CALVERTÂ â Christa Carter flung the black Frisbee into the air and a blur of tri-color fur named Chevie flew with it, jumping into the air for the catch.
Carter, of Rising Sun, and Chevie are training for the DockDogs 2018 World Championships held Oct. 9-13 in Nashville, Tenn. Chevie is a 7-year-old Australian shepherd. She also has Krash, who is 1. Carter said she and Chevie competed in a regional competition in New Hampshire, and their second place finish there gave them the invitation to the worlds.
For the uninitiated, DockDogs is an athletic competition in which dog and owner are tested on speed, agility, height, distance and obedience. The dogs launch from a stage into a pool of water. Carter said Chevie was born for DockDogs.
“I let him go on the stage first. He struts his stuff for all the people,” she said.
But when it’s time to perform, he’s all business.Â
Chevie and Carter will be in the Warrior Iron Dog division, which means he will compete in Big Air, Extreme Vertical and Speed Retrieve. She said it’s equivalent to a triathlon.
“When he got an invitation (for Warrior Iron Dog) I about fell out of my chair,” she said. “He’s only been doing Big Air for the last four years.” She said they only recently started with the other disciplines.
Big Air is the distance leg, while Extreme Vertical is the height competition. Speed Retrieve, as the name implies, is how quickly the dog can retrieve his or her target.
The pair have been competing since 2014, and Carter calls it “a good hobby.”
“We went to the Timonium Pet Expo,” she said of the late 2013 road trip where she first saw dock diving dogs. Their first competition was at the Cabela’s location in Harrisburg, Pa.
“I started just to see if he would do it,” Carter said. “We titled.”
From there they traveled to New Hampshire and got a second place finish with a 20-foot-1-inch jump.
“Last year he had a 22-foot jump,” she said.
Now part of Team Wreckless with the Delmarva DockDogs, Carter, Chevie and Krash have daily sessions.
“Three to four days a week we do a good workout,” she said.
Carter and her dogs will use the Frisbee or other equipment to work on timing, height and distance.
“Six days a week we do therapeutic indoor exercises,” she added, explaining that keeps the dogs from harm.
They also work with Kim Vaillancourt from Elkton. This fellow DockDog competitor has a regulation pool in her backyard.
“As quiet as he is, when we pull up and he sees a pool he will bark non-stop until he’s up on the dock,” Carter said of Chevie.
Carter works in a veterinarian office and Chevie comes to work with her. There’s not a lot of places she goes without at least one of her dogs.
“We were in the pet store recently and Chevie would not leave without this duck,” she recalled of the hunting dummy.
“This guy has a high toy drive,” she noted. “And he loves the water.”
Carter’s mother, Dana Hagy, started a GoFundMe page to help her with the expenses of the Nashville trip.