News: Super Dogs return to Capital Ex after eight-year hiatus

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Published in the July 24th issue of The Edmonton Sun. News


Super Dogs return to Capital Ex after eight-year hiatus

LINDA HOANG
Edmonton Sun

It’s been eight years since the President’s Choice Super Dogs show last toured in Edmonton.

This year it’s back at Capital EX and, according to show creator and host Herb Williams, it’s better than ever.

“It’s the purest form of entertainment,” Williams said after the first Super Dogs show at Capital EX opening day Friday, where nearly every seat in the bottom bowl of the hall circling the show area was packed with people young and old.

“This was the first show kicking off Capital EX and it was noisy.”

About 30 dogs ran relay races, performed jumps, spins and other tricks around obstacles — even dancing for the cheering and clapping audience.

But the show’s dogs and their stunts weren’t the only entertaining factor of the interactive 40-minute show.

Dazzling lights, pulsating music beating throughout the hall topped by energetic narration by 81-year-old Williams kept the crowds so entertained and involved that many of them rushed down to meet the dogs and get autographs from Williams himself when the show wrapped up.

“It was really fun. I can’t believe dogs can do that kind of thing,” said Jill Onisimchuk, who watched Super Dogs for the very first time. “Just their ability to do that impressed me.”

The show features about 50 dogs in total — everything from poodles to wirefox terriers, Bernese mountain dogs and golden retrievers — who alternate between shows. No two shows are ever completely the same.

Every trainer who appears during the performances also personally own the dogs.

“I think I speak for everybody when I say we love our dogs, we love to play with our dogs and we love to have other people appreciate our dogs — their antics, their speed, their personalities,” said Seanna O’Neill, an Edmonton dog trainer who has been touring with Super Dogs for 18 years.

The last time O’Neill came to Edmonton for a Super Dogs show, her eight-year-old Russian wolfhound, affectionately named Wolf, broke the Guinness World Record for highest jump by a dog — 13 bars.

Williams said he’s excited to connect with fairgoers throughout the week, including those who came up to personally speak with him after the first show on Friday.

“At least 14 or 15 people came up to me at the end of the show and said, ‘It is so wonderful to have the Super Dogs back at Capital EX,’ ” Williams said.

“That’s nice to know that people have missed you. We’ve come back and we’ve come back bigger and brighter than ever.”

The President’s Choice Super Dogs show was created 35 years ago, has toured throughout North America and is not even near the end of its run.

“I think the show has a phenomenal future,” he said. “I think everyone will just be carried away by the purest form of family entertainment that there is (and) I honestly and firmly believe that the best for the show is still ahead.”

The shows runs at 2 p.m., 5 p.m., and 8 p.m. at Capital EX in Expo Centre Hall D daily.

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