WASHINGTON, Okla. (KFOR) – If nothing looks more inviting than a pool in these ‘dog days’ of summer, you have plenty of company at this one near the town of Washington.
Bryan and Sherry Landers always wanted one for themselves, but they really built it for their dogs, their dock diving dogs.
“Do you ever get in the pool yourselves?” asks a visitor of the Landers.
“When we’re cleaning it,” chuckles Sherry.
“Cleaning yes,” says Bryan, “And sometimes when we’re done, we’ll swim with the dogs in the pool.”
Their dog Thunder got them to take the plunge into dock diving.
Bryan and Sherry got tired of driving to Texas to train him, so their new pool became the first in Oklahoma officially sanctioned by the National Dock Diving Dogs Association, despite the dire ‘NO DIVING’ warning sign on the side.
“I find that hilarious,” smiles their visitor as the Landers laugh in response.
Bryan states, “Dock diving is kind of track and field for dogs.”
Their dogs don’t read much, but when given the chance to chase a stick they get really excited to dive here.
Dogs like Kiwi, another canine that comes to train here, can clear 27 feet on a good day.
“She’s definitely on her game today,” says Bryan. “She’s doing really good.”
High jumping dogs like Sailor can grab a stick six feet above the ramp.
Other dogs go for speed.
That means swimming fast to get their stick.
Sherry insists, “It’s not just you. It’s not just your dog. You’re a team.”
The Landers family pool hosted divers from 15 different states in May for qualifiers in the world championships.
Just about every day it’s warm, they have athletes out here training for bigger air or better times.
The Thunder Dock Dog pool remains that perfect spot for our best friends to practice, and for us to smile as we watch.