Story by Claire Elliot
A YOUNG schoolgirl and her clever pet collie have become a global sensation – after the dog was filmed beating her at a game of snakes and ladders.
Four-legged Fly surprised eight-year-old Sasha Clement last Boxing Day when she picked up the dice in her mouth and rolled it to take her turn.
Amazed dad Graham, 44, filmed the unlikely opponents - and the literal underdog winning the game.
And since posting the heart-warming footage on You Tube this summer, the family, from Dingwall, Inverness-shire, has been overwhelmed by the interest it has generated around the world.
More than 141,000 people have watched the clip and, Mr Clement, a service manager, and wife Tonya, have been inundated with requests from TV companies in Japan, America and Canada, asking to buy the rights.
Mrs Clement, 32, who confirmed an American promotional TV firm had since snapped it up for £200, said: “Fly is a well trained dog but I think playing snakes and ladders is an extraordinary talent.
“She always used to be fascinated watching us play. She’d sit next to you and wouldn’t take her eyes of what you were doing.
“Sasha just offered her the dice and Fly started throwing it and would wait for her turn. It’s very cute.”
The couple first posted the two-minute video on Facebook to let family and friends see Fly’s board game antics, before it was suggested to them that they put it on You Tube.
Mrs Clement said: “It was a bit quiet for the first two weeks after we put it on. But then it just went berserk. We started getting thousands of people watching it a day.
“We’ve also had about 20 enquiries from different TV companies from all over the world.
“A lot of people find it quite unusual. I know a few friends who have dogs and they say their dogs would just swallow the dice.”
Fly, however, is fast becoming an expert in dice rolling, playing the game with Sasha nearly every week – with the four-legged pet continuing her winning run.
She takes the dice in her mouth, throws it out to roll it, then watches carefully as Sasha moves her counter on the board.
Sasha, who celebrates her eighth birthday today (Monday), said: “Fly wins most of the time but I didn’t train her at all, she just started playing.
“The first time was last year.
Everyone was getting breakfast ready and no one wanted to play with me. Fly was lying by the chair and I just thought I could play with her. I knelt down and gave her the dice and she just started playing.
“I like playing with her a lot.”
Fly is also trying her paw at other board-games and was even the entertainment at a previous birthday party, passing a ballon with her nose to children as they stood around her in a circle.
But Mrs Clement, who is expecting her second child in January, said Fly’s true talent remains in rolling to dice during a game of snakes and ladders.
She said: “Fly is getting good at rolling the dice now. When she started she just spat it out but now she can get it quite far in front of her and it looks more like rolling.
“I think we will have to take Fly to a casino and get her to roll the dice there because she seems to be very lucky. Just the other day she won again. She loves it.”
And the pair, she said, were keeping cool about their worldwide fame, and just enjoying playing together.
“They’re great friends and because Sasha is an only child they are like sisters. Fly is very protective of Sasha,” she added.
Sasha Clement with her two-and-a-half year old dog Fly