This is Carolina: New team of ‘flying’ dogs in Murrells Inlet

Published: Apr. 23, 2021 at 11:11 AM EDT
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MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (WMBF) - A group of ladies and a few guys are part of quite the special club. It’s all for the love of their dogs and the fun they have together around a pool. But their dogs have quite the ‘super’ power.

The group officially got its start in March when its pool was finished. It was built by the owners of A Dog’s Way Inn in Murrells Inlet.

“The Inlet Flyers is the name of our pool. And the name of our group. It’s A Dog’s Way Inn Inlet Flyers. And it’s all about the dogs flying in the air, getting in the pool,” owner Anne Ritchie said.

Richie owns A Dog’s Way Inn with her husband. She said they built it together, of course, all for the love of the dogs.

“We don’t need to drive three hours now. The community itself is going to benefit having this here,” Karin Shapiro said of the pool’s benefit.

The Inlet Flyers are part of North America Dock Diving Dogs, NADD for short. The dogs do several types of jumps over the pool, hoping to jump the farthest after a toy. The dogs compete with their owners.

“You don’t want to throw it too soon, you don’t wanna throw it too late. So you have to work on your timing with your dog,” Dayle Grimsley added.

You could say the people are the pitchers for their flyers. They have to work on timing everything perfectly.

“It’s just a day to play with your dog and be out with friends. You do train, but it all comes together. You get to hang out for a whole weekend,” Shapiro said.

“Even though you’re competing, everybody is rooting for you. So it’s a very friendly wonderful group and you become feeling like you’re family. Really, like you’re family,” Ritchie said of NADD and the people they meet at regional competitions. “

Ritchie has two dogs who jump, Shapiro has three and Grimsley has two. They practice at A Dog’s Way Inn and are preparing for a competition there coming up!

“They’ve gotten better and better. Distances are longer, they just love it,” Grimsley said of their dogs.

The women first met through agility and grew together. Ritchie said that’s their ‘winter sport.’ Dock diving is for summers.

The Inlet Flyers are a group of about fifteen people, and they hope to grow with the sport and people they love.

“It’s a good group of friends. We’ve been together for a long time. We’re family,” Grimsley said. “It’s a wonderful comradery and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.”

A Dog’s Way Inn is hosting its NADD dock diving competition on Friday, April 30, through Sunday, May 2. It’s taking place 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., according to the group’s Facebook page. The event is free.

Learn more about the Inlet Flyers and A Dog’s Way Inn here.

They offer beginning swim lessons and their pool is available to rent for dock diving practice.

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