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St. Johns woman and her dog win 'America's Top Dog'

Rachel Clark and her dog Chewy running through the obstacle course
Posted at 9:35 PM, Jul 27, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-28 20:07:53-04

ST. JOHNS, Mich. — Rachel Clark of St. Johns and her 4-year-old dog Chewy just won $10,000 on national television as contestants on the show "America's Top Dog" on A&E.

Rachel and Chewy at their watch party for America's Top Dog
Rachel and Chewy at their watch party for America's Top Dog

Clark, 25, is a manager at Cher Car Kennels in St. Johns, which boards, breeds, and trains dogs. Cheryl Carlson, the owner and Clark's boss, and mentor, texted Clark one night to tell her about the show. Clark said she had never heard of it.

"You and Chewy need to get on this," Carlson said.

"Just reading the name, 'America's Top Dog,' I was like, 'Yeah, okay, Cheryl. You're blowing a little smoke here,'" Clark said. "But I started looking up clips of the show and actually started watching season one and I was like, 'You were not joking. We do all of this.'"

St. Johns woman and her dog compete on America's Top Dog
St. Johns woman and her dog compete on America's Top Dog

And they did it well.

"We don't compete to win, but it definitely validates all the hard work that we put in and, getting to say we won our episode on 'America's Top Dog' is something only a few people can say as of yet," Clark said.

Tuesday night, Clark and her friends and family gathered at Cher Car Kennels for a watch party.

Rachel and Chewy watch party for America's Top Dog

Clark said she will probably use the $10,000 on student loans.

"That'd probably be the smartest way to use it, but we'll see," Clark said. "As soon as we won, before we even got back to the hotel, I got Chewy a subscription for a year of Super Chewer Bark Box with extra toys and extra treats every month."

Chewy the dog after dock diving
Chewy the dog after dock diving

The duo also got $5,000 to donate to any charity. Clark chose the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Southwest Michigan, where she and Chewy first met when he was a pup.

Chewy as a puppy
Chewy as a puppy

"The bond between Chewy and Rachel is very, very special. I knew with his talents and her drive, they could go places," Carlson said.

The final round of the competition will be part of a two-hour special airing Tuesday, Aug. 3 at 8 p.m. on A&E.

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Lauren Shields

Lauren Shields

8:25 PM, Aug 21, 2019

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Lauren Shields

FOX 47 News Neighborhood Newsletter