Stay in touch with the coast.
Sign up for our newsletter »

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Announces 2014 World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials Contestants

Monday, July 28th 2014

ROCKLAND, Maine - The organizers of the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show are pleased to announce that six courageous canines have been chosen to compete in the World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials on Sunday, August 10, at 10:30 a.m. The trials take place during the 12th Annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show, a celebration of coastal living, which runs August 8-10, 2014, at Harbor Park in Rockland, Maine. Always a favorite with the crowd (because who doesn’t love watching other people act like knuckleheads around their pets?), the trials are a light-hearted, family friendly, paw-to-paw “competition.” The field of competing dogs is pre-selected; the organizers emphasize that for liability reasons ONLY those dogs will be allowed onto show grounds. Please leave all other pets at home to avoid disappointment. Due to the show’s no-pet policy, show organizers ask that any service animals be marked as such if possible. The trials consist of three events: the Dockside Obstacle Course: dog and handler negotiate a maze of funky dockside detritus; the Dinghy Hop: dog and handler scramble in and out of an unstable little boat; and a Freestyle segment: each dog shows off whatever special talents they may (or may not) have. No holds are barred for this segment, but in honor of the 12th year of the trials, “twelve” MUST be included in the performance somehow, and either the dog or person must be soaking wet when they finish. Field of Competitors:
Boatyard Dog Trials
Ruffles (Defending Champ) Homeport: Cushing, Maine Handlers: John & Linda Duffy Ruffles is getting in shape for this year’s pawsome trials and is more than ready to defend her title, but she can't imagine having more fun than she did last year! She loved all the people cheering her on, the prizes, the Pup Cup, the photos, and the excitement on the docks. She is practicing her new act at her waterfront home, where the regimen includes chasing sticks into the water and cruising to the Lobster Dock next door where all the boats drop off their catch. Swimming is a daily pleasure as she is a Portuguese water dog, bred to retrieve nets full of fish and act as a courier between fleets. To improve her balance, Ruffles co-pilots her mom’s kayak and competes in agility trials. Other skills get honed as she leads her “gang” of five around the ‘hood. They swim, roll in bait, beg for cookies, and perform public service by retrieving anything that floats.
Boatyard Dog Trials
Gatsby Homeport: Scarborough, Maine Handler: Amy Douglass Gatsby came in second in the 2013 World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials, so she is bound and determined that she will win this year’s competition. When she heard that it was the 12th anniversary of the Boatyard Dog Trials this year, her response was “WOWZA!” Then she composed the following list of 12 reasons why she will be a great competitor: 1. I love the water 2. I love to jump 3. I love everyone 4. I love tennis balls 5. I love competition 6. I love to give kisses 7. I love life 8. I love swimming 9. I love to win 10. I love to play 11. I am super cute (if I must say so myself) 12. I have big plans for the number 12* (*One “rule” for the trials is that each dog must incorporate “12” into their freestyle act.)
Boatyard Dog Trials
Polly Homeport: Stonington, Maine Handler: Geoff Warner Polly is a natural canine gymnast who is just so eager to strut her stuff at the trials. She absolutely loves to jump, and can’t wait to show off what her dad tells us is the “graceful twisting style” she uses in her efforts to fly. Since Polly weighs in at about 55 pounds, it’s quite a spectacle when she launches into the air; her leaps range from three to five feet off the ground. Polly was an alternate last year and did not get to compete, so she is chomping at the bit for a chance to shine.
Boatyard Dog Trials
Sadie Rose Homeport: Marblehead, Massachusetts Handler: Peter Dragonas Sadie Rose is a purebred golden retriever. She’s now six years old, but in her mind (like many of us), she is still just a two-year-old. Sadie has lots of water experience, and has been swimming in nearly every anchorage from Casco Bay to Northeast Harbor. Her favorite cruise activities are chasing birds from the floats in Northeast Harbor, sliding on her belly on the seaweed in Pulpit Harbor, and hanging out with her humans at the bars in Boothbay. She is in the water every day from May through October, where her favorite activity is chasing sticks and tennis balls thrown into the water, and then shaking off as close to people as she can. She also excels at dragging her master back to the float after he “falls” in, which is something that, as a retriever, is just in her genes. On her bucket list is to successfully drag a lobster pot to land. She finds it frustrating that they seem to be stuck on something on the bottom, but she keeps trying.
Boatyard Dog Trials
Sandra Bee (a.k.a. Sandy) Homeport: Gorham, Maine Handler: Lori Green This lucky pup accidentally found her current home via the Pixel Fund. The person who was supposed to foster her did not show up, so Lori Green grabbed the crate without looking inside and took it home. Green said she brought the crate inside, opened it up, and the “saddest, ugliest, baldest, smelliest” dog came out, madly wagging her tail. Still, it was love at first sight, and with lots of loving care Sandy has now been transformed. The duo was a bit reluctant about entering this year’s Boatyard Dog contest, since Sandy does not “do” water, nor did she have an act or a lot of tricks at the ready, but rumor has it that they are working hard on something with which to wow the crowd. We have great confidence in this 22-pound dynamo (and her ears). Not only does she now have a stage name—Sandra Bee—she has also promised to get her owner trained in plenty of time because she wants the Pixel Fund (a Maine nonprofit that saves the lives of shelter pets through education, advocacy, and rescue efforts) to get lots of great publicity.
Boatyard Dog Trials
Scout Homeport: South Portland, Maine Handler: Maureen Furlong 
As soon as he heard about the trials, Scout barked and barked until his person agreed to write a letter on his behalf so he could participate. Scout doesn’t just stay at home every day while his humans go off to work; he really does live a “dog’s life.” Every morning he waits eagerly for the moment when he can jump in the car and head to the lake where, for the past year, he has been helping to build a lakeside house. As official job site dog, Scout excels at keeping wildlife away, drooling while begging for food, wandering (or, as he likes to call it, “exploring new territory”), and, of course, swimming. Pond, lake, or ocean, it doesn’t matter, swimming is his favorite activity, even in the middle of winter. He has been known to body surf and stand-up paddleboard, and he is an accomplished dock jumper. Rigorous activities aside, Scout also has a soft side. After a hard day’s work, he likes to sprawl out on the couch and cuddle with his three best friends, his two humans and (shhh!) the cat.
Boatyard Dog Trials
Carolina (Alternate) Homeport: Moose River, Maine Handler: Lindsey Guay Carolina is a friendly, sweet, silly Dutch shepherd that was rescued by the Pixel Fund to become one of the great loves of her owner’s life. She's a year and a half old but still acts just like a 50-pound puppy. Her family calls her their “mocha mess” because of her beautiful brindled coat. Carolina’s talents consist of fetching baby chickens and (gently) bringing them inside, riding on a snowmobile, and pulling a dog sled. Well, she’s only done the sled pulling once so far, but it’s a start. Recently, she tried to jump off the dock in a unique way: She left her hind end in place while putting her head completely under water. Once she recovered her dignity (more or less) and managed to swim back to shore, she decided that she loves the water. That bodes well for the trials, where either she or her handler will have to get wet! Judges will be Dale Dyer, of Custom Float Services; Dr. Bjorn Lee, of Pen Bay Veterinary Associates in Rockport; and Joel Neal, co-owner of The Loyal Biscuit, with locations in Camden, Belfast, Rockland, and Waterville. The trials will be spiced up by the verbal antics of emcees Mike Joyce and Alan Sprague, who are also the co-hosts of WERU-FM’s call-in show “Boattalk” (89.9 FM and weru.org). The overall winner takes home the perpetual “Pup Cup” trophy and is featured in an issue of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine’s “Boatyard Dog” column (where all this nuttiness began). All competitors receive a Sea Bags ditty bag filled with goodies from Loyal Biscuit Co. Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors appreciates the support from Boatyard Dog® Lead Sponsor Custom Float Services, and from Supporting Sponsors Sea Bags, Loyal Biscuit Co., and Bell’s Furry Friends Photography. Other show sponsors are: Awlgrip/Interlux, Bangor Savings Bank, Bixby & Co., Dock Works, Epifanes, Fixtures Designer Plumbing Showroom, Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine, Maine Made, and US Harbors. The support of the City of Rockland, and The Pearl Restaurant are also much appreciated. The 2014 Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show will be held August 8-10 on the waterfront in Rockland, Maine. Gates open at 10 a.m., tickets are $12, children under age 12 get in free. Admission to the trials is included in the show admission price. For more information and a full list of exhibitors and activities, visit www.maineboats.com/boatshow Background: The show was founded in 2003 by Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine. Held annually during the second weekend of August in Rockland, Maine, the event attracts thousands of discerning attendees from all over the country and world. Hours: Friday, August 8, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; Saturday, August 9, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; and Sunday, August 10, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Admission is $12 at the gate, under 12 free. Advance tickets are available: call 800-565-4951 or email showinfo@maineboats.com. Please note: no strollers are allowed on the docks and no pets are allowed on the show grounds. “The Magazine of the Coast,” Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors is now in its 27th year. Noted for eclectic award-winning coverage of all aspects of coastal life, the publication covers maritime matters, boats, homes, fine art, and food. The magazine has loyal subscribers around the world and more than 100,000 total readers, and an award-winning companion website (www.maineboats.com) filled with original content, photo galleries, and resources to help visitors enjoy the Maine coast. Contact Information: Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors, P.O. Box 566, Rockland, ME 04841; 207-594-8622; 800-565-4951. www.maineboats.com Media Contact: Stacey Palmer, Show Manager 207-594-8622 showinfo@maineboats.com