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You Read It Here First! Dogs Predicted Outcome

November 13, 2000|MARTIN MILLER | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Soothsayers of all breeds may be coming out of the woodwork to claim credit for predicting the presidential cliffhanger. But none were more prescient than a pair of 8-inch-high pooches interviewed by The Times almost four months ago.

Rachel and Hannah, a pair of miniature pinschers, are described as psychic dogs by their owner, Jacqueline Stallone (Sylvester's mom). They were interviewed through Mama Stallone, who says she communicates telepathically with them, at a Santa Monica food festival in late July.

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From The Times:

Reporter: Who's going to win the presidential election?

Dogs: Grrrrr.

Reporter: Gore?

No, no, no, said Stallone. Actually, the answer is Bush, by a razor-thin margin of a couple hundred votes.

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Was Stallone, a veteran astrologer, surprised by her psychic duo's amazing call? "No. No way," said Stallone. "My dogs have gone out on a limb on so many things and everything has come true."

Of course, the dogs did not get into the issue of recounts and lawsuits in their initial prediction. But Rachel and Hannah now have more good news for the Bush campaign. Gore, Stallone reported, will drop any legal challenges before Thanksgiving.

How can the dogs be so certain? Because every time talk of a protracted court battle is mentioned on television, "the dogs turn their behinds to the screen," she said. "That means it won't happen."

Not everyone is convinced the dogs have been barking up the right tree. Barry Karr, executive director of New York-based Skeptical Inquirer, says they just got lucky. "It's like the shotgun effect," says Karr, whose magazine often discredits paranormal claims through science. "If you scatter enough pellets, you are bound to eventually hit something. What we don't hear is how many times they've been wrong."

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