Dog Days of Summer a success at Fuji Park

Photo by Brian CorleyCyrrano the Border Collie shakes off some water after completing the Fly Ball Competition on Saturday at the Dog Days of Summer in Fuji Park.

Photo by Brian CorleyCyrrano the Border Collie shakes off some water after completing the Fly Ball Competition on Saturday at the Dog Days of Summer in Fuji Park.

Hanging around with their Hungarian pointing dog, Eva, the Marsh family strolled through Fuji Park Saturday, enjoying the nice breeze and the opportunity to let Eva meet other dogs at this year's Northern Nevada Dog Days of Summer.

Last year, the Marshes attended a dog show at Fuji Park and decided to get a dog of their own.

Dad, Mark, never had a dog and was looking for one. He made a trip to La Grande, Ore., to pick up Eva.

"She loves everybody," he said.

Mark's sons, Nik, 11, and Chris, 9, said Eva loves to hike, but is a little cautious around water. The family, including mom, Marta, were strolling through the park enjoying the day.

"It's a nice event for people who are dog enthusiasts," Mark said. "There is so much to see, especially what the dogs can do, and to meet and talk to dog trainers, and see what kind of food is out there."

Beside making new dog friends, animals could run a novice or advanced obstacle course, receive a good behavior certificate, or participate in flyball, which was at full speed, in the back right part of Fuji. Two teams of four dogs relay over gates on their way to a springboard with a ball that pops out. The dogs, like Tipper, Griff, and Tessie, jump over the gates with the tennis ball on the way back.

Of eight teams participating, three, the Claim Jumpers, Tailers and Liquid Silver, are from the Silver Streakers of Northern Nevada, which formed in October 2000. Their flyball times have improved from 26.25 seconds to 19.81 seconds since forming. The flyball record is 15.88 seconds.

"It's just a great feeling to see the dogs go, and enjoy racing, and be part of a team," said Stacey Coleman, team captain of the Silver Streakers. "Everybody helps everybody. It's not cutthroat."

Behind the flyball run, The Silver Streakers Flyball Club had a table with 15 to 20 doggie baskets, full of rope tugs, grooming combs, dog food, and food dishes, to be raffled to benefit the club.

Eric Franklin, 12, who helped oversee the club's booth was the owner of several dogs, including, Jake, Ski and Brindi, and was helping the Silver Streakers of Northern Nevada club.

But many visitors were at Fuji to relax and take their dogs out to meet other dogs.

Dan Keck and Pat Truex's138 -pound, one and 1/2 year old, black Newfoundland, George, received much attention and even rolled over on his back for a scratch, four big black paws straight up in the air.

"We're here enjoying the day," said Keck, "and socializing the dog."

And for owners of younger dogs, there were several dog obedience booths at the fair, including B&B Obedience, which had a bowl of mints in dog-paw wrappers on the table.

"There's lots of dog people," said Jana Dozet of B&B Obedience. "Dog people are cool. There are lots of people I know. It's just a fun laid-back dog day without any competition. It's just fun."

Dog Days of Summer is the idea of Carrie Dempsey, Kim Munoz and Anne-Marie Bellard, all members of the Quicksilver Agility Club.

Last year, the Bonanza Kennel Club had a dog day at Fuji Park, but Dempsey, Munoz and Bellard wanted to join in.

"I thought it'll be really great to have a huge dog fair and get all these different dogs," said Dempsey, with her Australian Shepherd, Chloie, on a leash.

It looks like their idea came through, with spaniels, dalmations, and one Afghan, making their way with their owners through the park. With 15 or so booths, like the Capital City Humane Society, Douglas County 4-H for the Blind, and Pawstone Image Grooming, Dempsey said the day was turning out great.

"We want to make it bigger," Dempsey said. "We might go to two days next year."


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