On Sunday, March 8, 2009, the Caninestein Team took 15 dogs and their owners to The Grove Theater in Upland, CA to attend a production of Bark! The Musical! Our group was there by special invitation from Bark! composer David Troy Francis, and was the first and only group of pet owners ever allowed to bring their dogs with them to the show! (The only other time Bark! has had dogs in the audience was during a fundraiser for Guide Dogs.)
Prior to the show, Bark's six-person cast came out to mix and mingle (hand-shakes, no butt sniffing!) with our two- and four-legged students. They were warm and welcoming and made everyone feel at home as we chatted and demonstrated the dogs' fun tricks and advanced obedience. Later, as the cast got ready for the performance, the dogs and their owners lined the lobby to greet incoming theater guests. It was a great urban training experience for the dogs; they got lots of practice sitting politely for petting!
With the show about to begin, we took our seats, dogs obediently at our feet, where they remained for the entire 90-minute performance! It was a true testament to the power of dog training. The dogs were on their best behavior, quieter than most small children, and resisting the temptation to join in the pre-recorded chorus of barking and howling dogs that played during the opening number! The only "bark" from our group came at the tail-end (pun intended) of a number about neutering! Point taken.
After the show, our group was invited up on stage for photos with the cast:
It was a wonderful experience for all involved. It also served as the inaugural event for my latest adventure: Caninestein Dog Training. While I'm still actively teaching group classes for J9's K9s Dog Training, I've decided to expand my horizons to include dog-friendly field trips and events for all of Los Angeles' well-trained canine companions, not just J9's K9s alumni. In the coming months I hope to announce a handful of fun activities including Take Your Dogs to the Movies and Dining with Dogs!
I'm always open to new ideas, so please follow my blog, tell your friends and share your thoughts!
Until next time... Happy Training!
Caninestein Dog Training