Mist makes her canine mark
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.
Constable Elyse Lewis and Mist showing plenty of enthusiasm.