Sherman, a 3-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, was to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Tuesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Sherman, a 3-year-old Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever, was to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York on Tuesday. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)

Hot dog! Sherman tries to make it big at Westminster show

Look for Marysville native Danielle Winship, 28, and her red-furred retriever at the New York event.

CAMANO ISLAND — When Sherman is on stage, he’s a total pro. Off stage, he’s just a dog.

What’s up with that?

The Nova Scotia duck tolling retriever will strut his stuff at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City.

On a recent visit to The Daily Herald newsroom, Sherman couldn’t contain his excitement. The desks were an agility course and the employees were playmates.

Danielle Winship tried to rein in her rowdy red-haired 3-year old.

No deal. Sherman was having too much fun.

“I promise he’s an obedient dog, just not right now,” Winship said.

Not until she pulled out the treats. Sherman will do about anything for a bite of a mozzarella string cheese, the same kind that parents bribe kids with.

Those watching Tuesday’s Westminster show will see the work side of Sherman the party dog.

He knows how to mind his manners and impress judges. To make it this far, he had to qualify at other shows nationwide in his group of small retrievers, called tollers for short.

He was bred to impress duck hunters, not show judges. The breed is wired to lure ducks into shooting range by romping near the shore. After the duck is shot, the dog brings it to the hunter.

Winship hopes Sherman will bring home the trophy.

Sherman will compete against about 15 other tollers in the morning. If he wins, he’ll advance to the sporting group and contend for Best in Show at Madison Square Garden.

Westminster is big stuff for the 45-pound pooch, and for Winship.

“I wanted to go since I was a kid,” said Winship, 28.

The 2010 Marysville Pilchuck graduate started working with dogs in 4-H, showing her Saint Bernard.

“I’ve downsized,” Winship said.

She is Sherman’s trainer, handler and groomer. She does it all. His hair, teeth and nails. And she has to look good, too.

Judges will be checking her out as well.

“You want to be a nice backdrop to your dog,” she said. “You have to dress kind of nice. It’s an old-school sport in that sense, presenting respectfully. You think of useful things, like I have to run in these shoes and when I bend over I don’t want to be exposing myself. Practical yet stylish.”

Winship focused on nursing as a student at Seattle University.

“Sherman was my graduation gift to myself,” said Winship, a Providence Regional Medical Center Everett emergency room nurse.

Sherman was the whole deal.

“I wanted a dog who could do it all, not just be a show dog. Do obedience and agility and be a good hiking companion,” she said.

“I found this breed and knew I wanted one.”

Actually, she has two.

She and her husband, David, also have a toller named Tank.

Sherman came first. The dogs, who aren’t brothers, came from a breeder in Sequim.

David, a Camano Island firefighter, is the handler for Tank, who turns 2 this year.

At home, Sherman acts like a dog. He digs holes, chases squirrels, rolls in mud.

“He loves people, but it’s more about who’s going to play with me, entertain me versus being petted and loved on,” she said.

The dogs share a king-sized bed with the couple. Someday, the two tollers could end up in the same ring.

“She does all the grooming for Tank but the moment Tank beats Sherman it’s all over,” David said.

Andrea Brown:; 425-339-3443. Twitter: @reporterbrown.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Lynnwood’s car tab fee and utility tax on chopping block again

City Council members will talk about repealing them. If they do, the mayor is prepared to veto their actions.

Most of Compass Health’s clinical employees at the Marysville, Monroe and Snohomish sites will transfer to its Everett locations. (Sue Misao / The Herald)
Lawsuit blames counselor’s ‘unethical’ relationship for Marysville man’s death

Joshua Klick was referred to a counselor at Compass Health. Two years later he was shot and killed.

Smokey Point Boulevard stretch closed for crash investigation

The road was closed between 136th Street NE and 152nd Street NE after a possibly fatal collision.

Doug Ewing looks out over a small section of the Snohomish River that he has been keeping clean for the last ten years on Thursday, May 19, 2022, at the Oscar Hoover Water Access Site in Snohomish, Washington. Ewing scours the shorelines and dives into the depths of the river in search of trash left by visitors, and has removed 59 truckloads of litter from the quarter-mile stretch over the past decade. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Diving for trash in Snohomish River, biologist fills 59 pickup beds

At Thomas’ Eddy, Doug Ewing estimates he has collected 3,000 pounds of lead fishing weights. And that’s just one spot.

Wade Brickman works through a call with trainer Lars Coleman Friday afternoon at SNO911 in Everett, Washington on May 20, 2022. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
‘Difference between life and death’: New 911 tech saves vital seconds

Snohomish County is the first in the nation to get the new technology, which reduces delays on emergency calls.

Nuno Taborda
Former Rolls Royce executive to lead Everett aerospace firm

magniX, which builds electric aircraft motors, has hired Nuno Taborda as its next CEO.

Top row (L-R): Rep. Suzan Del Bene, Sen. Keith Wagoner, Pierce County Auditor Julie Anderson, Rep. Rick Larsen. Center (L-R): Tamborine Borrelli, Bob Hagglund. Bottom (L-R): Secretary of State Steve Hobbs, Rep. Kim Schrier, Mark Miloscia, Sen. Patty Murray.
As filing ends, campaigning shifts into a higher gear

The ballot will feature intraparty battles, election deniers and 16 challengers to a longtime U.S. senator.

In this April 10 photo, drivers head northbound on Highway 99, near the intersection of Evergreen Way and 112th Street where a motorcyclist was fatally struck by a motorist Friday. (Olivia Vanni / Herald file)
Mountlake Terrace woman arrested in fatal Everett motorcycle crash

Desiree Morin is accused of hitting and killing a motorcyclist while high on methamphetamine. Bail was set at $50,000.

Marysville to pay $3.5M to former students for alleged sex abuse

The district settled the lawsuit over incidents from the 1980s. Kurt Hollstein remained employed until June 2021.

Most Read