Cherry Blossom Festival

Frisbee-catching, dock-diving dogs entertain at Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival

Five tiny poodles spilled out of the backseat of a car like clowns, bouncing and yipping in preparation for their Cherry Blossom debut.

The SkyBound Canines made their first appearance at Central City Park on Friday with a show that combined freestyle Frisbee tricks, trick dogs and dock diving.

The show was led by Todd Duncan, a five-time world champion Frisbee dog competitor, and Michelle Harrell, who has been performing with her “Magical Poodle Troupe” for 20 years.

The two trainers noticed shows often have dogs that catch Frisbees and dock dive, but there was something missing they could bring to the table.

“Nobody had magic poodles,” Harrell said.

Duncan and Harrell -- from Jefferson and Pensacola, Florida, respectively -- connected at various dog shows around the country.

“Dog people just know each other,” Harrell said.

They teamed up to create SkyBound Canine Entertainment, where they perform from parties to half-time shows with their mix of herding dogs and miniature poodles.

Kellie Ikenberry is from San Francisco and stopped at the Cherry Blossom Festival in Macon on her way to Savannah.

“We’re so glad we were able to see the dog show. We’re big dog lovers,” she said.

During the show, the Frisbee dogs jumped off of Duncan’s back, wove between his legs and attempted to catch every wild throw they were given.

Then, the poodles came out, and Harrell led them through a variety of hoop stunts that showed off just how high they could jump.

The dock diving segment came next, where Duncan threw a Frisbee into a pool, and dogs were scored based on if they caught the frisbee and how far out they went. “Ray Ray” had the longest leap with a jump of around 17 feet.

“The first show is always our little test to see how good we are,” Harrell said.

The SkyBound Canines will perform Saturday and Sunday at noon, 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. in Central City Park.

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