DOUGLAS — Douglas residents Brittany and Nathan Darus are known throughout the dog competition world as being regular participants in K9 Frisbee Toss and Fetch League.
They have competed in various competitions throughout the state and Western U.S.
The Darus’ have managed to bring a K9 Frisbee Toss and Fetch dog competition to Douglas this Saturday. The event kicks off at 9 a.m. at Veterans Memorial Park. Douglas resident Marylu Membrilla will sing the national anthem, and the first round of competition will start immediately after.
“There will be 30 people and 41 dog/human teams competing from around Arizona,” Brittany said. “Each dog/human team will play three 60-second rounds, and the highest scores will take home the title of Douglas Regional Champion.”
Brittany added the competitors are from Phoenix, Tempe, Tucson and Douglas.
“We decided to host this event to bring people to the great city of Douglas,” Brittany said. “It was also so that Arizona competitors had a place to compete that was away from the heat of Phoenix, but still in Arizona. The first year that this competition was held most competitors from Arizona traveled to Southern California to compete.
“Last year most of us from Arizona made the trip to Payson to compete, and this year with COVID we were given the opportunity to be a regional host, which gave people a choice on where to go to compete. Nate and I will both be competing. I will be competing with our dog Aespyn. We took third place in our division last year, and Nate will be competing with our dog Aquiles and possibly also Accellerando. Accel also competed last year, but did not place.”
Toss and fetch is a game played with one person and one dog, called a team, and is played multiple times throughout the year. Each toss and fetch season is five weeks long. During the season, each team gets two rounds per week lasting just 60 seconds for each round.
“The goal is to score as many points as possible in the 60 seconds,” Brittany said. “Toss and fetch is played on a field that is 50 yards long with each section of the field being worth a different amount of points. The dog can earn an extra half point by catching with all four paws in the air.”
Nathan and Brittany — band instructors at Douglas High School and Paul Huber Middle School — have six dogs, mostly border collies and border collie mixes, and five of the six love to play toss and fetch.
At a K9 Frisbee Toss and Fetch competition last September in Phoenix, Nathan competed with 1 1/2-year-old border collie mix Accellerando. Britany competed with their 6-year-old border collie Aespyn in the handler division.
Out of the 27 handler teams Brittany and Aespyn came in third place in Arizona and 64th in the world. Nathan and Accel came in 21st in Arizona.
“I went to have fun with my dog, and she did amazing coming home, with a third-place medal,” Brittany said.
“We came to have fun, it didn’t matter how good the dogs did,” Nathan added.
They have been trying to start a toss and fetch club for Cochise County.
“We are looking for anyone who wants to learn how to play, or anyone who already knows how to play, to come out and join us,” Brittany said.
To make a team, at least eight people are needed.
There is no admission charge to Saturday’s events. Spectators are invited to attend and encouraged to cheer on the competitors and their dogs while enjoying delicious food from various food trucks at the competition.
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