DockDogs Worlds Recap!

We had a BLAST at DockDogs World Championships!! This invite-only event was basically an awesome dog convention because throughout the weekend we found ourselves continuously bumping into old friends, catching glimpses (or elevator rides!) with reigning World Champions, and meeting new friends (and dogs!) that we’d only ever read about on Facebook. Cool!

Bailey and Annie at DockDogs Worlds

That’s me posing with Bailey. Check out her super-warm “Trover” jacket… it’s like a big red doggie robe!

Much to our relief Bailey enthusiastically jumped during both of her qualifying rounds! We had been worried that she might decide that the water was a bit too chilly and embarrass us by stopping on the dock in front of the big crowds but luckily she brought her ‘A’ game and jumped without hesitation. She wasn’t actually competitive score-wise — 20’8″ was her longest jump — but we had fun nevertheless!

Bailey on the dock

One of my favorite things about Worlds was seeing so many DockDog “Celebrities” in one place. We got to watch all of these current World Record holders in action:

  • Taz, a black lab from Canada (Outdoor Big Air Record and Outdoor Iron Dog Record) and Cochiti, a whippet from Washington (tied with Taz for Big Air)
  • Remi, a black lab from Minnesota (Speed Retrieve Record) and Jordan, a chocolate lab from Iowa (previous Speed Retrieve record-holder)
  • Baxter, a Belgian Malinois from Missouri (Indoor Big Air Record)
  • Vhoebe, a Belgian Malinois from California (Indoor Iron Dog Record)
  • Yeager, a Belgian Malinois from Massachusetts (Extreme Vertical Record)

Yeager actually broke his own indoor EV world record on Friday night with an 8’3″ grab. Yeager competes as part of GoTeam21, an organization that raises awareness for children with Down syndrome. You can check out Yeager online here: http://goteam21.org/.

Road Trip Montage!

The long road trip to and from Dubuque, Iowa wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. We stopped in Ohio for the night on the way out and made it to Dubuque for the official competitor check-in by Thursday afternoon. I wanted to go through as many states as possible so we made a slight detour into Michigan and then took a route that brought us through Wisconsin on our way into Iowa. Bailey has now visited 13 states! In order they are NJ, PA, DE, MD, NY, VA, OH, CT, IN, MI, IL, WI, IA (just in case you care…).

When it came time to drive home, we left early on Sunday morning and Matt drove us the ENTIRE way home (15 1/2 hours!) with only a few short stops. I helped out by “navigating” and overseeing the selection of numerous NPR podcasts. After listening to that many hours of current events I now feel like an expert on the Israeli-Hamas conflict, the Fiscal Cliff, and a variety of other issues. šŸ™‚

Bailey and Matt at Worlds

Matt handled Bailey AND did all of the driving on our 1895 mile round trip… nice work!

I’m very thankful that we got a chance to compete at Worlds and we’re already looking forward to the start of the 2013 season next Spring! Congratulations to all of our friends that made finals (and a BIG congrats to Carlyn and Max from Chesapeake DockDogs for their Big Air Junior win!!) and I hope that everyone had safe trips home.

Bailey the water monster

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Preparing for DockDogs World Championships!

After months of waiting we are now only 3 days away from the start of DockDogs World Championships! Bailey qualified for this invite-only event back in July and now we are getting ready to make the long (long, long!) drive to Dubuque, Iowa. In anticipation of Worlds, I’ve created several pieces of Bailey “swag” including trading cards, t-shirts, a decal, and a banner. I’m really happy with how everything turned out so I thought I’d do a post on all of the custom items that we’ll be bringing with us to Dubuque.Many Worlds competitors are bringing “trading cards” featuring fun facts and photos of their dog. Rumor has it there may actually be a “Paw-tograph” session where willing dogs can stamp their paw print onto their cards for adoring crowds, but it seems that the main purpose of these cards is really for competitors from around the country to exchange info about their dogs and, of course, get some bragging rights for being Worlds invitees! Here are the double-sided cards that I got printed for Bailey at OvernightPrints.com:

I also made “The Little GSP” shirts for Matt and myself to wear at the competition. I used a silhouette of Bailey jumping (it’s actually the same photo as the top left image on her trading card) and had these shirts printed at BlueCotton.com. The shirts are super soft and my Bailey shirt is quickly becoming my favorite t-shirt of all time!

DockDogs is hosting a “window-tagging” contest (i.e. “DOCKDOGS WORLDS OR BUST” written all over the car windows) but we are skipping the window paint in favor of our Little GSP decal. I had our decal made at VistaPrint.com a few years ago. If you see a silver Subaru Forester driving down the highway with this decal (or ANY window-tagged DockDogs vehicle, for that matter!) please feel free to honk and wave!

Our last bit of “Swag” for Worlds is a banner that features all of the Delmarva DockDogs that will be competing in Dubuque. We are excited that so many of our club members will be joining us at the event and we’ll proudly display this banner with our fellow club members in the competitor area. The banner also came from VistaPrint.com:

We’ll be heading out to Dubuque in our swag-laden car in about 20 hours. Wish us luck! šŸ™‚