Los Angeles – Chilean photographer José Fuentes trained his little dog Carrie to dance to the beat of Latin rhythms as entertainment for family get-togethers - and today she's a show-stopping sensation around the United States.
"I bought the little dog when she was 2 months old and I started doing tricks with her like a kind of game. And when she was 2 years old she just upped and started dancing without any planning on my part," Fuentes told Efe.
"We established a really good connection from the time she was a puppy, so I started teaching her tricks, tricks and more tricks, and she learned so quickly my brain couldn't keep up with her to teach her more things to do," Fuentes said.
Fuentes, who in the Chilean capital is an advertising photographer, said he only danced with Carrie for fun and to amuse his family.
"I don't know why she likes to dance, she does it as a way of playing with me and it's like her vibe," Fuentes said of the Golden Retriever.
"I looked for the right music to suit her way of expressing herself...like dance rhythms. But I'm not sure if what she likes best is the rhythm, though I think it is because she learned to associate it with something fun to do with us, like dancing, like playing," Fuentes said.
Last weekend Carrie showed her ballroom talent at the 14th Annual Los Angeles Salsa Congress.
"We've become famous for the song 'The Dance of the Dog,' which is a merengue," Fuentes said.
Fuentes has worked out a dance routine in which he crouches down smiling to Carrie's level, puts out his hands like the paws of a dog and sticks out his tongue to dance with his pet.
"But she also dances cumbia and the national dance of Chile called the 'cueca,' which she does perfectly and in Chile that rhythm, that dance that she does is very popular, because it's very measured, very precise and she does it perfectly," Fuentes said.
In the United States Carrie has been presented "as the most talented animal in the world" by Animal Planet, and has appeared on the programs of David Letterman, Wendy, El Gordo y La Flaca (The Fat Man and the Skinny Lady), and on Don Francisco Presents.
"Carrie appears in two commercials that were made in Chile and Argentina, We were on tour of several states in Mexico for a month and what surprised me is that she attracted the attention of Japanese television - and they sent a production team to Chile to film her performances," Fuentes said.
The next project for "Carrie, the dancing dog" will be to shoot a documentary in Chile for the Canadian Animal Planet channel, Fuentes said about the artistic agenda of his pet, whose eighth birthday will be in September. She is expected to live to be around age 14.