Hooch’s Frist New Year’s Eve

Hooch celebrated his first New Years Eve!  Since we did not have Hooch in our family until after July 4, we were unsure of how he would handle fireworks.  Well, he takes after his big sister Cello – and doesn’t like them ONE bit!  We were very glad we were home to be with our two fur-kids, so we could make them feel safe during all the “booms!”

Pawty Animal, Hooch, on his first New Years Eve:

unnamed (1)

unnamed

Cello helped ring in the New Year too:

unnamed (3)

unnamed (2)

new-years-greetings-quotes-for-friends

Happy New Year’s Eve 2014, Everyone!

Hooch Wins Keystone DockDogs “Dog You Want to Dognap!”

Hooch spent the 2014 season too young to participate in DockDogs competitions.  However, as he tagged along to all the events, and cheered his big sis on, he won over the hearts of many!

photo (8)

Everyone wanted a turn to hold Hooch at events!

DSC04041

Being a cheerleader is tiresome work:

DSC04813

Hooch even volunteered his time as a donation dog for the GSP Rescue of NJ while intently watching his big sis dive off the dock:DSC06537

People would get a kick out of how intensely Hooch studied the moves of Limoncello while she was on the dock:

unnamed

In October, one month shy of being old enough to participate in an official DockDogs event, we introduced Hooch to the dock diving pool by letting him go down the ramp.
DSC07408

DSC07416

At the 2014 End-of-Season Keystone DockDogs Banquet, Hooch received a trophy for being the dog everyone wanted to dognap!

unnamed (8)

Hooch’s First Hike: Historic Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ

We took Cello and Hooch to historic Batsto Village for a hike!

entrance_sign

Although this is both Cello and Hooch’s first visit to Batsto Village, this historic site holds a very special place in our hearts.  If you’ve been following this blog, you know the story of how we discovered the German Shorthaired Pointer, and why we knew we would eventually forever have GSPs as family members.  If you don’t know the story, click HERE .  Six months after we bought our dream home, Brian and I went to the Country Living Fair, an event held annually on the third Sunday in October at Batsto Village, in hopes to find some historic items related to our area to decorate our home.  While walking through the Village, we saw (for the very first time) a couple with a German Shorthaired Pointer.  We approached the couple to pet the dog, and to ask some questions about the breed, since at the time we knew nothing about GSPs, other than what we had researched online.  When Brian asked what the man thought of the breed, the man’s exact words were, “These dogs are the biggest pain in the A_ _.”

I often think of this, with three things that come to mind:

1) I can only feel sorry for that man who didn’t understand just how wonderful GSPs are

2) I pray that the man was joking, and that the beautiful dog we saw that day is leading a family-life full of love and care

3) I thank God we didn’t let the man’s opinionated statement divert us from our desire to have GSPs in our family.

At this exact spot, approximately 5 years ago, we saw and petted a German Shorthaired Pointer for the very first time!  Today, Brian and Cello stood in that same spot:

DSC02222

Batsto Village dates back to 1776, and is located in Southern New Jersey in the Wharton State Forrest, New Jersey’s largest state forest, located in the heart of the Pinelands (home of New Jersey’s cultural icon, The Jersey Devil!)   Archeologists have found evidence of Prehistoric life in the Batsto area as well…the history dates back several thousand years!

Batsto Iron Works was built along the Batsto River in 1766. Batsto had all the natural resources necessary for making iron:  bog ore from the banks of the streams and rivers, wood for fuel, and water for power. The Batsto Iron Works produced household items such as cooking pots and kettles. During the Revolutionary War, Batsto also manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. By the mid 1800’s, iron production was down, and Batsto re-invented itself as a glass-making community, specializing in window glass.

Today Batsto Village is a New Jersey Historic site, and is also listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Batsto area also has numerous hiking trails, some of which connect with the 50-mile long Batona Trail (whose name derives from the words BAck TO NAture).

unnamed

We decided on the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail.

unnamed (1)

To get to this trail, park in the Visitor Center parking lot.  Walk past the Visitor Center, toward the Village and turn right to go past the Mansion, a 32-room home that served as the former residence of generations of ironmasters.  Fourteen rooms, (including the parlors, dining room, library and bedrooms), are open to view for people visiting Batsto.

DSC02206

Just beyond the Mansion are many original structures still standing in the Village, including a General Store, Post Office, Gristmill, Sawmill, Blacksmith, Glassworks, Ice House, and the Batsto Church.  Other cool things not to pass by are the remains of an ore boat, extracted from the bottom of Batsto Lake, an ore pile, iron furnace, and Farm.

The Gristmill below was powered by Batsto Lake and processed the wheat, corn, other grains sold in the Village’s General Store:

DSC02213

The picture below is the Piggery.  This structure was used to slaughter hogs to provide food for the Village. The tall stone and brick tower on the left provided water from a large tank, which flowed into a large processing tub where the animal parts were further processed. The cast iron tub is thought to have been manufactured by the iron workers in the village.

DSC02209

Other Farm structures to check out before continuing on the hike are:

Wood House: where wood for the Mansion’s cook stoves was stored here

Carriage House: used to house various horse drawn vehicles

Horse Stable: ten stalls, where riding horses and carriage horses were kept

Threshing Barn: contained a threshing machine which separated the grain from the straw and chaff

Range Barn: where the cattle were kept

Mule Barn: constructed of Jersey ironstone, it served as a team stable, hay storeroom, and an 8-stall mule barn

Continue across Batsto Lake on a plank bridge, where you will also see (and hear!) the dam.  Just across the dam is the Sawmill, which was powered by  Batsto Lake.  The mill cut lumber and shingles that were transported by train all over the east coast, providing additional profit for Batsto.

DSC02246

Just over the bridge is a great place to sit and take in the views of Batsto Lake.  Batsto Lake and River were the major reasons for the location of the Village and its Iron Furnace. The river provided bog ore, and the lake was produced by the dam which allowed boats to move the bog ore from the river to the Iron Furnace.

unnamed (4)

The lake also provided water power for both the Sawmill and the Gristmill.

DSC02215

The sandy trail then leads through  a row of homes once inhabited by the employees of Batsto.

DSC02225

The state of New Jersey purchased the Batsto area in the mid 1950’s. At this time, there were still a few people living in the Village houses, and they were told that they were allowed to remain living there for as long as they wanted.  It wasn’t until 1989 that the last house was vacated!

DSC02231

People emplyed at Batsto lived in cottages consisting of 2- 3 rooms downstairs, and 2-3 rooms upstairs.  Each house had an attic, fireplace, and an outhouse.

DSC02232

Several homes are open for visitors to walk through.

DSC02227

unnamed (2)

Once past the cottage-style homes, a path leading to the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail and the yellow-blazed Mullica River Trail is set diagonally off to the right.

DSC02240

You can pick up the yellow-blazed Mullica River Trail along the way, but we decided to stick with just the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail.

Although there were many Pine and Oak trees, we also went through a White Cedar bog, located along the Mullica River. Here is a picture of Hooch and Jenny just before we went through the bog:

unnamed (1)

There were several foot bridges we crossed along the way.

DSC02244

Hooch did a great job keeping up!unnamed (6)

The orange-blazed trail is very well marked.  The path follows along the Sleeper Branch of the Mullica River, then loops around for your return trip to the starting point. unnamed (5)

Not bad for Hooch’s first hike!

In addition to the historic buildings and hiking paths, Batsto hosts many events and tours.  Camping and Canoeing are also popular at this historic site.  Other amenities include a park office, restrooms, telephone, water, and picnic area.

Play Date with Pepper (AKA Bella)

Remember “Bella,” the adorable 16 week old GSP puppy we fostered?

DSC08063

Click HERE to read the original post about this adorable puppy!

Well, Pepper (Bella’s new name) is doing GREAT and is as happy as can be in her new home with her 4-legged sister, Mocha, a Vizsla/Weimaraner mix, and her two human sisters who give her lots of exercise!

 We were lucky enough to get invited over for a play date, and boy, did we have a BLAST!!

unnamed (1)

All 4 dogs had an absolute blast running in Pepper and Mocha’s huge yard!

unnamed

unnamed (7)

Here they are in action!

We very much enjoyed seeing how happy Pepper is with her forever family!  We plan to get all the dogs together for play dates often in the future!

Hooch’s First Dog Park Visit: John Connolly Memorial Park, Voorhees, NJ

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hooch had never been to a dog park yet, so we took Cello and Hooch to John Connolly Memorial Park, in Voorhees, NJ.

DSC02205

Hooch was having a blast chasing Cello and the Chuck-It ball – UNTIL a huge male Great Dane puppy decided Hooch looked like a cool dude to play with.  The Great Dane wanted nothing but to run with and chase Hooch – but the size of this immense pup scared poor Hooch to death!  He ran away barking like mad, and ended up running to his mommy for safety!  The poor Great Dane had no idea why Hooch did not want to play with him!  Hooch was pretty spooked at that point, so we left the dog park.

DSC02202

Hopefully visit #2 will go a bit smoother for the Hoochie Coochie Man!

DSC02201

Hooch and Cello in action:

Of course Cello wanted nothing but to chase her ball, so nothing or no one phased our ball-crazy gal!

Merry Christmas… Hooch’s First!

Hooch celebrated his first-ever Christmas!

He was a good sport as we dressed him up with Christmas props!

DSC01874

DSC01849

DSC01857

DSC01843

Cello wasn’t left out of the Christmas madness:

DSC01923

“Christmas, Christmas time is near

Time for toys, and time for cheer

We’ve been good, but we can’t last

Hurry Christmas, Hurry Fast…

…We can hardly stand the wait

Please Christmas don’t be late!”

~Alvin and the Chipmunks
DSC01888

Christmas morning proved that Santa Paws had Cello and Hooch on his “Nice List!”

unnamed (2)

This year we ordered German Shorthaired Pointer stockings from Pawsome Donations – each purchase helps out dogs in need, as 25% of all profits will go to rescue organizations, including the GSP Rescue of NJ.  Check out the Pawsome Donations Facebook page HERE.1555341_793178327415036_8015198393828786679_n

Merry Christmas, cabin style, from Cello and Hooch!

10845896_793178340748368_5358017289268671020_n

65933_787411164658419_509170793309971059_n