Mark LeBlanc, a Cecilia native and UL graduate, will appear in a new Amazon Prime show, The Pack.
The program premieres on November 20. It's hosted by Olympic Gold Medalist Lindsey Vonn and her dog Lucy. It's a competition show in which human/dog duos travel to different locations and face challenges that "test the strength of their bond, skills and nonverbal communication for a monetary prize of $500,000 and $250,000 to the charity of their choice," a release from the show states.
Here's the show's trailer:
In addition to the donations earned by participants, The Pack donated $250,000 during filming to multiple charities and animal rescue organizations in each country, helping to pay it forward to dogs and those who love them around the world.
Here's the show's bio about LeBlanc:
"Mark is a 31-year-old mechanical engineer and professional photographer with a furry best friend named Ace, a 10-year-old Border Collie. Mark specifically wanted a breed that could match his physical abilities and intensity—Ace was exactly that for him. They love to push themselves to the limit in the mountains. Living in Salt Lake City, Utah, they are always active outdoors doing things like rock climbing, backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and trail running. At six months old, Ace was catching frisbees 30 yards away, and at ten years old, a ten-mile trail run is simply a warm-up. Together, Mark and Ace have an unbreakable bond and a thrill for adventure."
LeBlanc grew up in Cecilia and then went to UL after high school. He moved to Salt Lake City a few years ago.
His favorite stop during the show was Italy.
"During the challenge, Ace gave me so much focus, we were able to get through it and he performed on a level I didn't think possible. He's a smart dog, he's an intelligent dog, he's very well trained, but the way he performed that day was completely beyond my expectations," LeBlanc says.
Everybody there was taken aback, he said, and that was an amazing day, he remembers.
LeBlanc says the show was an experience he will never forget.
"It was an incredible experience to go to all these different countries and have my dog with me the whole time, that's not something you get to do very often. It's hard to travel with a dog," he said. "Being able to travel with ace was just a special time and something I'll remember the rest of my life. It's an experience I don't take for granted; I was very fortunate to have that experience."
LeBlanc says everyone will enjoy the show, but dog owners might get a little more out of it, and that's to remember "that the connection we have with our dogs can bring us true happiness on a daily basis. Dogs love us unconditionally, and it reminds me not to worry about all the things that brings stress to our lives, and focus on living in the present, and try to enjoy every day."