OSHKOSH – For Tony Lampert, it’s a great feeling watching his dog Big Grizz fly more than eight feet in the air.
“He jumps off and does his thing, you get chills. It’s all about the dogs having fun,” said Lampert.
But this weekend is also a competition. The Winnebago County Fair in Oshkosh was chosen as host for ‘Dock Dogs’ North Central Regional Championships. The top canine athletes go on to nationals in November.
“‘Dock Dogs’ loves this venue, loves the state, loves the area, the community’s wonderful and it just seemed a perfect fit, perfect location,” explained Carole Fremouw, “Dock Dogs” event manager.
One event FOX 11 got to witness is called the extreme vertical. A dog jumps off the dock to retrieve a toggle several feet up.
There are also events that measure jumping distance and swimming speed.
“Regionals are always a fun game, because it brings all the big dogs from all across the country,” said Tom Dropik.
The dogs that compete don’t have to be big dogs. Any dog can be a “Dock Dog.”
“We have dogs that are on three legs, we have dogs that are blind, we have dogs that are little lap dogs,” said Fremouw.
“You got a dog that likes water, toys, you have a Dock Dog,” said Lampert.
It’s pretty clear everyone’s having fun, humans and canines alike.
“It’s competitive. We all want our dogs to win, but, you know, we’re all rooting for that dog to do the best they can,” Lampert explained.
And you can’t help but notice the close bond between these owners and man’s best friends.
“I have two beautiful girls, two-legged girls and I have three beautiful boys, but they have four legs. So that answers that!” exclaimed Dropik, laughing.
The championships run through Sunday evening at the Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh.
There are also opportunities for new dogs to try the events this weekend.