|Photo by Kris Svela|
By Julia Williams
It’s a given that all of the dogs and cats CANIDAE sponsors are talented; after all, they’re called Special Achievers for a reason. However, a 7-year old Pyrenean Shepherd named Rally is so good at freestyle flying disc that he (with his owner/handler Angela Ewtushik) recently got to show off his mad skills on Canada’s Got Talent, and made it to the Semi-Finals!
CANIDAE Sales Manager Caroline Pettersen said, “Although Angela and Rally didn't win a place in the finals, they won a place in the hearts of Canadians. Angela and Rally went on a journey that most of us just dream about. We are very proud of Angela for being as brave as she was and putting herself out there the way she did. With an original desire to show people how to have fun with their dog...I believe she certainly made that impact on many.”
Indeed she did. In her CGT blog, Angela wrote “Eight months ago Rally and I waited in a hallway in the Rogers Centre for our turn to showcase our talent. I never thought that hallway would lead to several appearances on national TV and a huge fan base of Rally supporters from across Canada. This hit me minutes before the show. As the cameras were taping the audience, I gasped at the number of ‘Rally’ signs and the people cheering for him, many of whom I didn’t know. I had to turn away to find a makeup person to wipe my tears!”
I caught up with Angela recently to ask her more about this fun experience.
How did your act come to be?
I was looking for an outlet for Rally’s energy. I saw some videos of canine freestyle disc and thought it would be something fun to try!
What made you decide you wanted to try out for the CGT show?
A friend mentioned to me that he was thinking of trying out with his son and their dog in freestyle disc. Before this, I hadn't even heard about the auditions. I told him that if he decided not to audition, then I would. He ended up not, so I figured I might as well give it a shot.
|Photo by Peter Rauwerda|
The experience was different for several reasons. #1 it was a much smaller area to perform in, and #2 the music was a more important part of the routine, not just background sound. So it was tougher to choreograph moves to the music.
How did you prepare Rally for all the lights, cameras and activity of the televised show?
Rally is used to performing in front of large crowds and in those conditions, so that was not the problem. I was more concerned that his energy level would be sustained for our performance, with all the commotion and waiting that goes on. So I tried my best to keep him in good condition physically, without doing too much with him to lower his intensity... that was a fine line to achieve.
Were you allowed to do your own routine, or did the producers have a say in what your act involved?
I was allowed to do my own routine, but the producers did have some input in wardrobe and environmental theme (on the video screen behind us).
|Photo by Shannon Duff|
Rally and I educated the entire country about the bond you can develop with your dog, and how much fun it can be doing so! I had the chance of a lifetime to share my passion with Canada, something others only dream of.
Does Rally compete in other events besides freestyle disc?
Yes. He has competed in agility, flyball and dock diving.
How does CANIDAE food help Rally the athlete?
CANIDAE provides Rally the proper nutrition he needs for his active lifestyle. And he works REALLY hard for the Snap-Bits Gourmet Treats!
If Rally could talk, what do you think he’d say about his experience on Canada’s Got Talent?
I think he loved all the attention and cheering, but was just as happy to get back home. This was a quote from a newspaper article a day after the results show that I think sums it up: “After getting a hug from Terry, the pooch trotted off without a care in the world.” To Rally, it was just another chance to play and enjoy life, and win or lose, he was still happy. :-)
Angela and her partner Rick have six dogs that compete in many different dog sports including disc dog, agility, flyball, rally-O, carting, dock diving, musical freestyle and herding. Angela and Rick operate R&R Pet Paradise, a 40 acre kennel and training facility in Ontario, Canada.
Read more articles by Julia Williams