When I was a kid, I tried to learn how to do magic from a couple of my dad’s books. Most of it is now gone from my brain, but there’s one thing that always stuck with me: One of the books made the following point very strongly: It’s better to know one way to force a card and a dozen ways to reveal it, rather than the other way around. After all, magic is all about putting on a show. Everyone knows that behind all the flash and patter, it’s trickery and sleight of hand, and that’s why they love it.
That’s kind of the key to the video by magician Jose Ahonen below. Making something appear to float in midair is kind of a basic magic technique. If that’s all you do, your audience is going to yawn and go home. Or, in the case of the Internet, they’re going to click on the next link to the current Meme of the Day. The whole point is that it’s fun to watch the dogs watching the floating wiener, torn between bewilderment and the natural dog instinct of “I want to eat that!”
The Finnish magician has done several variations on magic for dogs. He told told ABC News: “I first did magic for dogs with vanishing tricks, and after that I was thinking what else I could do with dogs. There are a few limits: You can’t do card tricks with dogs because there’s not a reaction. I thought of levitating something so that the dogs could react.”
That’s one of the cool things about watching dogs be the audience. Dogs and children are just about the only honest audiences a performing artist is going to get. Dogs and kids don’t bother with flattery, and neither do they make a show of being unimpressed because they’re just too cool for that. They show you exactly what they think, for better or worse.
My favorite of the dogs is Keijo, who at first seems to ignore the sausage itself, and goes straight for nuzzling and licking Ahonen’s palms. “At first I tried with Noah, the huge Great Dane,” Ahonen told ABC. “He was scared, which was funny because he’s like 40 kilos [about 88 pounds]. He was interested to eat the hot dog but at the same time he was very aware and worried about why it was levitating.”
If the video seems to be teasing the dogs unnecessarily, know that all the dogs got to eat the hot dogs in the end.
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