A Maple Ridge border collie has mastered the mental dexterity required to remove a wooden block from a Jenga tower – and on Monday received his 15 minutes of fame on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.
Ollie, a seven year old border collie, and his fur mama Lindsey Wadden, were featured in the final slot of a segment called Why Is Your Pet Better Than Me – a virtual pet talent show.
Ollie was able to pull a wooden block out of a full tower to the delight of The Tonight Show host and viewers of the program.
It came as a complete surprise to Wadden when she was first contacted by The Tonight Show.
“When you see The Tonight Show in your inbox, you definitely are a little shocked,” said the 32-year-old.
She was first contacted by the show in April. They had seen Ollie and his two border collie brothers on their Instagram account thecolliebrothers, which has more than 31,000 followers.
They talked back and forth about what trick Ollie could perform. At first they wanted him to do a different trick – skip rope – a trick that Ollie performed a couple of years ago.
However, Wadden was only asked about two weeks ago to be in the segment that aired Sept. 27, and they wanted Ollie to do the Jenga trick.
“Ever since he was a puppy we knew that his skills were a little bit more demanding than most so I’ve always kind of taught him a bit more than average tricks,” she explained.
It took Ollie around one month to break down the steps to learn the Jenga trick, but he’s been working on it for just over a year now.
“Just something fun to do on a rainy day or in the evening when we’re winding down,” Wadden noted.
Ollie can do many tricks including: the Fisher Price toy where you put the shapes in the correct holes; he picks up items and holds them like teddy bears; he can stack the Fisher Price plastic rings on the pole; he knows how to paint using a modified paintbrush – although Wadden has to dip the brush in the paint and hand it to him; he does handstands; prays; and gives piggy-back rides.
Wadden’s other border collies are all from the same family, but they are not as adept at learning new tricks.
“Mentally he is the most demanding out of all three of them,” she said about Ollie. “The other ones kind of like to watch Ollie perform.”
Currently Wadden is trying to teach him how to play the xylophone.
“He’s a special boy,” she said.
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