Day at the fair goes to the dogs

By Marcella Kester - For Times Leader | September 12th, 2015 7:54 pm

DALLAS — You can’t keep a good dog down.

Although the weather may have prevented crowds of people from gathering at the 53rd annual Luzerne County Fair on Saturday, it didn’t seem to bother many of the animals who were present.

Some of those who braved the rain and mud gathered in front of “Mutts Gone Nuts” for one of the stands daily shows.

Onlookers sat in the rain, watching various dogs dance, jump through hoops, dart through moving wheels and more. Some could even jump-rope.

“Mutts Gone Nuts” is a comedy dog act run by Scott Houghton of Damascus, Maryland. He and his team have been rescuing and training dogs for ten years, preforming all along the east coast.

“All of our dogs are rescue dogs from various animal shelters,” he said.

The show is comprised of 10 dogs working with Scott, his wife, Joan, and partner, Samantha, performing an array of talents and tricks. The dogs are comprised of different sizes and breeds, although many are considered “working class”.

“The working class dogs and good because they like to work,” he joked.

Houghton said it can vary, but most dogs take about six months to train. Currently, he and his team have 16 dogs, although only 10 preform at a time.

While Houghton and the mutts have had a successful career, he admitted this isn’t how he started off.

“My wife and I had a juggling act,” he said. “We wanted to do something different, and knew a friend that had a dog act. So we had her train us. We wanted to help rescue dogs and talk about the importance of spay/neuter programs, since overpopulation is becoming a huge problem, and we thought this was a great way to do it.”

“Mutts Gone Nuts” has been featured on various television shows, including “Late Night with David Letterman,” “The Today Show” and “Ellen.”

This is the group’s first year at the Luzerne County Fair, but they plan on returning. Shows run today at 2 p.m., 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.

Visitors at the Luzerne County Fair walk through the rain underneath umbrellas during Saturday festivities in Dallas.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_fair01.jpgVisitors at the Luzerne County Fair walk through the rain underneath umbrellas during Saturday festivities in Dallas.
Michael Lukasavage, 14, of Dallas shields himself from the rain with an inflatable dolphin at Saturday’s Luzerne County Fair in Dallas.
http://www.psdispatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/web1_fair02.jpgMichael Lukasavage, 14, of Dallas shields himself from the rain with an inflatable dolphin at Saturday’s Luzerne County Fair in Dallas.

By Marcella Kester

For Times Leader

The Times Leader newsroom at 570-829-7242 or on Twitter @TLnews.


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