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Driving Dogs: Where Are They Now?


By Peter Vegas, senior copywriter, New Zealand

So what are the dogs doing now? Would you believe that Porter got a job delivering pizza, Monty is designing a range of fur proof car seat covers, and Gin has been signed as a test driver for a NASCAR team?  No, of course you wouldn’t. But six months ago would you have believed a dog could be trained to drive a car?
The truth is all three incredible dogs have found happy homes and are simply enjoying being dogs. After the strong bonds that formed between the dogs and the team from Animals on Q, during the weeks of intensive training, it wasn’t surprising that two of the dogs were adopted by their trainers. The third has found a home near by, so all three have regular catch ups. What was even more gratifying for us was that every other dog from the Auckland SPCA found a home in the weeks after the campaign broke.
Instant global fame affects different people in different ways, but we had no idea how dogs would cope with it. The answer is pretty well. We kept an eye out for any signs they were going to do a Lohan, but all three have remained incredibly well grounded. The dogs are still the subject of numerous media enquiries and have just finished filming a show for Discovery about their incredible exploits.
Back at the agency the dogs have been very much on our minds as we put together the videos for the award entries. This process has been almost as difficult as convincing three canine’s to get behind the wheel of a MINI Cooper. But our hard work is starting to pay off. So far the agency has picked up winner of the Yahoo! Digital Strategy Award 2012, Gold at the New Zealand Media awards, a Pencil at The One Show and been selected as a Webby Honoree. We also have finalists in the New Zealand AXIS Awards, The Festival of Media Global Awards, and CLIO Awards.
What’s next? Well, we joked with the head trainer from Animals on Q about teaching the dogs to fly. He laughed. But then he came back to us a few days later and asked if we were serious. Turns out he is a qualified pilot. The answer is probably not. Unless MINI decides to launch an aircraft range I think that idea will stay in the bottom draw.