The Smartest Pets in Sports

Laura Depta@lauradeptaFeatured ColumnistJuly 7, 2014

The Smartest Pets in Sports

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    Mark Lennihan/Associated Press

    We humans, we think we are so smart—but some animals may be closer to our intelligence level than we think.

    OK, not really—but I do kind of think that Severa, Portugal’s biggest canine fan, could give the cast of Duck Dynasty a run for its money.

    Whether it’s interfering with human sports or performing athletic feats themselves, these pets are a cut above their animal-kingdom compadres.

    One of them even understands the all-important necessity of keeping the mini-fridge beer cold.

    Here we go.

Dishonorable Mention: Dove Collides with Fastball

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    During a game against the San Francisco Giants in March 2001, then-Diamondbacks pitcher Randy Johnson threw a fastball that never made it into the catcher’s mitt.

    Why? It hit a dove on the way to the plate and caused a feather explosion of epic proportion instead.

    Getting in the way of a Randy Johnson fastball? Not smart. Not smart at all.

Dog Plays Soccer, Kills It

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    Java the black lab can keep a soccer ball at his feet with incredible control. Maybe he can give Michael Bradley some pointers.

    According to this video, Java lives in Seattle, WA—perhaps he should see if the Sounders are in need of a new midfielder?

    Seriously, keeping a ball so close to your feet like that? Not easy. 

Snake in a Press Box

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    Paul Sancya/Associated Press

    One Mets fan knows where the good seats are.

    During a 2007 Spring Training game in Winter Haven, Fla., a 3-foot black snake posted up in the press box, according to The Washington Post.

    As is generally the case when you try to sit in seats that aren’t yours at the ballpark, the snake was promptly escorted out.

Petey Plays Basketball

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    Petey is a straight baller yo. This athletically gifted canine first gained notoriety with his volleyball prowess.

    Now, Petey is showing off his skills on the basketball court. This real-life Air Bud not only dribbles and shoots, but he rebounds too.

Golf Ball Theft by Seagull

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    If this seagull is not a Steve Lowery fan, then bravo, Mr. Seagull.

    In the 1998 PLAYERS Championship, the bird not only expertly picked up Lowery’s ball after a tee shot on the 17th hole, but he (she?) promptly deposited in into the drink.

    Lowery did not receive a penalty for bird interference, but he also didn’t make the cut.

Monkey Crushes It at Ping Pong

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    Primates are humanity’s closest relatives, so it makes sense that their intelligence would be closer to ours than say, a snake's.

    Even so, this monkey isn’t just close to his ping pong opponent's level—he’s past it. Check out the total domination.  

Charlotte Brown and Her Guide Dog

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    Eric Gay/Associated Press

    Charlotte Brown is a high school pole vaulter who recently finished fourth in the Texas Class 3A state meet. She is also legally blind.

    Brown’s guide dog, Vador, helps her compete by leading her to the start line as well as the beginning of the pole vault runway, according to ESPNW. From there, she uses beepers to make noise and help her distinguish certain areas on the track and runway.

    In this case, Vador’s smarts are not used for funny tricks, but to help a talented athlete accomplish her goals.

Norman the Scooter Dog

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    Back to the funny tricks.

    Norman the Scooter Dog is smart enough to be an animal celebrity.  

    His website claims that the French sheepdog holds the Guinness World Record for “Fastest 30m on a Scooter by a Dog.”

    Well look at that. It’s true, according to the Daily News.

    In addition to the Late Show with David Letterman, Norman has also appeared on Inside Edition and Good Morning America.

Surfing Cats and Dogs

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    South America: Home of animal surfers.

    According to NTD.TV, a five-year-old terrier from Argentina taught himself how to ride a boogie board.  

    Meanwhile in Peru, a cat is learning to surf from a real-live (human) professional, Domingo Pianezzi. “We have to position ourselves correctly, looking forward, and balanced in the middle of the board and when we start to take off we don't fall or get pushed off,” Pianezzi said.

    I’m not sure what the point of this is, but a surfing cat seems smarter than regular cats—who generally just lay around and scratch stuff.  

Purin the Beagle Jumps Rope

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    Purin the Beagle has gained YouTube notoriety as a dog who can sort of play catch and looks like Tim Howard in a soccer goal.

    To me however, his most impressive feat was this jump roping, posted to YouTube back in 2010.  

    Either way, this dog is multi-talented—you might even say he’s the Bo Jackson of animal sports.

Portuguese World Cup Dog, Sad

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    Severa: Portugal’s biggest fan. This is how she felt about Portugal’s elimination from the 2014 World Cup.

    This is also incidentally, exactly what I do when something bad happens to my team—turn my head and immediately cease watching.

Portuguese World Cup Dog, Happy

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    Likewise, this is generally how I react when my team scores as well.

    Unlike the entirety of America, Severa was pretty stoked when Portugal scored against the U.S. in the closing seconds of their group-stage game.

Dog Gets Beer, Dislikes Eagles

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    This dog is a genius.

    Well either that or his owner is a really great trainer. But still. Most impressive is the animal that likes sports and beer.

    We know that this dog dislikes the Philadelphia Eagles, digs the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and comprehends referee hand signals.

    On top of all that, he can easily fetch beers and understands that leaving a beer-stocked mini-fridge open is unwise indeed.