Singing snakes and tap-dancing terriers take note: There could be a trophy in your future.
Redwood City is hosting its first-ever pet talent show this month, part of the city’s annual daylong “Our Town Downtown” festival at Courthouse Square. The event gives pets — and their owners — a rare opportunity to show off David Letterman-style “Stupid Pet Tricks,” according to organizer Gerry Labadie.
“When I produced ‘Our Town Downtown’ last year, I noticed there are an awful lot of pet lovers in Redwood City. I thought this would be the kind of town that would love an event like this,” Labadie said.
Every pet owner thinks his or her companion can do something special, said a cluster of dog owners sunning themselves at Shores Dog Park on a recent afternoon.
“I don’t want to say my dog’s not talented — she can run really fast, but that probably doesn’t qualify,” said Angie Canary, referring to her terrier, Calamity Jane. “But, the idea of a talent show is very cool. I love living in such a dog-friendly city.”
It will be up to a panel of judges — who have not yet been chosen — to determine which of 10 finalists will win one of three trophies. On the day of the talent show, each pet will perform for 3 to 5 minutes and be critiqued for originality and follow-through.
Although the event is meant to be serious, not tongue-in-cheek, there are limits. All performing pets must be happy up on the stage — no “Mommy Dearest”-style routines will be allowed.
All pets are welcome, although the outdoor event is more likely to attract the usual cadre of four-legged critters than skittish birds, according to Labadie.
Still, there are plenty of opportunities for unusual animals to show they’ve learned a thing or two. Labadie’s father, who is disabled, managed to teach his African tortoise to push his wheelchair around the house.
“Most of the time, the pet displays the talent out of the blue, and then you train it based on the talent,” Labadie said.
Mostly, Labadie hopes the event brings Redwood City’s pet lovers together. “I would watch it, that’s for sure,” said Sue Barnstable, whose Yorkshire terrier, Rudy, and cavalier King Charles spaniel, Murphy, displayed their knack for seeking head-scratches Monday.
The deadline to enter the “Your Pet’s Got Talent” event is Sept. 15. For more information, visit www.redwoodcity.org. The competition is Sept. 22.