This year, for the first time, fair attendees were able to watch some of the most athletic dogs in the region soaring through the air at the X-Treme AirDogs tent as part of the Northwest Challenge Outdoor Series.
Dogs and their handlers competed in three main events including x-treme retrieve, x-treme vertical and x-treme long jump. While the event is technically a competition, almost all of the owners are friends, both on and off the dock.
The main goal is just to entertain the crowds.
"That's what we do," said Cera Reusser, who competed with her dogs Olie and Olie's mother, Elsie May. "We love our dogs so much; we want to be able to share what they can do. The smiles on the kids' faces are really fun to see."
The highlight of the weekend for Reusser was Olie's performance in the x-treme pro long jump. Olie finished first overall with a jump of 27 feet on Sunday after finishing as the top qualifier by jumping 28 feet on Saturday.
Reusser said the 28-foot jump was almost two feet further than she has ever had before in 10 years of competing with several different dogs.
"I had no idea what he was going to do because he is just a puppy," Reusser said of the 3-month-old Olie. "Every time I jump him it is something different. He seems to get better and better every event. For him to do every single jump over 26 feet is amazing."
Wayne Snoderly and his dog Diesel won the long jump in the pro division. Sue Calvert won the semi pro division with her dog Molly, and Lana Borchers won the amateur division with Tsunami. Nicole Hayes and her dog Dean were the only novice participants.
In the x-treme retrieve, Jim Williams won the pro division with his dog Bella's time of 16.81 seconds while Josh Callaway and Tahoma won the semi-pro division with a time of 19.19 seconds.
In the x-treme vertical competition, Heidi Hayes and Tucker edged out Reusser and Elsie May in overtime by completing a jump of 7.2 feet.
The overall top dog award went to Callaway and his dog Tahoma.
X-Treme AirDogs travels around to several county fairs throughout the summer. Their next competition will be in Roseburg next weekend.
While this was X-Treme AirDogs' first visit to the Del Norte County fair, contestants enjoyed their time and hope to return next year.
"The fair was absolutely fantastic," Reusser said. "For us to be able to get in and set up so easily was great. You have been so cordial to us. I love the setup, and we love entertaining for the crowds."
Reach Michael Zogg at firstname.lastname@example.org.