Gabe rocks GMA

In October 2011 we were told of a contest that was underway on the national “Good Morning America” TV show. We submitted our video of Gabe at the last minute, barely making it before the contest deadline. A couple days later we received the news that Gabe was among the Finalists in their “My Dog Is Better Than Your Dog” contest. It just so happened that Gabe was pitted against a talented Border Collie named Leroy who had been among the successful contestants on The Greatest American Dog reality show. Leroy and his owner Teresa Hanula had a huge following and were going to be a challenge to defeat.

The finalist winners were going to be decided by popular vote so I set to work letting our “GaBeSTeRoOTeRS” know how to help boost him to victory in the contest. I announced details on how to vote on my Facebook page and Gabe’s wonderful support network got busy casting their votes and sharing the info for others to do the same. Leroy and Gabe were neck and neck with one surging forward only to be surpassed by the other a short time later.

While at work I had no way to post notifications for voting but I jumped back in as soon as I could after returning in the evening. By this time Leroy had a definite advantage and I finally called it a night and headed to bed feeling quite certain that Leroy had earned that last well-deserved spot in the finals.

Imagine my shock to receive an early phone call waking me to tell me that it was Gabe who would be flying to New York for the big finale! Apparently the audience was also able to vote on the show that morning and Gabe had made his comeback to nab that last Finalist spot!

BUT, this was the final day of voting in the contest and TOMORROW the three finalists were expected to be performing live in Times Square! That meant scrambling to get packed, out the door and make the 2.5 hour drive to Sea-Tac for the early afternoon flight across the country! All was going well until I tried to check in with my oversized prop box for the flight. I was told all oversized baggage had to be checked in at least 90 minutes prior to the flight (and it was about 15 minutes short of that). After pleading and begging it was obvious that she would not budge and I made a call to the GMA travel coordinator.

A short time later I was booked on a later flight that put us into New Jersey at just after midnight. Our limo picked us up and after about a 45 minute drive we finally checked into the Millenium Hotel Broadway in Times Square and crashed around 2 am. With an early morning call time it didn’t make for much sleep that night but the adrenaline rush would keep us going for the next couple days!

The next morning the three finalists and their people met in the lobby and were escorted across the street to the GMA studios where we waited in the Green Room until our showtime in Times Square. The dogs were like magnets and soon we were taking photos with many of the GMA celebs including Barbara Walters and Robin Roberts.

It was fun reconnecting with our trick dog friend Linda Wright and her boy Ruger and we took the opportunity to take several BTS photos together in this iconic setting. Before we knew it, it was show time and we made our way down to the middle of Times Square, navigating the awaiting crowds to arrive at the GMA set. Behind us the GMA reader board broadcast details of the contest with Gabe’s miniature likeness toddling across the screen. It’s obvious in the videos that host Josh Elliott was a huge Gabe fan and he had a hard time hiding it during the filming of these segments!

Each of the finalists took their turn in the spotlight to perform their noteworthy trick. Of course my goofy ham Gabe couldn’t resist attempting to hijack his buddy Ruger’s scooter as it veered over his way! And it wouldn’t be the last time he did such a stunt on camera (check out the tail end of his Harry Show performance). The little Yorkie succumbed to a bit of stage fright but the other seasoned performers gave the crowds the entertainment they were waiting for.

It was a wrap for the day and Linda and I were able to take the rest of the afternoon and evening to see some of the sights. Of course we couldn’t go too far without our little sidekicks but we interspersed a couple mealtimes and catching a few local iconic locations with exercising the dogs and making sure they got the attention they needed.

The final morning of our stay began with another trip across the street for the filming of the last segment. During today’s episode they would announce which of the three dogs would be crowned GMA’s “Top Dog” in the contest. Our boy didn’t disappoint, but it was a bit of a surprise to see the other results. Nonetheless it was an honor to be highlighted as winners in this prestigious national competition!

Our victory secured, we had just enough time to head back to the hotel, pack up and get checked out before our limo arrived taking us back to the airport for our return flight. This trip was a classic example of a whirlwind adventure in the show biz world! Flying across the country, making our appearance on TV and then arriving back home–all within two days’ time! Another crazy but memorable adventure!