'Greatest American Dog': Loyalty shmoyalty

Travis_presley_gad_240 Tonight's Greatest American Dog started late and I missed the last few minutes of it. Bleh. "Thanks Republican Convention," she says sarcastically.

Spoilers below

Bummed after Bill & Star's exit, the remaining contestants return to the house with a melancholy cloud overhead. JD enters carrying Galaxy so she doesn't aggravate her injury and lays her down on a cushion so she can rest. JD confessionals that he'd never risk hurting her, not even from $10 million. He tells the other contestants that if it's serious, he'll drop out of the competition. Laurie admits that they are Andrew's biggest competition but wouldn't want them to have to leave based on injury.

The next morning, Galaxy's got a spring in her step much to JD's delight but he takes her to the vet anyway. After some x-rays and a check-up, the vet gives her a green light to come back to the competition. Yay!

Dog Bone Challenge: Host/Animal Expert Jarod Miller announces that the theme this week is loyalty. Random aside: I heart Jarod. His appearances on -Conan O'Brian are high-larious. Anyhoo, the challenge will have both owner and dog on tree stumps either sitting or standing. Last team remaining wins.

While the others are talking and holding their fingers and hand up, Laurie just stands with her arms crossed in a relaxed manner. It worked mostly but Andrew decided to lay down after nearly two minutes, which Laurie expected since the sitting position isn't very comfortable for the little guy. Galaxy lasts almost 3 minutes leaving. After about 15 minutes, Travis can see how uncomfortably Presley was and didn't want to make him endure the challenge much longer. He offers to split the leg-up with Teresa but she doesn't bite. The clock almost reaches 18 minutes when Travis decides to call Presley off the log. He confessionals that he didn't like seeing his companion like that and wanted to show Presley the same loyalty he was exhibiting.

This unfortunately makes Teresa & Leroy the winners. I say unfortunately because there's something very "shrew" about her to me. What's funny is, after she's declared the winner and she releases Leroy, she's all happy "come see mama" and whatnot and Leroy goes straight to Jarod. Ha! She says that's she's really proud of her dog and his competitive nature while Travis doesn't regret his decision, only that he didn't drop out of a challenge Presley wasn't having fun at sooner.

Instead of just getting a card, Teresa gets to video chat with her boyfriend as a prize. I didn't find her sequence as touching as Laurie's card reading last week. The next day, everyone is having fun by the pool until Leroy runs a bit amok. Teresa explains that since he can't herd sheep, he herds waves around the pool. JD doesn't find it so cool that she didn't try to reign him in. 

Best in Show: Later, Jarod introduces the first aspect of the elimination challenge. They'll be training each others' dogs instead of their own for an hour. Teresa's leg-up is a note that explains the exact details of the challenge: the dog will be in the center of a semi-circle (owner several feet away) while each of the other contestants will try and lure them away and break their sit/stay. Teresa practices distracting him, essentially over-training him so the challenge is harder than the practice. We'll see if that works. By the way, her harsh "ah-ah" to deter him from doing something is all kinds of annoying. The general method used by the contestants to bond with the dogs is just petting and playing when applicable. JD was excelling with Leroy, getting him to do all kinds of tricks. Andrew wasn't really digging anyone. He just kept running to the backdoor and wouldn't come when anyone would call - he even managed to escape outside to Laurie during JD's hour.

That night, the teams assemble in front of the judges and Jarod explains the challenge. They'll be judged on owner's use of commands, the dog's focus, and the dog's overall loyalty. Laurie & Andrew are up first. Andrew looks as the others call his name but is less than interested, yawning several times and laying down at the end. He didn't budge. Teresa & Leroy are next. JD gets him to move immediately and Travis gets him a few times, as does Laurie. He also barks throughout and, after he's done, goes over to the plate of treats. The judges look slightly disgusted. Next are JD & Galaxy. Interestingly, they all used much softer, less excited voices with her. She started to stand slightly with Teresa's lure of treats but sat right back down when JD told her to. Last is Travis & Presley, the human half of which is concerned since he's still a puppy. And rightly so because JD manages to get him to come almost as soon as he started (which was last). Teresa and Laurie managed to make him move as well. But Travis wasn't cross with Presley after despite being disappointed which I'm sure impressed the judges.

Galaxy_gad_240 Afterward, judge Victoria says that the challenge wasn't so much about obedience but about loyalty, about their relationship. She commends Laurie on the way she handled Andrew, with a relaxed body and a simple command or praise here or there. Wendy is slightly concerned that Andrew might be too attached. Allan and Victoria both condemns Teresa & Leroy - Victoria didn't like how threatening Teresa manner was and Allan thought Leroy was entirely too frantic. Victoria didn't like JD's much too strong body language with Galaxy but did compliment Travis on how he was able to refocus Presley despite being tempted away. When the judges deliberate, they aren't exactly in agreement but have come to a decision.

Teresa_leroy_gad_240 Not surprisingly, Laurie & Andrew are the winners. Wendy gives her a standing invitation to have dinner with her dog Lucky if he's ever in New York. The final three teams all take the podiums. Allan tells JD that he thought Galaxy's performance was robotic and lacked feeling. That doesn't actually make sense to me because her behavior wasn't that different from Andrew's. Anyway, it just doesn't matter because Teresa & Leroy have been eliminated. I'd tell you exactly what the judges said but the ending got cut off. I can't say I'm surprised and, since Travis didn't want Presley to suffer on that stump, I'm perfectly okay with the decision.

Do you think Travis & Presley should have been eliminated instead? Is Andrew a little too dedicated to Laurie? Any other thoughts about tonight?

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