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The World's Smartest Dog

Zeke the Dog

I grew up not knowing my biological father. In my mid-30s I decided to investigate and track him down. Most people use "I need to find out about family medical history for my children" as the rationale, but I just had plain old curiosity. What did he look like? How did he talk? What did he do? Did I have brothers or sisters? A few weeks into the process an envelope appeared in my mailbox on a Friday. It contained a letter along with a VHS cassette. The letter was from my biological father and gave some background on the situation expressing remorse and regret with how it worked out and the extended absence.

That night I watched the tape and it was a montage of amazing tricks by my father's dog Zeke. He caught footballs, dribbled a basketball, dunked a basketball, played golf and much more. It was like nothing I've seen. My dogs do the basics (sit/shake/stay/speak) but nothing like hold a golf club and putt a ball into a cup. This remarkable canine has been on David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks 7 times debuting a new trick each time. One time he even bit David, a clip which Letterman often replays during the intro.

The next day I played the tape for my kids and explained it was about their newly discovered grandpa's dog. I embarked on a business trip to Japan the following morning. I boarded the plane and settled in for the long trans-pacific flight. Eventually the TVs flipped down to show the in-flight TV programming. The Letterman show came on and much to my surprise there was my father with Zeke performing one of his stunts I had seen on the video. I wanted to tell someone but I was traveling alone and I thought my fellow passengers would think I was crazy if I blurted out the unbelievable story about how my newly discovered parent was on the TV with his dog that could do so many amazing tasks. Instead, I muzzled myself making a mental note to one day share this story with the world.

I've grown to know my father and he's a good guy and more importantly there's a new set of grandparents in my kids lives. I wanted to be able to share Zeke's awesomeness with the world so I asked my father to scrounge up footage on Zeke and send it to me. I've setup a web site at that tries to tell the story about the smartest dog in the world. You'll find background information on Zeke and a treasure trove of videos chronicling his achievements. Don't miss the bonus video where he bites David Letterman and draws blood.

I call him the smartest dog because I've seen dogs do impressive individual tricks, but I've never seen a dog with the wide ranging repertoire of tricks he possesses. He not only does physical tricks (balancing, jumping and catching), but he also uses tools like a baseball bat, pool cue, badminton racket and golf club. I grew up thinking only humans used tools and maybe a monkey with a stick poking ants in a tree. It's clear from these videos that at least one dog can use a tool. Most impressively if you watch closely he clearly understands the goal of the task. He's dejected when the ball misses the target and jubilant when he accomplishes the task. Enjoy these videos of Zeke, and let me know if you think he's the world's smartest dog.


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The Michael's Minute Meter
 Yes, absolutely amazing  He's OK.  No, my dog is smarter than that
Do you think Zeke is the world's smartest dog?
Yes, absolutely amazing
He's OK.
No, my dog is smarter than that

View the Michael's Minute Meter Report

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