A Russian dog circled the earth in the sixties aboard a Soviet spacecraft. Now, a trio of canines from the Commonwealth may have surpassed them, motoring a modified Mini Cooper (engineers raised the gearshift and pedals, and added handles to make the steering wheel easier to grasp) around a racetrack at an astounding 20 miles per hour. (Actually, it was some number of kilometers per hour, but most of us reading this don’t relate all that well to the metric system, so we converted it.)
It took months of practice — and, we presume, many, many bags of “training treats” — to get them ready, but when the big day came, Monty (pictured), a giant schnauzer, Porter, a bearded collie mix, and Ginny, a bearded collie-whippet mix, were all able to put the car in gear, press the accelerator, and steer the car to complete the circuit. Monty was quoted afterward as saying that it was one small loop around the track, but one giant schnauzer at the wheel.
Everything went fairly smoothly throughout the history-making event. Cats and squirrels were kept safely out of sight to prevent any potential road rage incidents. Since the dogs only had to learn to turn the wheel to the right, and not to do anything outrageous, like parallel parking, their trainers noted that the toughest thing they had to do was to train these daring dogs to keep their heads inside the car as they drove.
Now wait just a minute. It’s April Fool’s Day. Do dogs really drive? Or, are we pulling your leg?