Like most mornings, Erin Shane probably woke up today with a Frisbee in her lap, compliments of her 7-year-old Australian shepherd Cedar. The only difference is Cedar is now the city champion in the Skyhoundz Hyperflite Canine Disc Contest.
Shane and Cedar won the contest Saturday at Veteran's Park with 31 points, just a half point more than the second-place contestant. Brad Brownell and his dog Rooba. Brownell is a past winner in the annual event as is Shane, who won with Cedar in 2001. Brownell and Shane tied in the first two rounds Saturday and completed a throw-off to determine the winner. Cedar was at the top of his game Saturday, Shane said.
"He can jump really good, high jumps - like 4 or 5 feet," Shane said after the contest Saturday. "He made a few good jumps today, but the highest one he made he missed the Frisbee."
But Cedar never quits, Shane said. He loves the game and never loses heart. Shane noticed early on that Cedar was born to fetch. As a puppy, Cedar started bringing Shane goodies from around the house. Then she bought him a Frisbee.
"He would play with anything, but he loves Frisbees," Shane said. "He's amazing; he plays all year, even in the winter."
In a dog Frisbee competition, the field is divided into zones. Points are awarded based on a successful catch in the zone the Frisbee is thrown into. The longer the throw, the more points if the dog catches the Frisbee. Extra points are awarded if all four of the dog's feet are off the ground when the catch is made. Most people consider the success of a team to hinge on both the talents of the human and the dog. Shane credits Cedar with most of the skill.
"One thing people comment on is Cedar will come running back as hard as he can," Shane said. "He's really into getting the time in. If you can get more throws, you have a better chance of winning. He also likes to get his feet off the ground."
Shane and Cedar celebrated their victory along with family members Saturday afternoon at the Meat Palace with barbecued burgers - one for Shane and one for Cedar. Cedar also received a dog bed, three new Frisbees , a leash and a new chew toy, all donated by PetSmart. Shane and several family members who watched the competition received PetSmart T-shirts, and Shane received a championship plaque.
"It's a dog's day for sure," Shane said. "He'll probably sleep tonight with his head in one of his Frisbees."