Konishi, a 28-year-old veterinarian, enjoys playing the age-old game of fetch with a twist because it's challenging and provides a physical outlet for Laika.
"I like seeing my dog fly through the air," Konishi said.
Melissa Heeter, president of WOOF! Sports USA, said the sport brings out the primal instincts of dogs and is a great outing for the community.
"We're proud to bring the USDDN to the Atlanta area for the fourth straight year," Heeter said in a press release. "We started with [the Georgia State Championships] 14 years ago and now it has grown to the World Finals. This two-day event is a worldwide qualifying championship series where dogs, which have competed all yearlong to earn their qualifying spot, go 'tail-to-tail' among the best of the best in the dog sporting world."
Heeter said this year's competition will break records with competitors from 18 states and eight countries.
"The city of Cartersville has really wrapped their arms around [The U.S. Disc Dog World Finals]," Heeter said Wednesday. "... People from around the world come to the city of Cartersville just because of this event, so with this event being here, you're going to see the elite Olympic style competition. Even though we're not an Olympic sport, you're going to see the high level of competition here in Cartersville that you would never see anywhere else in the world."
She said while there is no entry fee for dogs and humans coming to watch the event, there will be a $10 charge if dogs want their humans to help them participate in some of the Saturday activities. There also will be on-site adoptions, a Bartow County 4-H Club Pet contest, a dog agility contest and run-throughs, lure coursing testing and duck herding instinct testing, and concessions with 100 percent of sales going to the Etowah Valley Humane Society.
"If somebody has a dog who can catch a disc they can come enter our novice division Saturday," Heeter said. "We also have dog agility run-throughs so they can test their dog's agility and test their dog's herding instinct, but most importantly, if you're a dog lover you don't want to miss this event because of the high caliber of multiple world champions."
The competition will stream live from www.woofsports.com and www.barknetwork.com.
If you go:
What: U.S. Disc Dog World Finals
When: Oct. 15 and 16 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. with finals beginning about 3:30 p.m. each day
Where: Dellinger Park, Cartersville
Cost: Free, $10 to engage in activities
More information: Contact Heeter at firstname.lastname@example.org