Auburn's dancing Yorkie charms San Antonio Spurs

Twinkle the dog takes the spotlight
By: Alex Mecredy Journal correspondent
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Auburn is home to a dancing, piano playing, jumping, and flipping Yorkshire terrier named Twinkle. Owner Diana Alonzo-Ross has trained her five Yorkshire terriers and pony to do tricks and is known in Texas as the Hill Country dog whisperer. ?We have several dogs that perform but she is always the star, that?s why her name is Twinkle,? said Alonzo-Ross. Twinkle has traveled around showing off her talent. The mascot of the Spur?s fell in love with the Yorkshire at an adoption event and requested that she perform with him at the games. From 2007-2010 Twinkle would travel every year to do tricks with the Spurs and the Silver Stars. ?A lot of times during the breaks her and the mascot would run out and do something together. She also did a half-time show,? said Alonzo-Ross. She is scheduled to go back again this August. In addition to performing at basketball games, Twinkle was also ?a finalist on America?s Got Talent. The only reason she didn?t go all the way is because she got sick,? Alonzo-Ross explained. Last year, Twinkle and Alonzo-Ross?s other dogs performed at the California State Fair. According to Alonzo-Ross, Twinkle performs so well because she ?is a ham.? It comes natural to this Yorkshire and even when there?s no audience present Alonzo-Ross says she still continues to show off. ?I?ve trained many dogs and I have never had a dog that was this big of a ham,? said Alonzo-Ross. Alonzo-Ross got started in the business of training dogs as a child when she lived in Heidelberg, Germany. ?We lived near the dog kennel and the zoo and they taught me how to train dogs,? she said. After, she worked for the circus where she continued to train and work with trained animals. ?I use my dogs to show the public that you can train dogs. They do have a brain and they are fun to play with and train,? said Alonzo-Ross Twinkle began her training at just eight weeks old. ?Within a couple weeks they are doing quite a few tricks,? Alonzo-Ross said. Twinkle in now nine years old and still a performer. All five Yorkshire terriers have been trained to do various tricks. ?I have another that can jump rope with me and does the Irish Jig.? Twinkle and the other Yorkshires will be back again this summer at the California State Fair from July 24-30 ready to shine.