Flying dogs

The Halftime Dogs Flying Disc Show will perform at halftime of the WCU-Chattanooga game Dec. 3.

By Beth Lawrence

 

The halftime show at next Tuesday’s Western Carolina basketball game will have a bit of a twist, a twist of the arm that launches a Frisbee, that is.

The Halftime Dogs Flying Disc Show will perform their tricks and stunts on the court at the halftime break at Western Carolina’s men’s game against UT-Chattanooga on Dec. 3.

“If you’ve not seen a Frisbee dog show, it is a sight to behold,” said Pat Thomas of Advocates for Animals. “These dogs will fly in the air after Frisbees, it’s breathtaking.”

The Halftime Dogs show, is a “unique blend of athleticism, entertainment and music and makes for an unforgettable halftime experience,” said Todd Murnan.

Murnan is the show’s founder and a performer. He got his start training service dogs. From 2000 to 2007 he raised and trained six Canine Champions for Independence service dogs, according to the website.

Murnan became interested in disc competition in 2007 when he acquired his Belgian Malinois, Bella. The pair took home the Ashley Whippet World Championship in 2009.

The group has five other trainers and dogs. Gary Duke began performing in 2005. Kirby McIlveen began competing in dog involved sports in 2006. Jonathan Offi began competing after training his rescue pit bulls to play Frisbee. Mike Hanson and his border collie mix Maggey began competing in 2007. Andrew Han and his dog Solar began competing in disc dog events in 2009.

Tuesday’s performance will feature Offi and his border collie, Matrix, along with Athena, a Belgian Malinois, Murnan said.

The game starts at 7 p.m. at the Ramsey Center.

The dogs have performed at NFL games and other major college sporting events. The show is sponsored by WCU’s Department of Residential Living..

The Catamounts will face UT-C in the first home Southern Conference game of the season.

Tickets for the game start at $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and under. For tickets call 800-34GOWCU or visit www.catamountsports.com and click the tickets link in the upper right corner.