Top dog stories of 2007

I scratch, therefore I am.

WHAT HAS 4 LEGS AND CAN BEAT YOU IN SCRABBLE?
A new study reveals dogs are capable of abstract thinking. And meet Skidboot, surely a contender for our “my dog is smarter then your honor student” prize.

THE STORY THAT LAUNCHED 1,000 (OR SO) DOG COOKBOOKS
The news of tainted pet food sends dog owners everywhere into a tailspin. The upside? Many people reevaluate how they feed their dogs–and turn to one of the many new dog cookbooks for help.

A CAMPAIGN WORTH ROOTING FOR
The Humane Society steps up its efforts to rout out puppy mills and spread awareness that many of today’s purebreds start out life in foul puppy factories.

BAD SPORTSMANSHIP AWARD
Michael Vick gambles… and loses: he didn’t bet on the public outrage that accompanied his arrest for animal cruelty. Goodbye contracts, endorsements, and freedom.

VOTED MAN & WOMAN’S BEST FRIEND–AGAIN
Tales of canine heroism fill pages and airwaves, among them the Chihuahua who saves a toddler from an angry rattlesnake and the Rottie mix and Staffordshire Terrier who stop a two-year-old from drowning. (Want to nominate your dog for feats of heroism, or just a simple act of greatness? Email us at info@dogtime.com.)

DOES SHE HAVE AN AGENT?
Move over John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (please!)–this gorgeous blonde shows she’s got all the right moves.

HE SHREDS (AND WE DON’T MEAN THE NEWSPAPER)
This Bulldog skateboards better than your 14-year-old brother–and is winning legions of fans on YouTube. (Hey, no matter how much he begs, do not–we repeat–not let him near the mountain bike.)

BIGGEST DAY TIME SOB STORY
Talk show host Ellen Degeneres breaks down on her show while describing her messy break up with Iggy, a scruffy rescue dog. Loyal viewers become so riled Ellen swiftly shifts gears and asks for calm.

LUCKY BITCH
Leona Helmsley leaves $12 million to Trouble, her Maltese, and triggers a wave of anti-dog resentment–and not just among the grandchildren left out of her will.