SeaWorld shows traditionally feature killer whales, dolphins and other marine animals you wouldn't normally find roaming your neighborhood. But the San Diego park's new "Pets Rule!" show turns the spotlight on dogs, cats and other domesticated animals.
"Pets Rule!" eschews SeaWorld's massive water tanks for a sun-drenched outdoor set made up to look like a giant backyard. It's an appropriate setting for this affectionate tribute. But don't forget to pack the sunscreen. On a cloudless summer day, the aluminum grandstands can heat this "backyard" to broiling.
Don't expect a polished performance. Yet the unpredictable nature of watching animals attempt new tricks is half the fun of this production. The things that went wrong at a recent performance--from a recalcitrant pig on an obstacle course to a dog that missed catching his Frisbee--elicited as many chuckles and good-natured cheers from the crowd as the successful tricks.
SeaWorld's trainers put the show in perspective by mentioning that some of the animals in the production were adopted from shelters around the country. "Remember," one trainer told the crowd, "the fantastic animals you see here today are as close as your local animal shelter."