America's Funniest Pets

With the breakout success of the America’s Funniest Home Videos show, the network decided to try a similar show that was more talent-oriented rather than just quirky spontaneous clips. Having submitted our talented Bulldog Rosie’s crazy rocking-horse trick to AFHV, they reached out to us asking if we would consider sending a video to their new sister show, America’s Funniest People.

It was the fall of 1991 and my brother-in-law was fighting in the Gulf War so I decided to film a “Tribute to the Armed Forces” featuring a variety of Rosie’s ever-expanding trick repertoire. 

Dressed in military attire as the classic theme songs played, she applauded the brave men and women who were battling for our country. Our VHS tape was filmed and mailed off (this was before the advent of the internet!) and it wasn’t long before we received a phone call from the producers. They were in love with Rosie and her antics, but wondered if we could modify the tape to eliminate the “controversial” military theme. We were given their Fed-Ex number to overnight our new tape and this time we didn’t have long to wait. As soon as the tape arrived in their studio and they verified its contents, we received another phone call—could we fly out the following Monday to appear as “potential finalists” on the show?

The next thing we knew, Rosie, my husband, Marty and I were flying down to Hollywood! We were put up at the Universal Sheridan hotel—complete with valets at the door—and were given a $250 per diem for our brief stay. Having just returned from being poor missionaries and currently living with my parents, this was royal treatment! Besides enjoying a wonderful gourmet meal at the hotel restaurant, we spent a few hours touring Universal Studios before our shuttle picked us up to take us to the studio for taping.

Rosie had her own dressing room with her name placard on the door that had been signed by the two hosts, Dave Coulier and Arleen Sorkin. Much of the day was spent hanging out in the green room with other potential finalists and then it was into the studio for filming the various scenes. Rosie’s clips were hilarious paired with the classic Tom Jones ditty, “She’s A Lady”. It was finally the moment of truth as the audience cast their votes and the tallies were in. But it wasn’t until the hosts made the actual announcement on the show that we knew we were indeed one of the three finalists and would be coming home with the $3000 second place prize!

This was my very first introduction to the spotlight and I was hooked! What fun it is to travel with your special sidekick and bring joy and laughter to audiences around the world!