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12 Unforgettable Pets of 2012

Grumpy Cat

By Linda Cole

If you spend time on Facebook or like to search the web for cute pets, you've likely seen Grumpy Cat with the sour puss frown and Boo, the super cute Pomeranian. It seems we can't get enough of these adorable pets. Below are some of my favorite pets that were “all the rage” in 2012. If you have a favorite that I didn’t mention, please let me know!

Grumpy Cat, aka Tardar Sauce (Tard for short), has an adorable scowl that makes it hard not to smile when you see her. Bryan Bundesen was visiting his sister Tabatha in Arizona last fall when he snapped the now famous frown of her 8 month old cat. Tardar Sauce was given her name by Tabatha's daughter, who noticed the kitten had speckles in her fur that reminded her of tartar sauce. She misspelled it but the name stuck. Grumpy Cat really isn't grumpy at all! She's a sweetheart, and loves to play. Tard isn't going away anytime soon. There's a children's book series, and a line of stuffed animals being discussed for 2013. Tard's official Grumpy Cat Facebook page has almost 315,000 fans.

Chopper the Biker Dog
Chopper the Biker Dog is one cool dude that rides around on his custom made motorcycle. He has his very own handmade biker leather jacket and sunglasses, but this Boston Terrier is about as mellow as a dog can be, and thoroughly enjoys his job as a therapy dog. His goal in life is to make a difference in people's lives. Chopper lives in San Diego, CA with his owner Mark Shaffer. His Facebook page currently has almost 20,000 fans.

Hank the Cat is a Maine Coon cat that decided it was time for a feline to toss a his hat in the political ring, running for the open US Senate seat in Virginia. A true grassroots campaign pushing a simple message, “It's OK to vote the humans out.” Hank netted over 7,000 write-in votes and also raised $60,000 for animal rescue organizations. Will Hank run again in 2014 or 2016? According to his campaign manager, Hank retired from politics, but Hank is staying mum on any future plans, sidestepping reporters' questions.

Venus the Amazing Chimera Cat is a beautiful tortoiseshell kitty with the most striking physical appearance. Her face is two colors perfectly split down the middle, the right side is black, and the left side is orange. Plus, one eye is green and the other is blue! Some people say this unusual looking feline is just a photoshop trick, but Venus is definitely a real kitty, and she even went on TV to prove it! Venus was a stray cat found wandering around on a dairy farm in North Carolina. She has 92,000 Facebook fans.

Henri, Le Chat Noir (Henri the Existential Cat) wants the world to feel his tortured soul living with humans and other pets, as told to us in a black & white YouTube video that went viral in 2012 with almost 6,700,000 views to date. Henri 2: Paw de Deux netted Henri's owner, William Braden, top spot at the Internet Cat Video Film Festival. Not bad for a shelter cat turned actor. (There are five videos to date, and all are exceptional!). Henri's real name is Henry, and in real life he's an easygoing, laidback kitty that loves to purr. And his online contempt is, well, just good acting, as he tells it.

Uggie almost found himself in a pound because he was a wild Jack Russell Terrier in his younger days. Thankfully, he was saved by an animal trainer, Omar Von Muller, who is now his owner. Best known for his role in “Water for Elephants,” and his scene stealing antics in “The Artist,” Uggie is officially retired from show business at the age of 10, although there may be some cameos. With the help of co-author Wendy Holden, who has thumbs for typing, “Uggie – My Story” was published in October 2012. Uggie has his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and there's even an Uggie the Artist App for both the iPhone and iPad, available for 99 cents at the iTunes store.

Tiny Beyonce is the world's smallest dog, born on March 8, 2012 in a litter of five pups. She almost didn't make it, and needed help breathing from staff members at the Grace Foundation, a last chance rescue organization for dogs in Northern California. Beyonce, a Dachshund/Chihuahua mix, was bottle fed because her mouth was too small to nurse from her mom. Beyonce may be small, but she has a big job promoting “S.N.A.P. To it, America,” which stands for spay, neuter, adopt and protect rescue animals. Beyonce lives at the Grace Foundation.

Lil Bub
Lil Bub is an adorable female cat living in Indiana. Bub was born with a few genetic defects that include dwarfism and a deformed lower jaw. Bub is a polydactyl (she has an extra toe on all four paws) and her teeth never grew in, which is why her tongue is usually hanging out. Nevertheless, “Bub is a healthy, happy cat and she can eat just fine,” says her Mom. Lil Bub is one very special kitty, with 87,000 fans on her Facebook page. Over the last 6 months, Lil Bub merchandise has raised over $22,000 for animal charities.

Spangles is a cross-eyed three year old kitty born on the fourth of July. He was made famous by his owner, Mary Buchanan, who enjoys dressing Spangles up in cute outfits, and posting his pictures on his own Facebook page that has over 31,000 fans. Spangles owner says “Spangles loves to take photos!” Spangles shares his home with his feline brothers and sisters.

Colonel Meow
Colonel Meow, the Angriest Cat is actually afraid of birds, and spends his time planning for world domination…when he's not sleeping, of course. Colonel Meow is an overly fluffy Himalayan/ Persian kitty with an intense stare. He lives in Washington with his owner, Anne Marie Avey. He was rescued from the side of the road where he had been abandoned, and Avey adopted him from Petco in 2011. To date, the Colonel has 126,000 Facebook fans.

The Olate Dogs won America's heart AND the seventh season of “America's Got Talent.” The father/son team of Richard and Nicholas Olate showcased the unique talents of their dogs as they performed some awe inspiring tricks that included a doggie version of the conga. Bella is the back-flipping dog, a trick that takes two to three years to teach. Many of the performing dogs are rescues. You can catch the Olate Dogs in Las Vegas, and they’ll go on a 44 city AGT tour beginning in February.

Boo is paws down one of the cutest dogs around. His Facebook page has more than 6 million fans, and he continues to dominate the Internet as the most popular pup on the planet. You can read more about Boo in this article from the CANIDAE RPO blog archives.

Read more articles by Linda Cole

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