MESA COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS, Colo. (KKCO) - A national agility championship has dogs darting all weekend at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. The Dogs on Course national championships have attracted more than a hundred competition pups to the Grand Valley.
The agility dogs dart, zigzag, climb, crawl and leap through various events and courses to prove they're the most agile pup on four paws.
"We were looking for something fun that was positive that we could do together that was off leash so he'd (pet dog) learn manners and things, and then we got addicted," says Linda DeHarak, who competes with her dog Teddy Bear.
Linda and Teddy Bear make a fierce team. He's a repeat Dogs on Course winner. "He's a two-time national champion," says DeHarak.
Like many of the competitors, Teddy Bear is a rescue dog. Teddy Bear was discovered nine years ago in dire conditions. "He was found in downtown Denver in an abandoned car with a dead homeless man," says DeHarak.
After surviving days in freezing temperatures with no food or water, Teddy Bear was given a new chance at life, and a blue ribbon. "He went right for it," says Linda.
It's the mindset of about 120 K-9's taking on the agility course at the Mesa County Fairgrounds. A national champion will be awarded by Sunday. However, dog teammates say training competition dogs is about more than tricks.
"Everyone that has a dog loves to do things, whether it's walking or having it cuddle up with you. It's a very safe event, and it gives the dog a lot of ability to learn some skills," says Judge and organizer Jim Mills.
"Teddy Bear did good. He was happy, and that's the big thing. We want him to be happy and having fun," says Linda.
Two-thousand spectators are expected at the event that runs through Sunday. It's free admission to see the many different breeds of dogs compete at the fairgrounds.