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Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Crowns Fenway as the 2011 World Champion Boatyard Dog®

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For immediate release - August 19, 2011
Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Crowns Fenway as the 2011 World Champion Boatyard Dog®
Boatyard Dog
ROCKLAND, Maine – Five pre-selected canine competitors and their human companions strutted their stuff, cheated shamelessly, went swimming (brrr!), and showed off their skills (or lack thereof) during the ninth annual World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials at the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show on Sunday, August 14, 2011. The wild and wacky competition returned for a ninth year before a large and lively crowd. One of the tenets of the trials is that cheating is not only tolerated, it’s encouraged. Breaking the rules was a challenge for the winner, Fenway, however, since her handler was Officer Joel Neal of the Rockland Police Department. Still, the pair wowed both crowd and judges. Perhaps it was the sight of a policeman being thrown in the drink by a dog. Or maybe the judges were swayed by the “Get Out of Jail Free” passes and Dunkin’ Donuts gift cards they received as bribes from Joel and Fenway. Regardless, the pair’s speed through the obstacle course and agility getting into and out of a very tippy boat during the “Dinghy Hop” portion of the trials were notable. The duo combined two other critical components of the competition, that either dog or handler must end up soaking wet, and that a rubber duck must be used. Officer Neal stood on the edge of the dock with the duck clenched in his teeth. When Fenway leaped up to get the duck, she pushed him over backwards into the water, and the crowd went wild. As winner of the competition, Fenway will be featured in Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine’s popular Boatyard Dog® column (Winter issue) and will keep the coveted revolving “Pup Cup” for a year. The cup was presented by the newly crowned 2011 Maine Sea Goddess, Kristen Margaret Sawyer of Tenants Harbor. Crypton Fabric, of West Bloomfield Township, Michigan, also provided a “Throver” blanket for the winner. The pack of contestants this year was as varied as it was talented. So close was the competition among the top three dogs that the judges finally resorted to a secret ballot vote. Fenway won by a nose, followed closely by the rescued chihuahua Pixel. Pixel’s routine included walking the “plank,” which consisted of her handler Janet Williams lying on her stomach, into the tippy dinghy. Pixel also got extra points for her prowess on Facebook and for vigorously promoting shelter pets with t-shirts and flyers proclaiming that “Shelter Pets Rule!” A yellow Lab named Lyla and her agile young handlers were right on the leaders’ heels in third place. The judges noted that they had seen many a dog catch a ball, but very few who would throw it back as did Lyla. Grace would have been a top contender as well, but the self-styled “Pirate Queen” specifically requested that the judges give her votes to Lyla and Lyla’s handlers: Scout Tucker and the “Sea Ducks” team. As usual, the trials kicked off with a paw-rade. It was led this year by the Maine Squeeze Accordion Ensemble and featured the newly crowned Maine Sea Goddess, a coterie of Shriners in lobsterboat go-karts, a flock from Project Puffin, volunteers and shelter dogs from the Humane Society of Knox County and the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League, and of course, the competing canines and their handlers. To top it all off, two antique biplanes from the Owls Head Transportation Museum flew over the inner harbor, delighting spectators and dogs alike. Judges for this year’s event were Gregg Boersma, Media Rep for The Bark magazine which was the media sponsor for the trials; Lucinda Lang of Tenants Harbor (who has judged every Boatyard Dog competition since the beginning); Dr. Kate Pierce of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates in Rockport; and Gretchen Piston Ogden, Managing Editor of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, where all this Boatyard Dog® silliness got its start. Emcee duties were once again handled with aplomb by Mike Joyce and Alan Sprague of WERU FM’s monthly radio show “Boat Talk.” Every dog is a winner in this event, so each contestant was presented with a statue of Barkley the Boatyard Dog™ and a goody bag made of recycled sail cloth provided by Sea Bags of Portland and filled with toys and tasty treats from the Loyal Biscuit Company, which is located on Main Street in Rockland. Each competitor also received a one-year subscription to The Bark magazine; a copy of their book “Dog Is My Co-Pilot”; and lots of other fun prizes – chew toys, stuffed lobsters, water bowls, doggy “jewelry,” and more donated by Planet Dog, Pal Dog and Fetch. Since the judges were obviously biased by all the bribes they received, all show attendees were provided an opportunity to choose their favorite dog by voting with their wallets at the “People’s Choice Wagon” on show grounds. Pixel won the award by a toenail, followed by Lyla, with Fenway coming in a close third. Pixel received additional “People’s Choice” prizes, including a dog pillow bed donated by West Paw of Bozeman, Montana, as well as her own special People’s Choice trophy. The People’s Choice award is a fundraiser for the midcoast’s two local shelters—the Humane Society of Knox County and the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League—all monies raised were evenly divided between the two. Both shelters also received a generous donation of dog treats from Wellness Pet Food and Old Mother Hubbard Dog Treats. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors acknowledged the following supporters of the Boatyard Dog® Trials this year: The Bark magazine was media sponsor and provided a great publicity boost for the event as well as many fun prizes; Jeff’s Marine provided a Crowley-Beal 33 as the judges’ boat; Maritime Marine provided the camera boat; Sea Bags of Portland provided tote bags made of recycled sail cloth; and the Loyal Biscuit Company of Rockland provided toys and treats to fill the bags. A special thanks also goes out to Greenies who supplied Joint Care treats for all attendees to take home to their furry canine friends. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors is also pleased to recognize the following sponsors of the 2011 MBH&H Show: Awlgrip, Bangor Savings Bank, Barbour by David Wood, The Bark magazine, Cellardoor Winery, Fixtures, Jaret & Cohn Real Estate, Loyal Biscuit, ReVision Energy, Seabags, Stanley Subaru, VillageSoup, and Yachting Solutions/Cannell, Payne & Page. The Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show is held each year on the Rockland waterfront during the second weekend in August (next year’s dates will be August 10-12, 2012). The 2011 show was the ninth annual and saw a strong turnout of some 10,000, thanks to near-perfect weather and hundreds of exhibitor offerings which included furniture, boats on land and in the water, art, marine supplies, green technologies, great food, live music, and skills demonstrations. New this year was an exhibit called “75 Years on Penobscot Bay,” which honored the 75th anniversaries of both Penobscot Marine Museum and the Maine Windjammer Fleet. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, "The Magazine of the Coast," is celebrating its twenty-fourth year. Noted for eclectic award-winning coverage of all aspects of coastal living, the magazine covers everything from maritime matters and natural history to boats, homes, fine art, and food. The award-winning online edition at www.maineboats.com is filled with original content, photo galleries, tide charts and weather, guides to products and services, and Local Knowledge™ to help visitors enjoy the Maine coast. Media Contact: Leila Murphy or Jennifer McIntosh Maine Boats Homes & Harbors 207-594-8622; leila@maineboats.com, jennifer@maineboats.com High-resolution images are available for download at http://www.maineboats.com/