Sep 29,2006 00:00
Bend Weekly News Sources
Maty, the first three-legged dog to qualify for the Skyhoundz Canine Disc World Championship held in Atlanta, Georgia last weekend proved she can compete against the four-legged competitors. Maty and her throwing partner, Troy Kerstetter took seventh place in the Sport Division Distance and Accuracy.
When asked what the Skyhoundz organizer expected from a first time Worlds qualifier with only three-legs, Perry said that he “expected her to have a couple round with six to ten points.” Maty scored fifteen points in her first round which tied her for 8th after one round. In her second round she scored 13 points, which moved her into 6th place. The final round accumulated 10.5 points which bumped her down to 7th in the final standings.
Maty caught everything that Kerstetter threw. In the third round one was thrown out of bounds, but a white line means nothing to a dog, so she caught it anyway and brought it back.
The heat and humidity took its’ toll on the high desert dog used to low humidity and cooler fall temperatures. Endurance is one of the limitations of a three-legged dog, so Maty had a difficult time.
The tri-pawed team far exceeded the goal of not being in last place. No sympathy was received, just earned respect that a disabled dog can compete with the world’s best disc dog teams.
Maty continued her humane education and pet therapy work for the Humane Society of Central Oregon on the East Coast. An Atlanta Journal-Constitution article invited children to meet this amazing canine athlete. Over 100 children and adults said hello, threw Maty a disc and wished her good-luck in the competition. A few had disabilities of their own, and together the human-animal bond was inspirational.