OLD BRIDGE — For six-year-old Chloe Marchetta, Super Bowl Sunday was an extra special day, not only because it was her birthday, but because she got to watch her puppy participate in Animal Planet’s “Puppy Bowl.”
During the airing of “Puppy Bowl XIV,” Boomer, a black-and-white haired beagle, Labrador and terrier Staffordshire mix, showcased his moves along with other puppies in an American football game similar to the Super Bowl.
The Marchetta family of Old Bridge — Raffaele, Megan and Chloe — adopted Boomer through JerseyGirls Animal Rescue group of South Plainfield from South Carolina last June.
“He was just [about] eight to 10 weeks old when we got him,” Megan said.
Boomer is now eight months old and 40 pounds.
During a visit with the Suburban newspaper, Chloe led Boomer through some of his specialty tricks including laying down and rolling over using one of his favorite treats, yellow American cheese.
“I take him out on my runs and we can run four miles and come back and he is still full of energy,” Megan said. “He loves to hug everyone he meets.”
Rosemary Petriello, founder of JGAR, said each summer the group receives an invitation from the producers of the Puppy Bowl, who are employees of Animal Planet, to submit puppies that will be 10-16 weeks old at the time of filming in October.
“We happened to have puppies to submit back in 2014 and three of them were selected that year and were in ‘Puppy Bowl XI,’ which aired in 2015,” she said. “Since then, this year was the first year we had puppies that fit the criteria and we submitted five puppies that were born in early June of 2017. Of the five puppies, Boomer, [previously Cow] was the only one selected.”
Raffaele and Megan said they agreed to submit Boomer’s photo when Petriello asked if they would be interested.
“I think [the producers of the ‘Puppy Bowl’] liked the head tilt,” Megan said, explaining that Boomer tilts his head when someone is talking to him. “It’s just something that he always did.”
Raffaele and JGAR members traveled to New York on Oct. 17 for the filming of the show. Boomer was invited back for additional filming on Oct. 20 for the Eurosport Puppy Games.
“There were about 50 dogs there,” Raffaele said, adding that the family had to keep Boomer’s appearance a secret until about two weeks before the airing of the show.
Petriello said the filming and experience at the studios were very exciting.
“I had the pleasure of meeting some of the cast of the Animal Planet’s ‘Pitbulls and Parolees’ while we were there,” she said.
Raffaele said the family was busy celebrating Chloe’s birthday on Feb. 4, but they did sit down and watch the “Puppy Bowl” along with Boomer.
“Boomer is also in some of the extra clips in the hockey game, which we haven’t watched yet, but we will watch together,” she said.
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