This is a past event.

Dock Dogs Finals 

When: Sun., Feb. 19, 4 p.m. 2012
www.sewe.com

A festival favorite, Dock Dogs returns to SEWE this year as a host of furry, four-legged athletes vie for titles in three separate challenges: the Outdoor Big Air, the Extreme Vertical, and the Speed Retrieve competitions.

While the Extreme Vertical showcases just how high a pup can jump, the Speed Retrieval is more or less a more fast-paced game of fetch. Perhaps making the biggest splash with the crowd is the Outdoor Big Air competition, as each dog takes a running start before leaping out over a 27,000 gallon tank, sinking their teeth into an expertly tossed dummy just before crashing into the water.

Local back-to-back Dock Dogs winner Sunny, a yellow Labrador retriever, is expected to return to the competition. "She's always been so athletic. She always swam, and you could tell from day one she just had it in her," says owner Gregg Davis, a local marine biologist who spends quality time with Sunny duck hunting or out on the water. Jumping 21 ft. 5 in. in 2010 and 22 ft. 9 in. in 2011, Sunny returns with her own record to beat. "It's all about just enjoying how much fun the dog has with it. It's the bond between the two of y'all," Davis says.

The dogs will compete in waves during the Outdoor Big Air compeition, and owners will be allowed to sign up for as many waves as they like, with each giving the dog two chances to jump. With so many pups eyeing the prize this year, 10 waves will take place over the weekend, with the finalists leaping toward victory Sunday at 4 p.m. Sunny is scheduled to jump Friday at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., as well as Saturday at 10 a.m.

In the end, it doesn't matter if Sunny becomes a three-time Dock Dog champ — she's guaranteed to have a doggone good time.

— Alex Keith

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