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Famous Guilty Dog Grimaces at Grooming

Denver, who has become famous worldwide as “the guilty dog,” because of her odd expressions, is back, making people laugh with her reaction to the prospect of having medicine dripped into her ears.

Videos of the yellow Labrador Retriever’s  face have gone beyond viral to positively epidemic. The first video, posted in March 2011, was viewed more than 42 million times. Another, posted in December 2014, in which she chewed up Christmas-tree ornaments, got three million views.

It started with a simple social media posting, after her owner, Mali Vujanic, of Maryland, came home and found that someone had gotten into the kitty treats. Denver gave her “face,” accompanied by her rapid tail-tip wag. Vujanic posted the video on YouTube and Facebook so his friends could see it. The rest is history.

What followed were millions of views and several television news and talk-show appearances, including a spotlight on Animal Planet’s Bad Dog show. The sweet yellow Labrador Retriever became a media sensation. As did the family’s other dog, Masey, a Golden Retriever whose snow-white face suggests pure innocence.

No one knows exactly how Denver learned how to make her face. Vujanic’s wife, Brenda, told the Animal Planet audience that the dog started making her signature lip move, nose wrinkle, and squint at around 10 months. “I thought she was having a seizure,” she said. Canine behavior experts say that it’s is a natural expression, rare and impossible to teach.

Today we have an amusing “Denver the Guilty Dog” Facebook page, as well as a blog, and a children’s book, Denver Crosses the Creek, planned as the first in a 10-book series. So, it’s clear we’ll be seeing a lot more of this funny dog. And that’s something to smile about.

To learn more about what your dog is trying to tell you, check out our e-book on Canine Body Language.

– Mara Bovsun

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