ROCKLAND — Travis, a Labrador mix, was only a year old, sitting in a high-kill shelter in rural North Carolina, when K-9 Lifesavers, an all-volunteer private nonprofit dog rescue group in Virginia scooped him up and saved his life. By the time owners Chris and Carolyn Groobey, from Annapolis, Md., adopted him, “He went from a dog that thrashed around like a drowning man to one who is a fierce, fast swimmer,” said Carolyn. “Then, he taught himself the art of Frisbee. He will catch one anytime, anywhere, from anyone.”
Every year the Groobeys make a a visit to Maine and last year, they bought a boat and embarked on a cruise around the world. Over the last nine months, Travis helped pilot Toccata more than 6,000 nautical miles, visited seven countries and transited the Panama Canal. Last week, the Groobeys brought Travis and his Labrador mix brother, Charlie (also rescued by K-9 Lifesavers) to the Maine, Boats, Homes and Harbors Show to compete in its World Championship Boatyard Dog Trials.
Like all of the other dogs competing, Travis had to navigate a series of obstacles such as running over and around lobster traps and getting in and out of the dinghy. But in the freestyle portion of the competition, Travis’ love of Frisbee really shone.
“We just thought, this is perfect, we’ll just put him on a paddleboard to catch the Frisbee,” said Carolyn. “We’ve been working all summer on his act.”
At one point, brother Charlie also joined Travis on the paddleboard while Travis continued to catch the Frisbee
In a fitting turn of events, Travis raised $1,255 to go back to the organization that saved his and Charlie’s life — K-9 Lifesavers Dog Rescue.
To learn more about the Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors annual show visit:maineboats.com/boatshow
Kay Stephens can be reached at email@example.com