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Golden Retriever Club of America holds parade of Titleholders

The organization recognized some of the best dogs in the world.

MONROE, Mich. — The Monroe County Fairgrounds went to the dogs.

For the Golden Retriever Club of America, it's an event to celebrate the canines who earned titles from the American Kennel Club. The dogs in the "Parade of Titleholders" are some of the best trained, as well as the best companions in the world.

"He's helped me through good times and bad times," Phyllis Covino of Long Island, New York said, "We've had a long life together."

Covino has been working with dogs for about 25 years and is currently working with Ace, who's reached an astounding 17 years old.

"I lost my husband four years ago," said Covino, "He was there for me. Lost my first dog. He was two years old. He was there for me, just to keep you company and sleep in bed with you, give you hugs when you need them. It's amazing."

Cindy Gray of Magnolia, Texas has been working with dogs for about 15 years and spent over 12 with Joyful, a nationally recognized golden retriever.

"They're just the sweetest, most loving, most wonderful breed," Gray said. "They give their heart to you."

She says after more than a decade, it'll probably be her last competitive go-around.

"This is it," said Gray, "We work all year long to get here and Joyful's 12 and a half, so very likely her very last nationals, so we're celebrating it."

Each owner has a special bond with his or her furry friend, like Chris Zink and Hobby. She's been working with dogs since 1978. Loving dogs from an early age, Zink works as a veterinarian of sports medicine. She says events are all about teamwork.

"You have to become a team with your dog," said Zink, "They have to understand what you want. A lot of times the events require that you do things without any verbal, sometimes just with signals. You and the dog have to really understand each other."

The dogs at this event will have titles for obedience or agility but for each of these dog owners, they hold the title of best friend.

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