In early July I had the pleasure of interviewing the president of Carolina Dock dogs, Timothy Lake. I had reached out to learn more about Carolina Dock Dogs so that I could share it with all of you! He had suggested that we talk in person and invited me to a members-only dock diving practice at Indian Creek K9 Aquatics Center in Goldstone, NC. Upon arrival, everyone was super welcoming. You could feel the excitement in the air. The love and joy that everyone shares for their dogs, the sport of dock diving, and each other was evident.
What is Carolina Dock Dogs?
Carolina Dock Dogs is a nonprofit organization that supports dogs and their humans who enjoy the sport of dock diving. Their mission statement is as follows: “Carolina DockDogs strives to be a model and educate the public of the importance of proper care, health, and safety of responsible pet ownership. It is our intent to use the opportunity to promote the sport to support local causes.”
Carolina Dock Dogs allows any breed of dog to become a member. There is an age requirement of 6 months. Carolina Dock Dogs also support the community through their involvement in charities supporting canine cancer as well as autism.
According to the Carolina Dock Dogs’ website Cera Reusser founded the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s Chase Away K9 Cancer Campaign after her black lab, Chase, lost his battle with cancer. Carolina Dock Dogs donates a portion of event proceeds to this cause. Learn more about the Chase Away K9 Cancer Campaign HERE.
Carolina Dock Dogs hosts an annual event called Noah’s Bark in the Park. The proceeds from this event support Noah. Noah is the grandson of Jay (the founder of Carolina Dock Dogs). You can learn more about Noah’s journey and Noah’s Bark in the Park event HERE.
To learn more about what dock diving is you can check out my recent blog post HERE.
Interview With Carolina Dock Dogs President: Timothy Lake
When did you first get started with dock diving?
I first got started with dock diving 6.5 years ago with my dog Nala. At the dog park, we would throw a ball with other dogs around. She always outran all of the other dogs. Someone at the park told us that we should look into dog sports. We thought: “okay that sounds fun!”. I saw a dock diving competition on TV and we decided to try it out. We went up to New Jersey for our first competition and Nala won first place in her division! The next competition was in Maryland. It was quite a drive but we decided to go anyways and she won again! It became like an addiction of sorts for her. So 6.5 years later I’m the president of Carolina Dock Dogs.
What is one of your most memorable moments through dock diving?
That’s hard to pick just one! One would be the highest achievement we’ve had: placing third in the dueling dogs competition. Overall it would just be spending time with my dog on a dock. It’s like an escape coming out here to this hidden gem (Indian Creek K9 Aquatics). I’m usually here about twice a week.
Do you have a favorite competition category of dock diving?
Extreme vertical is always a crowd favorite. My favorite is Iron dogs, you earn points game that combines all 3 like a triathlon. Dueling dogs is fun too when two dogs compete at the same time.
What is special about Carolina Dock Dogs?
popular sports in North Carolina and the competition is pretty saturated. We have a family vibe, it’s truly a community. We take care of each other. Jay, the founder of Carolina Dock Dogs, has a grandson with autism. Every year we have a 4 day long festival called Bark at Noah’s Ark. it is amazing! We have people come from as far as Arizona. This year it had to be postponed until 2021 because of covid-19.
How might someone know their dog is suited for dock diving?
First of all, they have to be comfortable and love the water. It also helps if they have a high prey drive. Before they start dock diving you can do ground exercises to build them up to it. It also helps if they are food motivated so you can shape the behaviors needed for dock diving.
How has covid-19 impacted your events?
We are taking safety measures, sanitizing docks and all surfaces, giving out sanitizer, and encouraging people to wear masks. Since the number of people who can gather is limited we have started fantasy dock-diving teams. People can become involved virtually by having a fantasy team of dogs to play along. We have a go pro set up so competitors can film their dives and can submit their scores. Additionally, we have a weekly recap of scores on dock TV.
Check out more about the dock diving fantasy teams HERE.
Is there anything you wanted to add that I didn’t ask about?
We take care of our people. It truly is a community. If someone is going through something we ban together and do what we can. Actually, it’s more than a community, it’s a family. Carolina dock dogs is a nonprofit organization. We really focus on building community/focus on building relationships with their dogs.