Man's best friend will soar through the air and make a huge splash in competition to see who is the top dog at the ninth annual Canine Cannonball, June 12 – 14 at Dog Days Bar & Grill in Osage Beach, Mo.
Canine Cannonball is a Dock Dogs-sponsored, dock-jumping competition that has been an annual event at the Lake of the Ozarks since 2007 and attracts crowds in the thousands. Dog Days Bar & Grill, located at 1232 Jeffries Road on land or at the 19-mile marker on the water, has been the lakeside host of the Cannonball since its inception.
Many families mark the Canine Cannonball on their calendar and build an entire weekend around the dock-jumping spectacular. The event is especially a highlight for Jeff and Rebecca Green of Osage Beach and their dog Ruger, a seven-year old yellow Labrador Retriever (pictured below), who has participated in Canine Cannonball the past six seasons and is set to make another appearance this year.
"The Canine Cannonball is just so much fun," says Rebecca Green. "It's a great family-friendly event that's always really well attended. It's so awesome to watch all the dogs do their thing and the crowd gets really into it cheering them on. And, it's free to attend, so we just kind of camp out and make a weekend out of it. My husband and I really enjoy it and Ruger does, too."
The Canine Cannonball judges a dog's physical prowess in three categories: the Big Air Wave (dock jumping), Extreme Vertical (high jump) and Speed Retrieve (fetching). The Big Air Wave, one of the most enjoyable competitions in this three-day event, consists of the dog running down the 40 x 8-foot competition dock and jumping off into the water for distance. The Extreme Vertical is a dock dog's version of the high jump. In this leap-for-height event, a canine leaps high into the air off the "dock" to retrieve a toy suspended above the water. The third event, the Speed Retrieve, is a timed fetching event that has the dog jump into the water and swim to fetch a thrown toy into the water.
Canine Cannonball events get underway with the first three rounds of the Big Air Wave at 2, 4 and 6 pm on Friday. On Saturday, the next three rounds of the Big Air Wave take place at 11 am, 1 and 3 pm with the Extreme Vertical event taking place at 5:30 pm. The Cannonball concludes on Sunday after two more rounds of the Big Air competition at 11 am and 1 pm followed by the Speed Retrieve at 3 pm.
All Canine Cannonball activities are free for spectators. Money raised at the event through donations will benefit the Dogwood Animal Shelter, a no-kill shelter in Osage Beach. The Shelter will also have pets available for adoption on-site during the three-day meet. According to Dogwood Animal Shelter officials, these pets have been given all required shots at the time of adoption.
Dog owners headed to the Lake for the Cannonball have many options for pet-friendly accommodations, from resorts and hotels and motels to campgrounds and RV parks. Most of the pet-friendly lodging facilities require a small per-day pet fee and/or a refundable deposit in return for a comfortable lodging experience for pets and their owners. A few of the campgrounds and RV parks require advance approval, so be sure to call ahead. For a complete list of pet-friendly lodging options, please visit www.FunLake.com.