BILLINGS — Abby Cline still can't quite believe she gets to call this a job.
"For six to nine months a year, I’m traveling across the country playing with my dog," she said. "It’s kind of the best job ever."
All-Star Stunt Dogs has been Cline's life for 13 years, after joining the company in 2009. One of her favorite parts? Finding diamonds in the "ruff."
"This is Wee," she said, pointing to the 4-year-old Chiweenie resting on her back during an interview. "She’s a rescue from Tennessee, and after a friend sent me videos of her, I fell in love immediately.
"A lot of people think you can’t train a chihuahua, but she loves to work."
Wee is just one of a dozen dogs Cline and partner Sam Eischen train and travel with for the show, after Eischen built a special travel van for them.
"We’re able to travel with all 12, and a cat," Eischen said. Boogie the cat can do several tricks herself, though you won’t see her in the show quite yet.
What you will see is speed, concentration, and some crazy athleticism. Cline and Eischen play three shows a day for MontanaFair goers, who can get right up to the action. It’s quite the ticket, considering some of their other venues.
"We did the Minnesota Vikings last year. That was a really, really fun one," Cline said. "Halftime is one of my favorite things to do. There's nothing like being out in front of 60,000 people screaming."
It’s a life she can’t believe is real sometimes, and will fight to hold onto.
"Until my body doesn’t let me do this anymore," she said with a laugh.
"Every day is fun and interesting," Eischen added. "Waking up in the morning, having coffee and watching them play is pretty magical."
- Foot found in Yellowstone hot spring
- Obituary: Daniel Thomas Gerhart
- Two people shot in Helena
- 2 people injured in GF rollover crash
- Bison grazing proposal sparks criticism
- New businesses in Great Falls