Dogs will be flying through the air once again at the Waterfowl Festival, as the DockDogs® competition returns. This popular Festival attraction debuted several years ago and has been entertaining visitors with its canine feats ever since.
Hosted by the local Delmarva DockDogs® chapter, this internationally sanctioned event is not just for professionally trained retrievers. Anyone may enter their dog, whether mutt or purebred. In the “Big Air” competitions, dogs take flying leaps off a dock to see which can splash farthest into a pool of water. Measurements go upward instead of outward in the “Extreme Vertical” variation for high flyers.
Pre-registration is advised, and may be made up until a few days before the event through the DockDogs® website, www.dockdogs.com. Some on-site registration slots will be available, but tend to fill up quickly.
The entry fee of $20 ($25 if registering on site) includes at least one practice jump and two competitive jumps, along with a free Waterfowl Festival ticket for the handler. A Festival ticket or badge is required for spectators.
The Waterfowl Festival has provided opportunities over the years for other nonprofit organizations in the community to showcase their efforts, and the DockDogs® competition provides a natural audience for the local animal shelters.
Visitors to the event may end up leaving with a new member of the family from Talbot Humane or the Humane Society of Dorchester County, which will both have shelter animals there for adoption.
DockDogs® Festival Committee Chair Patty Quimby is Shelter Coordinator for Talbot Humane. “This is one of the best attended events of the Waterfowl Festival,” she said.
“We’ve found homes for every animal we have taken there in past years.”
Quimby is not only looking for homes for the shelters’ pets, but is also seeking volunteers to help out at the competition. The DockDogs® venue can use about ten or fifteen more volunteers, who will be able to donate some time to a community effort while having a front-row seat at one of the hottest Festival events.
DockDogs® competitions will be held throughout all three days of the 2009 Waterfowl Festival, November 13, 14 & 15, in Easton. For more information, to volunteer or to make a donation, contact the Waterfowl Festival office at 410-822-4567 or visit its website, www.waterfowlfestival.org.