Reality TV is making ordinary folks famous

Reality TV is making ordinary folks famous. Now, there’s a show that’s even making their pets famous. “Pet Star” on Animal Planet is making stars of furry and feathered friends. Pets compete against one another by showing off their talents. Celebrity judges vote for their favorites. One of those favorites is an Australian cattle dog-mix named Skidboot. This intense pup deliberately sneaks up on his toys, taking as many steps back or forward as his owner, David Hartwig, wants. If Hartwig says, “Move two steps forward and then wait,” his dog complies. Skidboot also answers the telephone. He may not say much, but he locates where the receiver of a cordless or cell phone is, and then gives it to Hartwig.

“I don’t think I trained him,” says Hartwig. “I think he just comes real smart. And I kind of show him what I want and talk to him a little bit, and he figured it out.”

Due to the exposure on “Pet Star,” Skidboot has become a sort of American canine idol. He’s appeared on “The Oprah Winfrey Show” and “Late Night with David Letterman.”

“I’ve never seen a dog do this,” Oprah gushed. And when Oprah gushes, the offers come gushing in. This star canine now has his own website ( He even has a movie deal in the works. You can see Skidboot participate in the “Pet Star” finals on Animal Planet on May 30.

Listen to Animal Planet Radio, and hear Hartwig as well as other starts from Animal Planet at (then click on Animal Planet Radio). Or hear the show on the radio where you live.

Note: This article is copyrighted by Steve Dale and can be used as source material and for reference only. It cannot be reprinted verbatim. Please contact Steve Dale at if you have any questions.


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