Earlier this week, a Twitter user posted a photo on social media of the audience at a theatre production of Billy Elliot during Ontario’s Stratford Festival. While the popular theatre festival often attracts a variety of different people from across Canada, this particular audience was definitely a little fluffier than most…and the photos are so, so heartwarming. The pictures shared on social media all show a group of doggos sat comfortably in their theatre seats, waiting patiently for the production of Billy Elliot to begin.
If this was not adorable enough already, it turns out the dogs in the photo are all service-dogs-in-training and are in the process of learning how to navigate different and unusual spaces- theatres included! Good doggos indeed!
According to the spokesperson for the Stratford Festival, Anne Swerdfager, about a dozen dogs attended the performance, all of which were incredibly well behaved. Swerdfager told CBC News that, just like humans, the puppers even got out of their seats during the intermission, having a snack and stretching their legs before settling down to enjoy the second part of the show. Incredible!
The original post on Twitter was shared more than a thousand times, with the number of ‘likes’ hitting 12.4 thousand at the time of writing. The likes took a particular spike when popular Twitter account We Rate Dogs responded to it, alerting their 8.3 million followers to the picture.
Naturally, the photo has drawn plenty of attention from dog-loving Canadians online, with Twitter users commenting and responding to the tweet in the hundreds. A number of accounts also replied with dog-related jokes in the comments, which makes the story that much more wonderful!
One Tweeter wrote, “They don't talk during the show, don't spoil the details and never kick the seats. Rating: bestest doggos/10.”
Another added, “Are they watching Fiddler on the Woof?”
Speaking about the popularity of the photo online, Swerdfager said, “[there is] Lots of comments and heartwarming remarks like 'Best photo ever'. It's been fantastic to watch it happen."
After the original tweet blew up, the official Stratford Festival Twitter page added their own photos, writing “We had some pawsitivly adorable audience members from K-9 Country Inn Service Dogs during last weeks Relaxed Performance of #sfBillyElliot.”
The best part of this heartwarming story is that all the dogs behaved paw-fectly during the performance. According to head trainer Laura MacKenzie, the dogs even watched the show through the cracks of their seats. “The dogs loved the show almost as much as their handlers,” MacKenzie said.
We’re not crying - you are!