by Victoria L. Walker - Thursday, February 2, 2017
The Great American Outdoor Show (GAOS) in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania is literally right around the corner with a plethora of activities to enjoy. If you were at last year’s show, one event more than likely stood out among the rest – DockDogs.
DockDogs is back for its second year at GAOS from Saturday, February 4 through Wednesday, February 8 in the Large Arena and is open to spectators, and is kid-friendly! Keystone DockDogs will also be back to compete with fellow talented, furry, four-legged bushy tailed companions!
Phil Bittner, President of Keystone DockDogs explained that the overall purpose of this club affiliate is to help educate others on how to properly care for their dogs conditioning, health and nutrition while providing the ultimate entertainment anyone can take part in.
“In my opinion, the most important aspect of DockDogs is that any typical family could have a ‘DockDog’ as a pet. It's a superb avenue for dogs and rescue dogs to enjoy their life and have a blast,” Phil emphasized. “All while we, the handlers, get to spend time with friends we typically see at events, it's like extended family.”
DockDogs is a prominent figure in upholding the American lifestyle. “By providing a platform for friends, family and their dogs to share the Lime Light, camaraderie through competing and training is created,” he says. “In my book that’s as good as it gets.”
At GAOS 2017 you will get to see dogs run down a 40’ dock and dive into a pool of water after an object in the ‘Big Air Wave’, you will see dogs compete in a high jump called the ‘Extreme Vertical’ and lastly a ‘Speed Retrieve’ to test the canines speed and agility on land and water.
According to Phil, a lot goes into putting on an event of this magnitude. Once they have scheduled an event and signed all necessary contracts they have to prepare and execute ‘set-up’. Setting up includes safely getting all supplies to the complex and getting everything into its place. They must safely lay out and set up all aspects of their production upon arrival, from the pool and water to the docks and P.A. speaker systems.
Aside from production, Phil also competes with his dog Bo, AKA Bo-Bo.
“From a competitors stand point, free admission is always much appreciated since we are already paying to compete,” Phil says looking forward to the week ahead. “The Keystone Club has held several competitions at this complex over the years, but it's very nice to be in the BIG Arena!”
After much hard work and anticipation, Phil is excited to see how the crowd grows compared to last year’s turn out, which was quite large.
Catch Bo-Bo and other DockDogs in action this weekend!
If you are interested in registering your dog to compete, you may pre-register by visiting www.DockDogs.com or register on-site. Registration will be open at the beginning of each day.
All photos courtesy of Phil Bittner.