LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — Fur and fun flew, as fans cheered at Dog Days Bar & Grill, where pups performed high jumps and long leaps into the water for the 2019 Canine Cannonball. The three-day event culminated in the Big Air Finals on Sunday, June 9, which consisted of the Pro, Semi Pro, Contender and Amateur Finals.
The Canine Cannonball consists of three key events: the Big Air Wave, the Extreme Vertical, and the Speed Retrieve. In the Big Air Wave, dogs run across a 40’ x 8’ dock and jump into the water. Judges measure how far each pup flew. The Extreme Vertical measures jumping height: dogs jump off a dock towards a suspended toy above the water. Finally, the Speed Retrieve is based on how fast the dog can retrieve a thrown toy in the water and bring it back to their owner.
The winner of the Semi Pro Finals was Pardner, a red-heeled breed who took first place with a jump of 19.7 feet. Tabitha Wilson, 15, owns Pardner along with Aussie mix, Pokey, who also took part in the Canine Cannonball. Her mother, Patty, said they have been attending Canine Cannonball for three years now. They enjoy meeting old friends and new people from all over. “It gets the family together, and it really brings us together, so that’s one of the many reasons we enjoy coming out here and doing this,” she said. The family trains their seven dogs by tossing toys and sticks into their farm pond and having the dogs fetch and return.
Dog Days Bar & Grills has hosted Canine Cannonball since the first one in 2007. Dog Days can be found on 1232 Jeffries Road in Osage Beach, and at the 19 Mile Marker by water. Dog Days serves a variety of fun food and drinks, enjoyed by guests who had a view of the weekend furry fun. Dog Days also has two stages for live entertainment, pools, and plenty of docks.
The whole event is organized by Dock Dogs, an aquatic competition made just for dogs. They have been holding the event at Dog Days for 10 years. There, local animal shelters like Dogwood Animal Shelter promote their organizations and bring dogs up for adoption to interact with people and hopefully send some pooches to their new home.