Wet noses and wa­ter fun

The Star Democrat - - FRONT PAGE - By DENAE SPIERING dspier­ing@ches­pub.com

EAS­TON — The 47th Water­fowl Fes­ti­val week­end ended with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs Big Air Fi­nals com­pe­ti­tion.

More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this year’s top dog.

“This is the best of the best from the lit­tle jumpers, to the best of the best of the big jumpers,” Kim Vail­lan­court, event man­ager for Del­marva Dock­Dogs said.

Dock­Dogs is a week­end long com­pe­ti­tion that be­gins on Fri­day morn­ing and car­ries on through to Sun­day, when the best of the best go head to tail in the Big Air Fi­nals. Twenty-four dogs qual­i­fied for the fi­nals in­clud­ing a home­town fa­vorite, Remi, a two-year-old black lab from Eas­ton.

Remi is owned by Stu­art Hart­meyer and Cathy Rust. Hart­meyer said Remi com­peted in last year’s Dock­Dog com­pe­ti­tion and had jumped 18 feet, how­ever in Jan­uary she had been hit by a car and al­most died.

“She had shat­tered her right back rear leg,” Hart­meyer said. “The Vet­eri­nary Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Eas­ton saved her life and re­paired her leg, and here we are ten months later. This week­end she has jumped twenty feet

even and is in the fi­nals to com­pete in the Masters.”

Vail­lan­court said the Big Air Fi­nal com­peti­tors range from dogs who had made a three foot leap to dogs who flew over twenty-one feet in prior tri­als of the week­end.

She said Dock­Dogs is open to all breeds and non-breeds, pro­vided the would-be jumper is over six months of age.

The pop­u­lar event was held in the back lawn of Eas­ton Mid­dle School and fea­tured dogs of all breeds, in­clud­ing Bel­gium Mali­nois, Spaniels, Shep­herds and of course Labradors and Ch­e­sa­peake Bay Retriev­ers.

Vail­lan­court said the weather this year is par for course when it comes to Water­fowl.

“This year has been a lit­tle bit chilly, but that is pretty nor­mal for Water­fowl, I think,” Vail­lan­court said. “And ku­dos to the com­peti­tors for keep­ing their dogs dry and warm, and to the dogs who keep want­ing to jump in this cold wa­ter.”

As far as fan fa­vorites, Vail­lan­court said “The crowd re­ally seems to en­joy the dogs that strug­gle to get into the wa­ter as much as they love the great big jump­ing dogs.”

The win­ners from the Big Air Fi­nals were: Mas­ter class was Zac Mul­dune, with Arthur who jumped 21.10 feet; Novice class Justin Darby with Teague who jumped 16.8 feet; Ju­nior class win­ner was Christo­pher Bai­ley with Elsa with a 14.3 foot jump; and the Se­nior class win­ner was Aaron Hall with River with a 19.4 foot jump.

Above Stu­art Heart­meyer from Eas­ton, poses with Remi, a two year old lab who re­cov­ered from a bro­ken a leg and man­aged to jump 20 feet qual­i­fy­ing her for the Masters round of the Big Air Fi­nals.

PHOTO BY DENAE SPIERING

Water­fowl week­end ends with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion. More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this years top dog.

Water­fowl week­end ends with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion. More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this years top dog.

PHO­TOS BY DENAE SPIERING

Water­fowl week­end ends with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion. More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this years top dog.

Water­fowl week­end ends with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion. More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this years top dog.

Water­fowl week­end ends with a wet nose and a splash at the an­nual Del­marva Dock­Dogs com­pe­ti­tion. More than 180 in­di­vid­u­als reg­is­tered for the event, some with more than one pounc­ing pooch ready to jump the dis­tance to be crowned this years top dog.

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