Thomas County dog wins national title - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thomas County dog wins national title

December 5, 2006

Ochlocknee--  Wayne Dodson and his dog have a special relationship.   He says, "it was like winning the lottery when I got copper." Dodson began training Copper to be a trial retriever when she was just seven weeks old.  "At about eight months, I realized I had more than a regular lab."

Now seven, she's been competing in amateur competitions from coast to coast, most of her life. When they qualified for the National Championship, Dodson was excited to see how Copper would measure up to eighty-nine of the best retrievers in the country, many of them handled my professionals.  "Little did we know we'd wind up a winner," he says.

At times during the seven day competition Dodson was unsure if he should continue to handle Copper himself. He told his friend, a professional handler, that he may have to take over.  "He said you and Copper gonna sink or swim. And I sucked it up and swim she did," Dodson says.

Now, nothing compares to the enormous trophy sitting in his living room.  "It was all worth it, every penny, every mile," says Dodson.  

But Copper is much more than a blue-ribbon winner. She is a bona-fide member of the family. "She loves me and she loves to please. That's one of her big assets. She's gotta big heart and she loves to please," Dodson says.  While it may seem a trite to some, Dodson says his dog is, without a doubt, his best friend. 

Wayne Dodson says after Copper's big win, she's now retired from competition.  And he says he's hoping for puppies somewhere in Copper's near future.

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