IF YOU’RE IN need of some laughs and cute pups to help take your mind off the pandemic, Front Porch Improv and Wheelie Good Dog Treats have got you covered with the family-friendly Wheelie Good Improv Show, which will be held at the Front Porch Improv Theatre from 9:30 a.m.-noon on Saturday.
The two local businesses will combine forces to provide Savannahians with off-the-wall comedy – along with dog treats available for purchase courtesy of Wheelie Good Dog Treats, food, coffee from Origin Coffee Bar, juice and tons of fun. The socially-distanced comedy performances will begin at 10 a.m., with a second showing taking place shortly after at 11 a.m.
The event is mask-mandated, free to the public and is dog and kid-friendly.
With the pandemic still taking hold of many local businesses, the folks at Wheelie Good Dog Treats and Front Porch Improv decided to help each other out. The idea for Wheelie Good Dog Treats was birthed due to the pandemic, and a little help from a special canine companion.
“We have our dog Pigeon, who is in a wheelchair, and I’ve had a pet sitting business for 10 years,” said co-owner of Wheelie Good Dog Treats Erica Cannon, who owns the business with her husband Daniel Blake Cannon. “When Covid hit and no one needed us for like a month or two, we were trying to figure out what else to do, and one of my friends was like, ‘Why don’t you start a dog treat business?’ My husband and I were trying to think of a name and thought we should incorporate Pigeon. My husband came to me and said, ‘What if we call it Wheelie Good Dog Treats?’ Because I love a pun, that’s what we decided.”
Pigeon has become a local celebrity since the inception of Wheelie Good Dog Treats, with more than 93,000 followers on Instagram. She was involved in a car accident early in life and unfortunately lost the use of her back hind legs, which required a dog wheelchair for her to get around. It’s a sad set of circumstances, but you’d never know it from how happy she looks on her Instagram page, often playing tug-of-war with Cannon and using her wheels to zoom toward wherever she needs to go.
“We got Pigeon three years ago in October, right before Halloween,” said Cannon. “She went viral because there was this video taken of her at the dog rehab place where they got her wheelchair in, and basically what happens when most dogs get in a wheelchair – and I know this since Pigeon goes to help dogs figure it out because they are so scared of it normally in the beginning – they put her in it, started filming, and she started running around like a crazy wild animal, almost popped a wheelie, and everyone was just like, ‘What in the heck, we don’t see dogs do this.’ So I thought let me make an Instagram for her and it’s been a great experience and it’s just a place of joy.”
Pigeon has become the mascot for the brand and brightens everyone’s day who follows @piegonpup on Instagram. The treats Pigeon enjoys are available on their website, wheeliegoodtreats.com.
For Cannon, she has taken every opportunity that comes her way to grow her business; likewise for Front Porch Improv, founded by four former New Yorkers who performed comedy in the city and decided to bring their talents to Savannah. The group has grown now to a full roster of talented comedians who provide laughs at various events for the community, as well as teach business workshops, comedy classes, and perform private shows. When Cannon went with a friend to one of their shows, the idea made too much sense to not take advantage of, according to co-owner, marketing director and improviser Dan Gilbert.
“Improv is all about saying yes and Savannah is such an amazing place for partnerships,” Gilbert said. “It’s truly the best community I have ever lived in. Everybody really supports each other and we love partnering with people – especially awesome people with awesome dogs.”