03/11/2002 at 01:00 AM EST
When a dog walks on its hind legs, Samuel Johnson famously wrote in 1763, "it is not done well; but you are surprised to find it done at all."
If Johnson were around to catch Daisy's act, he might flip his periwig. Daisy, a 2-year-old beagle, can walk on her front legs. Her curious talent came to light last year, says Daisy's owner Brenda Leonard, 44, of Portland, Ore., when her daughter Nicole, 18, decided to dress Daisy in doll clothes. After Nicole slipped a pair of baby booties on Daisy's back paws, the dog suddenly began walking on her front ones. "I was rolling on the floor," recalls Nicole, now a freshman at the University of Oregon at Eugene.
Daisy, who performs the trick only when she's wearing booties, may "think she can't walk with those things on her feet," theorizes Brenda's husband, Nick, 46, a forklift operator. Portland animal behaviorist Dr. Jacqui Neilson says that while the stunt puts stress on Daisy's joints, the occasional performance probably won't hurt her. Bedsides, she says, "she may have figured out it's a good way to get attention."
Whatever her motivation, Daisy—who can last about 10 minutes on her forelegs before pooping out—doesn't seem to mind performing for her fans. Says Brenda: "Whenever we have barbecues, family get-togethers or birthday parties, everybody wants to see Daisy do it."