When Uggie (the Jack Russell terrier that saved the day in the film The Artist) appeared onstage at the Academy Awards in February, it was, in a sense, a canine coup. Less than two weeks prior, a spokesperson for the film said that Uggie had “not been asked to appear at the Oscars”. When the dog failed to walk the red carpet, it seemed as if it would indeed be a canine shut-out. But Uggie mania (the Consider Uggie Facebook campaign to add the dog as a Best Supporting Actor nominee garnered nearly 17,000 ‘likes’) must have softened the Academy’s stance. As the film’s producers, director, and cast took the stage to accept the Best Picture Oscar, Uggie was right there among them, sporting an 18-carat gold bone bow tie.
The very next day, canines scored another not-so-dissimilar victory in the city of Los Angeles. Department of Public Health Director Dr. Jonathan Fielding issued a decree, effective immediately, that dogs could now dine amid their owners on outdoor restaurant patios. Old rules had banned dogs from any patio that was enclosed by a fence or other barrier, though dogs were previously allowed to sit near sidewalk tables. Under the new rules, dogs earned a proper place at the outdoor table – not insignificant, considering that LA’s climate makes alfresco dining possible year round.