By Mike Hager, Vancouver Sun
September 3, 2011 - During the season she wakes daily at 5 a.m. to boil hotdogs for her team.
After a quick bathroom break, the team naps while she continues preparing for the day's competition.
Trainer Lisa Sun's life is anything but conventional when her three pugs are performing with the President's Choice® Superdogs® at the PNE.
As the crowds cheer, her dogs sprint, jump, bob and weave their way through different activities.
Snap, Crackle and Pop's agility and speed betray their breed's sluggish reputation, but Sun has put in countless hours of work building and then honing their skills.
After spending one summer apprenticing, the six-year-old pugs are in their second year of performing at British Columbia's largest fair.
Sun and the dogs arrive at the Pacific Coliseum around 9 a.m. and begin practising for the noon show. The pugs elicit laughs from the raucous crowd and after their performance have a 10-minute "pat and chat" with crowds of adoring fans.
Then Sun gives them some downtime in their crate before it's back under the spotlights again at 2 p.m.
At 6 p.m. they start their last show of the day, but Sun says she often stays as late as 11 p.m. perfecting her team's canine stunts.
"They think it's a play day," Sun says of the dogs' demanding days. "They get more treats [at the PNE] than they ever do."
Sun, a Richmond native, started watching the Superdogs® when she was five and has been a spectator every year until she became part of the show.
"It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she says. "I would do this for as long as they'd have me back."
Since first joining the PNE, Sun has performed with her pugs in Calgary, Edmonton and even went to a Newfoundland fair last November.
"I'm very lucky to have three little pugs with different skills," Sun says. "Anything they do makes the crowd laugh."
Snap is a big jumper and a fast runner who likes the racing events, while Pop's sense of rhythm allows him to compete in dancing events.