Dock Dogs Event Fetches Good Time at Marshall County Co-Op

New Venue Makes a Splash at Marshall Co-Op As Nearly 100 Register

MOUNDSVILLE — Dogs overeager to get swimming, dogs too afraid to get wet, and every dog in between flocked to the Marshall County Co-op for their inaugural Dock Dogs event, joined hundreds of humans.

Organized through a cooperative effort through local enthusiast Kelly Fitzsimmons, Co-op manager Dave Voithofer, and Animal Rescue League founder Barb Scanlon, Dock Dogs Inc. was brought to the county to host nearly 100 dogs and their owners in a competition to see how far they can leap.

Fitzsimmons, who has been training his dog Mazie Mae for months, was ecstatic Saturday morning as one of the first competitors. Mazie Mae flew for 13 feet, 10 inches in her first jump, setting a high bar for her first competition.

“We’ve been training very, very hard,” he said. “To see the turnout we’ve already had, it’s a great thing for Marshall County and for the Ohio Valley.”

The proceeds from the event, which will continue today, will all go to benefit the Animal Rescue League. Mazie Mae was adopted from the Marshall County Animal Shelter as a pup after her previous owners struggled to train her properly, which Fitzsimmons took as a challenge.

“When it all goes back to the dogs, we can’t do anything wrong,” he said.

The dogs competing ranged from one who couldn’t wait for his owner to give the signal, racing up the stairs, into the pool, and back again, to another which could not be coaxed into the water despite the urging of her handler. Dogs of all shapes and sizes entered, from large boxers to Yorkshire terriers.

Competitors from seven states, as far away as Florida, came to Moundsville to compete, with awareness boosted by Facebook posts from the organizers and exposure on the official website.

Voithofer said the perfect weather for the day — 75 degrees and sunny — helped set the stage for a great first time event.

“The weatherman helped us out — it’s gone very smooth,” he said. “We’ve got a few hundred people here at 10:30 a.m. There’s 40-some dogs registered from out of the area, and the same amount of locals, just amateurs. … There’s groups from Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, a few from Cleveland, and from Pittsburgh.”

Voithofer said he feels the positive turnout and reception will entice Dock Dogs to return in coming years, becoming the new home of the event after Cabela’s declined to host it in 2018 after having done so for years prior. Next year, he said, the Co-Op has already purchased 2 acres of land on the north side of the building, which will enable a larger area to set up, should the event be held again.

Live music for the event was provided by New Age Adenas.

“I think it’s a good thing for Marshall County,” added John McCombs, chairman of the board of directors. “The people I’ve talked to are very happy with the venue.”

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