It’s crazy to see how anxious these dogs get when they see this pool, and even more insane to watch how far they soar before making a splash.
Ultimate Air Dogs is a fan favorite at the National Cherry Festival.
While dog owners might participate, owner Tammi Hollis says it’s their dogs that get to have all the fun.
Her flying canine’s name is Oakley.
“We’re here because Oakley is in love with dog-jumping," Tammie says. "He’s not the fastest (or) the longest, but he’s in love with the sport."
Almost all dogs are welcome at the event, they just need to register and know how to swim, says Emcee and Judge Victor Sparano.
“It’s basically a distance competition,” Victor says. “This is a 40-foot dock, five-foot pool and we’re going to see how far these dogs jump off the dock. A couple of meters, maybe a couple of feet, and we have a couple here who may jump as far as 30 feet.”
While this is a competition, the true experience happens when you catch a glimpse of the dog’s energy just before their big leap.
“It’s an incredible feeling just because we know he’s doing what he loves,” Tammie says. “It’s really awesome and really cool. It just kind of makes your day. In fact, we don’t talk about it until it’s time to go because he would be pacing the house, whining and whimpering knowing that it was time to go.”
Victor says the show might have "dogs" in the title, but people are a key factor too.
“To be honest, it’s not just about the big dogs,” he says. “We just like to see people have fun on the docks with the dog. Big jumps are great, but you know what? When people are up there and they get excited when their dog just jumps off the dock—it’s the best part.”
The Ultimate Air Dog competition goes on until Saturday. NCF is expecting a crowd of anywhere from 400 to 600 people there on Friday.