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Meet a Local Dog and Owner Duo from Amazon Prime’s ‘The Pack’

San Diegans Kentucky Gallahue and his doodle, Derby, are competing to win $750,000

By Kayla Wong

The Amazon original series The Pack is a new ten-part reality competition that celebrates the unshakable bond between dogs and their human companions. Hosted by Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn and her canine cohost, Lucy, the series features 12 teams of human/dog duos competing to win a life-changing $750,000, with $500,000 going to the winners and $250,000 to the animal charity of their choice.

One of the teams is Point Loma’s own Kioni “Kentucky” Russell Gallahue and his doodle, Derby. Meeting Derby was love at first sight for Gallahue and came at a time when he most needed a companion. They love to surf, ride motorcycles, and find new, crazy adventures to go on together. In their first surfing competition, in Imperial Beach, they placed in the top five out of 30; ever since, they’ve done three or four competitions a year up and down the California coast.

Read on for details about The Pack and to learn more about how these two met.


How did you and Derby meet?

When I was living in Atlanta, I wanted to get another dog, and I was looking for a doodle. A family friend of mine had gotten a doodle, but they had two kids and one on the way. They were a really loving family, but they realized they just didn’t have the time you need to put in for a new puppy. They heard I was looking for a doodle, and they gave him to me, which was a blessing in disguise.


Tell us about your journey together.

We fell in love immediately. In Atlanta, I was into the nightlife and bar industry, and when you’re in the industry for that long, drugs and alcohol can start to take over. I realized I needed to change my lifestyle. My sister lived in San Diego, so Derby and I packed up my truck and made a four-day journey across the country. I would not have left Atlanta without Derby with me.


What are some of your favorite things to do together?

One of the things I wanted to do when I first got here was learn how to surf. Derby and I live in Point Loma, so I decided to go to OB Dog Beach and let Derby play with the other dogs while I surfed. I was going out to the surf and Derby kept following me out there, so finally I just put him on the board and pushed him into a wave, and he literally rode it all the way to the sand, turned around, and looked at me like, ‘Is this what you’re trying to do?’ He learned how to surf before I did.


The Pack / Kentucky and Derby Mountains

The Pack / Kentucky and Derby Mountains


What was it like to be on The Pack?

Amazing. It was such a great opportunity. They found us through Derby’s Instagram, and when I first got the invitation I thought it was fake and deleted it. Somebody sent it to me again, and my girlfriend filled it out. After a couple of Zoom interviews, they picked us. The adventure was amazing. They took us all over the world. All of the stuff they did for us and the safety of the dogs was so over-the-top, I loved every minute of it. Not only were the adventures and challenges fun, but all the new people we met and the other contestants are now all lifelong friends.


How did Derby react to being on the show?

I feel like Derby didn’t really know what was going on. All he knows is that when he and I are going out on adventures, he loves every moment of it. But to him, as long as he’s hanging out with me, he’s down for whatever. To him it’s not a big deal, but to me, it’s super cool to share what we do and spread joy and put smiles on everybody’s faces.


What was it like to travel all over the globe and meet people from different states?

It was amazing. The funny thing is, I don’t really like to travel. This gave me an opportunity to go out and see other countries and cultures and meet so many people, but doing it with my best friend made it so much more worth it.


What was your favorite aspect of the show?

There was a huge charity aspect to the show. The winner wins $500,000, but they also win $250,000 to a charity of their choice. My charity was Helen Woodward Animal Center here in San Diego. They are really near and dear to my heart and Derby’s, because they put on one of the surf competitions, and we got to know them very well. I actually volunteer to teach people how to surf with their dogs at some of their camps they do in the summer.


So, what’s next?

Derby and I are actually starting a Derby California hoodie brand. They are tie-dye hoodies that you can get for your pup and a matching one for yourself. It’s been a dream of mine to make these, and this has given me the opportunity to produce them. Also, one dollar of every hoodie we sell is going to Helen Woodward Animal Center. We try to give back in everything that we do. We’re also working on a children’s book. We love telling our story to students; we’re doing virtual field trips now. Eventually, when it’s safe, we would like to actually visit the classrooms and read the book to them.

You can find Kentucky on Instagram and Derby on Instagram.

Kioni “Kentucky” Russell Gallahue and his doodle, Derby

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