‘Toss and Fetch’ champions in Fluvanna Co. raise awareness about dogs with special needs

‘Toss and Fetch’ champions in Fluvanna Co. raise awareness about dogs with special needs
Rogue, a deaf Australian Shepherd, competes in the Toss and Fetch Championships in Fluvanna County. (Source: WVIR)

FLUVANNA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - More than 3,000 teams from across 15 different countries are competing in the 2020 Toss and Fetch World Championship.

Eleven-year-old Finn Proctor is one of the youngest and best in the disc league.

“Dogs with drive are very great Frisbee dogs," Proctor explained. “They have to be able to run after the Frisbee, and bring it back and run back out.”

He couldn’t do it without his partner, Rogue.

“Ever since she was a baby they started training her to get the Frisbee,” Proctor said.

The game is pretty simple: trainers toss a frisbee and their furry friend runs to fetch it and bring it back, getting points for speed, distance covered and style. After hour upon hours of training, Finn and Rogue are ready to defend her title as one of the best canine athletes.

The training doesn’t come easy, through: Rogue is deaf. Her hearing impairment doesn’t stop her, or the many other dogs competing with disabilities.

“Hearing is not required. She’s not the only deaf dog that competes," Green Dogs Unleashed Coordinator Vicki Martin said. "These dogs can do a lot of the things that the dogs that don’t have, what we call disabilities have, have. She doesn’t think she has a disability.”

The team at Green Dogs Unleashed say they compete to show how special dogs with special needs can be, and help them find a forever home. They have fun doing it, too.

“Here at Green Dogs Unleashed we believe in possibilities, not impossibilities. Rogue doesn’t know she’s deaf, and we haven’t told her yet," Proctor said.

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