‘Disc-a-Palooza’ disc-throwing this weekend in Mabel

By Denise Lana,

Veda, a traditional Border Collie, catches a disc thrown by owner Abby Flak.

When Abby Flak and her dogs started competing eight years ago, it sparked her desire to share the love of competitions with other animal lovers. Flak started Driftless Dog Sports in 2021, focused on the essential bond formed between humans and their canine companions. Flak set out to be a one-stop shop, ranging from dog training and daycare to dog boarding, personal lessons and competition training. 

“I’m super excited to share my love of all things dog related!” Abby exclaimed, stressing, “The most important thing in my opinion is the relationship I have with each of my dogs. There’s nothing quite like the bond you form learning and working with your canine companion.”

UpDog challenge

Flak loves competitions that are inviting to all dog lovers and owners, and she decided to bring the game back to her community. In keeping with her desire to foster an environment of fun and play between humans and dogs, Flak and Driftless Dog Sports are hosting the “Disc-a-Palooza UpDog Challenge,” a disc throwing and catching event that will run all day from 9 a.m., Saturday, June 8, and Sunday, June 9, at Steam Engine Park in Mabel, Minn. Two-member teams made up of dogs and their humans can compete in various disc-throwing events. There are no breed or size restrictions, but all four-legged entries need to be 6 months or older, and dogs with limitations are more than welcome to join. Participants can sign up at driftlessdogssports.com or at the judges’ tent by 8:45 a.m. Saturday or Sunday. 

“These events are not just competitions, they are celebrations of the bond between people and man’s best friend!” Flak declared. “We welcome participants of all experience levels – it’s a great way to meet people and have fun with your dog in a low stress environment!”

Flak is a certified instructor for various programs with the American Kennel Club, including the FIT DOG program, where Flak can organize and host AKC FIT DOG activities like obstacle courses, runs and hikes designed to improve dog and handler fitness. She is also AKC instructor-certified with the Canine Good Citizen obedience training program and is an AKC Fetch evaluator who can officially assess a dog’s ability to fetch a ball. Rounding out her AKC qualifications, Flak is a Farm Dog certifier and is also certified in animal first aid and CPR. 

“I believe that fostering an environment of fun and play not only enhances the bond between humans and dogs but also contributes to a harmonious and fulfilling companionship,” Flak says. “Through laughter, play and mutual enjoyment, we forge connections that go beyond mere companionship, creating a shared space of happiness in the journey of life together.”

Driftless Dog Sports hosts a variety of dog sporting events throughout the year in the tri-state area. For more information regarding the upcoming UpDog event or the services offered by Driftless Dog Sports, visit www.driftlessdogsports.com or follow “Driftless Dog Sports LLC” on Facebook. 


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