Service dogs have to go through a lot of training in order to prepare for the ultimate task of being someone’s beloved partner and helper. In order to help a crew of service-dogs-in-training prepare for their future, a Canadian stage production of “Billy Eliot: The Musical” recently hosted a performance for them.
At the end of the show, there was no applause, no barking, and no howling at all. Though some actors may take offense to silence, in this case, they were extremely pleased by the lack of reaction.
The event was part of a two-year training program the animals go through in order to get ready. They have toured zoos, subways, and other crowded venues to get used to noises, sights, sounds, and busy crowds.
When at a theater, the dogs are expected to curl up under the handler’s feet so the person can enjoy a stage performance or movie. Most of the dogs in this test run passed with flying colors. Just a few peeked over the seats to watch the show.
Ann Swerdfager of the Stratford Festival told SKY they were thrilled to host the performance solely for the potential service dogs and hopes to do this again. Another pack of pooches will return later this year for their turn in the audience.
“The dogs were extremely well behaved,” she said. “We hope they will join us for years to come.” Congratulations to these well-behaved pups for being such an attentive audience and proving they are ready to become service dogs.