2012 was a banner year for cuteness. In October, researchers in Japan released the results of a study examining the effect of cuteness on work performance. After exposing test groups to pictures of cute cats and dogs, researchers found that people excelled at tasks that involved concentration and focus. The conclusion? Cuteness makes you smarter.
So now you have no excuse to not look at this collection of Dogster’s cutest things of 2012, as compiled by yours truly. It was no easy task — in fact, I had to look at hours of puppy cams in order to focus. Here is the list, in no particular order.
1. The Queen’s Corgis in the 2012 London Olympics opening ceremony
Oh hey, did you know we had a Olympics this year? Do you remember any highlights from it? As we recall, there was a helicopter-jumping competition and Corgi rolling. And some other stuff, but who cares? CORGIS!
2. Little dogs with Napoleon complexes
As someone with attitude inversely proportional to her height, I found these portraits of dogs dressed as “the Little Corporal” struck a chord. Don’t worry, my bark is worse than my bite, as I am sure is the case for these little woofers.
3. Dogs riding in cars to Phantom Planet’s “California”
With bright, beautiful slow-motion photography and an exuberant soundtrack, the video by Keith Hopkin celebrates the euphoria of sticking your head out the car window and feeling the wind rush through your fur.
4. That heartbreakingly beautiful photo of John Unger holding his arthritic elderly dog during a session of water therapy
These are less cute and more bittersweet. When Unger, who credits his dog Schoep with saving his life after a bad break up, was faced with the aging dog’s debilitating arthritis, he turned to unconventional methods to help relieve his friend’s pain. The touching photo went viral, tapping into a universal sentiment of love and devotion.
5. Kira the Labrador goes swimming with dolphins
With a GoPro camera strapped to her collar, Kira goes frolicking in the ocean with a pod of dolphins, and the two water-loving mammals seem perfectly paired as they play in the waves. Accompanied by Miik Snow’s “Animal,” the video is sublime.
6. Serenah’s gentle and humorous dog photography
Award-winning photographer Serenah didn’t start photographing animals until four years ago, when she turned her lens on her own pooches. Now she works with people and their pets, capturing the unintentional humor of dogs in a tender tone. Her own dogs still make appearances in her work, like Ralph relaxing below.
7. Maddie on Things goes on a cross-country adventure
When Maddie’s human friend, photographer Theron Humphrey, embarked on an epic creative venture to meet a new person everyday for a year as he drove across the United States, the patient Coon Hound tagged along and posed for a series of silly photographs.
8. An adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy vs. a lemon in the most adorable play fight ever
Puppies are already pretty adorable, but the way Nilah shakes and squirms as she tries to figure out if the lemon is friend or foe will squeeze a smile out of your face.
9. Mocha’s darling jewelry not only adds a sparkle to your outfit, it also tells a story
Inspired by her own Corgi, Mocha, Etsy artist Esther creates charming little pendants modeled after her dog, as well as a host of characters who inhabit the whimsical world of Mocha and Friends. Made from polymer clay, the characters adorn chains, earrings, and rings.
10. Chubbs the Wampug as a Bantha creature from Star Wars
When we heard that George Lucas had sold his legendary science fiction franchise to Disney, we didn’t know how to feel about the upcoming Star Wars VII, but maybe if the new movies feature Chubbs the Wampug as a Banthapug, then our faith might be restored.
And here are a couple of cute things that didn’t make the list, but were a very close second.
1. The incredible “barkour” dog
2. Ammo the Picasso pooch
We can’t wait to see what kind of cuteness 2013 has in store for us! Do you have any cuteness predictions?
Photo: Trained dogs in glasses with books by Shutterstock.com