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Well, the stage is set. Let’s hear it, phans – whose gear will your pup be sporting on February 6th?

You can fetch officially licensed Packers and Steelers gear at Doggie Nation, or stock up on gear for your favorite team for next season. Preseason’s only seven months away!

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Happy Labor Day, American pups and peeps! Did you know that the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City in 1882, and Congress eventually made Labor Day a national holiday as a sort of reconciliation with the labor movement? That’s all from Wikipedia. I don’t really know much about the history of Labor Day, because to me Labor Day (or at least Labor Day weekend) is a national holiday celebrating the official start of college football. Can I get an amen? And the official start of college football means that regular season NFL games are right around the corner. It’s a glorious time.

So, is your pooch ready? As we all know, dogs care a lot about football, and about all sports, for that matter. You can get your pup outfitted in your favorite college or pro team’s gear thanks to Doggie Nation, which offers officially licensed gear for pups for dozens of NFL and college teams.

Fetch football jerseys, leashes, collars, bandanas, bowls, toys, caps, and more for your little fan at Doggie Nation.

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Well, much to my surprise, even though the World Cup is over, there are other sports happenings going on in the world… there’s Lebron’s big decision, of course, and the British Open, and then that big bike race through France. (I’ll tell you, if I’m making a trip to the French Alps, you probably won’t find me sweating on a bike — I’ll be in a cafe with a glass of wine and some fondue or something.)

If you’re a biker, though, and you’d like to bike with your pup, maybe you should spring for a Springer. The Springer, developed in Norway in the late ’80s, is available in the US through Springer America. The Springer’s patented design keeps you and your dog safe on a joint bike ride, allowing you to stay balanced and keeping a leash from getting dangerously tangled. Norwegian brilliance, y’all.

Anyone used one? Whatcha think? Does it make riding a bike with a pup as easy as…. riding a bike?

Fetch one at Springer America. They offer a 30-day money-back guarantee!

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Hey, battah, battah!!

Baseball, y’all. It’s what summer’s all about. Well, besides mosquitoes, beers on the porch, cooking meat over flames, and crying about awkward tan lines that won’t fade till next March.

Here’s a little roundup of some great doggie baseball stuff available on your local interwebs.

Left to right, by row:

> Orbee-Tuff baseball, Planet Dog

> officially licensed dog baseball jersey, Doggie Nation (other teams available!)

> officially licensed dog bandana, Doggie Nation (other teams available!)

> recycled doggie baseball tees, Scutte

> stainless steel Red Sox bowl (other teams available, as if you would want them), Five Star Fido

> baseball stripe harness, Muttropolis

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Saints. Colts. Manning. Brees. There’s electricity in the air.

It’s Puppy Bowl time.

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Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl returns this year with a ridiculously cute lineup of shelter pups, guaranteed to prove once again that despite all the money spent on impressive Super Bowl ads, all you really need to make people happy is a room full of puppies.

Check out this year’s starting lineup:

(The YouTube embed is acting a bit squirrelly, but if you follow the link it should work.)

Puppy Bowl VI airs on Animal Planet tomorrow from 3-5 p.m. (e/p). Find more videos (including highlights and behind-the-scenes footage) at Animal Planet’s web site.

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DUDE, I totally want a Niagara Icedogs jersey.

That logo? The doggie crossbones? Awesome.



Also totally rad? The Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds’ logo.

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Awesome.

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Pelé. Beckham. Donovan. Ronaldo. Hamm.

Ginger?

It’s true — now your pup can be a veritable soccer legend (or at least dress like one) thanks to Little Fanaticos, the one and only carrier of dog soccer jerseys in the U.S.

(For those Americans who are still stuck on that first line, those are soccer players. Soccer.)

Little Fanaticos, based in Putnam, CT, was founded in 2007 after owner and soccer fan Enrique Ramirez searched high and low to find soccer jerseys for his three rescue pups. Finding nothing, Ramirez set out to provide quality fashions for the little canine soccer fanatico.

Little Fanaticos jerseys and jackets are inspired by and styled after actual, authentic jerseys worn by current and past FIFA national teams (you know, if they were worn by dogs), including France, Brazil, Germany, and the always disappointing Team USA.

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I received a Little Fanaticos jersey in the mail for review and giveaway last week, and luckily for you all, it was just a teense too small for my mutts — otherwise I’d be keeping it all for myself. These jerseys are flat-out awesome. The quality is impeccable — soft mesh polyester, detailed stitching, bright colors, and impressive embroidery. And on top of all that, they’re ridiculously affordable. I so wish Mingus could squeeze into this jersey so he could be Landon Donovan for Halloween. Instead — sigh — I guess I’ll have to do the honest thing and, as promised, give it away to one lucky reader. (Details below!)

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Check ‘em out and fetch one for your four-legged footballer at Little Fanaticos’ web site. And just in time for chilly weather and Halloween, Little Fanaticos is offering 30% OFF jerseys and FREE SHIPPING. Score!

And now, for the giveaway…

This giveaway is for one Little Fanaticos USA soccer jersey (pictured above). The jersey is 100% breathable polyester and features Landon Donovan’s Team USA #10. The jersey is a size Medium/16, which would fit up to a 20- or 25-lb or so dog (dachshund, miniature schnauzer, corgi, Scottish terrier, etc.) (For more information on sizing, check the Little Fanaticos web site.)

Giveaway will close at 11:59 p.m. Saturday, October 10th, and a winner will be drawn randomly and announced Sunday, October 11th.

To enter:

1. Simply leave a comment below. (Your email address will be requested, but not displayed publicly — we’ll just use it to get in touch with you if you win.) In your comment, please include some variation of the following: GOOOooooOOoOooooOooOAAaaLLL!

That’s it. Easy enough, right?

2. For an extra chance to win, tweet about this contest (including a link to this post and mentioning @phetched). Post a link to your tweet in a SEPARATE comment field below. To link to a tweet, click the time stamp under your tweet as it appears in your feed (i.e., “2 hours ago”) and it will send you to a permalink for that tweet. You may tweet about this contest as many times as you like, but only ONE extra entry will count per person.

The fine print:

3. Contest is open to U.S. and Canada shipping addresses only, please.

4. Please, only one entry per person (except as described in #2 above).

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What’s your favorite thing about fall?

The growing chill in the air? Pumpkin muffins and corn mazes? The crackling of fallen leaves under your feet as you and Fido take an evening walk?

Yes, yes… that’s all very nice. But let’s not forget what fall is really about.

FOOTBALL.

Even your pooch can enjoy game day with the Tail Waggin’ Tailgaters Party pack.

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Fetch one for your four-legged football fan at Dogtoys.com.

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Ahh, Labor Day… the day on which we recognize the trials, tribulations, and contributions of the worker by, blissfully, not working. Did you know Americans actually borrowed the idea of Labor Day (or Labour Day) from the Canadians? I said a little prayer of thanks to all of Canada as I happily ignored my alarm clock this morning.

Here in America, Labor Day is often celebrated with grilled meat, beer, and, when applicable, water sports (which kind of makes it a lot like Memorial Day, and the Fourth of July, just without the patriotic overtones… or, really, like pretty much any American non-work day in the summertime).

Anytime you take your pup out on the water, it’s important, of course, to protect your pooch’s safety with a life jacket. Ruff Wear, Inc., purveyors of some of the best dog gear out there, offer the Portage and Big Eddy Float Coats for safe and happy doggy paddlin’.

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The Portage Float Coat™ (in green above) is designed for comfortable buoyancy for light, recreational water play (including what my dogs do… wading in about paw-deep and looking around stupidly), while the premium Big Eddy Float Coat™ (yellow) lives up to its name by providing safety and performance for serious water dogs (the kayakers, surfers, and rafters out there).

Check them out at ruffwear.com.

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