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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Casting Parks and Rec characters as dog breeds moves on to the nearly unbreakable team of Leslie and Ann.

Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)

Position at the time: Member, Pawnee City Council

Leslie is….very dedicated to making her city a better place to live and her friends’ lives happier. Everyone’s inspired by her example, though she can often overdo things (like her response to the antics of Greg Pikitis, mom talks to April). Tom describes her in his book as an “optimistic, tireless leader,” which sums things up nicely.

Show choice: Border Collie

Filled with big plans and boundless energy? Check. Constantly micromanaging the lives of those nearby in the name of knowing what’s best for them? Check. Not a bad choice.

Dog O’Day choice: Labrador Retriever

Without Leslie, the Parks and Rec Department basically wouldn’t exist with Ron not believing it’s useful, and Pawnee citizens would lose about the only good thing about living in the city. What better symbolizes Leslie Knope than the Labrador Retriever, which has been the most popular dog breed in America for nearly thirty years?

Besides, during the series run Amy Poehler recruited her old Chicago theater friend Nick Offerman, wrote a handful of episodes, directed some others, had two kids, endured a divorce and wrote a memoir, while still keeping Leslie hopeful and upbeat.

Ann Perkins (Rashida Jones)

Position at the time: Nurse, Pawnee City Hospital

Without Ann Perkins’ complaints in the pilot at the town meeting, we never would have met everyone. She never actually worked directly for the Parks and Rec Department, though she did work for a bit for the Health Department. Still, her nursing skills and general snark both come in handy as she listens as Leslie’s best friend and member of the core group.

Show choice: Left off plaque

Phooey, Parks and Rec spirit dog search.

Dog O’Day choice: Shelter dog

Ann is pretty normal (or as close to it as Pawnee residents can get). So this makes it a really tough choice, and we’re going to go with the generic shelter dog for her, because she just makes life better for those around her, even if she isn’t perfect (until she settled down with Chris, her dating history was pretty awful…) Also, Leslie often makes vaguely insulting compliments about Ann’s appearance, and it’s hard to tell sometimes what the breed history of shelter dogs are.