Norman the Scooter Dog shines spotlight on hometown
by Marguerite Cline, columnist
February 22, 2013 12:38 AM | 1321 views | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend | print
It was probably a year ago when I was partially dozing and somewhat watching late night television that I heard television host David Letterman say, “Canton, Ga.” Then I was fully awake.

He was introducing a guest, Karen Cobb and her dog, Norman, who was featured on a segment of the show called “Stupid Pet Tricks.”

Now let me clear something up. From what I have heard and seen about Norman the Scooter Dog, he is far from stupid.

Norman came out on the stage and gave a stellar performance. Encouraged by his owner/coach he rode his scooter across the stage more than once.

Since then, Norman has mastered other tricks. He rides a skateboard and best of all, Norman can ride a bicycle. With his front paws on the handlebars and his back paws on the pedals, off he goes.

At least one source says that his bike riding skills put Norman in “The Guinness Book of World Records.”

Although I have never met Norman or his owner, I have become one of his fans. When I hear he will be on TV, I make plans to watch the show.

Like other fans, I wanted to know how a dog learned to ride a scooter. Ms. Cobb explains that since he liked to play with children and their toys it seemed natural to help him learn to ride.

At times I have seen Norman referred to as Norman the Briad, especially at the beginning of his career. Briads are herding dogs. They are large with long hair. Looking for Briads, I found that “Ruff” of “Dennis the Menace” fame is one of them.

Also, I saw a picture of Norman dressed as Chewbacca of the movie “Stars Wars” for Halloween. Chewbacca and Norman do look a lot alike.

Recently Ms. Cobb, on Letterman’s late night show again, attributed Norman’s first gig on the show with giving him the big boost in his career.

Like other stars, Norman has rubbed elbows with other big names. He had his picture taken with Evander Holyfield and Robin Roberts.

You may have seen him on “Good Morning America,” “Inside Edition” or the Cartoon Network. Or perhaps you viewed him on BMA-TV when he co-anchored the news. Dressed in a shirt and tie, Norman was sitting very erectly on one of the anchor chairs.

Now we can see Norman every week on the Hallmark Channel as one of the stars of “Who Let the Dogs Out?” Other canine stars of the show are Tillman, Rose, Sully and Wally.

Tillman is a fast traveler on a skateboard and is considered by some to be the most famous dog in the world. Tillman should be worried. I predict Norman will gain on Tillman in that department. After all, Tillman does not ride a bicycle.

One of the biggest marks of success for a star athlete is to have their picture on a box of “Wheaties.” In keeping with the cereal’s slogan, “The Breakfast of Champions,” Cale Yarbrough, Kristi Yamaguchi, Lou Gehrig, Jesse Owen and Dizzy Dean have all been given that honor. So have many others.

It is probably too much to expect that Norman the Scooter Dog will have his picture on a box of Wheaties. However, Norman does have a sponsor. It is actor Bob Van Patton of Natural Balance pet food. Norman’s favorite is their Synergy.

Obviously eating Synergy agrees with Norman. Weighing 70 pounds and measuring 26 inches tall, he is a big boy.

Like many celebrities, Norman is capitalizing on his fame.

From his online store, you can dress yourself in a Norman the Scooter Dog hoodie or shirt. When you begin decorating for next Christmas, fans might put his ornaments on their tree or hang his stockings on their mantle.

So what comes next for Cherokee County’s Norman the Scooter Dog? He might ride in the Rose Bowl’s parade on Natural Balance’s pet food float.

According to his owner/trainer, Norman is learning a new trick. She declined to tell what it is because other pet owners might begin teaching their dogs the same trick.

Whatever it is, it will be another reason for all of us to be proud of our hometown hero.

After reading about Norman’s successes, I am sure you will agree with me that David Letterman owes Norman an apology.

Norman is not a stupid pet. He might even be smarter than Letterman.

Marguerite Cline is the former mayor of Waleska.
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