The “Dogs of Branson”

Informal moment with Todd Oliver and his "talkative" canine friends Irving, left, Elvis and Lucy

BRANSON, Mo. For everyone who has heard about the “Dogs of the Dow” investment strategy, there are probably hundreds, if not thousands, that haven’t heard about the “Dogs” of Branson.” It’s time to change all that and introduce you to some of the “Dogs of Branson,” the most talkative “Irving,” “Lucy,” and “Elvis;” the cutest “Molly” and Carter” and the zaniest “Chico Pete.”

“Irving,” a Boston Terrier; “Lucy,” a West Highland mix and “Elvis,” a Basset Hound are “talking dogs” who work with their partner, Todd Oliver in the Todd Oliver and Friends show . They present one of the most unique and funny entertainment experiences not only in Branson, but anywhere. As Irving says, “If you can’t laugh at a talking dog you probably own a cat!”

David Letterman has proclaimed Oliver one of the “Top Ventriloquists in The World!” He and his canine friends have appeared on Letterman’s show, “The Today Show”, “Walker Texas Ranger” and many more. In addition to his talking dogs, Oliver’s Branson show also includes the “Smiling Eyes Band,” and a “cast” of characters including “Pops,” “Miss Lilly,” and “Joey.”

The cute Molly and Carter with Titanic First Class Maid Jaynee and Captain Smith.

Any of the other “Dogs of Branson” would be hard pressed to displace the Titanic Museum Attraction’s “Molly” and “Carter” as Branson’s cutest dogs. The two adorable King Charles Spaniels are the Titanic’s mascots.

As part of their duties, when the ship’s whistle blows at noon, they come around the bow and promenade down the winding walkway and past the waterfall to the iceberg by the museum’s entrance where they “greet” the ships guests and pose for pictures. In addition, passengers on the Titanic are likely to meet them either as they walk through the ship with their handlers or while they spend time relaxing in their lavish climate controlled “kennel” aboard the ship.

Jim Barber and the zany Chico Pete

“Chico Pete,” unlike the other “Dogs of Branson,” is not actually a “dog,” but “he” is probably the most zany, unique and funny “Chihuahua” most will ever meet. Chico sings, talks and performs in the Hamner Barber Variety Show with his buddy, nationally known ventriloquist and comedian, Jim Barber. Barber, has been on the Dave Letterman Show and won numerous awards and together, in the opinion of this writer, the crazy, entertaining and audience pleasing antics of “Chico” not only qualifies “him” to join the ranks of “The Dogs of Branson,” but makes him their zaniest member. It should be pointed out that “Chico” is just one small part of the great magic, comedy and entertainment making up the Hamner Barber Variety Show.

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