Barking up the right tree |

Barking up the right tree

Disc-catching border collie Kinks, and his owner Michael DiLillo, of Buena Vista, will demonstrate their teamwork at the inaugural Dog Daze Festival Saturday at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs. Submitted Photo

Dogs just want to have fun.Just ask flying disc-catching border collies Kinks and Angus, or black lab bomb-detecting special agents Joe Friday and Bill Gannon.The canines are just a few of the working dogs that will be on hand to show off their talents and then most likely smell each other at this weekend’s inaugural Dog Daze Festival.The event takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday at Two Rivers Park in Glenwood Springs.”If you’re a dog person, you’re really going to enjoy these dogs, and you’re not going to believe what you just saw,” said CSI:K9 owner Jimmy Olsen, who will bring special agents Friday and Gannon to the demonstration arena at the festival.”They’re very friendly, very big black labs. They’re just happy, excited dogs who want to play and have no idea they’re really sniffing out guns or bombs,” he said. “What they think they are looking for is a toy, and when they find it, they’re trained not to bark or touch it. They just sit. And they never miss.”Attendees at Dog Daze are in for a treat themselves, said Olsen, as they’ll witness top athletes perform a job they were born to do from 10:45-11 a.m. The dogs are certifiably trained to detect guns, ammunition, explosives and even gun powder in amounts as minuscule as a toothpick’s tip.

“With any working dog, it’s difficult to find the ones who have the desire to participate and not quit,” he said. “It’s like locating a needle in a haystack to find these dogs. They’re very, very good.”Kinks’ job doesn’t exactly protect the public from security threats. But that doesn’t mean he’s not having as much fun as agents Friday and Gannon.In competition and performances nationwide, Kinks demonstrates gravity-defying tricks under the direction of his dedicated owner, Michael DiLillo.”Generally, medium-sized herding breeds (like Kinks) make the best disc catchers,” said DiLillo, of Buena Vista. “They’re anal retentive and obsessive compulsive. They want a job to do. They’re just very hyper and agile.”Tracy Williams and her border collie Angus will join DiLillo and Kinks from 4:45-5 p.m. for a dog-trick demonstration and routines set to music. Kinks recently certified as a therapy dog for nursing home residents and hospital patients will strut his stuff to the song “Fly Away” by Lenny Kravitz.”If you play the CD, he goes nuts,” DiLillo said.Along with demonstrations, Dog Daze includes live music throughout the morning and afternoon, the Red Mountain Fun Dog Show, a no-leash dog park, do-it-yourself doggie wash, and the Colorado Animal Rescue pet adoption booth. There is no admission charge to enter the park.Food, beer and T-shirt sales benefit Operation Vacation, a program that welcomes veterans of foreign wars to Glenwood Springs each month for weekend family trips.”We’re going to attempt to have the dogs search one of our vehicles,” said Robert Fickes, of First Line Security, who will help demonstrate Friday and Gannon’s bomb-detecting talents with Olsen on Saturday. “These dogs could probably detect a gun a mile away from a crime scene.”And that’s all in a day’s fun for these canine special agents.For more information about Saturday’s events, visit http://www.dogdazefestival.comContact April E. Clark: 945-8515, ext.

10 a.m.: Vendors open, dog show registration begins 10-10:45 a.m.: Gwen Hill, live music 10:45-11 a.m.: Bomb detection dogs demonstration 11-11:45 a.m.: Last Minute String Band, live music 11:45 a.m. to noon: Colorado Animal Rescue, pet adoption demonstration Noon to 12:45 p.m.: Jimmy Dykann, live music 12:45-1:15: First Annual Red Mountain Fun Dog Show 1:15-2 p.m.: The Hideouts, live music 2-2:15 p.m.: Demonstration: Search-and-rescue dogs demonstration 2:15-3:30 p.m.: Glass Onion 3:30-3:45 p.m.: Dog registration and compliance demonstration 3:45-4:45 p.m.: Frank Martin Band, live music 4:45-5 p.m.: Flying disc dogs demonstration 5-6 p.m.: SoulFeel

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