MARIETTA — A scooter-riding dog will attempt to set a Guinness World Record for being the fastest dog to drive a scooter Friday morning.
Karen Cobb, a Cherokee County resident who owns 3-year-old “Norman the Scooter Dog,” said she was contacted in June by Guinness to see if she’d be interested in letting her French sheep dog attempt to set the record.
“He will be riding his scooter 30 meters (about 98 feet) and will have to do it in less than 30 seconds,” she said.
Norman will be attempting the feat on the basketball courts at All-Tournament Players Park off Canton Road in Marietta.
“It’s not that often we get these types of requests,” said Kim Coleman, general manager at the park.
He asked Cobb to bring Norman down to the park to show him the trick.
“We really wanted to see it for our own eyes,” he said. “To make sure it wasn’t a prank.”
They cleared the courts, Norman hopped on his skateboard, which he rides similarly to his scooter, and started cruising around the basketball arena.
“I didn’t believe it,” Coleman said. “This had to be a human inside a dog suit. It was very cute, though, and warmed my heart so I said, ‘Let’s do it, let’s let Norman break the record.’”
The public is invited to attend the free event and is encouraged to make donations that
will benefit Road Trip Home, a group that rescues animals from high-kill shelters and relocates them to no-kill shelters.
“This is a new shelter that started last year,” Cobb said. “In their first year, they’ve saved almost 2,000 animals, so they’ve really been doing a lot.”
Geo Survey, a land surveying company, is also donating time for the record. They are needed to survey the area for Guinness.
Norman makes name for himself
Cobb, who has trained dogs for years, decided in 1997 while working with another French sheep dog that one day she’d like to have one of her own.
It wasn’t until almost 12 years later that happened, but her family was very happy to welcome Norman, who they got as a puppy from Washington state. The now-70-pound dog was named after the one she trained in 1997.
“They are naturally a nervous breed so I wanted to socialize him with everything possible,” Cobb said of Norman as a puppy. “My kids were playing on their scooter in the backyard, so I thought we’d let him try it out and he loved it! He would push it with his rear paw. I think he just liked the idea of being able to roll around and go fast.”
A friend convinced them to submit a video of Norman riding his scooter to the David Letterman show for his pet edition, and Cobb’s family, including their beloved sheep dog, was invited onto the show.
“He got on that season and our whole life changed,” she said. “We went on a national tour and he became a sports dog for Natural Balance pet foods.”
A star is born
Norman has appeared on talk shows all over the United States and Canada, showcasing his scooter, skateboard and bicycle riding skills, been in Hallmark and Animal Planet channel shows, participated in parades, Mardi Gras and even thrown out the first pitch at a Texas Rangers baseball game.
“He’s even done morning talk shows in Australia by video and a few documentaries,” Cobb said. “He’s loved in Great Britain.”