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DockDogs dive again

MILLERTON — Canines from around the area assembled at Ledgewood Kennel in Millerton last weekend to show off their athletic abilities and snazzy outfits at the second annual Jumpin’ Jamboree.  This event, presented by the Harlem Valley Chamber of Commerce, gave dogs and their owners alike a chance to test their skill at events such as  fly ball, Frisbee and dock jumping. And of course there were dog parades and costume contests as well.

Although there was a fair amount of rain Saturday morning, weather improved toward the afternoon, and a large crowd of excited animals came to Ledgewood to take their turn leaping into the oversized inflated pool.

Ledgewood hosts many DockDog events throughout the summer as home to the Hudson Valley DockDogs team (members even hire out the pool for dog birthday parties).

The events on July 10 and 11 were a fundraiser for the chamber as well a chance to introduce new dogs and owners to the fun of dock diving.

The goal in dock diving is to test how far the dog can jump into a pool of water.

Some of the dogs were experienced jumpers. Others were placed in the “just try it” class.

Often, to the surprise of some owners, dogs who otherwise love to swim will refuse to jump into the pool, even in pursuit of a favorite ball or toy.

 To the doggy mind, one trainer explained, the surface of a clear pool of water is invisible and the dogs can only see the bottom. Therefore, jumping into a clear pool might seem like jumping off a ledge onto a concrete floor.

For dogs that didn’t participate in the dock diving competition, there were a few other ways of getting a ribbon or two.

Young dog owners and their pets paraded around an indoor tent in costumes such as a knight and his battle horse, and Woody from the movie “Toy Story.” Such displays of talent, skill and pure humor made the event fun for the whole family.

This event was also a successful fundraiser for the chamber, which will donate funds for scholarships to students at four high schools in the area (Dover Plains, Webutuck, Millbrook and Pine Plains). Even though there was no admission fee to come and watch, dogs had to pay to participate in the different events.

And what better way is there to raise money for any cause than being outdoors, in beautiful weather?

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