From a dog lover’s point of view, not to mention a dog’s, the highlight of Sandpoint’s Winter Carnival season is the K-9 Keg Pull. If you haven’t attended yet, here is a rundown on what to expect: you’ll see two snow packed racing lanes lined with smiling spectators, many of whom will have cameras poised for shots of their favorite four-legged keg-pullers. During the races, you’ll see some canine competitors scramble in high gear to the finish line, while others will take their own sweet time. The crowd will appreciate all, whether the pups make a beeline to the end or make numerous stops along the way to meet and greet and be admired. It will be impossible to tell who is having a better time, the dogs or the people.
Canines of all sizes compete. There are three categories: large, medium, and small. Large dogs pull full-size (empty) kegs, medium dogs pull “slim” kegs (also empty), and the petite pups pull empty beer cans. While there are dogs who compete year after year and train for the keg pull, the event is for all skill levels. Pups can be signed up on the spot and participate without any prior experience. Owner-coaches are allowed to join their dogs in the racing lanes to encourage the less experienced and/or competitive to move forward, using treats, squeaky toys, and commands like “come” and “let’s go.”
If you haven’t attended this event, don’t miss it this year, either as a spectator or as a personal coach for your dog. If you have attended before, we are sure you’ll be back.
The annual K9 Keg Pull is held at Evans Brothers Coffee and the Granary, 524 Church Street, on Sunday, February 22nd at 10 a.m. $5 entry fees go to the Panhandle Animal Shelter.
Chris Shafer is the writer and creator of Dog About Town NW, a regional blog that celebrates dog ownership in the great Northwest where outdoor adventures are typically more than a walk in the park.