Letterman gives Dave the math dog two paws up
By Herb Meeker, Journal Gazette and Times-Courier Staff Writer
Dave the Math Dog may not be at the top of the list of animal acts yet but he certainly was a hit on national television last week. The 7-year-old golden retriever, owned and trained by Frank Ferris of Lerna, took the audience by brainstorm on Late Night with David Letterman during the misnamed “Stupid Dog Tricks” segment last week. Dave — the four-legged one — completed an addition and division problem before leaving Letterman in awe by doing the square root of 36, which is six. If you missed his act, Dave the Math Dog uses his paw to count out the right answers.
“Dave Letterman asked if that was all our Dave could do and I said he could do square roots,” said Ferris, who said he is merely Dave’s prop holder. “And Letterman said, ‘square root!’ And Dave did it. Then Letterman said, ‘I’ll take your word on that one.’ The audience loved it.”
Letterman got more mileage out of Dave’s act by working on a calculator and coming up with the wrong answer later in the show, or making other references to Dave’s act. Matthew Broderick, Letterman’s featured human guest that night, had high praise for Dave the Math Dog. “‘That is the smartest dog I’ve ever seen,’ Broderick told Letterman.
“That was a great moment,” Ferris said. After the show, Dave’s Web site — http://www.Davethemathdog.com — had more than 100 hits, Ferris said. A phone call also came in from a Los Angeles couple interested in booking the furry math whiz.
Could the national exposure create more opportunities for Dave and Ferris?