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Dog Day afternoon

Watch Spot sit. Watch Spot run. Watch Spot take the leap of a lifetime.

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Tina McLaughlin still chuckles about the time somebody fell into the water at the annual Buckeye DockDogs' Working Dog Weekend. As a competitor braced her pooch to run off a plank and jump as far as he could into a pool, the owner fell backward off the dock. "You put your dog back on the 40-foot mark. You keep watching your dog and telling him to 'Stay, stay, stay,'" explains McLaughlin, the group's president. "You do that last step, but it's not a step. And you fall right in."Mishaps aside, canines from poodles to pinschers compete in three categories: Big Air, in which they leap off docks into water; Extreme Vertical, for the highest-jumping dogs; and Speed Retrieve, which combines both distance and height. And judges score each canine on their swimming, jumping, and retrieving abilities. "It's amazing what we've been doing. It shows dogs and humans in search-and-rescue, drug-sniffing, and sheepherding," says McLaughlin. "It shows how dogs actually work." The action takes place from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. today and tomorrow at Lake Farmpark, 8800 Chardon Road in Kirtland. Admission is $4 to $6. Call 440-256-2122 or visit www.lakemetroparks.com.
June 7-8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., 2008

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