SILVER SPRING, MD—Puppy Bowl VII, puppy football’s biggest annual event, came to a complete standstill Sunday when Alvin, a 3-month-old schnauzer mix, suffered a freak spinal injury while chasing down a loose squeaky football.
The injury, which occurred only minutes before the Kitty Halftime Show, followed a routine midfield burst of play. Slow-motion footage from the sideline and water-dish cameras show Alvin romping flat out down the sidelines before taking a risky crossing route to come at the football from an angle, at which point two larger puppies, Amy, a golden retriever, and Big Red, a 13-week-old shepherd mix, laid a massive hit on Alvin, who responded with a shrill yelp that was suddenly and ominously cut off.
“I heard something snap and I knew immediately something was wrong,” said play-by-play announcer Jeff Bordner, who watched as a team of veterinarians attended to Alvin, who lay motionless on Animal Planet Stadium’s turf. “We applauded when he was carried off the field, but it didn’t look good. The replay shows his neck twisting at almost a right angle.”
Sources at Silver Spring Animal Hospital, where Alvin was rushed after the injury, said that the pup has no feeling in his paws, and that even if he lives he will more than likely never frolic on his own again.