Lager Finding Hydrogen Peroxide

Since Lager has joined our family, we have tried to keep his nose busy so that he can still feel like he is doing his job.  Here is Lager finding Hydrogen Peroxide in our home.  Hydrogen Peroxide is just one of the 30-plus explosives ingredients Lager is trained to identify.

Pretty impressive!

The Westin, Pittsburgh, PA

Instead of camping, we decided to stay at a hotel for our last dock diving event of the season, since we are not used to staying in hotels, and because we would have to stay in a hotel for the DockDogs World Championship.  We hoped that this would prep our whole pack for our trip out to Iowa in November.  The Westin was attached directly to the Pittsburgh Expo Center, so we decided that would be our home-away-from-home for the weekend.

What a gorgeous hotel this was! …And the hotel staff were MORE than dog friendly!  We felt so at-home here! The biggest surprise was the size of our room… it was GINORMOUS! The dogs thought they were at an indoor dog park!

This hotel was very clean, the staff were not only friendly – but super DOG friendly, and the breakfast was delicious!

Pittsburgh Pet Expo, Pittsburgh, PA

The last dock diving event before the World Championship!  We chose to do this event because like the World Championship, this event was held indoors.  We knew Cello would jump in any conditions, but Hooch had not been to an indoor event since March (when he was plopping in at 5-6 feet!), and Lager had never been to an indoor event.

unnamed (7)

unnamed (9)

This event, hosted by Three Rivers DockDogs, was their annual indoor “Quest for the Belt.” If you remember back to September, we attended their annual outdoor Quest for the Belt.  At these events, the handler of the dog with the longest jump wins the Champion Belt.  The winning team then has to return to the annual event, belt in hand, and defend the belt against a new set of divers! Hooch had the longest jump of the weekend, until Sunday rolled around and he got knocked down to 2nd longest jump by one of the biggest jumping dogs in the world! Darn! We almost got that coveted belt!

belt

We were quite pleased with all the dogs’ performances.  Each one performed in their “normal” range for an indoor event. I say that because in general, dogs do not usually jump as far inside as they do outside.  Maybe its the loud noise of an enclosed building full of barking dogs and cheering spectators, or perhaps it’s the pool water that is a bit colder than usual?

Unfortunately, shortly into the event, Cello slipped on the wet floor, and injured herself. With just weeks left until the World Championship, we were very nervous that this injury could hinder her ability to perform at the World Championship event.   We scratched her from the rest of this event, called our vet, and let her rest for the remainder of the weekend.  Luckily, with great care and advice from our vet, Cello healed nicely and was fully recovered to compete at Worlds.

LIMONCELLO:

BIG AIR:

21’1″     21’8″

20’5″     20’8″

19’7″      SCRATCH

As I mentioned above, Hooch had a great weekend – and had the longest jump of the event until Sunday.  We were more than pleased with his performance, and he did not show any signs of being afraid, or hesitant.  Hooch is very easily spooked, so we were thrilled that he jumped with such enthusiasm in a loud, enclosed environment.

HOOCH:

BIG AIR:

22’8″     23’3″     2nd Place Elite

22’5″     22’8″

21’6″     22’0″

Elite Finals:      22’2″     22’5″     3rd Place Elite

I was very nervous competing with Lager at this event, not knowing if he would jump indoors.  As with everything else Lager is presented with, he performed exuberantly, with no hesitation at all, and was a crowd favorite!

Our friend, Kim, who is the gal that makes all those great Super Fly Suits you see the dogs wearing, had brought our completed suit that we had ordered special for Lager for the World Championship.

The suit is AWESOME, and  in typical Lager-fashion, he displayed his excitement and “flew” out of Kim’s arms…Haha

We had no idea about Lager’s next adventure at this event.  A handler who was also competing in this event with his dog was a Veteran.  Three Rivers DockDogs asked the human Veteran and Lager to lead the crowd in The Star Spangled Banner.  This was SO cool, and such a huge honor! Look how proud Lager is!

unnamed (13)

LAGER:

BIG AIR:

18’5″     17’11”           1st Place Senior

18’6″     19’7″            1st Place Senior

18’7″     20’1″

Senior Finals:       19’6″     20’3″     5th Place Senior

The Liver Killers: Dock Diving 2015 Season in Review

THE LIVER KILLERS 2015 DOCK DIVING SEASON IN REVIEW!

DSC02255 edited

The dock diving season technically ends in mid-October, with the World Championships being held in November.  We have officially completed our season, and what a season we had!

  • Cello had and absolutely incredible season, earning an invite to the World Championships in every discipline possible!
  • We thought Hooch would never jump – not only did he jump – he entertained everyone with the “Hoochie Hop” – -but only for a short time as he soared to over 24 feet in just 6 months of diving at a mere 1 year old! Hooch also ranked #1 German Shorthaired Pointer for Big Air in the United States, and 2nd GSP in the WORLD – by less than an inch!
  • Lager came in to our lives unexpectedly, and without any training, and jumped like a boss, earning an invitation to the World Championships after participating in just 2 national events!
  • Limoncello was offered a sponsorship from TurboPUP.
  • Cello and Hooch made the front page of the top local newspapers
  • News teams came to our house to do features on Cello, Hooch, and Lager  – and they all made the top TV news channels with their stories.
  • Cello and Hooch had a story published in a world-wide published magazine.
  • Lager had a story published in a local magazine.

TOMMY D’s LIMONCELLO

834786 (1)-002

Brian’s main goal this season was to earn an invitation to the World Championship with Cello in Warrior Division Iron Dog (a combined averaged score of Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve).  Not only did Brian and Cello achieve this goal, they did so very early in the season at the Wild Card event at Cabela’s in West Virginia during the month of May!

WORLDS INVITE

Little did we know that was just the beginning of Cello’s road to Worlds!  Brian and Cello went on to earn an invite in Speed Retrieve (also earned at the Wild Card event at Cabela’s in West Virginia)

Cello SR

But that’s not where Cello’s invites ended!  She earned an invite for Dueling Dogs, after participating in that discipline for the first time ever at the Mid Atlantic Regionals, held at Shipps Corner Pet Spa in Virginia Beach.

Cello Dueling Dogs

At the end of the season, we found out her rankings from sanctioned facility events also earned her an invite in Extreme Vertical, as well as Big Air!

Cello EV

Cello BA

OVERALL WORLD RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • 5th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Master Titled
    • 23′ 3″ average
  • SPEED RETRIEVE:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Express Titled
    • 7.964 average
  • EXTREME VERTICAL:
    • 4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Cadet Titled
    • 5′ 2″ average
  • IRON DOG:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Warrior Titled
    • 2754.67 average

UNITED STATES OVERALL RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • 4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Master Titled
    • 22’3″ average
  • SPEED RETRIEVE:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Express Titled
    • 7.964 average
  • EXTREME VERTICAL:
    • 4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Cadet Titled
    • 5’2″ average
  • IRON DOG:
    • #1 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Warrior Titled
    • 2754.67 average

Cello ended the season with an injury.  While competing at the indoor event at the  Pittsburgh Pet Expo in Pittsburgh, PA, Cello slipped on the wet floor, and strained muscles in her neck and front leg.  Unfortunately this meant pain meds and lots of rest during the 2 weeks leading up to Worlds.  We are hopeful that she will be be back to 100% for the World Championship competition.

Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch

DSC_0826-001

As a puppy, Hooch wanted NOTHING to do with water of any sort.  He slowly began to realize water wasn’t so bad, and cautiously went into our lake and into a baby pool.  The weather quickly became what was to be the coldest, snowiest winter we’ve ever had, and access to water became difficult.  We took Hooch to some indoor pools, were he felt comfortable jumping in at the water’s edge.  However, when he found himself up on a regulation dock, which sits 2 feet above the water, Hooch gave dock diving a second thought.  Hooch kicked off his dock diving career in January being very hesitant on the dock.  He would run down the dock, get to the edge and “teeter” for a long while – sometimes not jumping and timing-out, and other times projecting himself off the edge of the dock as if he had springs in his back legs, only landing a few feet into the water!  He quickly became a crowd favorite with his “Hoochie Hop,” as the crowd waited in anticipation to see if he would POP off the dock…or not!  By about April, he was “hopping” out to about 7-8 feet, still hesitating, and still choosing not to jump at times.  By May we discovered that with Jenny running down the dock with him, Hooch would hesitate less.  This technique got Hooch leaping up to 17 – 18 feet by the beginning of June. By mid June we had switched to the “Place and Send” method, bringing Hooch to the very back of the dock (Thank you Frank Moraff for forcing me to do this!!) With that change came great results.  Hooch jumped 21 feet in mid-June, and by the end of June soared 23’8″ and earned his invitation to Worlds at 13 months old ! By July, Hooch jumped his current personal best, 24’2″, and also earned a second invitation to the World Championship for Cadet Division Extreme Vertical.  In September, Hooch was nominated for “Most Improved” for the Golden Paw Awards, held at the Gala during The World Championship celebration, and was voted to be one of the finalists for the award.

Hooch BA

Hooch EV

Here is my absolute favorite video from this season:  It captures Hooch’s progression from being fearful of water, to his 23+ ft jump that earned him his Big Air Invite to the World Championship!

OVERALL WORLD RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Elite Titled
    • 23′ 7.4 ” average
  • EXTREME VERTICAL:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Cadet Titled
    • 5′ 10.7″ average

UNITED STATES OVERALL RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • #1 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Elite Titled
    • 23′ 7.4 ” average
  • EXTREME VERTICAL:
    • 4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Cadet Titled
    • 5’2″ average

Brogan’s American Lager

DSC_0953

Lager came home with us on August 23, apparently born to be a dock diver, not an Explosives Detection Canine!  When the training company who had Lager (known then as Nayt) saw how much he loved the water, they contacted DockDogs in hopes to find a family who were familiar with the breed, had access to water for him to swim, and would promise to get him dock diving.  Read the full story on how Lager became a part of our pack by clicking HERE! The first day Lager came home, he was exposed to water, and had no fear  of the lake, or jumping off the dock.  He had a perfect sit-stay, and seemed like he came to us with the Big Air discipline of dock diving mastered!  In less than a week’s time, Lager also picked up on Extreme Vertical, easily grabbing the bumper on our home rig.  Lager competed in just 2 national level events, and earned himself an invitation to the World Championships in Big Air!

Lager Big Air Senior

OVERALL WORLD RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • 9th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Senior Titled
    • 19′ 10.4″ average

UNITED STATES OVERALL RANKINGS:

  • BIG AIR:
    • 7th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Senior Titled
    • 19′ 10.4″ average

GIVING BACK:

The Liver Killers are also happy to report that through their 2015 winnings, an abundance of food, toys, and supplies were donated to the Animal Orphanage of Voorhees, NJ, and over $1,100 was donated to the GSP Rescue of NJ!

OTHER ACCOMPLISHMENTS THIS SEASON:

  • TV News:
    • Channel 6 ABC: 
      • Full story and news clip video:  http://6abc.com/pets/2-south-jersey-dogs-are-national-dock-diving-champs/965961/
    • Fox 29: 
      • Full story and news clip video:  http://www.fox29.com/news/29140110-story

unnamed (5)

WORLDS BLING:

In preparation for The Liver Killers World Championship competition in Dubuque, Iowa in November, we ordered some cool team gear:

Team Shirts and and Hoodies from CustomInk

When Custom Ink found out that The Liver Killers donate all their cash prizes to the GSP Rescue of NJ , they made a donation to the rescue in honor of Cello’s Corner and The Liver Killers! How cool is that?!

Window decals for our vehicles from Vistaprint

Fullscreen capture 10312015 53548 PM.bmp

Car magnets from Vistaprint

Fullscreen capture 1132015 112738 AM.bmp

Team banner from Half Price Banners

Fullscreen capture 10312015 54033 PM.bmp

And of course, “pawtograph” cards – made by our friend, Mandy!

Fullscreen capture 10312015 54330 PM.bmp

Fullscreen capture 10312015 54405 PM.bmp

After the season our team has had, it won’t matter to us what happens at Worlds – we are beyond proud of all three of our pups- and overjoyed that we have the opportunity to share this experience as a family!

As we begin to pack for our big adventure, we continue to reflect back on the amazing season these pups had.  We will cherish every memory – the highs and lows – the laughter and the tears – the (very) early mornings – the late nights watching EV under the lights – and the comradery shared with friends at events.  We are truly blessed to be part of such a great community (humans and animals alike).  Never have we met such a large group of the nicest people who not only strive to improve within their own team, but will at the same time stop and help other fellow competitors to enhance their game, and applaud fellow opponents just as enthusiastically as they cheer on their own dog.   The patience, advice, support, and guidance we have received from friends, family, fellow competitors, and social media followers is overwhelming, and greatly appreciated.  Thank you all for being part of this thrilling escapade with us.  We look forward to writing the next chapter of this adventure together!

unnamed

Shipps Corner’s Monster Splash: Virginia Beach, Virginia

This event is one of our annual favorites – however, this year, it was a bit more exciting (and stressful!) as it was our very last chance to increase Lager’s overall Big Air average in hopes to get him qualified to earn an invitation to the DockDogs World Championship held this November.

DSC02989

Shipps Corner does a great job of decorating the dock for Halloween!  unnamed (2)

Limoncello

Big Air:

22’0″     22’4″     2nd Place Master

16’9″     20’7″     2nd Place Master

20’4″     21’1″     2nd Place Master

Pro Finals:        17’4″     20’3″              5th Place

Extreme Vertical:

5’0″     3rd Place Cadet

Speed Rretrieve:

8.332       4th Place Express

Iron Dog:

2735.00 Points          1st Place Warrior Iron Dog

————————————————————-

Hooch

Big Air:

22’11”      22’5″

21’2″     23’3″       2nd Place Elite

22’2″     22’0″

Pro Finals:         23’9     23’7″       1st Place

———————————————————————

Lager

Big Air: (Handler: Jenny)

11’3″     13’10”

19’4″     19’5″        2nd Place Senior

20’2″     19’3″

Extreme Vertical: (Handler: Brian)

DSC03151

6’0″                       5th Place Top Gun

DSC03046

This event was loads of fun – and one we will never forget – as it was this event (only the SECOND National event Lager has attended) where Lager pushed his Big Air Average high enough to earn a Big Air World Championship invite in the Senior Division!  Way to go, Lager!

Lager’s Invitation to the DockDogs World Championship!

Three months after returning from Iraq, two months after joining our family, and after competing in only 2 National events, Lager earned his invitation to the DockDogs World Championship for Senior Division Big Air!  Words cannot express how proud we are of this boy!

Lager Big Air Senior