Flying discs become life-saving tool for performing dogs

GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - The Frisbee stunts seemed pretty easy for Easy Rider, which isn't bad considering he is 14 years old dog with a deformed leg from being abused at a young age by his owner. Now, he's a performance dog.?
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[endif]"They did seven different surgeries to save him," Trainer Lawrence Frederick told the crowd.

Easy Rider's story is similar to all the other performers with Disc-Connected K9's.

"Every dog that we have on our team, which is all 15, they've either been homeless, dogs that came out of the shelter, or they were abandoned," Frederick said. "All of our dogs have come from environments where people didn't want them."

Disc-Connected K9's has traveled around the world and is just beginning a long performance run at Gulf Islands Water Park in Gulfport.

Frederick said it's part of his mission to help these animals.

"As a human race, we owe it to dogs," he said. "We domesticated them, like certain other animals. And, now, we're forsaking them and putting them out there, and they're homeless, and it's our fault. We created this issue."

Besides Easy Rider, this performance featured Copper Top in only his fourth show. Then, Galaxy Girl pulled out all the stops.

She finished second place in the world last year and is the top-ranked dog in Frisbee competitions this year.

"I like the black dog because he had the dog jump high and catch the Frisbee without dropping them all," said spectator Daron Ingram.

Monica Hunter loved the show but loved the stories of the dogs' journeys even more.

"It's amazing because now they feel safe, and they feel like someone loves them," she said. "Dogs are like kids. My mom has a dog, and he's a Bichon and was treated like a kid. He was part of the family. So, it's definitely heartwarming."

"God puts a grace in all of our lives, and we just need to follow it and believe what we're being shown is what we're supposed to do," Frederick added.

The Disc-Connected K9's will perform every day at noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. through July 4.

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