Residence Inn Baltimore Hunt Valley, Maryland

Cello and Hooch stayed at the Residence Inn Baltimore Hunt Valley, Maryland for their first dock diving event of 2015.

This has been the third hotel we’ve stayed in since we’ve started practicing indoors for Hooch’s sake, and this is the third time we have gotten assigned to room 125 (which is also Brian’s extension at work – crazy, huh?!?!

It was such a great experience, as we had never stayed in a hotel that had a full kitchen, and provided kitchen necessities like plates, glasses, wine bottle opener, pots/pans, and had an eating area.  Since it was freezing, and were weren’t going to be doing any sight-seeing, we very much enjoyed having these “extras.”

unnamed (5)

The hotel room was cleaner than clean!

unnamed (3)

The hotel offered grocery shopping free of charge, had all local take out menus on hand, and offered an included breakfast that was just as good as home-cookin’!

unnamed

The staff could not have been more helpful during our stay.

unnamed (4)

We met several other people, all with four-legged children.

unnamed (1)

The sink area was separate from the main bathroom area, which made it nice while trying to get ready.

unnamed (2)

Cello and Hooch were very comfortable!

unnamed (6)

Overall, this was one of the best hotel experiences we have had, and would highly recommend staying here!

World of Pets Expo, Timonium, MD, hosted by Chesapeake DockDogs (Hooch’s Dock Diving Debut!)

World of Pets Expo,  hosted by Chesapeake DockDogswas Hooch’s dock diving debut!

As you  know from previous posts, Hooch has practiced his dock diving at both Canine Spa and Mountain Trail Training Center. However, both facilities have docks that are only a few inches off of the water.  Hooch had never jumped in from a height of an official DockDogs dock (2 feet).  To make sure he was comfortable with this, as soon as we arrived to the Maryland State Fairgrounds, we took Hooch up on  the dock for a practice run.  As soon as I unleashed Hooch, he ran down the dock stairs into the crowd, and all around the pool (TWICE!!) The third time, he ran and dove in with no problem – so I thought I had this down pat, no problem. I was highly mistaken!

Hooch’s first official recorded dive was amazing!  Although we had practiced nothing but the “chase method” (where the dog is placed in a stay or wait position at the starting point on the dock. The handler proceeds to the end of the dock, then releases the dog. The chase object is thrown at just the right moment to keep the toy in front of the dog’s nose all the way into the water. Thus, the dog is chasing the object! The advantage of this method is that the handler can control and optimize the launch angle to increase distance – it avoids the flat jump that is likely with the place and send method).  After Hooch had run off the dock during practice, I let it get the best of me, and decided to last-minute change to the “Place and Send” method (the dog walks with the handler to the end of the dock and is held back while the handler tosses the toy. The dog is then returned to the start point and released or sent to retrieve the toy. Dogs that use the place and send method are generally just not trained to wait or stay on the dock themselves).  Even with this last-minute change, Hooch jumped big!

Hooch’s first official jump was a whopping 16 feet!  I was SO excited! Luckily we had some friends at the event that took a video to capture Hooch’s Debut!

Here’s another video of the same jump, in slow motion that another friend shot for us:

For Hooch’s second jump, I also used the Place and Send method, and he jumped 13 feet, 1 inch – again – a distance I was thrilled with! Hooch wound up earning 2nd Place in the Senior Division!!

After Hooch’s first wave, he decided he was not going to run and jump – but rather run, stop at the edge of the dock, then “POP” into the water.  Although this frustrated ME, the crowd LOVED him!

Hooch (AKA “Big POP-pa”) continued to be a crowd pleaser, but jumped in the Junior and Novice Divisions.

DSC02606

DSC02639

DSC02615

Overall, Team Homemade Hooch placed in every wave we were registered in, and won FOUR ribbons in their dock diving debut! WOOT WOOT!

unnamed (1)

Getting ribbons was fun!

unnamed (7)

unnamed

Cello also did very well in her first 2015 event – she won 2nd Place Iron Dog in the Warrior Division!

unnamed (3)

This was also Cello’s first time trying Speed Retrieve  – having never practiced this competition before this event!  Her time was 9.85 seconds…not too bad for her first time!

Here’s Cello doing Extreme Vertical:

10943176_501263826678990_868126984_o (1)

10950293_501263883345651_28626391_o

And here is Cello doing Big Air – although she was still a crowd favorite, she was leaving the dock SUPER early, and did not perform to her usual standards.

10579270_501262706679102_1053777786_o

Brian also volunteered to announce at this event:

DSC02513

It was an awesome weekend filled with great friends, good conversation, and lots and LOTS of laughs!  We want to thank EVERYone for their advice and support during this event.  I also want to personally thank everyone who took video and photographs of both Team Cello and Team Homemade Hooch.  I was so preoccupied with being a nervous wreck, that I took not ONE picture or video with my own camera or phone!

Team Homemade Hooch also wants to thank Team Cello for celebrating Team Homemade Hooch’s dock diving debut by buying us a Chesapeake DockDogs shirt in our team color!

unnamed (2)

Our 2015 shirts were a big hit as well!

unnamed (4)

We had a super-fun weekend, and are very proud of our two dock divers.  We are excited to compete in part two of the World of Pets Expo in Virginia in a couple of weeks!

8 Months

On January 24, Hooch turned 8 months old!  I can’t believe how much he’s changed in just 6 months!  He’s 49 pounds now, and slightly taller than his sister, Cello.  To see just how much he’s changed, click HERE and scroll through the pictures!

Over the past month, Hooch has traveled to Pennsylvania several times to practice his diving, went on a hike, won a contest where his painted picture will be on a greeting card, and has participated in his first official DockDogs dock diving event! Click HERE to see him in action and read the details of his first dock diving adventure!

Our little man is sure getting big!

8 months

Happy 8 month birthday, Hooch!

8 months 2

Bow-Wow Brownies

Made with carob powder and carob chips…but just as tasty as “real” brownies!!!

Evernote Camera Roll 20130710 195744

INGREDIENTS:

1/2 c. vegetable  oil

2 Tbsp pure natural honey

1 c. whole wheat flour

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla

1/2 cup unsweetened carob chips

1/2 tsp carob powder

1/2 tsp baking powder

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees

2.  In a medium bowl, mix the oil and  honey until thoroughly blended

3.  Add the remaining ingredients, and mix well.

4.  Pour into a greased baking dish (I used an 8 x 8 tin foil baking pan)

5.  Baked for 30 to 35 minutes

6.  Let cool, then cut into bite-size squares

Store in a sealed zip-lock bag or container in the refrigerator.  You can also freeze these brownies after you cut them to store them for a longer period of time.

Blueberry Mutt Muffins

 

 

 

Evernote Camera Roll 20130715 214837

Evernote Camera Roll 20130715 214848 (1)

 

INGREDIENTS:

1/4 c. blueberries

1 small banana (ripe)

1/2 c. rolled oats

1  1/4 c. rye flour

1 Tbsp honey

 

DIRECTIONS:

1.  Preheat oven to 400 degrees F

2.  Peel and slice the banana

3.  Put the blueberries, banana, and milk into a blender, and blend until smooth

4.  Pour blueberry-banana-milk mixture into a medium bowl

5.   Add rolled oats and rye flour, and stir until thoroughly combined

6.   Pour/drop batter int a greased mini-muffin pan

7.  Bake for 16 minutes.

Remove promptly from muffin pan and let muffins cool on a wire rack before serving.

Yield: 12 mini muffins

Bark For Bacon-n-Bison Biscotti !! (Gluten Free, Organic,Wheat Free!)

As posted earlier, Cello is on a month-long wheat and chicken free diet to see if we can get her recurring ear infections under control.  I recently found out that buckwheat flour is NOT considered a grain and is wheat and gluten free! It was quite interesting to find out that buckwheat is actually closely related to rhubarb! Cello enjoyed the pumpkin biscotti I had made her, so I decided to try another variety biscotti…

 

DSC08682

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound ground bison (buffalo) (I used Whole Foods Market ground buffalo – their bison meet comes from buffalo who are free range for at least 2/3 of the animals’ lives, have no added antibiotics or growth hormones given to them, and have no animal byproducts in their feed)
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (I used 365 Brand – found at Whole Foods Market – produced with no added hormones and made with milk from cows not treated with rBGH)
  • 1 cup milk (I used Organic Valley-from cows not treated with rBGH)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 cups buckwheat flour  (I used Arrowhead Mills – organic)
  • 3 slices of bacon

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cook ground buffalo completely, set side.
  3. Cook bacon until very well done, crush to bacon-bit size, set aside.
  4. Combine baking powder and buckwheat flour, and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add buffalo, cheese, and milk to the dry mixture, and knead with hands until all well combined.
  6. Split dough in half, place onto a parchment paper lined baking sheet, and form 2 meat-loaf shaped loaves, about 1 inch high.
  7. Press bacon pieces into the tops of the two loaves (be sure to firmly press them in or they will fall off while you are slicing the loaves).
  8. Bake for 20  minutes…remove loaves from oven and allow to cool for about 10-15 minutes
  9. Cut both loaves into slices.
  10. Place slices cut-side up onto parchment paper lined baking sheet, and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the slices are dry and crunchy. Flip slices over, and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the slices feel dry and crunchy (SEE NOTE BELOW).
  11. Remove from oven and let slices cool on wire rack.

**NOTE:  If your dog prefers softer treats, keep the second baking time around 10 minutes per side.  If your dog prefers crunchier biscuits, increase the second baking time to 20-25 minutes per side, depending on how hard you would like the biscotti.  You can also let the boscotti cool in the oven once you turn it off for an even harder treat.

YIELD: about 1-2 dozen, depending on how thick you cut your slices.

Store in refrigerator or freezer.

Dough formed into loaves with bacon pressed into top ready for first round of baking:DSC08646

Loves cut into slices and ready for second bake time

DSC08651

Hooch’s Mug on a Greeting Card!

Hooch was the winner of Wagging Tail Portraits’ Facebook That’s Your Pet contest!

unnamed (4)

His cutie-patootie face will be inspiration for one of Wagging Tail Portraits’ future Wet Nose Greetings Cards!  Hooch will also be featured on Wagging Tail Portraits blog, Wagging Tales.” We will also receive 50 complimentary cards and an 11×14 print of the painted illustration.

We are so proud of you, Hooch!