Canines Hope to Soar Into National Spotlight

By: James Steiner
By: James Steiner

High-flying canines are making their way to Sparks this weekend. They're trying to jump their way into ESPN's Great Outdoor Games next month.

Dozens of owners are signing up their pets for a day in the sun - and in the water.

At K-9 Klips in Reno, dogs are being groomed for the big competition. A.B. and Terry have their games faces on for ESPN's Big Air Classic.

"It's anybody's guess - maybe they'll jump 14-18 feet," says dog trainer Carolyn Goll. "Somedays they just flop. Don't know what to expect - we've never done it."

Goll has been training her dogs for a little more than a week now.

So far, fifty owners have signed up for Sunday's event at the Sparks Marina. It's a pre-qualifier to the Great Outdoor Games next month, where 12 canine competitors will try and jump their way to a part of $350,000 in cash and medals.

The object of the competition is to have the dog make the longest jump off of a pier and into water while chasing a decoy.

"Most likely one or two dogs will get into the top and get invited," says Eric Matjevich of ESPN of this weekend's competitors.

Yes, even the director of the Great Outdoor Games hopes to get an invitation. He's entering his dog, Nigel, into the contest.

It costs $10 to register with all the proceeds go to the Nevada Humane Society.

"It's wonderful for someone to help. Too many times we have to go out and ask for help - this is truly a gift," says Susan Asher of the Humane Society.

And, what better gift for your dad on Father's Day than taking him out to a sporting event.

Sign-ups were taking place today on the internet at:

http:www.DOCKDOGS.com

Registratioon is also accepted at K-9 Clips and Charter Communications.

You can register the day of the competition from 9 until 2. Just bring $10 to the Sparks Marina.

The competition starts at 10 and goes til 5.


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