IT certainly didn’t look like Kansas when a magnificent seven four legged friends realised what a dog’s life showbusiness could be.
With Tower Circus clown Mooky off to see the wizard this winter, the yellow brick road just wouldn’t be the same if Dorothy didn’t have her docile dog by her side for the journey to Oz.
But finding the right combination of pooch with pizazz, canine with charisma or just simply a dog delighting in sitting, standing, rolling over and not doing a runner (or worse!) when the spotlight is switched on and the audience wants some action was never going to be easy.
The challenge was to “look healthy and happy, have a spring in the step and be in tip top condition, be capable of performing up to three shows a day – and be a bit a of show-off.”
Well that was Mooky and Kelly Endresz-Banlaki (who plays Dorothy) sorted out but what about their doggy sidekick?
The seven shortlisted pets came in various shapes and sizes – from five-year-old Tanya who looked like she regretted being rescued some time ago, to the Munchkin sized Boston who was clearly bewildered by being asked to jump through a hoop when climbing over a matchbox could have been a challenge.
Fifteen month old Harley should have read the small print before being made to wear a pair of “doggles” (don’t even ask!) while six year old Molly soon decided a showbusiness life was not what she had in mind.
Merlin and Jack looked like twins – the former able to shake a mean paw and the latter out to upstage everyone with a nifty two legged routine.
Which left Alvin, who actually looked like the real deal Toto.
In the end it was all too close to call. The judges and jury are still out – but whoever wins, it will all be a bit “ruff” for the others.