Posted by webmaster | Posted in Comedy Barn | Posted on 12-08-2013
PIGEON FORGE, Tenn., Aug. 7, 2013 – When one thinks of The Comedy Barn Theater ® in Pigeon Forge, Tenn., one of the first things that comes to mind is the world famous Comedy Barn Canines. Dawn Elberson Goehring, the canine’s animal trainer, who has been with The Comedy Barn Theater® for 12 years, is leaving the Comedy Barn and moving to Hawaii with her 13 dogs. Their final farewell performance to benefit the Sevier County Humane Society will be Sunday, Aug. 18 at 8:15 p.m.
In her farewell show Goehring will present the Sevier County Human Society with a large check from Miss Ellie’s memorial fund with money that has been raised over the past three years. Miss Ellie, the beloved Chinese Crested hairless canine, winner of the 2009 World’s Ugliest Dog Competition (pedigree division) at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Northern California, passed away peacefully at the age of 17 in 2010. She appeared on The Animal Planet cable show “Dogs 101″ that was broadcast internationally, was featured on Fox News, seen on billboards and a commercial, and was the star dog at The Comedy Barn Theater®.
“We want to say a proper goodbye to our fans,” Dawn Goehring, animal trainer and performer said. “We are delighted that our final performance can bring attention to the Sevier County Humane Society and the work that is being done here, because it is worthy of recognition. If anyone comes to The Comedy Barn Show between August 14 and 17th a portion of the ticket price will go toward the Miss Ellie Fund and it will bump up the amount we will be able to give to the Humane Society.” Goehring said this is a last ditch effort to raise as much money as she can before she leaves. Donations will gladly be accepted. “If everybody just gave $1,” Goehring says, “it would help animals, keep animals alive, keep animals off the street.
“I am a strong supporter of the Humane Society and I have all rescue dogs and that has been a great opportunity for me to promote rescues and shelter dogs,” she said. “This money will allow the humane society to help animals and I am honored to have helped them. They are a hard working dedicated group of people.”
“My husband and I have decided to move to the big island of Hawaii because he has job opportunities out there,” she said. “We decided to move now because our son, Brandon, is about to start kindergarten and we didn’t want him to start one school and have to change schools later.”
Goehring said the reason she is taking her dogs is that they are her family. “When you adopt a dog, you adopt a dog for life,” she said. “Most of my dogs are of retirement age so I am looking forward to letting a lot of them retire. I am still going to be doing dog training, pet therapy, school shows, birthday parties, commercials, modeling and whatever fun dog things come our way. I want to be there at the end for all of my dogs. They have given me so much these past 12 years. I owe that to them.”
Goehring will drive the dogs to California, stopping plenty of times along the way to see people she knows who have fenced in yards and who will let the dogs play. The dogs will then fly on two direct flights from Oakland, Calif., to Hawaii. Six dogs will go on one flight with Corky Miller, animal trainer at the Smoky Mountain Opry and 7 will go on another flight with Goehring. Some of the dogs will fly in the cabin and some will go as checked baggage. “I wanted the dogs to have the shortest possible flights,” Goehring said. “The flight is 5 1/2 hours long with no layovers. They are all good travelers and are crate trained. They are used to driving around and traveling.” Goehring said her dogs do NOT have to stay in quarantine because she has followed certain steps before she leaves such as rabies shots, vet checks and very specific rules so that the dogs can go directly home from the airport.
Goehring said she will miss the family atmosphere of Pigeon Forge. “Everyone here has been a part of my life from weddings to funerals and everything in between,” she said. “People supported me during Ellie’s Ugliest Dog Contest and all the support the Comedy Barn gave me during that time was amazing. I couldn’t have done so much without the financial backing of the Comedy Barn owners David Fee and Jim Hedrick. The support they have given me for all of my crazy ideas to raise money for animal causes has been overwhelming and I am extremely proud to have been a part of The Comedy Barn.
“I have been amazed at how people come together for charity,” Goehring said. “We have raised over $100,000 for shelters and rescue organizations over the last couple of years.”
Goehring said fans can follow the dogs on the Facebook page “Hawaii Bound Hounds” and she will be posting videos and pictures of the trip along the way. Goehring said she has family in Nashville so she will be back to visit relatives in Tennessee from time to time as well as her Comedy Barn “family.”
Farewell messages to Goehring can be sent to The Comedy Barn Theater® at 2775 Parkway, Pigeon Forge, Tenn., 37863, e-mailed to: ComedyBarn@aol.com or comments can be posted on The Comedy Barn Theater® fan page or The Comedy Barn Canines fan page on Facebook. Will another dog act be joining the Comedy Barn? Goehring says, “Stay tuned … new and exciting things to come next season.”
The Fee/Hedrick Family Entertainment Group owns the Comedy Barn Theater®. Other venues owned by Fee/Hedrick include: The “Hatfield and McCoy Dinner Show;” the new “The Smoky Mountain Opry;” “The Blackwoods Morning Variety Show” featuring The Blackwoods; “Bob Nelson Comedy Show;” Tony Roma’s Ribs, Steaks, and Seafood; Happy Days Diner, Chef’s Catering and See Pigeon Forge Receptive Service and www.SeePigeonForge.com. For more information, visit www.comedybarn.com. +++