Friday, August 22, 2008

Dog Days of Scugog, July 18-20/08

Dog Days of Scugog, in beautiful Port Perry, ON, is where it all started for Lenny & I in Dock Diving. It was one year ago this date, that I went up to have a look at what was going on at Dog Days, saw the DD pool there, asked some questions, watched the event, went home & looked up info on the internet and went to our very first event in Aug 2007. My how time flies, and what fun Lenny & I have had along the way!

Scugog this year was so much fun. We had beautiful sunny skies on Sat and then pouring rain & clouds most of Sunday, but we still had fun . . .doesn't get much better than that!!

Sat's BA results are: 21'2", 19'11", 20'4", 20'6"

Finals on Sun: Top 12 placed 3rd with 19' & 20'10"

Final Four - placed 3rd with 21' & 20'6"

Lenny successfully grabbed 5', 5'2", 5'4", 5'6", 5'8" & finished at 5'10"
SR results Fri: 6.78 secs, 6.64 secs Finals: 6.59 secs & 6.8 secs
SR results Sat: 7.27 secs, 7.09 secs Finals: 6.92 secs & 6.90 secs

The 4 ON DD Teams who went to the World Championships in Stillwater, MN at the end of July 2008

Erin & Chubby, Me & Lenny, Dawn & Jynx, Heather & Diesel

Me & my kid!! I'm so proud of him!!

(Photos by Deb Hitchins)

Monday, August 18, 2008

Carrotfest, Bradford, ON - Aug 16-17/08

Carrotfest was sooooo much fun!! Didn't actually get to see the Carrotfest festivities which were on Main St, which was closed all day Sat for the event - but I heard there were lots of good things going on up there! I was busy at the last Dock Dogs club event for the year.

There were lots of new personal bests & it was a very good time. Mark & Karen made the trek from Brockville - it was fun to hang out with them again - Bond jumped a new PB of 16' 9" !!! And, Karen made it into the finals with Heather's dog Cheyenne where they placed 5th!!

Diesel jumped a new PB of 25' 11" !!! How awesome is that?!!

Lenny jumped well all weekend with one of his first jumps being 23' 0" !! That is his second Elite jump of the season - one National & one Regional. Lenny made it into the Pro Finals and placed 3rd - he's got a perfect record going - 3rd at Woofstock, 3rd at Scugog, and 3rd at Carrotfest in the Pro Finals.

His results for the weekend are as follows:

BA Top 12 Round One: 21'3" & 21'6"
Final Four: 22' & 21'8" placed 3rd

BA Wave #2: 19'6", 22' BA Wave #3: 23', 22'9" BA Wave #5: 21'8", 22'5"
BA Wave #6: 21'6", 21'11"

EV results: started at 5'6" and grabbed 5'8" placed 3rd

SR wave: 6.55 secs & 6.58 secs SR Finals: finished 4th with 6.70 secs & 6.67 secs

Some high flyin' . . . . .

Next up . . . EV (Extreme Vertical) . . . . .

Then . . . .SR (Speed Retrieve) . . . .

Photos by Deb Hitchins

Sunday, August 10, 2008

World Championship Update

Well, we made the trip to Stillwater, Minnesota and back . . .what a great experience!! We took 2 days to drive down & 2 days to drive back. On the way down, we missed the cutoff for Sarnia so ended up crossing at Windsor. We were delayed at the border b/c Heather forgot her birth certificate . . . that was a fun start to the trip!!! :) But then it was smooth sailing from there. We arrived at our hotel in Hudson, Wisconsin (about 20 mins & across the St Croix river from Stillwater, MN) late Wed night.

Our first night's stay was in Marhsall, Michigan. This lake was a little too smelly for the kids to swin in - Lenny & Diesel didn't seem to mind too much.

On day 2 of the trip down, we stopped at an automotive business of friends of Heather's for a surprise visit:

This was only half of this aisle of tires!

Everyone had to be at the event in Stillwater by 8am Thurs for portrait pictures taken by the DockDogs photographer, Steve Lankford. Steve did an amazing job all weekend long & reportedly took over 4000 pics!!!

Lenny handled the whole trip pretty well in spite of all the crating he had to endure in the vehicle and at the venue (he is not a happy camper in his crate). He sure was happy to get home to his own bed at the end of the trip! (I am pleased to report that I have since purchased a new, much larger crate for Lenny & he is much happier in this one)

This was really a learning experience for me. I learned that I don't handle the pressure of high-level competition very welll!! And, this went straight down the leash to Lenny which affected his performance very noticeably. But, live & learn!

It was still awesome to see all the top teams from across North America competing in one fabulous location. I met & saw some of the teams I have only read about on the forums which was pretty cool. I met some very nice people who gave me advice, made me laugh, and shared some fun times.

One portion of the weekend I will NEVER forget was the almost tornado that blew through on Saturday afternoon! An announcement was made to clear the bleachers because there were storms on the radar. Shortly after making our way to the competitor's area, a siren went off. I turned to someone & asked what that was . . . .tornado siren!! Great!! Within minutes, the wind picked up, the rain started & Grant told us to grab our dogs & get under the big event tent, which everyone did very, very quickly. I grabbed the top off of our ez-up and got Lenny & got under the tent. The dogs were amazing during the storm . . . . they were crammed against each other (strange dogs) and there wasn't a single growl or snap that I know of. Then the wind really started to blow, some of the legs of the tent lifted, and some people's ez-ups were crumpled and/or blown away!! It only lasted probably 10 or 15 minutes, but it was one of the scariest moments of my life!! Some people didn't even make it under the event tent . . . they were out in the storm trying to hold onto their ez-ups!! Then, just like that it was over & in minutes there was bright sunshine, blue skies, and big fluffy white clouds again. Everyone pitched in and the compeition was back up & running in less than an hour.

This was just minutes after the storm passed through . . .bright sunshine & blue skies!!

Sunday was the Semi-Finals & Finals. What an exciting day of competition. The DD World Championships were held in conjunction with Lumberjack Days which is a huge summer festival in Stillwater. The event organizers had the dogs & lumberjacks competing together . . .it was awesome!!

There was the first ever Iron Dog competition which is for dogs who excel in all three disciplines of Dock Diving: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve. The winning team was Chuck Mann & Rebel from Louisiana. They won a Polaris ATV, a Stihl chainsaw & first prize money!

The Speed Retrieve was very exciting . . . . . 2 World Records were set by the same team over the weekend - Sean McCarthy & Jordan! They broke the World Record on Thurs in qualifiers, and then broke their own record in the finals on Sunday giving them the win! Just as exciting was that one of the Ontario teams, Dawn & Jynx, came second in Speed Retrieve . . . .second only to a world record holder!! Jynx is the 2007 Lapdog of the year and the first World qualifiying Lapdog.

The Big Air Champions were Rande Murphy & Quasi with an awesome 27'8" jump!! This young dog jumped 27'+ twice in a row!! It was really something to see.

The Extreme Vertical Champions were Melissa Ness & Stryker with a grab of 7'6". The winning team is allowed to take one more jump to try for a personal best. Stryker grabbed 7'8" & made it look easy . . . .it was just incredible to see!!

Also on Sunday, was the Dogs n Logs Speed Retrieve Relay where DockDog teams paired with a lumberjack. When a dog completed their swim to grab the duck at the end of the pool, his "teammate" lumberjack would do one of the lumberjack elements: climb the 60' pole, cut a log with the crosscut saw, or chop a log. It was very, very exciting & fun to watch. This was the first ever SR relay, so there were some wrinkles to iron out, but the organizers figured it out by the time the final heat was run. When one of the last dogs to go wouldn't jump in the pool, his lumberjack "teammate" all of a sudden came running up the dock, dove in the pool, & swam down to the end to grab the duck down! It was great fun & sportsmanship!!

I'm very glad Lenny & I got the opportunity to go to the World Championships . . .it was a lifetime experience for both of us.

Here are some more pics from the World Championships:

The venue was right beside a harbour - very beautiful.

This was the dock setup - the blue strip is the side of the pool & the dock is to the left of this. You can also see behind the pool the 60' poles the lumberjacks climbed.

There was also a jumbo-tron so the fans wouldn't miss any of the action.

Jay Harris became very fond of Erin's Spencer - the feeling was NOT mutual!!

We caught up to Jay on the way down! What a way to travel!

Somewhere in Wisconsin! Almost there!

Thanks Stillwater . . . .we'll never forget this trip!!