IS MY DOG IS SMARTER THAN I AM … / by Bo Gerard

…because she refuses to be in show business?

We have a very smart dog.  I know everyone thinks their dog is smart, but Coco is wicked smart.  At six months, she could already do all of the basic dog commands – sit, lie down, shake hands, etc.  So, Gretchen started working with her, using the clicker system and positive reinforcement.  Gretchen patiently worked with her every day for months.  Eventually Coco mastered over 20 commands – some of them quite complex – like crawling on her belly, stinky dog (lying on her side and holding her nose with both paws), weaving in and out of Gretchen’s legs as she walked, and many more.  We saw a great opportunity in her and started working on a show called “Comedy Magic Unleashed” – incorporating Coco into a new magic and comedy show.

Well, Coco did great! (in rehearsal) She loved doing the work, and we came up with some really fun routines that used her many talents.  When the show was ready we did a few dress rehearsals and they also went great.  And then we did our first show.  That’s when we learned that Coco was smarter than we were.  When the curtain opened, and Coco saw the audience, she went into protection mode.  100 strangers had appeared and her first priority was to keep Gretchen and I safe.  She was able to do most of her tricks and we got through the show alright, but we learned that when given a choice, Coco would much rather stay at home and be a loving family member, than travel to large, drafty, echoey, venues, and show off her tricks in front of a large group of strangers.

Nine years later she still does all of her tricks, but only for small gatherings.  And every time people see her perform they say, “Why don’t you get her into your act?”  And I say,

“She’s too smart to be in show business."