Joey, Pet Star!
Joey is a 2 year old Silky Terrier who was rescued when he was 9 months old. At that tender age, he had already been given up by two owners and had landed in the Boone County Animal Shelter in KY. Luckily, Laurie Delaney, an employee of the shelter recognized Joey as a Silky and contacted Jerry & Sandi McKenzie, who fostered Joey. Joan Gallagher had been looking for a silky to train in agility and thus, Joey's new home was found. Joan flew to Cincinnati to get Joey and bring him to his new home in northern VA. Joey completed 2 obedience classes with little success. Joan then took Joey to a clicker training class with Corally Burmaster. With Corally's expert assistance and lots of clicker training, distracted, wild untamed little devil Joey emerged into a semi well-behaved and attentive little boy. Joey learned quickly and especially enjoyed learning tricks. Using the clicker, Joan taught him to sit, down, roll over, play dead, touch a target, jump in a box, sit up and beg, high five, give a paw, and most importantly, a series of tricks that won them a contestant spot on the new Animal Planet TV show, Pet Star. After an audition in Maryland, the Pet Star producer called Joan the following week and asked if she and Joey would come to Hollywood, all expenses paid, that weekend to perform our trick on an episode of the show. They flew to southern California to appear on the show with other dogs, a bird, a mule and an anteater! Arriving at the CBS studios, Joan and Joey were escorted to the Green Room and assigned dressing rooms. Joey's name was on his dressing room door!
Finally, their chance for stardom when Joan heard the show's host, Mario Lopez, announce, "Please welcome Joey the bedtime dog and his human, Joan Gallagher" and the stage curtain opened. Mario asked Joan a few questions, and as she answered, Joey was quickly becoming a big hit with the studio audience! He barked at a cameraman and was coerced into visiting a few audience members. Joey was very relaxed and comfortable as he trotted around the stage.
Now it was time for Joey to do his trick! Joan called him over and asked him to sit and stay as she knelt next to his little bench. She directed Joey to turn on his light and he quickly ran over to turn it on. When Joey returned, Joan asked him to say his prayers and he knelt down with his paws on the bench and slowly placed his head between his paws. "Ahhhh" emanated from the audience. When Joan released him from his prayers, he ran to his light to turn it off and quickly scooted to his little house for a good nights' rest. Success!! "Joey the bedtime dog" had wooed the audience, and the three celebrity judges awarded Joey a respectable 25 points out of a possible 30.
Joan says, "Although our scores did not earn us the $2,500 cash prize, I had already won. I got to take home some amazing memories and the best prize of all - a two-year old rescued Silky Terrier named Joey. "
*story by Joan Gallagher
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