Football players aren't the only competitors to take the field this weekend. Fifty other players will square off in a big game on Saturday in the first-ever Dog Bowl on Animal Planet.
A local dog from Baltimore will be among the competitors. Like every good rags to riches sports story, this husky also had humble beginnings.
“We don't know a lot about his background. We know that he was found abandoned in Pennsylvania but there were some issues with the shelter that he was at in Pennsylvania and I've been told that he was almost euthanized at one point, which breaks my heart because he's been such an amazing animal in our family. I can't imagine anybody would put him down but thankfully he was able to be rescued by the Baltimore Humane Society and that's how we got him,” said Jeff St. Pierre, Nanook’s owner.
St. Pierre and his girlfriend, Amanda, fell in love with seven-year-old Nanook for his playful nature, even his singing voice, but what they didn't know was that the active older pup had bigger things in store.
“About a month after we had him, [the Baltimore Humane Society] called me and just said 'Hey, we didn't tell you about this right away, but if it's okay with you, we'd like Nanook to be a part of this Dog Bowl for Animal Planet,'" St. Pierre said.
The sporting event once reserved for puppies will now feature a more senior line-up.
“We've played fetch before, he likes to play defense, so I feel like he actually fits in really well in Baltimore,” said St. Pierre.
His natural abilities may also give him an advantage over his competitors.
“I've seen some pictures and I feel like he's got some size on most of them, so we'll see,” said St. Pierre.
The game is really to show off available shelter dogs, however, this one is taken. And no matter the outcome, Nanook's going home a winner.
“Baltimore Humane Society's been wonderful to work with. We're so glad we got him. He's been the perfect addition to the family and I can't imagine life without him now,” said St. Pierre.
The Dog Bowl airs Saturday night at 8 p.m. A majority of the dogs have already been adopted but there are plenty more available at local animal shelters.