By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, March 25, 2011

After days of observing newscasts and comparing one to another, I have drawn a conclusion. There are too many news channels on TV and very few commentators that make sense.

I have watched news channel host interview guest that are announced as experts, debate what the expert has said to the point of almost arguing with them. When we all watch a news report, we expect to learn something new. Recent reports from Japan are so contradictory we can’t help but be confused. One report announced, “There is no danger of radiation contamination if a person is outside a 20-mile radius.” There soon followed a report stating, “Radiation clouds will dissipate and there is no way that the U.S. can be in danger of contamination.” Three days later the report said, “Radiation from Japan has reached our west coast.”

The same type of confusion about news reports applies to the problems in Libya. One time we are told all is calm the next broadcast we learn people are being massacred. Then we hear, “No troops on the ground, “soon followed by, “U.S. plane down.”

I finally gave up and decided to turn the news off, turn the radio on Sirius music and just hit the road.

My wife had read in a local paper about an event strangely named, “Woof-Stock” subtitled, “Musical Mutt Mingle.” It was being held in a town a few miles down the road. The article about it noted, “Pets could bring their people” and “Well mannered dogs on a leash may attend.” The list of activities sounded so amusing; Blessing of the Pets, Rescue me Mutt Strut of adoptable pets, K-9 CPR, America’s Top Dog Model contest and the list went on. As we scanned it we were delighted to see, “Ultimate Air Dogs Dock Diving.” Once we saw that we knew we had to go.

The ride to the event was only about 15 miles, much closer than our trips to Imlay City where the Woods-N-Water Outdoor show has hosted the Ultimate Air Dogs the past several years. As we approached the park where the event was taking place, we saw dogs EVERYWHERE, crossing the road and “well manneredly” walking along both sides of the road. We found great parking and there was no charge for entry.

The event was sponsored by Marr-Velous Pet Rescues and Adoptions. Many of the activities were listed as interactive for people or interactive for pets as well as both people and pets. We saw the “FunkyTown Dog & Parent Hippie Costume” contest taking place and witnessed “Team Mad Mac” lure coursing event. This was a dirt track where dogs chased a lure to determine which dog was the fastest. We later learned one of the dogs caught the lure and ate it.

There were numerous rescue booths and lots of dogs parading around with cute jackets that read, “Adopt Me.” The rescue booths were for mutts, as well as thoroughbreds, sheep dogs, boxers, dachshunds and, believe it or not, Siberian huskies! There were literally more than a 1,000 dogs mingling and being “well mannered.” Every breed imaginable was represented including a bloodhound named “Bernard,” who fell in love with me and slobbered me up pretty good. Thinking I might dip my hands in their pool, we headed for the air dog show.

The Ultimate Air Dog Dock Diving contest, which has always been a favorite spectator activity for years when we visit Imlay City, was conducted by former Detroit Tiger pitcher, Milt Wilcox. The variety of dogs participating ranged from a very small Jack Russell to a very large Great Dane who discovered it was easier to walk around the four foot deep pool on his hind legs — splashing with his front paws, rather than swim. That sight was not the funniest. One of the dogs jumped off the dock then decided he liked the pool and did not want to get out. Everything was tried until the owner threw up her hands and waded into the pool to retrieve her dog. Neither one fetched the toy that was thrown.

We caught up with Milt as he took a well deserved break and asked him what show, the Woods-N-Water Outdoor show in Michigan or Woof Stock in the Keys was better. He admitted he had a soft spot for the

Woods-N-Water show but also declared, “I have to say this — weather is a lot better here.” It was about 80 degrees — a temperature never experienced at the Imlay City show in late September. Milt said he hoped to bring the flying dogs back to the Keys next year.

We found out the main sponsor of the Keys event, Marr-Velous Pet Rescues and Adoptions, has developed a curious but “Marrvelous” idea. You can sign up to qualify for adoption of a pet — they screen each request vigorously, or provide foster care for animals so they can avoid having to kennel them. How great for the animals to be in a foster home instead of a cage while awaiting adoption. Proceeds from many of the 85 booths at the show went toward efforts to rescue pets. Check out Marr-Velous on petrescues.org online or on Facebook. Petfinder.com is another resource if you’re looking to adopt.

As I see it, Woof-Stock provided a great break from the daily turmoil of world news and happenings by making us look at the lighter side.


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