Weekend goes to the Dockdogs 

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In some sports having a good nickname is important. Three names to watch for in the sporting future are Sable, Newt and Yoyo.

These athletes compete on four legs and they put their skills to the test this past weekend at Whistler Olympic Plaza in the Dockdogs competition. They thrilled crowds gathered to watch competitive dogs, coached by even more competitive dog handlers, launch themselves into a pool to retrieve floating toys.

Sherri Fleck and her dog Sable have been competing for a few years. Sable finished the weekend with a third place overall result in the Speed Retrieve event. She also won the Iron Dog Warrior Division with the best overall result in Speed Retrieve, Big Air and Extreme Vertical.

"Sable started doing agility and obedience and I happened to send a photo to her breeder of her jumping off the local docks. She said, 'Forget about obedience Sherri, you have got to enter Dockdogs.' So we took her down to the Puyallup Spring Fair three years ago and she loved it," said Fleck after Sable's first Extreme Vertical jump on Saturday, July 27.

Fleck said she and Sable plan to go to Victoria for a competition in just over a week.

"We're hoping to get another invite to world championships," Fleck said. "We went last November and if she qualifies during the summer months we'll go back there."

Newt, owned by Pemberton's Karen Walker, competed for the first time, as was the case for Yoyo and his owner Kevin Clarke.

Walker said she was inspired by Fleck and Sable to enter the Whistler competition. According to Walker, Newt likes to jump so the pair trained in anticipation of the Whistler Dockdogs event. For all of Newt's five years Walker said he has been jumping off docks.

"He loves it," she said. "He lives for it, actually."

Clarke said his dog, Yoyo, was so named because his three-year-old bird-hunting pet always comes back.

"My wife actually discovered this online two weeks ago otherwise I wouldn't have known about it so it's kind of cool. I hope it keeps coming every year," said Clarke in between events on Sunday.

Results were not posted at press time.

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