Local DockDogs Stark and Echo make a splash

Local DockDogs Stark and Echo make a splash

‘We’re just dog people,’ say local participants in water competitions

  • Thursday, July 19, 2018 2:41pm
  • Life

By Emmy Sandstedt, For the Mirror

After watching their dog, Stark, swim at Redondo Beach for the first time, Federal Way residents Kimberly Jenkins and Lorne Smith realized their canine companion would be a perfect competitor in DockDogs.

DockDogs is a water competition open to dogs of all breeds and sizes, in which they run and jump off a 40-foot dock into a pool beyond.

Jenkins and Smith got connected with Puget Sound DockDogs, the only club in the region. Despite the larger international base, with clubs as far away as Australia, there are limited options for pursuing this activity in the Pacific Northwest. Some members of the Puget Sound club come from as far away as Alaska.

Due to restrictions on dogs using pools and lakes, practice locations are limited.

Jenkins said she and Smith take the dogs to Brown Dog University in Gig Harbor about three times a month — once for practices with the Puget Sound club.

Since the dogs know what they’re doing, Jenkins said practicing two or three times a month is enough for them.

Jenkins said it’s a “happy, fun, funny thing when they jump.”

“They make people smile,” she said of the dogs.

The competitions are a way for people to have fun and just watch the dogs, she said.

DockDogs competitions consist of the three events: distance, height and speed.

Stark and Jenkins’ and Smith’s other dog, Echo — both yellow labs — participate in DockDogs’ most popular event, jumping distance.

Stark, who began competing in 2016, holds a senior title and participated with Smith as her handler in the 2017 DockDogs World Championship in Knoxville, Tennessee, last year.

More than thirty teams of dogs and handlers from Puget Sound DockDogs attended the World Championship, where more than a 1,000 dogs competed.

While Smith and Jenkins hadn’t initially planned on attending, after receiving the invitation they found a flight and made arrangements for Smith to take part in the event with Stark.

“We’re just dog people,” Jenkins said, adding they aren’t as competitive as some members of DockDogs.

Competitions are split up by division, which are broken down into waves and groups.

The DockDogs season runs from April through October, with various competitions taking place during those months. Anyone is allowed to participate, however, titles are only given to dogs involved in clubs. Competitions are generally hosted by clubs, who organize the set-up, volunteers, judges and anything else the event may require.

For more information, go to dockdogs.com. Follow Stark and Echo on Instagram at @starkandecho.

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in Life

Jan Barber, project manager of Make Music Federal Way, rings bells on Jan. 18 in honor of the more than 400,000 people who have died from COVID-19. Olivia Sullivan/The Mirror
Everything you need to know about this year’s Make Music Federal Way

The event is from 4-8 p.m. June 21 at the PAEC Plaza (31510 Pete von Reichbauer Way South).

2021 Mercedes-AMG E 63 S
Car review: 2021 Mercedes AMG E63 S sedan

By Larry Lark, contributor The latest incarnation of the Mercedes AMG E63… Continue reading

2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus
Car review: 2021 Mazda3 Premium Plus

By Larry Lark, contributor The Mazda3 has always looked the part of… Continue reading

2021 Toyota 4Runner 4x4 Trail Special Edition
Car review: 2021 Toyota 4Runner 4×4 Trail Special Edition

By Larry Lark, contributor If the great outdoors is your playground, it… Continue reading

Bruce Honda
Upcoming events to honor Juneteenth holiday in Federal Way

Juneteenth flag raising at city hall, Phenomenal She nonprofit event at Town Square Park, farmers market resource showcase and more.

Kathie Nguyen embraces Eileen & Callie's Place founder Dr. Natalie Ellington. Celebrate 18!, hosted on July 13, 2019, was also the day of Ellington's birthday. Olivia Sullivan/staff photo
Nonprofit to host birthday party for girls aging out of the foster care system

Eileen & Callie’s Place is hosting Celebrate 18!, a celebration and resource event, Saturday, July 17.

Photo courtesy of Vickie Chynoweth
Well-fed from the Federal Way Farmers Market: Pickled asparagus

Recipe of the week includes asparagus and garlic from the Saturday market.

2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Kia Sorento X-Line AWD

By Larry Lark, contributor Kia’s fourth-generation Sorrento sports utility vehicle is a… Continue reading

2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2021 Mercedes Benz GLB250 4MATIC

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 GLB250 4MATIC is a brand-spanking new… Continue reading

Most Read