The “Fastest Growing Sport on Four Legs” Comes to Vermont
Lake Bomoseen, Vermont – Green Mountain DockDogs, the newly-formed Vermont chapter of DockDogs®, will hold its first “Fun Jump” on Sunday, May 20th, at the Lakehouse Pub & Grille on Lake Bomoseen. Registration starts at 11:00AM. The Fun Jump runs from 12:00PM to 4:00PM.
DockDogs runs competitions all over the country to see how far, how high, and how fast dogs can jump off a dock to retrieve a rubber throw toy. Although it’s exciting to watch the big dogs make leaps of nearly 30 feet, DockDogs also has divisions for smaller and older dogs who make shorter jumps.
Official DockDogs competitions include three “disciplines” (Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve) but the only discipline included in the Fun Jump will be Big Air, which is a “long jump for dogs” with a safe landing in the water.
This isn’t the first time DockDogs has come to Vermont – the national championship was held in Killington last year – but the Fun Jump is meant to be a lower-key event to introduce dogs (and their people!) to the sport.
Event organizers Suzanne Ellis and Jeff Leonard of Rutland plan to take part with their dogs Wilder and Chester. Although her dogs are veteran national competitors, Ellis says she is looking forward to welcoming beginners at the Fun Jump. “The Fun Jump is a great way for dogs and their handlers to learn more about DockDogs and to practice jumping from a DockDogs ‘regulation’ dock. It’s going to be a relaxed fun day for everyone.”
Andrew Allen of Burlington, who plans to participate in the Fun Jump with Lily, a rescued Chesapeake Bay Retriever mix, is also anticipating an enjoyable day. “My wife and I went last summer to check out the national championships and we were thinking that it was going to be some pretentious ‘Best in Show’ kind of thing. But we were pleasantly surprised. It was competitive, but that was definitely secondary to making sure the dogs were happy and having a good time.”
Another first-time participant will be AJ, a gentle, squarely-built black lab, who serves as a guide dog for his human partner, Dustin Atkins. Dustin is excited to let AJ “let off some steam” at the Fun Jump. “AJ has a really stressful job, and this is a way for him to just be a normal dog for a while. He is crazy about the water and I think he’s going to love jumping.” Dustin plans to participate, too, as AJ’s handler. “I’ll have a sighted person guide me out to the dock and tell me which direction to throw the toy in, but I’ll do the rest myself!”
Suzanne Ellis, firstname.lastname@example.org, 802 774-9398