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.

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

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit of British Columbia’s (CFSEU-BC) Uniform Gang Enforcement Team (UGET) has arrested a man who was on the run for nearly a decade. (File photo)
9-year search for international drug trafficking suspect ends with arrest at YVR

Khamla Wong, charged in 2012, taken into custody Feb. 24 by BC-CFSEU

Pixabay image
Surrey council moves to update city’s telecommunication antennas policy

But councillor says health and safety protocols are nearly 40 years old

Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum speaks at a press conference in August about provincial government approval of the city’s change to a municipal force, joined by councillors (from left) Mandeep Nagra, Allison Patton and Doug Elford. Members of the National Police Federation claim there is still no transition plan in place although Surrey RCMP’s contract with the city is due to end March 31.(File photo)
National Police Federation members slam Surrey police transition to Surrey Board of Trade

During virtual meeting, bargaining unit representatives say municipal force ‘not a done deal’

Boosh Food founder Connie Marples (right) delivers some Boosh Food items to Christine Mohr, CEO of Options Community Services, in December, 2020. Boosh Food has just moved their operations to Cloverdale. (Photo: Moonraker PR)
Boosh Food moves to Cloverdale

‘Plant-based comfort food’ company moving to 65A Avenue

B.C. Court of Appeal in Vancouver. (File photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Court makes public ‘abbreviated’ reasons for judgment in Surrey Six slaying appeals

Six men were murdered in suite 1505 of the Balmoral Tower in Whalley on Oct. 19, 2007

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature. (B.C. government)
B.C. reports 10 additional deaths, 395 new COVID-19 cases

The majority of new coronavirus infections were in the Fraser Health region

A new survey has found that virtual visits are British Columbian’s preferred way to see the doctor amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Unsplash)
Majority of British Columbians now prefer routine virtual doctor’s visits: study

More than 82% feel virtual health options reduce wait times, 64% think they lead to better health

Captain and Maria, a pair of big and affectionate akbash dogs, must be adopted together because they are so closely bonded. (SPCA image)
Shuswap SPCA seeks forever home for inseparable Akbash dogs

A fundraiser to help medical expenses for Captain and Maria earned over 10 times its goal

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen, all 20, drown in the Sooke River in February 2020. (Contributed photos)
Coroner confirms ‘puddle jumping’ in 2020 drowning deaths of 3 B.C. men

Cory Mills, Eric Blackmore and A.J. Jensen pulled into raging river driving through nearby flooding

Castlegar doctor Megan Taylor contracted COVID-19 in November. This photo was taken before the pandemic. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay doctor shares experience contracting COVID-19

Castlegar doctor shares her COVID experience

Shaelene Keeler Bell. (Facebook)
Candlelight vigil planned for Chilliwack mother missing for four weeks

Virtual event to ‘spread some light’ for 23-year-old Shaelene Bell of Chilliwack

Ashley Paxman, 29, is in the ICU after being struck by a vehicle along Highway 97 Feb. 18, 2021. She remains in critical condition. (GoFundMe)
Okanagan woman in ICU with broken bones in face after being struck by car

She remains in serious condition following Feb. 18 incident

Vancouver International Women in Film Festival kicks off March 5.
Women in Film Festival features two B.C. filmmakers

The 16th annual festival kicks off March 5, 2021

The booklet roots present day activism in the history of racist policies, arguing the history must be acknowledged in order to change. (CCPA)
New resource dives into 150 years of racist policy in B.C.

Racist history must be acknowledged in order to change, authors say

Most Read