New Zealand's world famous driving dogs could be set to star
in the popular motoring show Top Gear.
Last night Porter, a 10-month-old beardie cross and Monty, a
giant schnauzer cross, got behind the wheel and drove a Mini
Countryman down a racetrack in Avondale live on TV3's
The stunt was part of a campaign by the Auckland SPCA to show
rescued dogs are just as intelligent as other dogs.
The doggy duo and a third canine, Ginnie, a one-year-old
beardie whippet cross, underwent an eight-week driving course
with animal trainers Animals on Q.
The driving dogs have made headlines around the world, from
the BBC to the New York Daily News. The story has also been
picked up by David Letterman's Late Show, featuring in the
show's Top 10 segment.
Auckland SPCA chief executive Christine Kalin said the
international interest in the story was unprecedented.
"We've had an email from Top Gear who are showing interest in
the story as well," Ms Kalin said.
"The phone's been going hot and one of the pleasant surprises
of this whole campaign was just how international it went. It
certainly surpassed anything we thought was possible."
She said the SPCA had Australia's Channel Nine filming today.
"There was a bit of a fight from the Australian channels as
to who would get it and obviously they would have liked to
have been there last night but we gave New Zealanders that
honour of seeing the dogs drive live so they're here this
If the dogs do feature on the British show Top Gear, it will
likely please co-host James May.
In 2007, May suggested in a column for the Daily Telegraph
that dogs should be taught how to drive.
"Dogs bark at cars, chase cars, urinate on cars, like being
in cars and like sticking their heads out of car windows.
It's only natural that dogs should want to learn to drive
cars," he wrote.