Dogtown: A glorious dog day at the Kinetic races

Rocket and Hank.

Hi everyone. Hank here, to give you this year’s dog’s eye perspective on the Kinetic Sculpture Race. My favorite sculpture is Sparky, who looks a lot like me. 

My humans have been participating in the race with Sparky for four years now. They all like dogs, especially Mom, and they decided that putting a dog sculpture in the race could help promote adopting dogs like me. I was once a shelter reject, after being adopted and returned three times in two weeks for being too energetic. 

No one really gave me a chance to show my good qualities until my friend Amanda rescued me and made room for me in her pack. Mom saw my picture in the paper (The Arcata Eye!) and brought me home and the rest is history. The family still sighs when they talk about those early days, but they sure love me now.

My dad and human brother decided that they would race Sparky as an Ace sculpture this year, which meant that they would stay with him for the whole race and not have any outside help with the hard parts. As in previous years, Mom asked some of her shelter volunteer friends to come to the start of the race and show off some adoptable dogs. 

Saturday morning, my sister Baylee and I accompanied our new friends Teddy Bear, Rocket, Diesel and Brandy to the Plaza where the racers were gathering. As usual, there were really a lot of people there. All of the dogs did great and seemed completely unfazed by the thousands of people. Mom says she needs bomb-proof dogs for an event like this and this group sure fit the bill. They all enjoyed the petting and attention, especially from all the kids out there. Most of the morning was spent waiting for the race to start and meeting more people.

Rocket with Sparky.

All the dogs had admirers that seemed very interested in them. We always hope those people come back and adopt the dogs they liked. Mom was pretty excited last Thursday when a couple did come to the shelter to adopt Diesel! The others are still waiting. Brandy is a beautiful seven year old Doberman and Rottweiller mix who is very calm and gentle. Rocket is a little one year old terrier mix who loves to play with other dogs. Mom says Teddy Bear is 85 pounds of love, great with everyone. All of them were great ambassadors for shelter and rescue dogs.

I stayed home for the water crossing on Sunday, but Mom took that big Teddy Bear again and she said he did great. He acted like he belonged to our family even though he had only met them the day before. Everyone who met him loved him.  He visited with all of the racers while they awaited their turns to enter the water. When it was Sparky’s turn, Teddy stood at the top of the boat launch and made sure that they got in the water safely. He was careful to stay out of the way when Sparky lifted his leg and peed on the judges! Bad dog! Teddy would never do that.

Teddy Bear had a special invitation to go to Ferndale on Monday for the race finish. The teddy bear judges for the race wanted to have him join them as they inspected the racers’ required teddy bears! Mom brought me and my sisters to Ferndale also. My sister Lily wasn’t very nice to Teddy; I think she was afraid Mom was going to bring him home! We were all there to see Sparky come running across the finish line. He took home the award for speed this year! Good dog Sparky!

Mom says Teddy bear is adoptable through Redwood Pals Rescue at [email protected] or (707) 633-8842 and that Brandy and Rocket are adoptable from the Humboldt County Animal Shelter at 980 Lycoming Ave. in McKinleyville, with more information at (707) 840-9132. You can see photos of these dogs and other adoptable dogs and cats at



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