The return of Furry Friends Friday

Published 28, Sep, 2012
Author // Bob Leahy - Publisher

Olate Dogs win over national audience – and me, says Bob Leahy.

The return of Furry Friends Friday

If you’ve been with us since the VERY early days of (anyone have bragging rights to that much stamina/tolerance/patience?) you may remember we had a regular feature called Furry Friends Friday

This reflected that

a) we  - or at least your editor – like(s) dogs. 

b) by the end of the week we had absolutely nothing to say, so we turned to posting cute animal pics.

Some things never change.

But seriously,  I’d hate to see our long standing tradition of regularly honouring the role of pets in our lives dwindle, just because we are maybe more “establishment” these days. And as I’ve said many times over, we take the Lite in seriously. Still.

Which brings me to Olate Dogs, winner of the 2012 edition of America’s Got Talent.  Which will no doubt irk fellow writer Wayne Bristow no end, but here’s the thing. The nation that voted in America’s first black president also got it right in voting for Olate Dogs.

Who or what are the Olate Dogs? Quote. 

The Olate Dogs is a high-energy, fast-paced dog act filled with impressive pet tricks led by Richard Olate, 55, and his son Nicholas Olate, 19. Richard grew up in South America in a poor family. A third generation circus performer, Richard has performed since he was 12, and through hard work and constant struggle, he made it to the United States at the age of 33. His dream is to have his own dog variety show, and he currently has four completely different dog acts. Most of Richard's dogs are rescues from shelters.

Qualms you may have in seeing our four legged friends taught to do ridiculously unnatural things – like back somersaults  - tend, for me at least, to vanish when I see how really astoundingly well trained these animals are, and how much they like performing. Especially Bella, seen in the clip below. They make my three animals look as intellectually challenged as - well - Toronto Blue Jays village idiot Yunel Escobar.  

Issues? I could talk much more about TV reality/talent shows and how they have an unfortunate penchant, at least in the early rounds, for jeering at frailty and failure. They both champion and chastise underdogs horribly.  But most shows like Idol, or So You Think You Can Dance or  - yes – America’s Got Talent -  journey you through all that to a place where excellence, or at least their version of it, is celebrated. And whether dogs acts beat singing acts or circus performers, it doesn’t really matter. Ultimately, it’s about recognizing people  - or animals – who  are very, very good at what they do.

Enter Olate dogs. I'll let the video speak for itself.

About the Author

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Bob Leahy - Publisher

Award-winning blogger Bob Leahy first made his social media mark a decade ago on where there are still to this day almost 3,000 entries of his available to be read. He was a featured blogger on Ontario’s campaign, along with founder Brian Finch. He joined at its inception in 2009 and became it's Editor a year later.

Born in the UK, Bob’s background is in corporate banking, which he gladly left in 1994, after being diagnosed with HIV the previous year.  He has chaired the board of PARN (Peterborough AIDS Resource Network) and has been an executive board member of both the Ontario HIV Treatment Network (OHTN) and the Canadian AIDS Society (CAS).  He was inducted in to the Ontario AIDS Network’s Honour Roll in 2005.  Bob is currently a member of Ontario’s GMSH (Gay Men’s Sexual Health Alliance). He also writes for

In 2012, Bob was honoured with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal for his work and commitment to HIV/AIDS in Canada.

Bob continues to write for this site while in the Positivelite.Com editor’s seat, with a particular interest  in HIV prevention, theatre and the arts in general. He is accredited media for a number of Toronto theatres. He lives in Warkworth, Ontario with his partner of thirty-two years and three dogs.