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Dog club puts on annual Fun Match at Shadle Park

Dog owners headed to Shadle Park Wednesday night for a friendly little competition with man’s best friend.

Local club Disc Dogs held its annual Fun Match disc throwing and catching contest with dogs and their owners at 6 p.m.

Each owner and their dog started behind a line, one pair at a time. The owners then threw a disc and their dogs ran to track it down while it was still aloft.

The dogs had to then return the disc to the owners and wait for another throw behind the starting line. Each pair had one minute to get as many throws as they could into a scoring area divided into five sections.

“You get more points for the further distance but you have to get it in the scoring area,” Disc Dog captain Glenn Madden said.

Madden participated in the contest with his 11-year-old border collie-blue heeler mix named Arial, who performed some tricks for the crowd partway through the event.

Participation was free and about 10 dogs were registered for the competition by 6:15, Madden said. The contest has normally featured about 20 to 25 dogs in each of the past 10 years that Madden has run the event.

The group gave away plaques to the top three scorers, but the contest was really just for fun, said Tim Arneson, who brought his 11-year-old border collie Baileycita to the park.

“You can make it serious, but that’ll take the whole fun out of it,” Arneson said.

Arneson has taken Baileycita to world and regional competitions in Seattle and San Francisco and the pair has finished second or third in past years of the Fun Match. She doesn’t have as much energy as she used to, but they still play every day and she’s still his best friend.

“I lost my last girlfriend because I said dogs are best,” Arneson said. “I wasn’t kidding.”

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