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Pets show true colors: Blue for Giants

Dog groomers James and Megan Senn show their

Dog groomers James and Megan Senn show their Giants pride with their dogs Sophie, left, and Zoe, right, at the Cozy Pet store in Babylon Tuesday. (Jan. 24, 2012) Credit: Barry Sloan

What happens when Giants fans are also dog lovers?

A Boston terrier sporting a mini Eli Manning jersey.

A Maltese with red-and-blue-dyed tail and ears.

Pugs and bulldogs in team gear playing catch -- with toy footballs, of course.

West Hempstead pet photographer Richie Schwartz is a witness to how Giants mania is affecting the four-legged set.

Schwartz, 60, is bracing for the "synergistic effect" of two powerful forces: dog owners' unabashed adoration of their pets and the euphoria of football fans.

He's planning to take a day off from shooting pet portraits for Valentine's Day to offer a Super Bowl Sunday special: free photos of canines that arrive in Giants get-up.

Cozy Pet, a grooming salon and pet supply store in Babylon Village, is also riding the wave. The store sold out its supply of doggy Giants jerseys and had to restock.

"People don't look at pets as just pets," said owner Mike Carmody.

James and Megan Senn, husband-and-wife groomers at Cozy Pet, figured out a way to avoid strife over how to dress Zoe, their Yorkshire terrier, and Sophie, their Maltese.

For the Super Bowl, both will sport Giants jerseys, with Sophie's tail and ears colored blue and red using pet-safe coloring, said James, 34, of Deer Park.

Megan, 26, is a die-hard Jets fan, but James said fair is fair. The dogs, he said, were "unfortunately" dressed up as Jets cheerleaders for Halloween.

Said Megan: "I'm being a good sport about this. I hate New England, so this is the lesser of two evils for me."

In a barking prelude to the big game, at least 10 smushed-faced dogs -- from pugs to bulldogs -- are expected to gather Saturday at a dog park in Whitestone, Queens. They'll be unleashed, in full Giants regalia, to chase after plush toy footballs.

"It's a great way to honor our Giants and let the dogs and their owners have a festive and unique playdate," says Heather Lehrman, owner of a Boston terrier named Herbie and a pet-sitting/dog-walking service in Great Neck.

All this turning dogs into mascots isn't much of a surprise, said Schwartz. Lots of people see their pets as family members, and sometimes dress them accordingly.

"Let's just take it as fun," he said.

New York Sports