While visiting family in the Richmond, VA area, we made time to visit the Dominion Riverrock Festival. Set against the backdrop of downtown Richmond’s urban cityscape and river front, the festival brings athletes, spectators, chefs, musicians, and the general community together. It is an outdoor lifestyle festival, making it possible for visitors to experience adventures including trail running, kayaking, biking, bouldering, slacklining, stand up paddleboarding, and (drum roll please!) dog dock jumping. Any guesses as to where this is headed?!
Some of you may know that our Tonka-Tue is a lifelong water lover. His favorite way to spend a day is by running after a stick or ball as it is endlessly tossed into the water. Whether from land or dock, he dives enthusiastically into the blue depths with reckless abandon.
I visited the Dominion Riverrock Festival a few years ago, and was amazed by the Ultimate Air Dogs competition. I just knew that I had to find a way to make Tonka a part of it!
Fast forward to 2013… we had already made plans to visit VA this past weekend, and then realized at the last second that it happened to be the same date of this year’s Riverrock. What better way to get our feet wet?! (Literally!)
It was amazing to see so many happy dogs and dedicated owners all gathered in one place. Many of the pups were rescue or shelter dogs, and their happiness was palpable. The owners were all so proud of their pups, whether they were seasoned competitors or novice jumpers.
The rules behind the competition are pretty straight forward. The owner throws a toy into the water, the dog runs and jumps into the water to retrieve it. Where the base of their tail hits the water is the measurement that is recorded to be compared to the other dogs. The best of two jumps is the official score.
Tonka, of course, was such a perfect gentleman. In an environment that was at times chaotic and fraught with tension, he maintained his composure and relished the opportunity to show his skills. He remained 100% focused on me at all times… that dog makes me look so, so good. He was definitely a crowd favorite.
Thank goodness that a kind stranger in the audience happened to get a great shot and share it with us… that’s my boy!!!
We are in the process of researching some local groups that offer the dock diving competitions. It is such a great way to let your dog burn some energy, while also building the relationship you share with your pup. I definitely recommend checking this out!