More than 100 dogs from five different states, pedigrees to pound puppies, recently traveled to Brylin Obedience Specialty School (BOSS) to compete in licensed barn trials, an agility course and dock diving events.
Owner Gayle Riggins hosts around 40 events a year at the BOSS facility in King and will have up to 400 dogs competing at her largest competition in September.
“We have a lot come in from our community and within 50 miles or so. It’s usually folks from Raleigh, Tennessee, South Carolina and Virginia,” she said.
Riggins opened the facility three years ago and began in a 24,000 square foot space where she focused on training, agility courses and classes. She’s since expanded to 55,000 square feet and incorporated a popular Splash Zone. As the only indoor, heated, salt treated pool for pets within 600 miles, the pool is safely heated to 85 degrees and has a filtration system that allows both humans and dogs to swim together. The ramp is rubber, slatted and has a gradual incline to provide easy return from the pool.
“Dock diving is a big sport and it brings in a lot of people,” Riggins said.
On Saturday, spectators watched as a rubber bumper is thrown into the air and dogs take turns leaping to try and catch it before they hit the water.
It was important to Riggins that she incorporate the pool for the sport, but she also had the community in mind.
“I wanted to have a place for people to bring their dogs to water therapy. I have a lot of arthritic dogs in the pool and a lot of people come in and swim with their dogs. It’s a great way to connect because it’s warm and it’s comfortable.”
Riggins also works closely with the local 4-H program and leader Pam Davis.
On Saturday, the 4-H’ers sold lunches and snacks to raise money for a community service project to fund oxygen masks for animals trapped in house fires. Last year, the group of 10 club members outfitted a working military dog in Afghanistan.
“Pam does a great job. They have dogs and they come in every month and we work together to train them,” Riggins said. “We spend a lot of time working with the dogs, teaching them, but there’s a lot we can learn from them too.”
For more information about Brylin Obedience Specialty School visit http://brylinschool.com/
Amanda Dodson may be reached at 336-813-2426.