Big dogs of Surrey team impress with ‘windshield wiper’ drills and more

4 Paws on the Run squad at Vancouver Pet Lover Show this weekend

Richard Neely with Rio and the 4 Paws on the Run drill team at its rehearsal space in a barn on the Surrey-Langley border.

CLOVERDALE — There’s a little barn on the Surrey-Langley border that’s all modern and pretty and couldn’t be more picturesque. Green grass all around, towering trees overhead – it’s the type of setting you might see on a postcard.

But inside it’s a different story. They’ve really let this place go to the dogs, and Linda Fedje couldn’t be happier.

At her “regular” job, she breeds and raises Golden Retrievers on her home turf in Cloverdale, as she’s done for the past 15 years. But these days you’re just as likely to see her, along with a whole posse of friends, clients and associates, at the little barn on the border. With a bunch of dogs. Really big dogs.

CLICK HERE to see more photos on the Now’s Facebook page.

On a recent Saturday afternoon at the barn, Fedje and her human and canine compatriots did what they like to do best of all: perform. Ten people in all, and just as many dogs.

Among the humans, Jenny Rogers runs High Seas Newfoundlands, a small, Surrey-based kennel specializing in one of the most humongous breeds around: the Newfoundlander. Retiree Richard Neely, 79, hopped aboard because his daughter Janet, who works with Rogers at High Seas, suggested it.

Soon, the conversation ended, someone fired up the music and the group launched into its routine. Part parade, part dance, part look-at-what-this-dog-can-do showcase, it’s an intricate 20-minute affair that surely must task the memory as much as anything else.

First, they’re in a single row, coming straight at me. Rogers blurted out “windshield wiper,” and the row split in halves, each half mimicking the pivoting action of a, yes, windshield wiper.

The show continued and the dogs, all Newfoundlanders and Golden Retrievers, and their human counterparts sashayed this way and that, somehow avoiding any monumental collisions in the middle. It’s pretty and it’s impressive, and it left little doubt that anyone in the room would rather be doing anything else.

The performance is also the realization of a dream for Fedje, the group leader. She started her breeding business 15 years ago when a friend suggested she needed a hobby. A Golden Retriever fanatic practically from birth, she agreed and soon opened Kulalani Goldens. Not long after, she quit her job in the satellite-TV business.

“The name Kululani came about during a trip to my favorite place, Hawaii,” she explained. “I spent a lot of time sitting on the beach thinking about my dogs. In Hawaiian, Kululani means ‘heavenly gold.’ It was a perfect fit.”

But several years ago, Fedje realized that owning and raising dogs wasn’t enough.

“I wanted to train them. I wanted to relate to dogs in a better way. And I wanted to teach people. I could see there were a lot of people who needed help.”

And so, 4 Paws on the Run was born. There were teething pains at first, running a second business in gypsy fashion, bouncing from halls to distant church basements. But all that came to an end when a good buddy offered Fedje her little barn on 192nd Street.

Today, 4 Paws on the Run sports a permanent location, a gaggle of customers and, of course, that dancing, prancing drill team. Indeed, the squad is already a veteran of several shows, and is currently gearing up for its next, at the Vancouver Pet Lover Show, this weekend (Saturday, Feb. 27 and Sunday, Feb. 28) at Abbotsford Tradex Centre. Fedje and company will perform both days; for details, visit PetLoverShow.ca.

“What’s really interesting to people is that these are large-breed dogs, and they’re doing these things that are usually reserved for the little breeds,” Fedje said.

Worldwide fame may await, but it’s the seniors circuit that really interests these folks, Rogers explained.

“What we wanted to do was some volunteer outreach,” she said. “And all the dogs are pretty friendly. When I’m working, I do work in senior’s homes and I know seniors get kid of bored sometimes in these facilities. It’s nice to have some music and some pets to liven it up.”

Last Christmas, the gang put on a holiday-themed gig at the Al Hogg Pavilion in White Rock. They dressed the dogs in costume and had them dance to carols, and handed out gifts. More recently, they swooped in on The Residence at Morgan Heights.

“After the last show,” Neely recalled, “we took the dogs around and introduced them to the people. So I took (Newfoundlander) Rio over to this one lady. She asked, ‘Do those dogs drool?’ and I said, ‘Well yes, if there’s food around.’ And this older gentleman leaned over from his wheelchair and said, ‘Well, I drool too.’”

The team wants to do more. Fedje, who recently lost a good friend who lived at a seniors’ facility, discuses openly the emotional impact it had on her and the school. All enquiries are welcome, she added. To reach 4 Paws on the Run, call 604-574-7248 or email linda@kulalanigoldens.com.

Goble@shaw.ca

 

 

Just Posted

Surrey RCMP looking for missing 17-year-old girl

Police say Rachel Friend was last seen at 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 19, near the 14900-block of 81A Avenue

Three-team trade brings another goalie into Surrey Eagles’ nest

BCHL team ships Chase Stevenson to Trail and acquires blue-liner, goalie

McCallum promises taxes won’t rise in Surrey: ‘That’s set in stone’

Surrey mayor says free parking, a municipal force and other campaign promises won’t mean a tax hike

Surrey council approves free two-hour parking at city hall, around hospital

Although council gave its blessing to offer the free parking Monday (Nov. 19), it was already made free last week

Surrey School District says it needs 7 new schools in next decade

Surrey council endorsed the district’s 2019-20 capital plan on Monday, Nov. 19

White Rock pier light show

Dancing lights highlighted off the water front

Police looking into two more incidents at private Toronto all-boys’ school

Police and the school have said two of the prior incidents involved an alleged sexual assault

5 to start your day

Body found in Maple Ridge ID’ed as Hells Angel, Japanese ‘rising sun’ flag gone from Langley classroom and more

Bovine tuberculosis found in cow on southern B.C. farm

CFIA said the disease was found during slaughter and they are investigating

Air force getting more planes but has no one to fly them, auditor warns

The report follows several years of criticism over the Trudeau government’s decision not to launch an immediate competition to replace the CF-18s.

B.C.’s Esi Edugyan wins $100K Giller prize for Washington Black

Edugyan won her first Scotiabank Giller Prize in 2011 for Half-Blood Blues

Bolder action needed to reduce child poverty: Campaign 2000 report card

The report calls for the federal government to provide more funding to the provinces, territories and Indigenous communities to expand affordable, quality child care.

Judge bars US from enforcing Trump asylum ban

Protesters accused the migrants of being messy, ungrateful and a danger to Tijuana; complained about how the caravan forced its way into Mexico, calling it an “invasion.”

Ottawa Redblacks defensive back Jonathan Rose suspended for Grey Cup

Rose was flagged for unnecessary roughness and ejected for contacting an official with 37 seconds left in the first half following a sideline melee after a Tiger-Cats reception.

Most Read