Ashley Hunter, ECB Publishing, Inc.
One of the big attractions of the Jefferson County Watermelon Festival will be the Ultimate Air Dogs competition.
Founded by former Detroit Tigers pitcher Milt Wilcox and his son Brian, Ultimate Air Dogs is an opportunity for folks to bring their pooches of any size or breed to compete in the ultimate water sport. From great danes to yorkies, purebred or mixes, if your dog is a confident swimmer with experience in the water, you can enter your dog into a competition that has been featured on the Fox and Friends, The Late Show with David Lettermen, and the nationally broadcasted Purina Incredible Dog Challenge.
There are a few rules: The entered dog must be a confident, above-average swimmer; no puppies under six months of age will be allowed to compete unless given special permission by the event judge. If your dog is a breed that typically requires a swim vest, you must bring one. This is also a “BYOT” (Bring Your Own Toy) event. Bring a water-safe toy that your dog loves to fetch and retrieve to bring out the best performance from your pooch.
The Ultimate Air Dogs will be taking place on the night of Friday, June 15 at 6:30 p.m., but it is recommended that dogs who will be trying out the competition for the first time arrive an hour earlier for a practice round.
On Saturday, June 16, the competitions will take place at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. Again, first-time participating pooches are encouraged to arrive an hour early to practice the sport for safety and peak performance. If you plan to enter your dog into the competition, the price will be $15 for the one “splashes” session on Friday night, or $20 for all three splash sessions on Saturday. To learn more about the Ultimate Air Dogs and read the complete rules and requirements for entering your dog, visit them at their website at ultimateairdogs.com.