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Meet The Special Needs Dogs Of Puppy Bowl XVIII. Spoiler Alert – They Are Adorable!

The Super Bowl is almost here, which means it’s just about that time of year for pet lovers to gather ’round their television for the liveliest (and cutestest) of yearly Sunday events — the Puppy Bowl!!

I know that many people eagerly await the Super Bowl every year, where they can cheer on their team in the hopes of Super Bowl fame and glory.

But, I wait for something else on Super Bowl Sunday. Yes, the commercials are fun, but that’s not what I’m talking about.

The front room TV might be overtaken by rowdy Super Bowl fans, but the bedroom TV is definitely all mine, and tuned to Animal Planet for the Puppy Bowl!

What is Puppy Bowl?

If you aren’t familiar with the Puppy Bowl, let me just teach you the ruff and cuddly ways of the doggie-sized Geico stadium.

Puppy Bowl is to dog lovers what football it is to sports fanatics.

Instead of rough play, sacks, tackles, interceptions, and snaps, at Puppy Bowl you get a cute batch of puppies, doing their thing, and possibly getting some points in the process.

They have penalties for peeing on the field, timeouts are called when a water bowl has to be refilled, and there is a “rufferee” that watches over the “game play” on the miniature field.

You might be wondering how points are scored. The pups have miniature “footballs” — that are actually all kinds of dog toys spread all over the “field.” Whenever one of those fur babies drags the ball — ‘er, toy — across the goal line, it is a TOUCHDOWN!!

There are cameras throughout the miniature “Geico Stadium” to catch all the cute and cuddly game play, including water bowl cameras that catch all the slurping action.

The pups used are usually from shelters, and the entire thing is to raise awareness about pet adoption and rescue.

How is the 2022 Puppy Bowl different?

THIS year, not only are they using nearly 115 rescue animals, NINE of those rescues are going to be special needs pups — and they are so incredibly cute!!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman

And, we just happen to have the adorable info on the special needs pups that will be divided between “Ruff” and team “Fluff” for this year’s Puppy Bowl!

Meet the Special Needs Puppy Bowl competitors.

I just about can’t handle how adorable these pups are!! My husband better hold me back, because I’m likely to end up at a shelter, picking out my own puppy before it’s said and done!!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Benny — who is on team Fluff — is a precious pooch with an inoperable spine deformity that caused his hind legs to be underdeveloped. Luckily the folks at Bosley’s Place, a neonatal rescue orphanage for puppies, had the compassion and expertise to help him out.

He is so ridiculously cute!! You can tell he would be the BEST at giving big ol’ puppy kisses!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Bimini — who plays for team Ruff — was seized during a drug raid. She was diagnosed with cerebellar hypoplasia, which is a neurological disorder that affects mobility. Bimini was taken to Orange Twins Rescue, in Los Angeles, California. Her rescue and foster families have worked with her, and she now only shows minor symptoms of CH.

Oh my word. She is gorgeous. Look at those freckles on her face that are just begging to be kissed!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Bunny — who is on team Fluff — hardly looks like a puppy at all, but I promise she is. This hearing-impaired pup was rescued by Green Dogs Unleashed, in Virginia. She is sure to be a ruff competitor in this year’s Puppy Bowl.

Gah!! You can just tell that she is one brilliant pup! She needs all the love and cuddles!!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Forrest — from team Fluff — was rescued from a cruelty situation, and moved to Brandywine Valley SPCA, in Pennsylvania. Because of the abuse, he was immediately taken into care, where he had to have one of his eyes removed. Don’t worry — Forrest is well loved and taken care of these days!

How sweet does he look?!? He looks like he would give the best doggie love, and be the best companion an owner could want.

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Irwin — on team Fluff. This precious pup was a stray, when he got hit by a car on the streets of Puerto Rico. He was taken to The Sato Project, where he had to have one of his legs amputated due to his injuries. Irwin doesn’t let getting around on 3 legs deter him. He is a playful and well loved little guy.

I want to give him all the love. What an adorable pup! Those eyes!! *Heart Eye Emoji*

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Moby — plays for team Ruff. This poor little guy was surrendered within 30 minutes of his birth! When he arrived at Harley’s Haven, in Perkasie, PA, Moby had hard and soft cleft palate problems, and required tube feedings every couple of hours. He has had surgery to correct the little abnormality, and now we get to experience him in Puppy Bowl 2022.

I. Want. Moby. He just looks like he needs all the snuggles and cuddles befitting a puppy!

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Pongo — who is on team Ruff — is a gorgeous hearing-impaired dalmation. He is in training with Green Dogs Unleashed, based in Virginia, to become a therapy dog for others.

He has absolutely stolen my heart. Look how majestic and handsome this big guy is!! His soulful eyes get me right in the feels.

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Ridley — who plays for team Ruff — is a hearing-impaired pup who was surrendered to Virginia-based Green Dogs Unleashed.

OMG — he is ADORABLE, is he not? I just want to bury my face in his fur, and give him ALL the love and cuddles he deserves.

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman
  • Rocket — on team Fluff — who lives in Idaho, was surrendered to Double J Dog Ranch. He is both hearing and visually impaired, but don’t worry about him. Rocket has found his furever home, surrounded by his human and canine siblings.

You can’t help but root for this cuddly pup!! He is as gorgeous as he is absolutely loveable.

Discovery+ / Animal Planet / ‘The Dogist’ Elias Weiss Friedman