#1
The pool playing pooch

30th May 2007
Daily Mail


Border collie Blue has amazed pub-goers by playing pool with his paws.

The pooch jumps up so his front two paws are resting on the table and then, standing on his hind legs next to owner Jeff Davies, looks down the cue sight. When he has a shot on, he sinks the ball into the pocket.


The 'Hurricane Higgins' of the dog world lines up a shot



Blue, who is now aged 10, has been nipping down to the Boreatton Arms in Bastchurch, Shropshire, with Jeff, 39, since he was a six-week old puppy. He began to mimic Jeff whenever he played pool, following the balls as they bounced against the cushions of the table.

Now he has become a master of the baize and partners Jeff in games at the pub.


The famous dogs playing pool painting by Coolidge hangs in hundreds of pubs around Britain (although they are playing the North American version)



Building contractor Jeff, 39, joked: "He's played pool for a long time now, and I actually think he's got better. Now he can pot the balls - as long as he can reach them.

'Hurricane Higgins'


Snooker player Alex "Hurricane" Higgins

"He also runs alongside the side of the table following the balls as they hit the cushions and fly across the baize. I reckon he's probably the Hurricane Higgins of the dog world.

"Blue has been mad for pool ever since he was a puppy. Back then he also jumped up at the fruit machine and would grab the darts out of the board with his teeth whenever I played.

"He already has his own bowl which he carries it up to the bar for the bar staff to fill up when it's empty.

"The punters are great with him but the whole village knows him. If I leave the garden gate open, he has got very good road sense and he will just wander along quite happily.

"He also seems to be the village mascot. If I have not seen someone for a good few years they'll still say 'have you still got that crazy dog Blue'."


Blue the dog with owners Jeff Davies and son Scott


Jeff bought Blue from a local kennel, which houses abandoned dogs, in 1997 and took him back to the house he shares with wife Charlotte and son Scott, 10.

Aside from playing pool, the pooch gets to sleep in his own bedroom at home, works with Jeff on the building site and even accompanies him on his duties as a retained fireman.

Jeff added: "He's no ordinary dog, it's more like he's a person. He does everything I do, there's nothing he won't try.

"Our lodger has moved out so Blue literally sleeps in a double bed. He's got the best room in the house, with a double bed, en suite bathroom and a TV.

"I've never heard him turn the telly on himself but if he did I reckon his favourite programme would be One Man and his Dog.

"He comes to work with me on the building site where he chases diggers and mixers, pulls plugs out of generators, and howls at other people on the site.

"I'm a retained fire fighter as well and he just loves chasing the fire engines. He has been known, while we're doing our drills, to bite the tyres of the fire engine and he loves playing with the hoses.

"He's 10 now, but I reckon he's got a long way to go yet, he'll still be up to his old tricks in a few years I reckon.

"They say pets and their owners become more alike, but Blue has really taken this to the next level."

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; May 30th, 2007 at 10:55 AM..