9 Weeks

This week Hooch regressed in the crate a bit.  He’s only making it about 1.5 hours during the day in the crate with no accident, and about 2-3 hours at night.  However, he is also very inconsistent with this.

Hooch discovered he had a “voice” this week and has barked a few times!  Hear his “voice” here:

This week Hooch has also discovered his love of tennis balls!

Hooch with is new “love,” the the Kong squeaky tennis ball:

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...and the the “joy” of digging  in the yard 🙁  (Something we will continue to work on correcting).

Hooch proudly laying in his newly dug hole in our yard:

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Hooch learned “sit!” this week.   He will respond to the verbal command, and will sit any time he sees Cello sit.  I will continue working with him the next week to learn the hand signal for sit as well.

Hooch learning “sit:”

Hooch is still not fond of the lake.  (AAAHHH!) He will watch Cello jump in after her training bumper, but Hooch will not get in the lake yet!

Here is Hooch watching Cello swim:

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Hooch thinks the step is much safer than that scary dark water:

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Cello’s Training bumper, however, DID spark an interest in Hooch!

He had a ball trying to “sneak” away with it before he was discovered by Cello:

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Although the Lake didn’t go over well again this week, Hooch did finally get in Cello’s baby pool after some serious coaxing with the squeaky tennis ball!

At first, Hooch thought Cello’s pool was just a big water bowl (Cello was disgusted by this!):

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Then his love of the tennis ball took over and he got into the pool:

Happy 9 Week Birthday, Hooch! 

FAME!

“Fame has only the span of the day, they say. But to live in the hearts of people – that is worth something.”

~Ouida

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Our fur-kids will forever live in our hearts.  Even though we celebrate them each and every day, we very much enjoy the “fame” they create in other’s hearts as well. This part of Cello’s Corner is to recognize and celebrate the special achievements, both big and small, of our 4-legged kids. Enjoy!

Click HERE to see Cello’s Celebrations

Click HERE to view Hooch’s Honors

Click HERE to view Lager’s Laurels

Click HERE to see Margarita’s Merits

Click HERE to see Whiskey’s Wingdings

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Practice Makes Perfect!

On Sunday, Cello attended Chesapeake DockDog’s practice at Detour Winery in Keymar, MD in preparation for her Regional Competition coming up in August!

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Hooch came along to cheer Cello on, and to (hopefully!!) watch how dock diving is done!

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Cello practiced her Big Air distance and did really well!

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Brian decided to try Cello at Extreme Vertical … and she did awesome for her first time!  She grabbed the bumper at 5’4″ !

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Here is a video of Cello doing Extreme Vertical for the first time!

 

Cello will be competing August 1 – 3 in the North Eastern Regionals in Somerville, MA, in hopes to earn an invitation to the DockDogs Worlds Championships in November!  GO CELLO!

 

Cello now has a profile on Chesapeake DockDogs website!  Check it out HERE!

 

Overall, it was a gorgeous day spent with lots of great people and pups!

Detour Vineyard and Winery

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Hooch now has his first winery visit under his belt!  Cello’s dock diving practice was held at Detour Vineyard and Winery in Keymar, MD.  Cello had already been to this winery when she participated in the PuppyPalooza dock diving event earlier this season.

Hooch enjoyed his first winery visit!DSC02943

Detour Winery has some really unique-tasting wines!  They also stock many local stores with their wines.

 

Don’t Leave Fido at home…Take Him Along to Dog Friendly Attractions, Bars, Restaurants, Wineries, and Breweries!

See all the places Cello Has Been HERE!

See all the things Hooch Has Done HERE!

See all the places Later Has Been HERE!

See all the things Rita has Done HERE

See all the places Whiskey has been HERE!

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 dog-travel-tips-photo-car

Here are a few sites I like to use to find dog-friendly places to go with Cello, Hooch, and Lager:

(1) BringFido.com :

BringFido.com has been providing pet friendly suggestions since April, 2005.  BringFido.com is a dog travel directory that provides reviews, pet policy information, and online reservations at pet friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity. Information is also provided on bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds that welcome pets in 150 countries worldwide.  BringFido.com also provides information on both airlines and hotel pet policies, as well as recommendations on dog beaches, off-leash parks, outdoor restaurants, and other animal attractions in more than 10,000 cities around the world. Bring Fido has a toll-free number (877-411-FIDO) dog owners can call if they need assistance locating a a pet friendly hotel at the next exit on the highway, an animal hospital that’s open at 4am, or the best restaurant in the area that allows dogs to sit at its outdoor tables.

Some of the great reasons to use BringFido.com: 

1. Bring Fido has confirmed the pet policy at every hotel listed on the website, so there won’t be any surprise pet fees, weight limits, or other restrictions when you check-in at the hotel. If you find a pet policy that is no longer accurate, you can contact them, and they will cover any additional pet fee you may have been charged.

2. Bring Fido does not charge a booking fee when you make a reservation. They guarantee that you’re getting the best rate available on all prepaid reservations. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, they will gladly refund the difference plus an additional $20.

3. You can choose a free gift every time you make a reservation online. Just visit the “freebies” page prior to booking to see the current offers and enter the appropriate gift code when making your reservation. They will ship your free t-shirt, sticker, or other gift as soon as you return home from the trip.

4. Bring Fido donates a portion of all proceeds to numerous pet charities, humane societies, and rescue groups every year. You can help save a homeless pet every time you reserve a hotel room through BringFido.com.

(2)  DogFriendly.com :

DogFriendly.com has been helping humans share adventures with their canine kids since 1998.  They have published world-wide pet travel guides for people with dogs of all sizes & breeds.  City Guides show pet-friendly hotels, attractions, such as tours, stores & historical sites, campgrounds and parks,& off-leash parks, beaches, patio dining, skiing, and more. You can also view free listings, highway guides, the site’s blog, or their dog travel books/ebooks.  You can even join their newsletter to find out about everything dog-friendly!

(3) Gopetfriendly.com:

GoPetFriendly.com has it all … you can search this site by category – such as pet friendly hotels, campgrounds, beaches, and parks… to veterinarians, pet supply stores – and even restaurants and wineries where your pup is welcome to join you.  Everything you’ll want or need while you’re traveling across the US and Canada is here, all in one place.  The site even has a Road Trip Planner that will map your trip and locate all the pet friendly places along the way.  And if that isn’t enough – there is also a collection of approximately 30,000 consistent, detailed pet polices from hotels and campgrounds.

Cesar Millan has some great tips on his site for traveling with your dog:

Cesar’s Best Dog Travel Tips

Bringing your dog on vacation with you just adds to the fun and alleviates the worry of not knowing what’s happening with your dog while you’re on the road. You need to do your homework on dog travel though. Planes and cars aren’t designed with dogs in mind, and you need to know what to expect when you reach your final destination.  By planning your dog travel ahead of time, you can make the vacation a truly relaxing time for you and your dog. Here are my best dog travel tips to help make that happen:

Crating your dog for travel

It’s natural to feel bad about crating your dog. After all, you wouldn’t want to be crated. But don’t project your feelings onto your dog. They don’t mind the crate and some even feel safer in one.

  • The most important thing you can do is make sure your dog has been well exercised before he goes in the crate. If he’s burned off his excess energy, he’ll be more inclined to rest.
  • Make sure there’s nothing in the crate that can harm your dog. Leashes and loose collars are especially dangerous items that could present a strangling hazard.
  • Keep your energy positive. Don’t present the crate like it’s a prison. Show the dog the crate and open the door. Don’t shove the dog in the crate. Let him go into the crate on his own. When he’s inside and comfortable, you can close the door. Walk away with good energy and body language. If you affect a sad voice and say things like “Don’t be sad. Mommy and Daddy will be back soon,” your dog is going to think something’s wrong and get anxious.
  • Come back in 15 minutes. This will ease the dog’s separation anxiety next time you crate him. But don’t take him out of the crate. Remember that you’re not projecting that the crate is a bad thing. Just open the door and he can come out when he’s ready.

Driving with your dog

It’s usually a good idea to crate your dog when riding in the car. You’ll be less distracted while driving which is safer for both of you. It also prevents your dog from becoming a projectile if you have to stop fast, also reducing the chance of injury for both of you. Speaking of projectiles, don’t feed your dog a lot before the trip as they are prone to motion sickness. Don’t feed your dog while you’re moving either. Wait until there’s a break and you can give her a small snack, preferably high in protein. It’s also good to spend a little time playing or walking during the break to get rid of some pent-up energy. And of course, don’t leave your dog in a parked car, especially when it’s warm out. Even with the window cracked open, the car can quickly turn into an oven, and your dog will get dehydrated.

Taking your dog on an airplane

The first thing you need to do is check with the airline for their rules regarding pet travel. Many require a health certificate and may have other rules you haven’t thought of that you don’t want to be surprised with at the airport. Your dog will almost certainly be traveling in a crate and it will probably make everyone’s lives easier if you crate your dog before you enter the chaos of the airport.

As with car travel, it’s smart not to start the trip on a full stomach or blaadder (dogs should fast for at least 6 hours before the trip) and to make a pit stop as close to the departure time as possible. However, make sure your dog has access to water—enough to keep hydrated but not full.

If your dog isn’t flying with you in the main cabin, don’t have a big goodbye scene. You’ll only upset your dog. If you’re calm, he’ll be calm.

To medicate or not to medicate your dog

With almost as large a selection of pharmaceuticals as humans, it may be tempting to medicate your dog with a sedative or calmative for the trip. I don’t recommend medicating your dog. You don’t want to start a pattern that ends with a reliance on pills for you or your pet. You possess all the tools to keep your pet calm with your voice, attitude, and body language.

Keeping your dog calm during travel

Make sure you bring your dog’s blankie or his favorite stuffed animal, toy, bone—any item which is familiar to your dog and will comfort and relax him.  For a little extra calm, try rubbing a little lavender oil between your hands and give your pet a little aromatherapy or deep tissue massage at the beginning of your dog’s spine or base of her head.

Staying in a hotel with your dog

As with flying, a little preemptive research is in order. Does the hotel you’re considering even allow pets? Better to find out before you arrive. Pet-welcoming hotels like Best Western will be prepared for your visit, and can even recommend parks, hikes, and other dog-friendly activities. At other hotels, the only thing fit for a dog is the Continental breakfast. It can also be embarrassing if your dog barks or howls in the new room. Don’t inadvertently encourage the barking with affection. Stay calm and assertive and take him out for some exercise to calm him.

Go on a long walk once you reach the hotel

A recently exercised dog will be in a more relaxed state during any long trip. Your dog may growl at strangers and that’s ok. It’s natural for your dog to be a little nervous around new people. She’s out of her element and may growl. This isn’t because she’s being aggressive, but because she’s a little freaked out and needs reassurance that everything’s under control. If you pull her away from the new person, you’re indicating that there is something wrong and she’ll freak out more. Again, be calm and assertive and show your dog that you’ve got it covered.

How to enter the hotel room with your dog

Now you are ready to go to your hotel room. Enter first. Get the dog to stay where he is. Don’t let him wander around or he’ll assume control of the situation. While you are unpacking, showering, or making phone calls, he is waiting. The only one who should move in the environment is you—until you are ready, then you initiate activity. It’s important that your scent is everywhere before the dog settles in.

Exploring a new place

You’re away from home and that means a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, and potential food items for your dog. Make sure you’re vigilant wherever you go about what’s around, especially in the area of things your dogs could ingest. Also, especially around the holidays, there may be a lot of lights, decorations, and snout-level treats that can be distracting or dangerous for your pooch. Keep an eye on him and the new place.

Can’t bring your dog along?

Find a good substitute pack.  In a kennel, your dog should be immediately adopted as a member of the pack. The staff should be able to get your dog focused on what is there for him – and not leave him mourning over the fact that you left. It is a big deal for a dog to detach himself from a pack. The new pack should equal or better the pack he just left.  Traveling with a dog can be a fun experience for both of you. Just remember to be as prepared as possible wherever you go. The more homework you do on dog travel, the fewer surprises there will be. Don’t forget to make sure your dog gets plenty of exercise and above all, of course, be calm and assertive. A balanced dog makes the best travel companion.

Camping With Your Best Friend

See Cello, The Happy GLAMper HERE!

See Hooch, The Happy Camper HERE!

See Lager, The Camping Canine Commander in Chief HERE!

See Rita, The RV Rover camping adventures HERE!

See Whiskey The Weekend Warrior HERE!

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Petfinder.com offeres these great tips for camping with your dog:

 

Before You Leave for Your Trip

Talk to your veterinarian and make sure your dog is healthy and up-to-date on all required vaccinations, particularly rabies. Ask your vet whether your dog should be vaccinated against Lyme disease, a tick-borne disease. Discuss appropriate flea and tick control. Be sure your dog is protected against heartworms, which are transmitted by mosquito bite and have been reported in all 50 states, according to the American Heartworm Society.  Check to see whether the camping area allows dogs, and familiarize yourself with the rules for pets at the site.

Have an appropriate collar or harness with an identification tag. Use a cell phone number where you can be reached at all times, not a home phone number, on the tag. Microchipping your dog will provide an additional measure of protection in the event that your dog becomes lost. Register the microchip – or make sure the information is up to date if your dog already has a chip — so that you can be contacted when your dog is located.

 

Packing for Your Dog

Bring water for your dog to drink if a water supply is not available at the campsite. Do not allow your dog to drink out of standing bodies of water. Your dog should continue to eat his regular diet during the trip; pack enough food and treats to last for your entire stay. Pack a food dish and water bowl. Bring bedding and toys to keep your dog occupied as well. Take a copy of your dog’s health records and vaccination reports, especially important if you are crossing state lines. Other essential items include a leash and collar or harness, a carrier or other means to confine your dog when necessary, bags to pick up your dog’s waste, a first aid kit and any medications your dog takes regularly.

 

What To Do with Your Dog While Camping

Once at the camping ground, keep your dog on a leash or otherwise confined so that other campers are not disturbed and your dog is not at risk for becoming lost or injured. Be aware of keeping your dog away from things such as campfires and cooking utensils that can cause injury. A “leave it” command is also useful in case your dog begins to explore or picks up something dangerous in his mouth.  Keep your dog close to you during your camping expedition. If you are unable to supervise your dog, be sure he is properly confined. Do not leave your dog confined in a closed car or tied to a stationary object though. Provide a carrier, crate, or portable fencing unit instead.  While camping, check your dog’s fur and skin regularly for ticks as well as for plant material like thorns or burrs. Plant materials should be brushed free of your dog’s hair, if possible. In some situations, cutting or shaving the hair may be necessary to remove these items.  Remove Ticks promptly by grasping the tick near the skin and pulling gently and slowly away from the skin. Wear gloves when doing so. Do not handle ticks with bare hands as they can transmit diseases to you as well as to your dog.

 

Active.com also had some great tips for camping with your dog:

Find a 24 Hour Vet

Before you go camping with a dog, it’s important to know where the closest 24 hour vet is. Though you never expect a medical emergency, a rattlesnake bite, for example, needs immediate attention. Simply having this information on hand will bring you peace of mind during the trip.

Be Wary of Ticks

The chance of a tick landing on your dog is relatively high. Be sure to buy tick medication before taking a dog camping to protect against the pests you can’t control.  Remember, some flea medications do not cover ticks so make sure Fido has coverage; you can check with your vet about this before heading out. It’s also important you know how to get a tick off in case one does land. Ask your vet to show you how to remove it, or buy tick removal gear.

Don’t Forget the Necessities

Don’t forget to bring an extra leash, collar, dog meds, food and treats. If your dog has short hair, consider a thermal jacket or something to keep him warm. Also, bring a bed, towel or pillow for your pet to sleep on.

Do Your Trail Research

Before you take a dog camping, consider how it will affect your hiking plans. Remember, many state parks forbid dogs on the trails. Don’t let your weekend be ruled by “No Dogs Allowed” signs, and be sure to check all of the rules before you depart.

Prepare Your Pup

Though your dog is active on a regular basis, he may not be prepared for a 6-mile hike, or longer. Don’t risk taking him on a trip he can’t handle. Instead, take a few practice hikes beforehand. Try to find treks that is similar in terrain and required effort.  Camping with a dog is a no-brainer for families with pets. But, be sure to research the area and ask other dog owners for their suggestions to ensure your family and your pup have the best experience.

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Two of my favorite dog-friendly sites to use while camping are:

(1) BringFido.com :

BringFido.com has been providing pet friendly suggestions since April, 2005.  BringFido.com is a dog travel directory that provides reviews, pet policy information, and online reservations at pet friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity. Information is also provided on bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds that welcome pets in 150 countries worldwide.  BringFido.com also provides information on both airlines and hotel pet policies, as well as recommendations on dog beaches, off-leash parks, outdoor restaurants, and other animal attractions in more than 10,000 cities around the world. Bring Fido has a toll-free number (877-411-FIDO) dog owners can call if they need assistance locating a a pet friendly hotel at the next exit on the highway, an animal hospital that’s open at 4am, or the best restaurant in the area that allows dogs to sit at its outdoor tables.

Some of the great reasons to use BringFido.com: 

1. Bring Fido has confirmed the pet policy at every hotel listed on the website, so there won’t be any surprise pet fees, weight limits, or other restrictions when you check-in at the hotel. If you find a pet policy that is no longer accurate, you can contact them, and they will cover any additional pet fee you may have been charged.

2. Bring Fido does not charge a booking fee when you make a reservation. They guarantee that you’re getting the best rate available on all prepaid reservations. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, they will gladly refund the difference plus an additional $20.

3. You can choose a free gift every time you make a reservation online. Just visit the “freebies” page prior to booking to see the current offers and enter the appropriate gift code when making your reservation. They will ship your free t-shirt, sticker, or other gift as soon as you return home from the trip.

4. Bring Fido donates a portion of all proceeds to numerous pet charities, humane societies, and rescue groups every year. You can help save a homeless pet every time you reserve a hotel room through BringFido.com.

 

(2)  DogFriendly.com :

DogFriendly.com has been helping humans share adventures with their canine kids since 1998.  They have published world-wide pet travel guides for people with dogs of all sizes & breeds.  City Guides show pet-friendly hotels, attractions, such as tours, stores & historical sites, campgrounds and parks,& off-leash parks, beaches, patio dining, skiing, and more. You can also view free listings, highway guides, the site’s blog, or their dog travel books/ebooks.  You can even join their newsletter to find out about everything dog-friendly!

 

Crossing the Mason-Dixon Line

Hooch’s first “Been There/Done That” post! 🙂

On the first of many-to-come traveling adventures for this little GSP, Hooch crossed back and forth over the Mason-Dixon line while traveling to and from Round Top Campground (Gettysburg, Pennsylvania) and Cello’s dock diving practice at Detour Winery (Keymar, MD).  Cello already had this “Been There/Done That” post under her belt when she participated in the PuppyPalooza dock diving event earlier this season.

 

This was the sign in the median to show travelers where the actual Mason-Dixon Line is:mason dixon

Don’t know what the Mason-Dixon Line is?  Encylcopedia Britannica gives a great description:

“Mason and Dixon Line,  also called Mason-Dixon Line,  originally the boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania in the United Sates. In the pre-Civil War period it was regarded, together with the Ohio River, as the dividing line between slave states south of it and free-soil states north of it. Between 1763 and 1767 the 233-mile (375-kilometer) line was surveyed along the parallel 39°43′ by two Englishmen, Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, to define the long-disputed boundaries of the overlapping land grants of the Penns, proprietors of Pennsylvania, and the Calverts, proprietors of Maryland. Mason and Dixon also surveyed much of the disputed boundary between Maryland and the territory of Delaware, which had been acquired by William Penn.  The term “Mason and Dixon Line” was first used in congressional debates leading to the Missouri Compromise (1820). Today the Mason and Dixon Line still serves figuratively as the political and social dividing line between the North and the South.”

 Map of the Mason-Dixon Line

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Round Top Campground

Round Top Campground is located in Gettysburg, PA.  We stayed at this campground for Cello’s dock diving practice hosted by Chesapeake DockDogs at Detour Winery.

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This campground has some great theme-based weekends planned for their campers.  The weekend we stayed here it was “Christmas in July!”

 

Our campsite at Round Top was spacious.  DSC02726

Round Top Campground was recently voted Good Sam top rated RV park for 2014.  This park offers many amenities to their campers such as an Olympic size pool (with separate kiddie pool), store/gift shop, 18-hole mini golf, horseshoes, volleyball, basketball, shuffleboard, laundry room, game room, and outdoor movie theater, just to name some!2014resortmap

This was Hooch’s first camping trip… and he was a happy camper!

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Traveling With Your Pooch

See the states Cello has been to by clicking HERE!

See the states Hooch has been to by clicking HERE!

See the states (AND countries!) Lager has been to by clicking HERE!

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Picture courtesy of BringFido.com

Like to travel with Fido?  We do!  Cello, Hooch, and Lager will go with us everywhere we can take them!

A few of my favorite dog-friendly sites to use while traveling are:

(1) BringFido.com :

BringFido.com has been providing pet friendly suggestions since April, 2005.  BringFido.com is a dog travel directory that provides reviews, pet policy information, and online reservations at pet friendly hotels through a partnership with Travelocity. Information is also provided on bed & breakfasts, vacation rentals, and campgrounds that welcome pets in 150 countries worldwide.  BringFido.com also provides information on both airlines and hotel pet policies, as well as recommendations on dog beaches, off-leash parks, outdoor restaurants, and other animal attractions in more than 10,000 cities around the world. Bring Fido has a toll-free number (877-411-FIDO) dog owners can call if they need assistance locating a pet friendly hotel at the next exit on the highway, an animal hospital that’s open at 4am, or the best restaurant in the area that allows dogs to sit at its outdoor tables.

Some of the great reasons to use BringFido.com: 

1. Bring Fido has confirmed the pet policy at every hotel listed on the website, so there won’t be any surprise pet fees, weight limits, or other restrictions when you check-in at the hotel. If you find a pet policy that is no longer accurate, you can contact them, and they will cover any additional pet fee you may have been charged.

2. Bring Fido does not charge a booking fee when you make a reservation. They guarantee that you’re getting the best rate available on all prepaid reservations. If you find a lower rate within 24 hours of booking, they will gladly refund the difference plus an additional $20.

3. You can choose a free gift every time you make a reservation online. Just visit the “freebies” page prior to booking to see the current offers and enter the appropriate gift code when making your reservation. They will ship your free t-shirt, sticker, or other gift as soon as you return home from the trip.

4. Bring Fido donates a portion of all proceeds to numerous pet charities, humane societies, and rescue groups every year. You can help save a homeless pet every time you reserve a hotel room through BringFido.com.

(2)  DogFriendly.com :

DogFriendly.com has been helping humans share adventures with their canine kids since 1998.  They have published world-wide pet travel guides for people with dogs of all sizes & breeds.  City Guides show pet-friendly hotels, attractions, such as tours, stores & historical sites, campgrounds and parks,& off-leash parks, beaches, patio dining, skiing, and more. You can also view free listings, highway guides, the site’s blog, or their dog travel books/ebooks.  You can even join their newsletter to find out about everything dog-friendly!

(3) Gopetfriendly.com:

GoPetFriendly.com has it all … you can search this site by category – such as pet friendly hotels, campgrounds, beaches, and parks… to veterinarians, pet supply stores – and even restaurants and wineries where your pup is welcome to join you.  Everything you’ll want or need while you’re traveling across the US and Canada is here, all in one place.  The site even has a Road Trip Planner that will map your trip and locate all the pet friendly places along the way.  And if that isn’t enough – there is also a collection of approximately 30,000 consistent, detailed pet polices from hotels and campgrounds.

Traveling with your Dog 3

Happy Travels! 

Brotha from the SAME motha… Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch

See Hooch’s Canine Parents HERE!

Watch Hooch Grow HERE!

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Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch

“Hooch”

German Shorthaired Pointer

Birthday:  May 24, 2014

“Our Little Nugget”,  “Hoochie Coochie”

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When we found out that Limoncello’s mother had another litter, we could not help but go visit her, and see the puppies.

On May 24, 2014, Cello’s Mom, Shoal Branch Ladybird (“Lady”) gave birth to 10 puppies… we are now the proud parents of one of them!

Cello and Hooch’s mom, “Shoal Branch Ladybird” (Lady)photo (1)

 

Hooch’s Dad, “FC Sky High Regardless”

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Introducing “Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch!” (Hooch for short!):

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Why “Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch?” When we bought our log home, Brian was able to search back to the original deed of the home and find the first owner of our cabin, which was built in 1927. Brian google-searched the man’s name for the heck of it, and his search brought up a link for the English Setters Club in Medford, NJ. The first owner of our home owned an award-winning GSP (which is how we ended up wanting a GSP), and Windy Spot was the name of that first dog and award winning GSP that lived in our home. We named our cabin Windy Spot, after that GSP, before we even met Cello.  Read about our story here!

Hooch climbed right into Brian’s lap…and the rest is history!

Puppy Kisses:photo 2 (1)

The name “Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch” … Incorporates the name of the first dog/GSP that lived here, and also refers to Limoncello being the “Hooch” that we make here at our cabin, Windy Spot… AND connects his name to Cello’s too 🙂

Welcome home, Hooch!

 

photo 2

Banana Biscotti

A week or so ago, I saw this yummy recipe on Dog Treat Kitchen. Tonight I decided to bake these treats for Cello.  Cello is currently on a grain-free diet, so I knew I had to alter the ingredients a bit.  I decided I would exclude the rolled oats in the original recipe, and substitute Buckwheat flour for the whole wheat flour also listed in the original recipe.

At the same time I was preparing to bake some treats, I also decided to boil my usual batch of hard-boiled eggs for my breakfast, and for Cello’s weekly dinner additive.  Perhaps doing two things at once was not such a good idea!

…Figuring I was being super-productive getting the eggs and biscotti done simultaneously, I was too focused on rushing, and was not attentive enough to the biscotti ingredient preparations!  After I had already started boiling the eggs, I reviewed the ingredients for the biscotti.  …OOPS!  …

The recipe called for 2 eggs – and now I was all out.  I Google searched what I could substitute for eggs, and was pleasantly surprised to find that 1/4 cup of applesauce could be substituted for each egg in most backing recipes.  As luck would have it, I had some organic, unsweetened applesauce in the fridge (PHEW!!)… turns out, my mistake blossomed  into a blessing…the biscotti turned out great!!  They were nice-and-sweet with the added apple sauce!

banana biscotti

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium organic bananas
  • 1/4 cup organic peanut butter (organic, so salt or sugar added)
    • Be sure that the peanut butter you use doesn’t contain xylitol)
  • 1/2 cup organic, unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 1/4 cups organic Buckwheat flour (may need extra to add, depending on the consistency/level of stickiness you are comfortable with)

 

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F
  2. Place the peeled bananas and peanut butter into a large microwave safe bowl.
  3. Microwave the bananas and peanut butter for 30-60 seconds, to soften.
  4. Thoroughly mash the bananas while mixing in the peanut butter.
  5. Mix in the applesauce.
  6. Stir in the water.
  7. Make a well in the center of the flour and pour in the banana mixture.
  8. Using a fork, stir together the wet and dry ingredients until completely combined. If needed, use your hands to mix together the mixture.
  9. Lightly spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.
  10. Turn out your dough ball onto the prepared baking sheet. Gently press the ball into a rectangular loaf shape about 1 inch thick. Try to make your shape as uniform as possible for even baking.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes.
  12. Let the banana biscotti loaf cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes.
  13. Cut the loaf in half, lengthwise.
  14. Cut strips about 1 inch thick.
  15. Place the slices, cut side down, and bake for another 20 minutes.
  16. Turn biscotti pieces over (flip), and bake another 20 minutes.
  17. Turn the oven off, and let the treats cool completely in the oven.

biscotti

Cello and Hooch approve…hope your pooch does too!  “Bone” Appetit !

Tommy D’s Limoncello: Our First GSP

Tommy D’s Limoncello (“Cello”)

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Why a GSP? …Brian and I bought our dream home in April of 2009.  A log cabin on a lake… only it didn’t quite “look” like a log cabin – – and, it wasn’t quite in “dream-home” state when we bought it (see Cello’s Cabin page).  Our goal is to restore this historic log cabin to its original state, and to fill it with decorations and mementos of the great town we live in, as well as items that would be relevant to the cabin and it’s history.  Brian works in the mortgage industry, and was able to research back to the original deed of our home.  Brian was able to find out that the log home was built in 1927, and also discovered the name of the original owner.  Out of curiosity, Brian Google-searched the man’s name. Low and behold, he came up in the search! The search result that came up was linked to the English Setters Club, a local and nationally known club that conducts field trials that are open to all pointing breeds.  The original owner of our home owned a German Shorthaired Pointer, named “Windy Spot,” who won many awards at the club for field trials.  I called the club to see if I could get more information on this dog and his owner, or a picture of them that we could hang in our cabin.  When the man from the club called me back, and I explained my story, the other end of the phone was silent.  When I asked if he was “still there,” he asked me to repeat where I lived – what street – what house, etc… come to find out, this man I was speaking to was a direct family member of the man who built our log cabin back in 1927!!  Needless to say, it was quite an interesting conversation! Brian and I immediately researched German Shorthaired Pointers online, and fell in love with the GSP breed, and all their characteristics.  We knew a GSP would be the perfect addition to our lifestyle, our family, and our log home.  We have named our log cabin “Windy Spot,” after the first dog that ever lived in our home!

Brian and I were visiting a family member in West Creek, NJ on Memorial day weekend 2011, when they mentioned that they saw a post at at the local hardware store that there was a litter of German Shorthaired Pointers available not far from us.  This litter was born on March 14, 2011, on a South Jersey farm in the town of Chatsworth. Brian and I became lucky parents of  Cello on Monday, May 31, 2011 (Memorial Day), when decided to stop to talk to the man about his litter and knowledge of German Shorthaired Pointers.  When we pulled up to the property, the owner opened up the barn doors, and out came 3 of the most adorable GSP puppies!  One of them jumped right into Brian’s arms – we knew immediately she was coming home with us!

Can you pick out Cello in this pic?!

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Cello is the ultimate water dog! If there is water in site, Cello must find her way into it…! Her entire body shivers with excitement with the site of water to jump into or lay in!  Luckily we live on a lake, so she gets plenty of swimming and dock-diving time!  We also keep a baby pool in the yard for her to lay in when she is not in “lake-mode.”  She is also obsessed with soccer balls!!  She has an outstanding personality, bringing smiles to people’s faces everywhere we go!

Why “Cello”? (pronounced CHELLO) …Cello’s full name is “Tommy D’s Limoncello.”  Tommy D was my Italian grandfather (my mother’s father), who passed away in 2007.  He was quite the character to say the least, and was “famous” among his family and friends for his homemade Limoncello, with his “secret” recipe.  Before he passed, “Pop Pop Tommy,” revealed his “secret” recipe.  Brian, as well as other family members, have been carrying on the tradition of making homemade Limoncello ever since.  Read all about Tommy D’s Limoncello HERE!

Tommy DiRenzopop pop

Jenny and “Pop Pop Tommy”

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Cello’s first day home:unnamed

Feline Brotha-From-Anotha-Motha, Loki

Loki

Tabby Cat

Birthday: March 18, 2002 – May 17, 2017

“FatCat,”… “PhatCat”

We miss you every day, little buddy!

 

Loki (appropriately named after the Norse god of mischief) is our 21 pound FatCat…or PHATcat 🙂 … he gave us a glimpse of what it would be like to have a pet walrus 😉 …I called him “big boned”…Brian called him “severely overweight.”  He was always in one of 3 modes:  sleeping, begging for food, or trying to lay on us in any way possible!  He had never known any other animal but dogs, and truly believed he was one…just one that was capable of getting on the counters!   GSP’s are not generally good around cats.  However, Loki was bigger than Cello when she came home, and he was not shy about letting Cello know that! Over time they had become loving siblings, and play-buddies.  They could often be seen playing together or sleeping together.  Loki actually made sure he was touching Cello in some way anytime he snuggled up to go to bed…sometimes he reached out with his paw and placed it on Cello.  They were the best of friends!

photo 2

 

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Loki and Min Pin, Dante :

Loki and Dante always snuggled together.

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Loki and Min Pin, Cleopatra :

Loki and Cleopatra rarely sat close together – but every once in a while they would find a good sun spot to share.

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The day Cello and Loki met:

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Cello and Loki loved to lay together:photo

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Loki graciously allowed Margarita to use him as a pillow when she first arrived at our home as our foster dog, “Penelope.”

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Loki the Cheshire Cat 😉

loki

Sista-From-Anotha-Mista, Cleopatra

Cleopatra

“Cleo”

Miniature Pinscher

April 23, 1999 to September 17, 2012

We miss you dearly, “Little Peepers!”

 photo 1

If “little man” syndrome had ever applied to a dog, that would be our “Little Peepers,” Cleopatra!  She was 150 pounds of guard dog in a 7 pound body.  The treasure she was guarding was her Mama.  She was my shadow, and constant friend.  Cleopatra also had a big heart and soft-spot for her brother, Dante and her PaPa, but would only show them when I wasn’t home! She was one of the sweetest and funniest dogs you could ever meet (IF you were ME that is! …to most people she mostly only showed her “sassy” side!)  Cello loved to “play” with Cleopatra….which Cleopatra did not find as entertaining as Cello did.  However that never deterred Cello’s desire to love her sister.  Cello was the playful sister that Cleopatra loved, but sometimes never wanted!  Cleopatra will always hold a special place in our hearts.  We love and miss her every day.

 

Cello and Cleopatra:photo

Cleopatra as a puppy:cleo2

 

One of my favorite pictures of Cleopatra:cleo1

Cleopatra and Brian canoeing on our lake:cleo 3

Brotha-From-Anotha-Motha, Dante’s Inferno

Dante’s Inferno

“Dante”

Miniature Pinscher

January 6, 1996 – August 11, 2011

We miss you dearly, our “Little Boody”

photo 3

Dante… the ultimate sick-day buddy would lay in bed with us for 24 hours if need be!  He was our constant companion, and loving friend.  What he lacked in energy he made up in heart.   He loved naps in the sun, and laying on the couch watching sports with Brian.  Date was also very good at letting us know when dinner time was…OR an hour before with his signature “tap dance” – -a sight to behold! He is missed and loved everyday, and was fondly nicknamed our “little Boody.”  Unfortunately, Dante was very, very ill when we got Cello.  However, he perked-up when “puppy Cello” came home, and was able to enjoy Cello’s energy for a short while before passing in August of 2011.  Even though Cello was a “wild-child,” she always knew how to be gentle with Dante.

Cello and Dante:photo (3)

Dante as a puppy:dante

One of my favorite pictures of Dante:dante 2

Chill Out … The Dogs Days of Summer Are Here!

 The Dog Days of Summer are here… How will you cool off your pooch?

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 (Pic from BringFido.com)

 

The Dog Days of Summer are upon us!  With the onset of the heat and humidity, I’ve been asked recently by several different people where they could take their dog swimming to cool them off on hot summer days.  This question got me thinking 3 things right off the bat:

(1) I need to appreciate where we live a bit more:

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Cello is very lucky to have direct access to our lake to take her daily swims:

…and to play in the water alone or with friends…

photo (1)

 

water run

photo

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…and to do what she loves most – dock diving!

lake

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(2) Just where in New Jersey CAN you take your dog to cool off if you do not have access to a pool, or other safe, clean body of water that is also in a dog friendly area?? Luckily, our good friend, and fellow GSP Rescue of NJ buddy, Ally, had done some of the work for me in a post she included on the GSP Rescue of NJ FaceBook page (Thanks, Ally!!)

…and …

(3) What can you do to keep your dog cool on a daily basis during the heat of the summer?

 

Before I include some suggestions for some dog-friendly swimming holes in New Jersey, and how to keep your pup cool in the heat,  I wanted to share just why people say “Dog Days of Summer.”  Being a dog-lover, I began to wonder why people chose this particular phrase.   If you thought it was just a made-up saying like I did, think again!  Thanks to The Weather Channel, and a little research, I found out what this term REALLY means, and where it originated.  This term dates back to ancient times!  “diēs caniculārēs,” or “days of the dogs” / “days of the dogs,” was what ancient people referred to as the period from the first week of July, to the second week of August.

Now that explains where the phrase originated, and when it started…but one still might ask, “Why dogs?” …Ever hear of the constellation, Orion?

orionOrion is often referred to as “The Hunter,” and is a noticeable constellation observable throughout the world. Close to Orion is the constellation Canis Major, which is Latin for “greater dog.”  According to constellation fables, Canis Major is one of Orion’s hunting dogs.

canis_major

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Located within Canis Major is a star named Sirius, also known as the “Dog Star.” With the exception of our sun, Sirius is THE brightest star detectable from Earth. The vivid, blue-white star’s name originates from the Greek word for “searing.”

sirius_600

Because Sirius is so intense, it was effortless to trace,  even for primitive astronomers. During April and early May, Sirius is evident in the southwest skies only after sunset. However, by the time mid-summer arrives, Sirius rises and falls with the sun.  This would cause Sirius to “get lost” in the daytime skies. Nevertheless, the our ancestors knew that the “Dog Star” was still present in the sky, along with the sun, during the hottest time of the year. These primitive astronomers reasoned that since Sirius was so bright, and present in the sky with the sun, it must be contributing to the heat to produce the hottest time of the year.

Now what the ancient astronomers did not know, is that although Sirius is very vibrant, (according to Dr. Jon Nese, Penn State University professor, and former storm analyst for The Weather Channel, “Sirius is very luminous; if it suddenly replaced our sun, daylight on Earth would be about 25 times brighter than it is now)”… it’s energy (heat) does not affect Earth as much as the sun. Also, in spite of it’s brilliance, Sirius is also about half a million times farther away from Earth than our sun. As it turns out, our ancestors were not exact in their reasoning, but sure provided us with a cool saying for the hottest time of the year…and hey, it has to do with dogs – what’s cooler than that ?! 😉

OK, enough of the astronomy lesson, and onto WHERE you can bring your pup during the Dog Days of Summer. New Jersey is well-known for its beaches, so thanks to rescue pal, Ally, and the sweet, gorgeous Eve (a senior rescue!) here is a list of dog-friendly beaches in New Jersey in case you are vacationing at the Jersey Shore, or live close enough to drive to one of the beaches.

Eve enjoying a day at one of the dog-friendly beaches in New Jersey:

EVE - Beach

 

If you are not fond of the beach, here are two dog parks that I know of that also have a creek or lake for the dogs to swim in:

Timber Creek Dog Park, located at Chews Landing Rd and Somerdale Rd in Blackwood, NJ:

timber

 

and Freedom Park, located at 86 Union Street, Medford, NJ:

freedom

 

Can’t get to a beach or other dog-friendly swimming area?  Cello has some hot summer tips to keep cool during the Dog Days of Summer:

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  • Find innovative ways to cool your dog!
  1. Try a Cool Pet Pad (Available at The Green Pet Shop) – now being product-tested by the GSP Rescue of NJ!
  2. Try a cooling dog vest, or collar.
  3.  Let your pup have fun with a sprinkler, or mist them softly with a hose! (Dogs cool from from the bottom up, so be sure to mist Fido’s paws and stomach, not just the top of the dog.  Also, a cool, wet towel on the ground for Fido to lay on does a great job too!)

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(Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

5.  Buy a baby pool!  Cello loves hers!

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  • Exercise your dog in the early morning, or late at night.  These are the cooler parts of the day, and will make a walk or jog more comfortable for both you and your dog. If you just can’t walk your dog during the early or late hours, pick up a pair of doggie boots. Just as they prevent damage to the dog’s paws in winter, these boots also protect Fido’s paws during the summer on hot surfaces like concrete or asphalt.  Dogs absorb and release heat through their paws, so do Fido a favor and pick up some boots at your local pet supply store, or on-line.
  • Supply plenty of fresh water for your dog. Different dogs have different needs when it comes to keeping hydrated and beating the heat. Keep in mind that darker coats absorb more heat than lighter coats, and overweight dogs are at higher risk for dehydration.

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 (Flickr/bigbirdz)

 

 

  • Provide a shady area. Dogs rely on panting and resting in a shady place to keep cool in the heat.
  • Look for signs of dehydration:  Dogs don’t “sweat” like us humans. They cool off by panting.  An overheated dog will pant excessively, have a dark pink-to-red tongue, have a dry/tacky mouth, lift feet to avoid hot surfaces, will slow down on a walk, vomit, become lethargic, and its eyes will be bloodshot.
  • Let your dog dig! (I know, I know) – this is a behavior we normally try to s avoid, and if my husband, Brian, reads this post he will be screaming inside his head, I’m sure!   Dogs dig for many reasons – a big one being frustration – but one reason is to keep cool.  IF possible, (and IF your dog is not digging to escape, or out of frustration) maybe allow Fido to have a “special digging” spot in a shady area.  Cello has been known to dig large holes in our yard and lay in the them to keep cool (sorry, Bri!) 🙂
  • NEVER, NEVER, NEVER leave a dog in a vehicle on even a warm day.The sun can heat a car to more than 110 degrees on a 75 degree day in no time…Even with the windows rolled down…so imagine the heat index inside a car on a really HOT day. The interior heat could rise over 40 degrees in an hour, and reach over 120 degrees in a matter of minutes. Dogs can sustain brain damage, or even die from heatstroke in just 15 minutes in that kind of heat.  Think parking in a shady spot will help keep the temperature in your car down? – think again!  Dogs can get heat stroke even when the car is parked in the shade.  Forget the AC too… leaving the air conditioner on is no guarantee- not only could the air conditioner break, but you also run the risk of noxious fumes building up inside your car. Your dog’s life is never worth leaving them in the car for even a few minutes. When in doubt, leave Fido home!

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If you see a dog left alone in a hot car, write down the car’s color, model, make, and license plate number. If the car is parked outside of a store, have the owner paged in the nearest buildings.  If you cannot locate the owner immediately, call local humane authorities or police. Have someone keep an eye on the dog, and don’t leave the scene until the situation has been resolved.  If the authorities are unresponsive, or too slow, and the dog’s life appears to be in imminent danger, find a witness (or several) who will back up your assessment, take steps to remove the suffering animal from the car, and then wait for authorities to arrive.  Each state’s animal protection laws are different – get to know your sate’s laws HERE.

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Most of all – don’t let these Dog Days of Summer get you or your pooch down…take advantage of the heat and spend some time cooling off with Fido, and doing some fun, bonding activities (like swimming) with your pup!  Have fun, and keep cool!

Know any dog-friendly swimming areas in your state – or have some tips on how to keep dogs cool during the Dog Days of Summer?  Please comment and share!