Colorado Springs News, Sports & Business

Colorado pup to star in Animal Planet Puppy Bowl

Associated Press Updated: January 23, 2014 at 3:10 pm 0

FORT COLLINS — Peyton Manning won't be the only quarterback shining on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2.

Laney, a 6-month-old Brittany Spaniel mix from Wellington, will be one of more than 60 of puppies taking the field for the Animal Planet's Puppy Bowl X.

The bowl features puppies from animal rescues nationwide playing on the field at "Animal Planet Stadium." It was filmed before the dogs were adopted, and NBC will air the Puppy Bowl from 3-5 p.m. EST (1-3 p.m. MT).

Laney was adopted last year by Kelly McElvain, 28, a Larimer County Sheriff's Office jail deputy. She was 13 weeks old when the show was filmed. The runt of the litter even earned a special interview with NBC.

Laney and her suspected litter-mate, Loren, are representing the Colorado Animal Welfare League, the no-kill, foster-based animal rescue through which they were adopted. Loren was adopted by a family in Golden.

"I got (Laney and Loren) last summer from a backyard breeder who lost control of what she was doing," said Lisa Petri, Colorado Animal Welfare League president and volunteer.

"I live in Franktown, Colorado, and we have one stoplight and it's five miles away. Taking them to Manhattan was a little different. They'd never seen taxis or stoplights or strollers."

Laney — like Manning — is No. 18 in the starting lineup. She has to focus less on her ball handling, however, as the Puppy Bowl is mainly a chance to catch fur balls on a football field.

Laney and Loren were also selected for the 11-member fantasy team.

"She was quite the star," Petri laughed. "When I got her, I don't think even she weighed four pounds. She was so tiny, but very kind and very sweet. She's also very active — put her down and she'll try to chase the birds like any good bird dog."

Months later, McElvain said Laney is still small for her age and breed, weighing in at just more than 22 pounds. She bosses around Sadie, a fellow rescue dog, whom McElvain adopted from a Wyoming rescue in 2012.

She's snugly, sweet and a bit of a kleptomaniac, with a particular taste for stealing phones from the sheriff's deputy.

"I've gone through three since I got her," McElvain shrugged. "She gets into everything, but she's so cute. She's also an escape artist. I keep my bike by the door in case I have to chase after her."

Laney and McElvain will join the Colorado Animal Welfare League at the Watering Bowl, a sports bar and dog park in Denver, for a Super Bowl Sunday watch party.

The two big screens will feature the most important sporting events of the day.

"Football on one screen, Puppy Bowl on the other," Petri said.

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