Tuesday, August 01, 2006

9 SILLY Pet Tricks

1 MONKEY SKI, MONKEY DO

OOTAKE-SHI, JAPAN
Swinging through the trees? Leave that to Tarzan. Momoko the macaque seems more at home water-skiing! Standing on a four-foot-long board with handlebars, this playful primate zips across the water of the Setonai Sea as she's pulled by a boat going nearly 20 miles an hour. Owner Katsumi Nakashima brought home baby Momoko from a local shelter and introduced her to the water during boating trips. Nakashima gently towed Momoko as she stood on the board, then gradually increased the speed. Soon the macaque could ski faster than most humans. And speed is important: If the boat moves too slowly, gets bored!

These pets like doing tricks, but your pet may not. Never force your pet to do a trick it does not want to do.

2 WIRED LAKE HUGHES, CALIFORNIA
Talk about toeing the line: Zoe the tuxedo cat can pad across two side-by-side wires suspended four and a half feet in the air--and she hasn't fallen yet. "We taught Zoe the trick by placing her on the same end of the wires where her treat was," says one of Zoe's trainers, Rob Bloch. "Then we slowly moved her farther and farther away from the reward." That way, the cat had to walk across the wires toward her favorite snack, usually chicken- or beef-flavored baby food. "We try to stay away from turkey" Bloch says. "That makes her too sleepy!"

3 DOG ON BOARD! NORTH LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Sabrina the English bulldog hasn't earned her driver's license, but she can certainly cruise around on four wheels! After watching kids ride a skateboard one day, sporty Sabrina ran after the board and pounced on top of it. But even more amazing was that the pooch stayed on the board as she zipped down the block. "Sabrina rides just like a person," says owner Jeanette Chaidez. "She puts one or two of her paws on the ground and pushes off to build up momentum" She can even fly down a six foot-long skateboarding ramp at a local park. There's just one problem: "She'd skate all day if we let her," Chaidez says. "So sometimes we have to hide her skateboard!"

4 PAW STAND MESA, ARIZONA
Ms. Prissy the Chihuahua never takes a "paws" when it comes to this trick. The tiny pup performs a one-pawed handstand in owner Gary Noel's palm. "I'd hold her back legs while she was in a handstand position to build up her front muscles," he says. It wasn't long before Prissy learned to life up her left leg and perch in this paw stand. Now she can hold the move for more than five seconds--and that's pretty much the only time she's not yapping. "Even though she's the smallest of our dogs, she thinks she's the biggest and the baddest," Noel says. She barks louder and acts tougher than dogs ten times her size!"

5 HIGH HORSE MAYFIELD, KENTUCKY
Maybe he's just wearing four very lucky horseshoes, but Hotshot the horse has no problem hoofing it onto a seesaw. Trainer Gerald Easley built the 1,200-pound horse's first seesaw by placing a sturdy wooden board on top of a metal pole lying on the ground. "I coaxed Hotshot on top of the board so that he was balanced in the middle, he says. Once Hotshot found his footing, Easley raised the board 16 inches off the ground with a new metal support (left), and the horse moved the seesaw up and down by gently nodding his head. Some animals might say "neigh" to this tough trick, but for Hotshot, it's merely horseplay.

6 SURFER DUDE BOCA RATON, FLORIDA
Most cats avoid water, but Ice Breaker the bengal house cat can't get enough of the wet stuff. This H20-friendly feline surfs small waves along the South Florida coastline. Ice Breaker revealed his talent when he was just a kitten. "We put him on a boogie board in the pool and pulled him around," says owner Jackie Essa. "It was raining, but he loved it." Soon Essa brought Ice Breaker to the beach, where he rode real waves atop a bigger boogie board. But even when the cat isn't at the beach, he still finds a way to play near the water. "All I have to do is turn on the shower," Essa says. "He comes running!"

7 CHEEP SKATE SEATTLE, WASHINGTON
If Kiri the Congo African gray parrot ever gets tired of flying, she can skate wherever she needs to go. To learn the trick, Kiri first stood on the roller skates, just to get comfortable. "I put blocks in front of Kiri's feet so the skates wouldn't move;' says trainer Tani Robar. Then Robar used a foot-long rod attached to the front of each skate to gently pull Kiri forward, one skate at a time. Soon Kiri could push off and move her feet without Robar's help. The bird can even skate in a full circle! Her reward? A little bite of a peanut. Guess you could say she's one nutty bird!

8 ONE GOOD TURN LES SAULES, QUEBEC, IN CANADA
When he travels by car, Striker the border collie always insists on getting the window seat. That's because this clever canine can roll down a car window! Striker learned the trick after owner Francis Gadassi accidentally locked the dog--and the keys--inside a car. Using words that Striker recognized, such as "paw" and "nose," Gadassi prompted the pooch to push the hand crank up with his nose and down with his paw. It took Striker 15 minutes to open the glass a few inches so Gadassi could rescue him, but now the dog can lower an entire window in just under 12 seconds. This dog's really on a roll!

9 WILL SING FOR BONES STUART'S WELL, AUSTRALIA
He may not be a famous pop star. but Dinky the dingo sure can belt out a tune! After innkeeper Jim Cotterill helped rescue young Dinky from a trap in the Australian outback, he noticed that his new pet liked to "sing" along with the piano. When guests would play a song, Dinky would hop on top of the keys and howl a tune to match the notes. "A group of musicians told me that Dinky actually has pretty good pitch" Cotterill says. "When the notes go higher, so does Dinky's voice."

By: Pressner, Amanda, National Geographic Kids

1 comment:

Ken Burks said...

I tought my dog to reorganize and manage all of my skateboard decks by order of purpose of use. Good Boy!