Our weekends have been full of adventures lately! What a great way to kick off the start of the summer season! This weekend (actually starting with trials on Friday) I have been helping my friends from Paw Street Barkery who are the official sponsors of a dog diving competition in upstate New York which is hosted by Ultimate Air Dogs. We didn’t bring Bean or Yoda with us, but the Cuddle Clone version of Yoda came along for the ride.
I had never seen this kind of competition (I also haven’t watched an agility competition, which is also on my to do list, so let me know if you have any connections). All I can say, honestly, is WOW. These dogs pack a punch and they are having SO MUCH FUN! They can’t wait until it’s their turn to show their stuff. They simply soar in pursuit of a floating toy which they happily retrieve and head out of the pool to do it again. I kind of reminds me of little kids who are going down slides, who bound up stairs to slide back down over and over and over and over.
Let me tell you a bit more about the mechanics of the competition. Dogs, in a variety of sizes, breeds, and ages are registered for the event (humans who bring their pups to observe can register their dogs to join in on the fun on the spot). The event begins with trial runs. It helps to determine what level the dog is currently competing at based on the length of their jump. This distance range will be the category they compete under for the remainder of the weekend, kind of like weight categories for wrestling. From that point forward, their distances jumped are recorded. Dogs can advance to the final rounds based on how they fair in their specific distance category versus their competition. Finals take place on the third day.
There’s also a height/distance competition, where a toy is lifted above the pool for dogs to jump towards and attempt to grab and a speed competition, where the length of time it takes for the dog to jump and get out of the pool are recorded.
These diving dogs, and their humans, travel to competitions far and wide, which means many of them know each other and are friends. It seems to be an awesome community, and the humans I’ve met so far have been super nice.
I have a TON of photos already posted on the A Dog Walks into a Bar Facebook Page. I can’t post a lot on the site, or it will run slower than molasses. Check out the facebook page (and like it if you haven’t yet) to continue to get photos throughout the remainder of the weekend.
I mentioned the sponsor, Paw Street Barkery but I have a lot more to tell you about them. First, the owners and husbands, Shawn and Brett are my friends! I went to college at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, as did Shawn Cohen-Sherry, who happens to be from the same town as my husband. I joined the pep band at the University, because Shawn is/was an expert at recruiting! As the acting president, he convinced me that the band was the bee’s knees, and that I should join even though my main instrument is the bassoon, which is not really pep band appropriate. I joined my freshman year, and played random percussion instruments for the first year and then I taught myself the trombone the following year and played that the rest of my time in the band.
Shawn is also the main match maker between the husband and me. One chilly February day, there was a knock on my dorm door. A shivering Shawn handed me a gift bag, heart balloon and a card. The card asked “Will you be my Valentine?” and the bag had a stuffed Pooh Bear. I agreed to being Bill’s valentine, and we’ve been together ever since. Let’s all say it together now, “AWWWWW!”
So, since Quinnipiac, our lives got in the way, all of that adulting annoyingness, and our paths with Shawn didn’t cross as often. Even so, we’ve been keeping tabs of each other through the beauty and splendor that is Facebook, so I’ve been abreast of his organic dog treat pursuits since the beginning.
Paw Street Barkery started in 2009 with an online store. They opened a brick and mortar store a couple years later and last year moved to a larger location in Chicopee, Massachusetts. The Barkery features organic, human grade treats that are made in small batches. Bean’s favorite flavor is their Blueberry Banana, but Yoda really digs their Chicken treats. They also sell personalized birthday cakes that can be shipped anywhere in the country (as can any of their treats that you order online).
The dogs attending the diving event have been loving the treats Paw Street Barkery has been selling! I can’t wait to get my paws on some to stock our treat stash for Bean and Yoda before the weekend is done! If you are looking to add some new treats to your pup’s repertoire, definitely check out Paw Street Barkery and let me know what you think!!