Go for the gold with your canine companion

Ready, Set, Bark! Those adorable and lovable four-legged companions came together to compete for gold medals, prizes and plenty of doggie treats.The Companion Animal Wellness Club of North Carolina State University’s School of Veterinary Medicine hosted the 25th Annual Dog Olympics on September 10 as dozens of dogs and their owners competed in games to raise money for a good cause.”It is always a good opportunity for students and the community to get together. We’re building relationships and educating the public on rescue animals and what we’re doing at the Vet School,” said Laura Keener, third year student and president of the Animal Wellness Club.The Dog Olympics recognizes the family dog, cheers for canine athletics, celebrates the bonds between humans and animals, and raises both funds and awareness of homeless dogs. According to Keener, the Dog Olympics raised $4,300 that will be divided equally among the 13 shelter and breed rescue groups who participated in the annual event.”The Dog Olympics started as students and faculty with their dogs competing and doing tricks in the fields behind the Vet School. It has since grown into the community event it is today,” said Keener.Dogs of all sizes and breeds, from Great Danes to bulldogs to boxers to Chihuahuas, participated in competition categories such as the Limbo, Musical Sit, Roll Over Rover, Frisbee Toss, Howling Contest, High Jump and Longest Tail. Beyond competing in the organized events of the day and demonstrating feats of skill, the American Kennel Club was on-site to promote the polite dog with free Canine Good Citizenship testing to attendees. In order to receive the CGC certificate a dog must be able to complete tasks such as: greeting a stranger politely, sitting politely for petting, walking calmly through a crowd, react calmly to another dog, react calmly to distraction, and sit and stay in place—basically all of the things a dog owner would hope their pet would do when called upon in public.The N.C. State K9 Unit even showed off their special tracking skills. These dogs went through extensive training and have joined the N.C. State Campus Police at football games this season as an extra layer of protection for the public. The day’s activities also included a demonstration ring for the youngest canine handlers to present their pet’s skills. Other demonstrations from animal groups included Flyball with Dog Gone Fast, Helping Paws International, and a demonstration by Triumphant Tails.The College of Veterinary Medicine opens its doors to the public throughout the year and next to the spring Open House (mark your calendars for April 1, 2017), the Dog Olympics is always one of their most popular events. Open Houses and events like the Dog Olympics provide the school with opportunities to not only welcome the surrounding community into their home and show them a good time, it gives the school a chance to show off their remarkable facilities to prospective students.This year 2,500 people attended this event that has grown from a fun and games demonstration to the fundraiser and public service it is today. “It’s a fun way to spend the day at the Vet School and have a great day with your dog,” added Keener.