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Boatyard Dog - Issue 124

Dory the Duck Toller

By Gretchen Piston Ogden
CadyPhoto courtesy of Nicole L. Gray
This Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever works as second mate, deckhand, and chief engineer in charge of prop-monitoring. She does all this aboard her family’s Webco 22, named Beachcomber, which she graciously shares with crew-mates John and Nicole Gray of Sedgwick, Maine. What is a duck toller, you might ask? We didn’t know either, so we went to the fount of all knowledge (Wikipedia) and learned that these dogs were bred to cavort in the shallows to lure (“toll”) unsuspecting ducks and other wild birds. The curious birds come in close to see what in quack that crazy dog is doing, the hunter stands up, the ducks take flight, and, well, you can guess the rest of the story. We have no idea how Dory feels about all this. What we do know is that she is a boat dog, through and through. In her first two years she has already circumnavigated Swan’s Island, Marshall Island, and Isle au Haut in the family boat. Her favorite overnight excursion is to Long Island (the one in Blue Hill Bay), and she also loves to visit Hog Island, off Naskeag Point in Brooklin, where she helps with beach clean-up by retrieving lost lobster buoys. A true salt, Dory enjoys all her jobs, and being the talkative sort, loves a good gam. If you see her, you could ask her thoughts on waterfowl. This column has sparked a rollicking event—the World Championship Boatyard Dog® Trials —on Sunday morning during the annual Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Show in Rockland. This year’s show dates are August 9-11, 2013. It’s not too late for your dog to enter for a chance to compete: details HERE. (Note: NO other pets are allowed on show grounds; please leave them at home.)

Share your Boatyard Dog’s story with our readers! Send a clear photo and pertinent details to: BYD, P.O. Box 566, Rockland, ME 04841, or click here and use our online contact form.

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