Splash Dogs return to Heritage Park | RecordCourier.com

Splash Dogs return to Heritage Park

Staff Reports
Greg Frates' dog 'Blue' jumps for his kitty toy on Saturday at the Splash Dogs competition in Gardnerville.
Brad Coman | The Record-Courier

For the second year in a row, Heritage Park will host flying dogs making big splashes at the Carson Valley Dog Days of Summer Splash Dogs event.

Toys will be launched during competition at 3 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. Sunday in Gardnerville.

“They (Town of Gardnerville) asked us to come back,” Splash Dogs competitor Heather Paterson-Lewis said. “It was one of the most attended events Splash Dogs has ever done anywhere. It was not only the community coming out to watch, but also new dogs coming out to train.”

Nearly 100 dogs participated in the event last year.

Last year’s event boasted Michon Mills’ dog, Inde, who traveled to Italy to compete as part of the U.S team at the 2014 Mondioring World Cup. Inde will return this year.

“There is a new event this year called speed retrieve,” Paterson-Lewis said. “The dogs start from a few feet back, swim to the end of the pool, grab a bumper and swim back; all for time. Its a fun event for the dogs. Some of the dogs that run fast and jump big aren’t necessarily the fastest swimmers. Some dogs just love to swim.”

Paterson-Lewis’ dog, Oreo, has competed in dock diving for four years.

Although Oreo is a veteran competitor no experience is necessary, because training sessions will be held each day, ending in a competition jump if training is successful.

“We can train anyone in any of the events (super vertical, dock diving, speed retrieve),” Paterson-Lewis said. “We want to give everyone a shot.”

There will be three competition times during the three-day event.

The public is invited to come out any day for the training and competitions.

“I love sharing time with Oreo and my friends and showing the community how much fun you can have with your dog,” Paterson-Lewis said. “And showing that young people can get involved, too.”

A junior handler level is available for children ages 6-15 who would like to try their hand at being a dock diving partner.

There is a $25 training fee for all new dogs that includes a jump in the competition.

Open training sessions for new dogs are 7-9 p.m. Friday, 8-10 a.m. Saturday and 8-9 a.m. Sunday.

To register your dog for the competition go to http://www.splashdogs.com.

More information about the event can also be found at that website.