Dogs are a-leapin’ at the Stanislaus County Fair

07/12/2014 5:02 PM

07/12/2014 10:58 PM

The dog days of summer are a good thing for Stanislaus County fairgoers.

That’s because J.D. Platt and his K9 Kings Flying Dog Show leaps in with two to three performances daily during the fair’s run, including at 12:30, 3 and 5 p.m. today.

The 30-minute routine features up to 12 breeds jumping, herding, tracking and retrieving flying discs. Among them is Olympia, a whippet, who does backflips and vaults, and CBS reality show star Galaxy. Platt trots out Galaxy, star of “Greatest American Dog,” at the end of the show to greet fans.

“We’ve got high-energy dogs, we’ve got a lot of acrobatic tricks, comedy and free giveaways,” Platt said.

Lending Platt a hand is his son Parker, 9, who gives out the flying discs.

Platt works in plenty of audience participation, with people getting to throw discs. Each show concludes with a meet and greet, with the audience getting to pet the dogs and Platt answering questions and signing autographs.

“I’ve noticed this community is very much into dogs,” said Platt before Saturday’s 12:30 p.m. show. “It’s a good community, from what I’ve seen.”

Platt travels the country, but likes coming to the Stanislaus County Fair for the people – “All the people are good” – and the innovations. New among them is the ReCharge Toyota Lounge, a place to recharge yourself and your electronic devices.

Platt, a former professional snowboarder, first heard of the disc dog sport nearly two decades ago as he was picked up while hitchhiking down Mount Bachelor in Oregon. The idea stuck with him.

“He happened to be an NFL halftime entertainer with disc dogs, and that started my career,” he said of the man who gave him a ride.

Platt and the dogs travel from coast to coast, performing in fairs, festivals and rodeos. He’s been featured on ABC Sports and in newspapers and magazines.

This is Platt’s third year in Turlock, where the crowd really laps up the show.

“They love the dogs doing the flips,” said fair spokeswoman Adrenna Alkhas. “The interaction with the dogs is a great aspect of the show.”

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