This past summer has been one of courage, determination, athletic achievement, and testing limits. As the Olympic Games arrived in Rio de Janeiro, we were all hooked – and inspired to try something new. If the idea of humans pushing themselves further, faster, and harder than ever before was inspiring, wait until you hear about the event that took place as it all came to a close. Brazil's first Dog Olympics, which coincided with the final days of the Paralympics, was designed to celebrate the types of sport that man's best friend could excel in – and boy, did it entertain.
Created for dogs of every age, breed, and size, the games, which were held at Toto's Park Club, enabled pups to compete for medals in a variety of sports, including swimming, running, obstacle course completion, diving, and jumping – stretching them to their limits and allowing them to have a fantastic time while they were at it. Organized by Marco Antonio Toto, the event was a prime opportunity for pets and their parents to shine, but the idea is far from being a new one.
Saturday, September 10th saw the 25th Annual Dog Olympics at the NC State University College of Veterinary Medicine. This annual event, held during the ASPCA's Adopt-A-Shelter-Dog Month, aims to raise funds and awareness for the plight of homeless dogs, and offers a variety of athletic and non-athletic competitions. Dog agility competitions, and those based on the human Olympics, are all great ways to show off a dog's skills.
While many of you will be hearing about Brazil's Dog Olympics for the first time, we hope that more will be made of this special event in four years' time at the Tokyo Olympic Games. In 2003, Japanese pet ownership hit an all-time high, with experts estimating that there were more cats and dogs than children across the country. Will we bear witness to another Dog Olympics in 2020? We sure hope so!