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The World Dog Awards Bring Wet Noses, Wagging Tails and Plenty of Dog Bones to Awards Season 

Yesterday morning may have been all about Oscar noms, but by the evening, it was clear that awards season had gone to the dogs. Literally. The first ever World Dog Awards made me sit, stay, and even roll over with a tail-wagging, heart-warming night honoring man’s best friend.  There were skateboarding dogs, dogs in tuxedos, a dog mayor and even cartoon dogs. But don’t worry, these pups didn’t hit the town solo. A-list celebrities also joined in the festivities by presenting Golden Hydrant awards to deserving winners and many of them even brought their own adorable pooches to enjoy the festivities.

World Dog Awards logo

George Lopez hosted the night’s events, which honored both famous dogs and everyday dogs who have made an impact in their communities with awards like “Best TV Dog,” “Most Paw-pular” and “Dog of the Year.” And in typical Lopez fashion, he managed to keep the night light with endless puppy-puns.

Lopez: Backstage, there was some out-of-control drinking, mostly out of the toilets.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW

While all the winners were present to fetch their Golden Hydrant awards, they weren’t the only animals recognized. The evening also included various clips and photos sent in from dog lovers around the world, including silly moments, heartwarming stories and downright bark-tastic reunions. And I’m not ashamed to say that some actually made me cry. We saw a puppy who was born with front legs learn how to walk and inspire other amputees. Dogs welcome home veterans as they return from overseas. And a dog that literally saves a diabetic boy’s life everyday by monitoring his blood sugar. How could you not be moved to tears?! Honestly, I know the dogs probably didn’t know the difference and likely won’t be bragging about their Golden Hydrant to all their friends when they get home, but every one of these animals deserves the recognition and I love that this show gave it to them in such a positive way. And if they managed to sneak a few extra cookies off the podium, they more than earned it.

Like I said, many of the celebrities brought their dogs to sit with them in the large sofa chairs that made up the audience, while some even brought them to the podium to present with them as well. You know how they say that owners often look like their dogs…well, that’s not always the case, but it was still fascinating to see these stars from film, television and music with the animals who have impacted their lives. I mean, sure, we all know Paris Hilton goes for the teeny tiniest pups possible. But what about Lance Bass, Jenna Ushkowitz and The Property Brothers?

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW

Well, now you know. Lassie also made a rare appearance, presenting the Suburu K911 award, which honors dogs who helps save lives. I know what you’re thinking, Suburu? But, apparently, Suburu has donated nearly $12 million to the ASPCA and sponsored 1,200 adoption events, which I find both surprising and impressive.

Now, I know the night was all about the dogs, but there was one human winner that I also have to mention, Ian Somerhalder, who was honored with the Dog’s Best Friend Award. Through his IS foundation, he raises funds and awareness to end animal cruelty, support no kill shelters and he even trains abandoned dogs to be assistive therapy guides. While his fans likely know of his passion for animals, the extent of his efforts and contribution are not something he often brags about. He makes a world of difference for many four-legged animals and yet, he was humble and genuine when accepting his award.

Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW
Photo Credit: Greg Gayne/The CW

Somerhalder: This is really such an honor. This is for the Ian Somerhalder Foundation. Without ISF and your support, this could never happen. And your continued support and continued efforts really create a world where protecting these animals is a priority. We protect them. They protect us. I’m so grateful for this.

I am a dog person through and through so I recognize that I am probably biased, but I truly enjoyed this award show more than I have enjoyed an award show in a long time. Unlike the Oscars or the Emmys or the Globes (all of which I watch, don’t get me wrong), you don’t have to have seen the nominated show or movie or know what cinematography or screenwriting entails. This show is just a fun, easy and incredible enjoyable way to appreciate man’s best friend. It’s scientifically proven that people who own dogs live longer, happier and more fulfilling lives, so the least we can do is spend a night honoring them, right? In the end, Lopez said it best.

Lopez: They bring joy to our everyday lives, they’re loyal, they’re happy all the time and deep down, every single dog has a good heart.

Here is a list of all the night’s winners.

  • Best in Film: “Air Bud”
  • Top TV Dog: “Stella” from “Modern Family”
  • A-List Dog: Prince Hilton, Paris Hilton’s dog
  • Supporting Actor to a Dog: Quvenzhané Wallis, for her role in “Annie”
  • Top Movie Dog: “Baxter” from the “Anchorman” films
  • Dog of the Year: Hank, “The Ball Park Pup,” a.k.a. Hank T. Dog, mascot for the Milwaukee Brewers
  • Top Spot: “Best Friends” from Budweiser
  • Best Mascot: Jr. Smokey, mascot for the University of Tennessee Volunteers
  • Best Actor Playing a Dog: Jason Gann from “Wilfred”
  • Celebrity Dog Selfie: Paris Hilton with her dog Prince Hilton
  • Rookie of the Year: Apple
  • Talking Dog: Yuki
  • America’s Top Mutt: Bizkit
  • Top Trick: Jesse
  • Most Pawpular: Jiff the Pomeranian (@jiffpom on Instagram)
  • Performing Pups: DJ Mama (@mamathefrenchie on Instagram)
  • Happiest Reunion: Izzy and Daniel, First Lieutenant, U.S. Army
  • Hot Dog:  Tilman, the skateboarding dog
  • Most Dog-Like Cat: Poonchic (@poonchic on Instagram)
  • Dog’s Best Friend, presented by the ASPCA® (The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals®): Ian Somerhalder
  • K911, presented by Subaru: Clover
  • “The Dog’s Life” Achievement Award: Scooby-Doo
  • Underdog: TurboRoo (@turbo.roo on Instagram)

To see backstage interviews and more adoption tales, check out The CW’s World Dog Awards page.

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