I don't know about you, but I started wondering about the history of this sport of disc dogs, or more specifically, why I am experiencing the occasional claw in the back of the neck and oozing vital life fluids?
I started to wonder just how far back one has to go to see the first disc dog performance or information? Did kings and queens have some kind of realm of entertainment with discs and dogs? Will there be silent films or sepia tone pics of men in suits throwing discs for their dogs between fox hunts?
It seems the origins of the sport may not be quite that romantic.
Believe it or not the sport of disc dogs became a public thing on August 5th, 1974, when a 19-year-old named Alex Stein broke into a nationally televised baseball game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Cincinnati Reds, with his dog, named Ashley Whippet, and started doing tricks on the field.
While on the field he had his dog hitting high speeds and chasing 90-yard tosses and jumping high in the air to catch discs.
His demonstration started out in such an entertaining fashion that they stopped the game for 8 minutes and one of the TV announcers continued to announce... the dog action!
Alex was arrested and hauled off after his trespassing stunt. And true to form, no one from the PD bothered with the dog, but Ashley was caught by a kid in the stands and Alex and Ashley were reunited several days later. But it was worth it because they had made their mark on the world, letting people know what kind of fun people can have with dogs and discs.
How did this crazy idea of Alex's come about?
A few years before that night, a young man, a college student named Alex Stein received a dog as a gift from a girlfriend, and according to sources, when his dog was at a ripe young age of 3 weeks old, Alex figured his dog would be famous. He named him Ashley Whippet.
While he was a puppy, Alex weened him using Frisbees to feed him. Then as the dog got older and Alex would throw a disc, the dog would go after it! What's astounding is that at the ripe young age of 6 months, Ashley was reported to be able to get 12 feet in the air to catch discs.
Now-a-days, there are age restrictions of 18-months on young dogs in competitions so they do not injure their growth plates at an early age. A growth plate injury might not be evident right away, but will make its presence known in latter years.}
Aside from that, Alex spent a lot of time taking his pup to the college greens every day and having fun while crowds gathered. (One of my favorite things to do is to hit up the Stanford quad and play with Vader.)
Back to it...