Aldergrove dog and trainer audition for America’s Got Talent

Dancing duo raise bipolar awareness in tribute to afflicted wife

Aldergrove trainer-and-dog duo performed a heartfelt routine last month, paying tribute to those afflicted by bipolar disorder.

In early May, Ray Underwood and his border collie, Magic, flew to Los Angeles to audition for America’s Got Talent (AGT).

“I was more excited than nervous. I’m used to performances for thousands, but knowing that 50,000 million will watch it eventually” was exhilarating, Underwood said.

Out of the 40,000 auditions that hit the AGT stage, the pair’s performance ranked in the top 222.

There’s no telling how far the pair made it in the competition – as of yet.

“Working with a dog makes it nerve wracking because you never know if they’ll just stop, or make a mistake,” the trainer elaborated.

Underwood and his wife Shannon, as well as their two dogs, have lived in Aldergrove for eight years – they run Underwood’s Dog Obedience which offers canine skills-training classes for dogs and their owners.

Underwood has trained canines professionally for four decades now. He started when he was a child in London, England.

“It’s not work for me – my whole life I’ve never had a job yet,” he remarked.

Underwood trained the seven-year-old collie, Magic, since she was a puppy.

The trainer and his wife have been married for 32 years, a journey that has been affected by Shannon’s diagnosis – rapid-cycling bipolar disorder.

“A lot of my stage routines are personal to me,” Underwood said – including the one he choreographed for AGT, which takes viewers through the journey of him supporting Shannon through bipolar.

“The routine shows the cycle of the disorder – from deep depression to coming out of it and feeling okay for awhile,” Underwood said, then eventually going back to anguish.

The freestyle obedience routine involves complex choreography and tricks carried out by Magic and dance moves performed by Underwood.

“It had to get so bad before we could get a referral for her,” Underwood said about his wife’s care.

Shannon was misdiagnosed numerous times by medical professionals. It took more than a decade for her to acquire a referral for a local psychiatrist, hubby added.

“She goes through these emotional cycles at an accelerated rate,” Underwood explained.

His wife’s condition began to stabilize after being put on the right medication.

“It makes things easier,” he said.

The duo’s debut AGT audition is scheduled to air within the next few weeks.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Displaced tenant ‘heartbroken’ after Langley City condo robbed after fire

Wedding rings of Michelle Buchan’s have since been recovered, but much is still missing

GREEN BEAT: 140 citizen scientists blitz Langley, uncovering rare species and more

Rare sightings of map turtles, a western fence lizard, not to mention, dog vomit slime were recorded

Mardi Gras parade being made in Fort Langley

The video will be shown at the Fort Langley ‘Virtual’ Jazz and Arts Festival in early September

City sports courts converted for pickleball

As of Monday, Langley dinkers have eight new dedicated courts to play on at Douglas Park

Study calls for Langley City performing arts centre and more

Key Directions Report identifies long-term goals

STANDING TALL: For some, B.C.’s forest industry is the best office in the world

A look at the forest sector in B.C. – and those hoping for the best – amid mill curtailments

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

Fraser Valley Bandits reflect on 2020 turnaround

Abbotsford-based CEBL team goes from worst to almost first at Summer Series

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Doctor slain in Alberta medical clinic was devoted father, husband

Red Deer doctors on edge after attack on colleague who had two young daughters

Royal B.C. Museum wants B.C.’s COVID-19 nature observations

COVID-19 Collecting For Our Time: ongoing project cataloguing province’s pandemic experience

Feds offer ‘life preserver’ funds to BC Ferries as pandemic sinks revenue

For every dollar the province spends the federal government will match

Bad behaviour at B.C. restaurants ignites campaign calling for respect

“If you can’t follow the rules, then stay home,” says BC Restaurant and Foodservices Association

Most Read