Canines jump for joy — and prizes

Published 6:51 pm Tuesday, January 22, 2013

GOING AIRBORNE: This canine competitor participates in a Big Air Wave heat at the first DockDogs event held in Washington.

Big air wave, speed retrieval and extreme vertical competitions — what do they have to do with the upcoming East Carolina Wildlife Arts Festival and North Carolina Decoy Carving Championships?
Go to Kugler Field in Washington the weekend of Feb. 8-10 and find out. One could say the festival is going to the dogs — DockDogs to be precise.
The Washington DockDogs competitions come in four categories — leaping for distance, vertical jumps, speed (timed) retrievals and Iron Dog (a sort of triathlon involving Big Air Wave, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve categories).
The dog that jumps the farthest, leaps the highest or retrieves the fastest in a specific division wins that division.
“We don’t really give out the exact number of preregistered teams or anything, but I can tell you there are a fair number of dogs registered and it should be a good event,” said Brian King with DockDogs Worldwide on Tuesday. “It looks like there are four different teams the are currently registered for Iron Dog at the moment.”
Prize money, which comes from entry fees of $25 (preregistration) $30 (on-site registration) per dog, is awarded to top-finishing dogs. Online preregistration closes Feb. 4. To register online, visit
There are professional, semi-professional and novice divisions, and area residents may enter their dogs in the competitions.
This year’s DockDogs event, part of the National Sportsmen’s Series, ends a three-year contract between the East Carolina Wildfowl Guild, organizers of the festival, and DockDogs Worldwide.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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