Dog Daze @ Village Green draws up to 1,600

Hundreds of dog-jumping competitors and fans turned out for Farragut Business Alliance’s first Dog Daze @ Village Green presented by TDS competiton, telling organizers they are ready to compete again next year.

FBA teamed up with Smoky Mountain DockDogs, and local sponsors including Ricki’s Pet Depot, for the event in Village Green shopping center parking lot Saturday, Sept. 16, and Sunday, Sept. 17. This event was the nationally sanctioned regional canine aquatics competition leading up to the DockDogs International competitions.

The weekend also included Pooch Plunge presented by K-9 Center of East Tennessee Friday afternoon, Sept. 15, for dog owners to allow their pets a chance to jump — many for the first time.

“Dog lovers are ecstatic,” said Steve Krempasky, Shop Farragut executive director, Sunday. “They’ve thanked me too many times now. They’ve been waiting on something like this.

“We had a good crowd yesterday until the [Tennessee Vols] football [game], and even then we still had 200 die-hard fans stay.”

He estimated about 1,400 attended Friday and a crowd of 1,600 Sunday. Contestants came from all over East Tennessee and and also from out of state.

“Thirty-three local dogs jumped,” Krempasky said.

After the final round, the following winners were announced:

• Amateur division: Trish Cooper Isbell and dog, Coale, first place; Joyce Caswell and Onyx, second place, and Debra Mittelsteadt and Luna, third place.

• Contender division: Brooke Jillson and Tank, first place; Renee Racey and Bray, second place, and Jennifer Belle and Buckeye, third place.

• Semi-pro division: Charlotte Blake and Rio, first place; Mark Zeimet and Argent, second place, and Mittelsteadt and Charm, third place.

• Pro division: Blake and Pita, first place; Tony Lampert and Griz, second place, and Danny Caywood and Booker, third place.

The event also was successful for Smoky Mountain DockDogs.

“They got a bunch of new members sign up,” Krempasky said.

“[Dog Daze is] amazing,” Lisa Hudgens, president of Smoky Mountain DockDogs Club, said. “There was such a great turnout of spectators, and we had about 40 different competitors in every qualifying round this weekend.”

“It’s been wonderful,” said Trish Isbell with K-9 Center of East Tennessee. “We met a lot of new clients. Ricki’s Pet Depot [a [platinum sponsor] did a great job setting this up. We plan to [hold the event] every year.”

“It’s fun,” attendee Mark Empey of Knoxville said. “It’s fun to see all the people and their dogs having a good time.”

Other event sponsors were SouthEast Bank, platinum; Costco, Natural Balance and Health Extension, gold, and First Watch, Staybridge Suites, Hush Puppy’s Pet Services and PetSafe, community.