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WDAY: The News Leader

Published November 22, 2012, 08:18 PM

A real life "Airbud"

Oakport, ND (WDAY TV) -- The football field collisions, bumps and bruises usually catch up with players. Few are still playing the game when their hair begins to gray. Then there is Sunny. She's on the field every day. Running her 4-legs off.

By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY

Oakport, ND (WDAY TV) -- The football field collisions, bumps and bruises usually catch up with players. Few are still playing the game when their hair begins to gray. Then there is Sunny. She's on the field every day. Running her 4-legs off.

Sunny, the Golden Lab, lives in Oakport, just north of Fargo-Moorhead.

And the fact she is 13 is amazing enough, but when you see the football plays she has memorized and executes, you will wonder, is this really a dog.

"Alright, Sunny. Let's get warmed up."

In dog years, she over 90.

"Let's start with running plays today, Sunny."

With a torn ACL, arthrities, and 13-years of tearing up the backyard turf, Sunny is still pulling off upsets on the field.

Steve Hahn/Sunny's owner: "I think of a 91 year old person playing football. And doing things like this, unbelievable."

In the last few years, Steve Hahn, quarterback and dog owner, has added even more plays to the puppy's playbook.

"Nice."

"Typically in a practice we run through 30 plays."

Sunny is having a little trouble going as deep as she used to.

Steve: "We run a lot of slants now, quick passes. A lot of them before were long, post patterns and long slants but now we run short plays. West Coast offense."

How does she do it. Knowing when to go in motion, switching from her role as a receiver to that of a tight end.

Steve: "She is amazing."

Grown men making millions of dollars a year cannot master all the plays this Golden Lab has.

Steve: "Probably in her arsenal she has 60-plays total."

At the age of 13, Sonny still stays in shape in the off season.

Steve: "Every day we work 4 one mile walks."

And her Veterinarians have given her the green light to keep up this crazy canine pastime of pigskin pleasure.

Steve: "They say most dogs her age are either dead or staggering."

And so, there is no talk of retirement with Sunny. There are still plays to master.

Begging three times a day to get out and practice.

And always one to please, the lab may not be jumping as high as she used, or going for the hail mary, but there is no stopping her,

And the time outs and water breaks.

When they say, man's best friend, there she is.

Just seem sweeter than before. Good game.

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