If you’ve been watching television lately in the Milwaukee area, chances are you may have seen a few public service announcements about water quality coming from an unlikely source, a dog. Like you, I was confused at first. Why use a Spaniel puppet to talk about water? My initial confusion gave way to laughter and I decided to dig up more. I discovered that the 30 second PSAs were created by Eichenbaum & Associates for Sweet Water–the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust–in an effort to inform the public about simple ways to keep pollutants out of lakes and streams. “Clean water is all about proper training,” says Sparkles the Water Spaniel.
Sparkles seeks to train humans to do simple things like pick up after their pets, fix automobile leaks, reduce lawn fertilizer use, and keep lawn clippings and debris out of the gutter. To learn more about the project and see all the PSA videos, visit respectourwaters.com.
(UPDATE 7/28/13: The original story called the puppet a Cocker Spaniel; the puppet is a Water Spaniel. Though they share similarities to Cocker Spaniels, Irish Water Spaniels and American Water Spaniels are a separate breed.)