Lisa Sun and Richmond 'rescue dog turned SuperDog' shine at PNE
Lisa Son and her one-eyed pug Bam Bam in action on the last day of the fair at the PNE in Vancouver, Sept. 4, 2017. (NICK PROCAYLO/Postmedia Network)
Some people attend the Fair at the PNE just to see The President's Choice SuperDogs.
"I'm one of those people!" said SuperDog handler Lisa Sun, before correcting herself. "I was one of those people!"
Sun, a Burnaby native, grew up watching the famous dog show at the PNE and wishing she could be part of it. Then, in 2009, she got her wish.
At the time, Sun had three pugs, two of which had just won championships, impressing the SuperDogs brass.
"They were like, 'pugs winning in agility? That doesn't make sense,'" Sun said with a laugh. But the dogs proved to be more athletic than anyone expected, and surprisingly comfortable with the noisy stadium atmosphere. Sun was offered a full-time spot that year.
Eight years on, Sun remains a cast member in the traveling show, along with her pugs Brutus and Bam Bam, a one-eyed rescue, and her English bulldogs, Sir Domingo and Sherlock. And even though she's been working with SuperDogs since 2009, she still speaks about the experience like it's brand-new.
"I'm always so thankful to be part of the SuperDogs family," she said. "It's so great to be with our dogs every day and perform with them, and just gain so many fans out there, and have them cheering on their favourite dog, which is pretty much your own family dog that has turned into a Presidents' Choice SuperDog."
That transformation is especially notable for Bam Bam, a "rescue dog turned SuperDog."
Sun's one-eyed black pug, who delights the crowd with his dancing and shines in the "hug-a-pug" event, was left at the Richmond animal shelter after escaping his home one too many times. He was adopted by a friend of Sun, and wound up in her care, affording him the same opportunity his owner had received eight years earlier.
Like Sun, Bam Bam has found a family at SuperDogs. Once a breakout artist, now he's a breakout star — the scrappy pug is one of the event's most popular cast members, especially at the post-show pat n' chat, where fans can meet and mingle with their favourites.
"Bam Bam's a star now," Sun said. "I'm so proud of him."