Casting Parks and Rec characters as dog breeds

Parks and Rec characters as dog breeds (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images)
Parks and Rec characters as dog breeds (Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images) /
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Dog O’Day’s casting of Parks and Rec characters as dog breeds continues with Ron and Tom.

Ron Swanson (Nick Offerman)

Position at the time: Director, Pawnee Parks and Rec Department

Tom’s book describe Ron as “self-reliant, uncompromising and inner-directed.” He hates all forms of government and loves alcohol in all liquid forms. About his only real weakness is how pliable he is around women named Tammy, as that is not only his mother’s name, but also the name of both of his ex-wives.

Show’s choice: Bulldog

Ron’s always frowning at something, and that’s all Bulldog. But despite the breed’s grouchy appearance, they’re generally cuddly teddy bears inside way down deep, which also applies. And they’re very persnickety about their hobbies – how else could you have a decades-long secret career as jazz musician Duke Silver?

Dog O’Day choice: Bulldog

This is very accurate. He hates people and prefers to do nothing all day if possible (Ovie the Bulldog and Saffy Bean approve), but is very into his hobbies and won’t hesitate to help out his workplace proximity associates when they need it, whether that’s by dispensing advice (“Fancy Party”) or launching into home-remodeling projects (4.05 “Meet N Greet”).

True, some of this advice may have questionable practicality (the Swanson Pyramid of Success has some odd tenets if you really study it), but he means well.

Tom Haverford (Aziz Ansari)

Position at the time: Owner, Rent-a-Swag clothing rental store

Tom is…..a character. Originally Leslie’s assistant, he’s really a wildly-ambitious businessman who fails at almost everything he does, from a multimedia conglomerate to a clothing store to a restaurant chain.

But he has arguably the most character growth on the show, gradually growing from a vain pop-culture-obsessed self-promoter to…well, a lessened version of that who actually has and keeps a group of dear friends and a grounded wife in Lucy who keeps him from getting into too much trouble.

Or, as Leslie describes him in “Meet and Greet” (4.05), “Tom Haverford is a selfish, unctuous, sleazy, self-promoting, good-hearted, secretly-kind-and-wonderful tiny little person.”

Show’s choice: Yorkshire Terrier

While looking at April’s website in “Fluoride,” Donna spies a picture of a Yorkie named Pepper and comments that somehow it’s the essence of Tom, which is what launches their project of finding all the Parks and Rec spirit dogs in the first place.

Dog O’Day choice: Yorkie or Papillon

While Yorkies or Papillons or really any Toy Group breed in general can be male, you really forget that sometimes, especially for those with elaborate show cuts.. When Tom complains that he’s been left out of Ron’s annual guys hunting trip despite being a man, Leslie sighs. “Fine. But you are effeminate.” (2.10, “Hunting Trip,” he’s wearing a pink golf shirt at the time.)