Jess the black labrador was just nine days away from being euthanised when she was given the chance to run away with the circus.
Two years on – and with dozens of performances under her belt – the keen canine is a crowd favourite on the Webers Circus line-up.
The labrador's lucky break is thanks to sixth-generation circus stalwart, Natalie Weber, and her daughter, who are behind the circus’ popular comedy dogs act.
Ms Weber said Jess was a natural performer.
“She’s a real people-pleaser and was one of our quickest dogs to train,” she said.
“If we get a rescue dog and find we can’t train them, we’ll find them a good home.”
Despite being a quick learner, Jess has found strong competition in fellow pooch, Rio, who was retired from the show two years ago.
Ms Weber said Rio was known to make a surprise visit mid-show, racing into the ring and nudging other dogs off their stands.
With meticulous training under their collars, the comedy dogs are known to delight audiences with their hoop-jumping, rope-skipping and barrel-pushing antics.
Also on the spectacular list of family entertainment with a Wild West twist is Cody Harrington, who won the junior world juggling championships in Las Vegas, as well as trapeze, line dancing, whip cracking and much more.
Ms Weber, who runs the circus with her husband Rudy, has been in the industry for her whole life.
Performing in Goulburn on previous occasions, this is the first time the group has brought their Wild West theme to the region.
“It has a bit of everything. We have beautiful horses on board, amazing circus acts, performing dogs, the Wheel of Death and the Russian Swing,” Ms Weber said.
“It’s a two-hour live show. It’s more of a production than your average circus. From the music to the costumes, there’s lots to see.”
Fresh from Wagga Wagga, she said the group received multiple messages from crowd members who thoroughly enjoyed the show.
The big top will set up at the Goulburn Showground in on Braidwood Road from June 14 until June 17, with various matinee and evening performances.
Tickets are on sale one hour before show time at the Goulburn Showground ticket office – cash sales only.
Children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult.
- Bookings can be made in advance online at weberscircus.com
Webers Circus show times
- Thursday, June 14: 7pm
- Friday, June 15: 7pm
- Saturday, June 16: 3pm and 7pm
- Sunday, June 17: 11am