May 22, 2009

Dock Dogs - the next Olympic sport?

There are spots being held for two additional sporting events in the 2016 Summer Olympics. While several sports have active lobbying efforts in place - baseball, softball, golf, roller sports, blah, blah, blah - we're thinking outside the box in Ely. Why not . . . (drumroll, please) . . . Dock Dogs!

Watch a short video here

You can get a great look at this exciting "sport" June 5-7 when Ely's Pet and Wildlife Expo features DockDogs® in Whiteside Park. This is what the Chamber of Commerce is saying about it:

"This event will consist of competitions in three disciplines: Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and Extreme Vertical. Big Air features dogs running down a 40 foot dock and jumping into a pool of water after an object, in which they are judged on the length of their jump. Speed Retrieve consists of dogs being clocked to see how fast they can run down the dock, jump into the water, and swim to the end of the pool to retrieve a dead fowl held by a modified extender arm. The final category is Extreme Vertical which is a “high jump” for dogs in that they lunge up to snag a “bumper” suspended in the air."

Now, you may be wondering if your dog is DockDog-worthy. Good question. You can find out with two events this year: "Fun Jump" and "Let's Try Dock Dogs." Again, from the Ely web site:

"A Fun Jump is an opportunity available to anyone with a dog to come out and use the dock. Its objective is to give those unfamiliar with the sport a chance to try it out before entering the competition. It is especially important to get your dog comfortable with jumping into a clear water pool, versus dark-colored lake water which they are typically familiar with. Fun jump participants will pay a flat fee of $10 per dog. This fee gives them unlimited access, during the allotted time, to practice their dog in: Big Air, Speed Retrieve, and/or Extreme Vertical. Dock Dogs Northern Stars members will be available to give pointers, instructions, recommendations, and answers to any of your questions. This session runs from 3-6pm on Friday June 5th, 2009.

"Let's try Dock Dogs is an instructional class available for anyone interested in learning more about the sport, as well as providing an opportunity to experience a jump before entering the competition. We will briefly explain the different divisions of the sport, how each one works, and provide an overview of the rules and regulations. After the class, and with the help of a DDNS instructor, participants will get a chance to try it out. Our goal is to get your dog interested by providing a positive, fun, and rewarding experience! Having experienced first hand the thrill of the sport, most participants go on to register for a Big Air Wave Competition immediately following the class. Participants will pay $10 per dog for the class, receive an instructional packet, a Certificate of Completion, and a $5 DDNS voucher (which can be used either towards the purchase of a wave or items at our merchandise tent). This class runs approximately one hour. We have 2 sessions available on Saturday June 6th, 2009: 8:30am & 11:30am. Please arrive at least 30 minutes early to allow time for registration. Class size is limited to 10 dogs."

Of course, Olympic purists would point out that this is not a human sport and not eligible for Olympic consideration. But consider how much we love our dogs, how much more loyal they are than most humans in our lives, and how many characteristics they share with the human race - like flatulence and the tendency to fight over females. Sort of gets you thinking, doesn't it?

Check it out June 4 and 5 in Ely this summer!

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