2008 Articles

Arrow’s Weightpull

President’s Message – May, 2008
Liz Swearingen

Bob and Debbi Sencenbaugh have put on the weight pull at SCA Nationals for years. Van and I first met them at the Nationals in Denver in 2001. Steve and Cheryl Loper and Don Duncan introduced us to them. The next thing we knew I was timing pulls and Van was working the cart. Through the years our friendship has grown and we could not resist going to watch their dog Arrow pull at the International Weight Pull Association (IWPA) championships in Yakima the last weekend in April when we heard they would be there with Arrow.

These championships were held for both a sled pull on snow and a wheeled pull with a cart. The sled pull was held in an ice rink and the cart pull in a parking lot of a middle school in Yakima. Arrow qualified for the championships by winning the silver medals in Region 9 in both venues this year.

We sometimes forget just how versatile our dogs are. Weight pull is only one of the many activities that can be pursued with our Sams. If you have never seen a weight pull, it is amazing to watch the amount of weight these dogs can pull. Arrow weighs in at 57 lbs. and although he did not medal this weekend, he did pull a personal best on snow of 700 lbs. On land with the cart he pulled 1280 lbs. It was awesome to watch. I can’t imagine trying to get a grip on the snow to be able to pull that weight, but he did it.

The thing that always impresses me when I watch Bob work with his dogs, is the communication between them. All they have to do is look at each other and you can almost hear the conversation between them. I am sure that is true between he and his dogs whether it is at a weight pull, on the trail with the team, or in conformation. He and Debbi both have a connection with their dogs that cannot be denied and is amazing to watch.

Congratulations to Bob and Arrow. Although they did not medal this weekend, they should be very proud of the Silver Medals they won in Region 9 or both snow and land that they won this year. It is impressive to think that our Sams can compete against these other breeds and get invitations to the National Championships.

Editor’s Note: The competition was on April 27-27, 2008