Riley the Smiling Dog Paints the Town in New York

By Lori Preuitt
|  Thursday, Apr 8, 2010  |  Updated 9:30 AM PDT
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A now-famous San Jose pooch got a ticket to New York this week for doing what comes natural.

You may have seen the birthday photo of Riley smiling as he is about to chomp into his birthday cake.

Riley's owner Maureen Ravelo posted the snapshot on her Facebook page because she thought it was cute.

A friend reposted it and the rest as they say in Internet history.  Riley went viral.

The Today Show producers caught wind of the picture and invited Riley and Ravelo to the 30 Rockafeller set.  They sat down on the couch with the entire team of Merideth, Matt, Natalie and Al for their television debut Wednesday morning.

Riley is a Bichon Frise-poodle mix.  As you can see from the above photo, he appears to be smiling. 

The pose isn't a one time deal.  Ravelo says Riley often displays the human-like expression of happiness.  He can do difference faces.  Ravelo says when she tries to pet him when he's asleep, he shoots her a look as if she just disturbed him.

She's thrilled at the dog's new celebrity but that she is shocked it has become so big.

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