

Jessie Dinh: Pepper loves to mimic sounds from the television and she also loves to bark like a dog - how fitting! Some of her other many talents include doing puzzles and shaking pom poms with her claws. Very cute!

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Arlington, Va.: Hi, I have two cats, one is gray/white British male, the other a female tabby. What puppies would you recommend for this situation. We also may be having a baby soon. Thank you.

Jessie Dinh: Hmmm...that's a good question! I'm not sure what breeds get along best with cats and babies. If you go to Petfinder.com they have info about picking the best breed for your family. Good luck!

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Alexandria, Va.: Have you considered expanding on the concept of Puppy Bowl and doing an entire season?

Jessie Dinh: While the task seems daunting after having just finished Puppy Bowl, I think that's a great idea! It would certainly bring a lot of exposure to puppies that need a happy home.

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Washington, D.C.: Will the Puppy Bowl replay during the Super Bowl? Also, my kittens are actually in the Half Time show(!). Can you confirm that this means they are very cute?

Jessie Dinh: Puppy Bowl will premier at 3pm ET time on Feb 1st and then will repeat a number of times throughout the evening in case you miss the first airing.

In regards to your kittens... First off, thanks so much again for taking the time to participate and be a part of the show! And this absolutely confirms that your kittens are VERY cute!

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Anonymous: Any chance you can get the Rolling Stones to give you a release so you can play GIMME SHELTER during your event?

Jessie Dinh: Hilarious!! I'll get our music coordinator on that pronto.

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Washington, D.C.: When did you/will you film the "game"?

Jessie Dinh: We actually filmed the "game" back in October. It was a 2-day shoot with roughly 40 puppies and 60 humans ;)

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Washington, D.C.: You have so many puppies, how do you handle any "accidents" on the playing field?

Jessie Dinh: Let's just say it can get very messy out on the field! Our poor ref Andrew had to do a lot of the clean up and we had some very dedicated stage hands who helped out as well. It's a dirty job but someone's gotta do it!

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Washington: I love the Puppy Bowl!

Where did the idea originate?

Jessie Dinh: Animal Planet came to us with the idea of having puppies simply playing in a room during the Super Bowl as counter programming. This idea evolved into having an actual football-themed game which has then expanded into what it is today!

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Burbank, Calif.: Hi Jessie!

We've never seen Puppy Bowl but are excited to check it out this year. It sounds cute! Could the parrot hit the high note in the anthem?

Jessie Dinh: You'll love Puppy Bowl, I promise! You'll have to tune in for Pepper, she gives quite the performance.

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Washington, D.C.: Do you film the kittens on the same field as the puppies? Before or after, or actually in between halves? I wonder if the puppy smells freak the kitties out... they always seem a little subdued. But maybe that's just relative.

Jessie Dinh: We actually shoot the puppies and the kittens on two different days and steam-clean the "field" between each group. I think putting the kittens and the puppies on the field at the same time would be a whole new show all together!

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Alexandria, Va.: Hi Jessie, my cat Tatooies is quite a ham, I was wondering how I could get him on the Kitty Half Time Show? Are there auditions?

Jessie Dinh: Love the name Tatooies, very cute! Unfortunately we only cast young kittens that are up for adoption for the Halftime Show but thanks for your interest!

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Glen Ellyn Ill.: Hi,

The 'starting lineup' doesn't include any dachshunds? I'm crushed.

Jessie Dinh: So sorry! We get so many pictures of cute puppies that its hard to decide on who makes the cut. We'll be sure to get Dachshunds on the list for next year!

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Arlington, Va.: I've heard nothing but great reviews about this show. Are you a football fan as well? The puns and similarities are quite cute!

Jessie Dinh: I am a football fan! (Go Redskins!) I tried to keep the puppy puns as accurate to real football as possible - it was a fun challenge!

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Alexandria, Va.: My crotchety old cats LOVE the Puppy Bowl, and try to touch noses with the puppies. However they hate the kittens. I find that funny, so I thought I'd share.

Jessie Dinh: Very cute! I'm not surprised, I have a cat myself and sometimes I swear he thinks he's a dog.

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Silver Spring, Md.: I'm so excited about the kitten half-time show! When does it come on? I just read elsewhere that the Puppy Bowl airs and then replays, so at what time is the kitten halftime show? I really don't want to miss that....

Jessie Dinh: The Kitty Halftime show airs about halfway through the show and yes it does repeat throughout the evening so hopefully you won't miss it!

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Washington, D.C.: Do the puppies come with names already, or did you name them for the show?

Jessie Dinh: All of the puppies came with names either given to them by the shelter or their adoptive parents. I think my favorite name was Sarah Jessica Barker. Hysterical!

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Georgetown, Washington, D.C.: Sarah Jessica Barker: please tell me you bleached a chihuahua and glued a wig onto it....

How on earth does a dog wind up with that hairdo?

By the way, it's more of Jennifer Aniston "Rachel" 'do.

Jessie Dinh: Ha! While it may look like she's a chihuahua with a bad hairdo, she is actually a Chinese Crested. They naturally have very little hair and actually have to wear sunscreen to protect their skin!

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Kensington, Md.: Love the Puppy Bowl! Just curious -- why a Puppy Bowl with a kitten half-time show and not the reverse? Are the kittens harder to control than the puppies?

Jessie Dinh: It would be fun for the kittens to get the chance to be the main event. I think the reason we don't have Kitten Bowl is b/c kittens can tire more easily and don't "tackle" as much as the pups do. I've always thought "Kittens on Ice" would be a good show idea but no takers yet!

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Alexandria, Va.: Do you have any outtakes of the taping, any bloopers? That would be funny. Will a DVD be available to buy?

Jessie Dinh: If you go to the Animal Planet website, they will have information on how you can order a DVD of this year's Puppy Bowl as well as Puppy Bowls from years past. Bonus features of bloopers and outtakes would be a fun idea - there are definitely plenty to choose from!

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Fort Myers, Fla.: Why only two hours this year? Will it be re-run right after the first showing? Will it be rerun sometime during the year? How about better music?

We love the Puppy Bowl! I think we've actually almost missed the kick-off we were so entranced.

Thanks for the event!

Jessie Dinh: We only did two hours this year so that we had the opportunity to include some other fun elements. To mark the 5th anniversary this year you'll see the Puppy Bowl Hall of Fame celebrating the greatest puppy plays of years past. We did our best to use some hip music this year so we hope you like it! The show will rerun a number of times throughout the day on Feb.1

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Virginia: Have you considered a doggie or kitty bowl with adult animals? Puppies and kittens are adorable and probably have an easier time getting adopted. Just trying to help out those 'old' animals who might need a bit of luck on their side. Will you consider expanding the kitten half time show to a kitten bowl? My cats love to watch other kitties on TV.

Jessie Dinh: Maybe for next year we could have adult dogs serve as the sideline coaches and commentators! Hopefully this year's Puppy Bowl will help bring attention to all the animals that need a good home, not just the little guys.

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Excited for Puppy Bowl!: How quickly do the puppies get tired? How often do you trade out puppies?

Also, liked the Puppy Games! Not quite as much as Puppy Bowl, but the water competitions were awesome. Did you use older puppies for that show? They looked a bit bigger than the puppies in the Bowl.

Jessie Dinh: The competitors in Puppy Games were all puppies as well, it just depends on the breed. For Puppy Bowl, all of the puppies had to be within 8 and 15 weeks but you can imagine the size different between a 15 week German Shepherd and an 8 week chihuahua! We try to keep the sizes as similar as possible so no one pup is at a disadvantage on the field.

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Philly, Pa.: My favorite part of Puppy Bowl is the Water Bowl Cam. Somehow watching puppies slurp water and fall into the bowl makes me very happy. Thank you for Puppy Bowl!

Jessie Dinh: The water bowl is one of my favorite parts as well. And the puppies love it!

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Oh, no! Not the puppy bowl!: Every year around this time I have to get out the Windex to clean the nose prints off the TV.

Jessie Dinh: We have to do the same on our camera lenses!

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Arlington, Va.: I recently heard about the Kitty halftime show during Puppy Bowl. My cat "Doodles" actually enjoys watching television, and live events. Do you think there will ever be perhaps a "kittie World Series?"

Jessie Dinh: I think the opportunities are endless! One of the best ideas I've heard is for a Kitty World Cup. Maybe Doodles will get her big break sometime soon!

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Lexington, Ky.: How about having some hints about selecting and caring for a puppy during the "game"?

Jessie Dinh: That would be a good idea for the Puppy Bowl website! They have some great hints about how to throw a Puppy Bowl party and even how to make doggie party treats.

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No Boxer Puppy?: I understand, since it wouldn't really be fair to the other pups to have such a clearly superior competitor...

Jessie Dinh: I LOVE boxer puppies but unfortunately we didn't have any boxers that were up for adoption at the time of taping. We had one in Puppy Bowl III and she's featured in one of the Hall of Fame moments this year so you'll have to tune in!

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Washington, D.C.: How does Pepper the Parrot sound singing the anthem?

Jessie Dinh: Pepper has quite the unique rendition of the Star Spangled Banner! You just have to see it for yourself!

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Anonymous: Do you expect huge contracts for some of your players? Endorsements? Bidding wars down the road?

Jessie Dinh: Ha! There were definitely some bidding wars going on on set for who could take home which puppy. On Sunday, keep an eye out for Moose, Schroder and Matilda - I wouldn't be surprised if they get some endorsement opportunities!

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Mt. Airy, Md.: I just want to say we love Puppy Bowl and watch it every year. Thank you for the clean fun entertainment!

Jessie Dinh: Thanks for watching! It's definitely one of the most fun projects I've had the opportunity to work on.

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Puppy Games: Are you planning another one for the Summer Games?

Jessie Dinh: I believe there may be another Puppy Games in the works. Check out the Animal Planet website for any updates.

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Burbank, Calif.: Be honest, how many puppies did you want to just put in your bag and take home with you after you wrapped?

Jessie Dinh: Uhhh, all of them!! Especially the kittens... I could have fit at least five in my purse and made a run for it!

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Madison, Wisc.: Does Puppy Bowl have an on-line presence for folks without cable?

Jessie Dinh: Absolutely! Go to animalplanet.com and they have a whole dedicated to Puppy Bowl that includes all the puppy profiles and they will be streaming the show live on Sunday.

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Jessie Dinh: Thanks everyone for all of your fun questions! Be sure to tune in to Animal Planet at 3pm ET on Sunday for this year's Puppy Bowl V!!

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washingtonpost.com: Animal Planet

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