Heading into the fourth Phoenix Pet Expo of the year and what more could a competitor need than sunshine, dogs, and a pool for those pups? How about an amazing location, consider it done and book us at the University of Phoenix Stadium.
With the first wave of Big Air® under way we had an almost instant leader in the youngest competitor of the day. The ten year old Ashley Amdor and her Lab Napoleon from Albuquerque got out to 24’3” making it a chase from the get go for the other 10 teams in the wave. Getting closest to that launch was Brett and Soldier from Las Vegas, who got out to 20’1”. Third place was taken by Roxane and Switch from Slippery Rock, Pa.
Wave two belonged to the Las Vegas crew. More specifically, the Belgian Malinois! Taking the third spot was the team with the best name of the day, Backup, the 2 year old Belgian who got out to 18’7”. Second place was to go to Juice and Stephanie Malone who just barely wedged their way into the middle spot by getting out to 18’8”. The last of the Vegas contingency to place got out to first place, and possibly the sweetest Belgian ever, it was Sloan and Denis with a 20’6”.
Wave three saw the junior handler from New Mexico back at it, getting a jump of 24’5” and the longest win of the weekend. Pam Sheets and Brooklyn from Glendora, CA made their first appearance of the day getting 23’ even for second place. Third place went to Sloan who got out farther that her second wave win, but it wasn’t quite enough even though they got more than two feet longer than their 20’6” winning distance by launching out to 22’8”.
Wave four had Backup back up in the top three (see what I did there). With a great throw Adrianne got Backup to launch out to 18’11”. Second place was going to Roo the 5 year old Aussie that got to 20’9”. And to nobody’s surprise we had Napoleon at it again with a launch that got out to 22’8”. As an additional note, I’d like to recognize a team from Wyoming. Jerry Welborn and Rocky got out to a distance of just 10’6” but this dog is a beautiful Springer Spaniel that, at one year old, is the most well muscled dog of the weekend and needs to be watched out for. They will be making a run at some of those big jumpers in the months to come.
From there we moved into the Extreme Vertical™ wave. And with just eight dogs we figured it would be a quick round and the teams would have a chance to get a rest before Speed Retrieve™. We were wrong. After every dog hit their requested starting height and Jaeger, the first time EXTREME VERTICAL™ competitor, locked up third place with a jump height of 5’4”, we had a shoot out for the top two spots with neither dog being able to cross that 6’4” mark. Following all rules set by DockDogs Worldwide the height fluctuated between 6’4” and 6’. Finally, after thinking of her dog, the wise beyond her years Ashley chose to withdrawal from the wave, conceding the win to Ouzo and Courtney Adams.
After a brief rest, the teams were back at it in the all in one Speed Retrieve™. And by back at it I mean they were at it with a vengeance. With only one team coming in over 10 seconds we had a race on our hands. And again the first time Speed Retrieve™ competitor Jaeger was in the top three. With a blazing first time speed of 7.141 seconds Doug Mullen was thrilled with his dog’s performance. Also coming in with a great time was the littlest competitor, Ashley Amdor. Her Black Lab Napoleon shot out to a time of 7.026 seconds. It was hard to tell who was more excited for the fast grab: Napoleon, who seemed to have a smile on his face or Ashley, who could barely keep from jumping for joy! But first place was to go to the team from Glendora, Ca, Pam Sheets and Brooklyn. But getting the bumper in 5.759 seconds on their first try wasn’t good enough. So, on the second run Brooklyn got out there in 5.584 seconds just to make sure she locked it up.
In the Amateur final we had Jack and Traci Johnson get out to 16’6” for the third place spot, while the team from Las Vegas, Justin and Stephanie Malone, got to 16’7” for second. Our first place winner was Glendale’s very own Saber and Whitney Lightner who got in at 19’2”.
Our Semi Pro division got even bigger. We saw Jill and Traci Johnson get the third place win after splashing down at 18’6”. Second place went to the team of Soldier and Brett who got into the pool at 19’3” and therefore making the trip down from Vegas even more exciting. But the most energized team of the round was another Vegas team. The win went to Backup and Adrianne who landed at 20’ even for the top spot.
The Pro division was short and sweet. With just three teams all were set to place, but that didn’t mean any of them where resting on their laurels. After round one Sloan was in the lead with a jump of 21’4”. But that wasn’t going to stop the other two teams. In round two Brooklyn got out to the lead with a jump of 24’, not the longest jump but enough for the lead and ultimately the win. Our other team of Napoleon and Ashley tried as hard as they could but only got to 22’3” and took second place.
All in all it was a busy day, but we all had fun and the crowds feel in love with all of the teams, as well as the announcer. From all of the inquiries we had it looks like the Arizona DockDogs club could be getting a lot bigger very soon!
Were you at the Phoenix Pet Expo? What were your favorite moments? Share your photos and stories in the comments below.