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Salem Dog Takes Center Stage in the Annual Puppy Bowl

On February 7th, many people will be glued to their television sets, rooting for their favorite team in the annual Super Bowl. But many others will be watching another kind of contest-the annual Puppy Bowl. And this year, a Salem dog is part of the lineup.

Marshall is a 7-month-old deaf Boston Terrier who lives with Chris and Christina Lee of Salem and their five other dogs.

Christina Lee says her non-profit group, Deaf Dogs Rock, sponsored Marshall into a partner rescue group Green Dogs Unleashed in Troy, Virginia.

“A person purchased him from a breeder to give to her elderly mom but he was to much puppy for them and when they realized he was deaf they let him go to Green Dogs Unleashed. He had an adopter lined up but when I heard the adoption fell through Chris and I applied to adopt him.”

It was through Green Dogs Unleashed that Marshall was invited to this year’s Puppy Bowl.

“Every year Erika with Green Dogs Unleashed sends anywhere from two to five special needs puppies to the Puppy Bowl. She sends in their profiles to Puppy Bowl's casting directors and they pick out which puppies are approved to play.”

Lee says because of the pandemic only New York volunteers arranged through the rescue were able to handle the puppies for their appearance during filming in that state.

She hopes this will showcase special needs dogs everywhere and perhaps bring some recognition to Deaf Dogs Rock.

“I'm not sure Deaf Dogs Rock will be mentioned because it was before we adopted Marshall that all of this was arranged. They are doing a follow up story on Marshall's adoption story.”

There's a competition that readers can enter to vote for their favorite pup.

“If people go to vote for the Pupularity Playoff Sweepstakes, one lucky winner will have the ability to select a non-profit animal shelter (from a pre-approved list) to receive a donation of $5000 from Pedigree Foundation and a one year subscription to DOGTV, the first and only television network for dogs. We would hope that if people are voting for deaf Boston Marshall, deaf puppy Fletcher or Chunky Monkey that the winner who votes for a Green Dogs Unleashed dog would make sure Green Dogs Unleased gets the $5000 donation (the Grand Prize).”

Lee says Marshall is doing blossoming in his new home and gets along well with the other canines in the household.

“It is very important when we get a new deaf puppy that we make sure the playtime with each dog is supervised, For the first four weeks of training we do a lot of "watch me" training.

Marshall was tethered to us or we made sure he was in a room with just one or two dogs at a time for play time. By working so hard to set each play session with the other dogs up for success for four weeks, all six dogs get along great.”

Lee says Marshall has become aware of the other dogs’ play style and he looks for visual cues to determine when each dog has had enough play.

Tune into Puppy Bowl XVII, Sunday, February 7th, at 2pm on Discovery+ and Animal Planet. Who will win-Team Ruff or Team Fluff? The 3-hour event will feature puppy cheerleaders and there will also be a kitty halftime show.

***The Well-Trained Dog & Pet Care has experience in training special needs dogs. For more information, check out our training programs.


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