If you live in the Table View or greater Blaauwberg area then chances are you have spotted Zoei and Coco – Cape Town’s popular pair of Golden Retrievers.
Famous for their walks along roads during peak traffic, the only thing more golden than their coats are the messages of inspiration printed on flags that they gingerly carry in their mouths.
Last Friday the Blouberg Ridge Primary School hall was filled with cheers of delight when Zoei and Coco visited Grade 1 to 3 pupils.
Zoei, 10, and Coco, 3, showed off tricks such as playing dead and picking up different items from the floor and placing it in a basket.
Their owner, Fritz Buter, 69, commands each trick and the pair yield to his request as an obedient child does to their parent. The pair’s performance impresses the crowd but it is when they successfully solve two maths problems that the crowd is truly bowled over.
“What is two times two Zoei?” asks Mr Buter.
Zoei barks four times.
“What is one plus one?”
Again Zoei responds with two barks that resonate through the hall.
Mr Buter tells the children they should respect their animals by treating them kindly and seeing that they have enough to eat and drink.
Grade 1 teacher, Melissa Gossman, said she invited Mr Buter and his furry babies as a treat for the children.
“A lot of the kids have seen the dogs on the side of the road. Many come from different socio-economic backgrounds and some of them don’t have pets so this will be a treat for them,” said Ms Gossman.
Mr Buter who lives in Blaauwberg trains Zoei and Coco himself.
They are well-known for their early walks between peak traffic carrying flags in their mouths with messages such as “We love South Africa” “Prevent road rage – smile and wave” “Love each other” and “Smile more.”
“They get a positive reaction from frustrated drivers who stand in gridlock traffic on their way to work,” said Mr Buter.