Mist makes her ca­nine mark

Whangarei Report - - NEWS -

It’s not the size of the dog in the fight, it’s the size of the fight in the dog.

That’s a quote from Amer­i­can au­thor Mark Twain but for North­land-based po­lice dog Mist com­pet­ing in the Aus­tralasian Po­lice Dog Cham­pi­onships it had the ring of truth.

Four-year-old Mist, along with han­dler Con­sta­ble El­yse Lewis, rep­re­sented New Zealand in the chal­leng­ing four-day com­pe­ti­tion in Welling­ton. The com­bi­na­tion fin­ished fourth out of six pa­trol dog duos.

And while Mist was far from be­ing the big­gest dog she topped the com­pe­ti­tion in the bite work, track­ing and agility sec­tions.

“Some­times she is un­der­es­ti­mated be­cause of her size but she gives 100 per cent. The judges com­mented on how well she did the ex­er­cises and didn’t ex­pect it for a small dog,” Lewis said. “It’s down to the dog and their will to work, its size doesn’t mat­ter.”

The com­pe­ti­tion was held last week.

The pa­trol dog hon­ours went to South Aus­tralia’s Se­nior Con­sta­ble Craig Charles and Ruger who de­liv­ered a pol­ished per­for­mance. The com­bi­na­tion edged out Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Heath Drew and Ike from Vic­to­ria Po­lice.

New Zealand’s Se­nior Con­sta­ble Mark Chap­man and Mario and Lewis with Mist fin­ished third and fourth re­spec­tively in the in­di­vid­ual pa­trol dog cham­pi­onship, fol­lowed by Lead­ing Se­nior Con­sta­ble Michelle Dench with Archer, Vic­to­ria Po­lice, and Se­nior Con­sta­ble Michael Humphreys with Mag­num, New South Wales.

But it was the com­bined points of Vic­to­ria Po­lice’s Michelle Dench with Archer and Heath Drew with Ike which won them the pa­trol team tro­phy, just 15 points clear of run­ners-up Chap­man and Lewis.

“We work well as a team and to get top marks for the bite work, track­ing and agility is amaz­ing, given how ex­pe­ri­enced the oth­ers were,” Lewis said. She was keen to learn from her Aussie coun­ter­parts and said she asked plenty of ques­tions and ab­sorbed as much in­for­ma­tion as she could.

Lewis ad­mits she was ex­tremely ner­vous at some point in the com­pe­ti­tion and the pres­sure was im­mense.

Lewis and Mist fin­ished sec­ond at the New Zealand na­tion­als which earned them the right to rep­re­sent New Zealand.

PHOTO / NZ PO­LICE

Con­sta­ble El­yse Lewis and Mist show­ing plenty of en­thu­si­asm.

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