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Fetching for glory

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Twelve dogs went fetching for glory at the third-annual Four Paws Retriever Contest held last Thursday in conjunction with the Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship.

From puppies to pros, the dogs put on a good show. Some performed perfectly, like Duane Gushulak’s chocolate lab, “Cabella,” while others, like Cherie Mollette’s life-jacket-wearing schnauzer, “Bo,” amused the crowd.

The retrieving competition had dogs fetch a “dummy” thrown by their owners, on land or into water. The dogs were graded on a scale of 1-10 in five different categories--control before the throw (if the dog waits for its master’s command); direct line to (how focused the dog stays on the dummy); direct line from (how focused the dog after the retrieval); holding the dummy; and desire.

The juvenile land division was won by Terrie Tucker’s golden retriever, “Tallie,” while second place was taken by Duane and Paulette Thorsteinson’s wire-hair griffon, “Belle.”

The two switched places in the juvenile water division, with “Belle” coming in first and “Tallie” second.

“It was very good,” said Duane Thorsteinson about the contest. “[Belle] will be in the intermediate level events next year for sure.”

Sandy Tibbs dominated the intermediate land division as her Australian cattle dogs, “Rocky” and “Smudge,” snagged first and second place. “Colby,” a black lab belonging to Garry Raine of Thunder Bay, took third.

“Colby” placed much better in the intermediate water division, seizing first, followed by Bill Lane’s black lab, “Jake.” Bruce Goldamer’s labrador retriever, “Tequila,” tied with Roseanne Kellar’s shepard mix (a red heeler-border collie cross), “Sam,” for third place.

The advanced land and water divisions were both won by Gushulak’s “Cabella,” who was the only dog competing at that level. For her superb performance, “Cabella” also received the “All-Round” trophy.

First-place winners received plaques while second and third-place dogs earned ribbons.

Event organizer Dawnn Taylor was pleased with this year’s competition.

“The quality of dogs was wonderful,” she said. “We had people come in from out of town, including two from Thunder Bay.”

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