Instagram | @mr.puppysmith

The Internet Is In Love With This Viral Pic Of Novice Service Dogs At The Theater

mason.zimmer 19 Aug 2019

Sometimes, the parts of a job that sound fun have just as serious a reason for being there as the boring parts.

Although I can't speak to how fun it actually is for military personnel to participate in war games, these military exercises are held to ensure that both the strategies and the people carrying them out will be prepared when faced with the real thing.

Although the "real thing" the dogs in one viral photo are training for isn't necessarily as intense as that example, goofing off was definitely not encouraged when it was taken.

By now, you may have seen a crowd of dogs peeking over theater seats as the only audience members in the house.

YouTube | Stratford Festival

According to Global News, this was by design as the dogs were there to watch a performance of Billy Elliot in Stratford, Ontario, as a means of getting them used a theater setting.

Load Comments

This particular evening was described as a "relaxed performance," which doesn't just describe the vibe of the show.

Reddit | leztid

Instead, it means the show would feature fewer flashing lights and less noise than usual to ensure greater accessibility to audience members with certain requirements.

These performances are also known to be less strict about audience noise and movement.

Load Comments

Fortunately, it seemed the folks training these service dogs to be didn't have to worry about either of those things from their students.

Instagram | @mr.puppysmith

As their head trainer, Laura Mackenzie, told Global News, "We were pleasantly surprised that all of our dogs did great. We had no problems. No barking, no restlessness; they did their jobs, so it made us feel great."

As a means of thanking festival staff for welcoming the dogs, Mackenzie posed the dogs for the now-famous photo you see here.

Load Comments

This kind of event is a standard part of the long, arduous process of training service dogs.

Reddit | CalmingDog

Mackenzie said that the idea is to get dogs acclimated to any environment their owners may want to go.

As she said, "We have a group of handlers and we try to take them to all different kinds of venues [with] different kinds of stimuli for the dogs. Once they’re certified, we know that they’re confident going anywhere with their owners."

h/t: Global News

Load Comments
Next Article