2015 DockDogs World Championship

After an exciting drive out to Iowa, the days that followed were even more exhilarating!   We are so proud to share this summary of  our 3 pups’ World Champion performances!

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The competition was held at the Five Flags Center in Dubuque, Iowa, located directly across the street from our hotel.

We waited in line outside the arena for  2 hours for official check-in:

Dog Town

The city of Dubuque shut down part of a street so that DockDogs could construct what’s known as “Dog Town” – where all the competitors set up.  We could see the Dog Town tent from our hotel room.

JUST after we got done setting up in the Dog Town tent, a severe thunderstorm warning was issued, then a tornado warning was issued!   Thank goodness the tornado warning was downgraded, and we did not have to evacuate.

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The Official Schedule:

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BC = Brian and Cello, JH= Jenny and Hooch, and JL= Jenny and Lager

Seeing the competition floor for the first time at our Handlers Meeting:

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We were beyond honored that our friends, Jen and Grace, also volunteers of the GSP Rescue of NJ, decorated their car window, and drove all the way from New Jersey to Iowa to route on the Liver Killers at the World Championship!  Honestly, I don’t know what we would have done without them there.  Jen and Grace gave our dogs potty breaks, took pictures and video, cheered us on, and made sure our dogs who were not competing were never left alone in their crates.

The Liver Killers

Limoncello (Handler: Brian)

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Limoncello had an outstanding season.  Not only did she compete in Iron Dog in every event, she earned herself an invite in EVERY discipline possible:

  • Big Air (Master Division)
  • Speed Retrieve (Express Division)
  • Extreme Vertical (Cadet Division)
  • Iron Dog  (Warrior Division)
  • Dueling Dogs (Class 4)File Dec 14, 4 00 24 PM

Brian really wanted to focus on Cello’s Iron Dog performance, so he declined all invites, with the exception of Iron Dog invitation.  Just 3.5 weeks after an injury that occurred at The Pittsburgh Pet Expo, Cello was cleared by our vet to compete, and our little girl competed in Iron Dog at the World Championship with all her heart!  Competing in Iron Dog means she had to participate twice in each of the three disciplines in order to accumulate Iron Dog points.

Her performance was awesome, and she also earned herself a new Personal Best in Extreme Vertical!

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Qualifier 1

  • Big Air:  20’4″
  • Extreme Vertical: 5’2″
  • Speed Retrieve: 8.500 seconds
  • TOTAL IRON DOG POINTS:  2720.81

File Nov 23, 5 55 16 AMQualifier 2

  • Big Air:  20′ 6″
  • Extreme Vertical:  5’6″  ***New Personal Best***
  • Speed Retrieve: 8.482
  • TOTAL IRON DOG POINTS:  2758.42
  • OVERALL WARRIOR DIVISION IRON DOG WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RANKING:  10th in world

Cello doing Extreme Vertical:

Cello doing Big Air:

Although Cello did not qualify for Iron Dog Finals, she impressed the crowd with her endurance and efforts.  We are beyond proud of our little princess!

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Hooch (Handler:  Jenny)

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Hooch had an AMAZING first season of dock diving… in a matter of months, he went from being afraid of the water, to leaping over 24 feet!  Hooch only participated in Big Air and Extreme Vertical competitions this year.  He earned invitations to the World Championship for both of those divisions in Elite Division Big Air and Cadet Division Extreme Vertical.  Hooch also qualified for BOTH division’s finals at the World Championship!  If that wasn’t exciting enough, at the big gala, Hooch and I won DockDogs 2015 Most Improved Team!  Hooch is a very sensitive dog, and can be very skittish.  We had several hiccups throughout the dock diving season while up on the dock due to banners that blew off the pool, wind that caused the water in the pool to swirl, and light reflections in the water.  When these things spooked Hooch, he refused to jump.  It took a great deal of support and effort to get him over his fears and continue to perform consistently for the rest of the season.  At the World Championship, he did an amazing job during his qualifiers for Big Air – he even made finals!  However, the Elite Finals were chosen to be “Spotlighted” – held under the lights at night in the Arena.  This means they shut all the lights of, and only  had spotlights on the pool and dock.  This also meant that Hooch was faced with darkness, shadows, and reflections from the spotlights.  “Stage fright” set in during finals, and in the middle of running, he put his “brakes” on … skidding down the dock, and plopping in at 7’7″.  On his second turn, he flat-out refused to jump, and we were timed-out.  Although this was heartbreaking to me because I felt like Hooch was afraid and confused as to why I’d ask him to jump in what he considered “unsafe conditions,” I couldn’t be more proud of him, his huge accomplishments throughout the season, and his earned spot in both Big Air and Extreme Vertical Finals.

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During the “spotlighted” finals when Hooch got freaked out by the lighting

Big Air

  • Qualifier 1:     21’9″       21’11”
  • Qualifier 2:    23’0″       23’3″               Qualified for finals
  • Finals:             7’7″         timed out       6th Place
  • OVERALL ELITE BIG AIR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RANKING:  6th in the world

Hooch doing Big Air:

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File Nov 23, 5 53 40 AMExtreme Vertical

  • Qualifying Round:  6’2″               Qualified for finals
  • Finals:                        6’0″               4th Place
  • OVERALL CADET EXTREME VERTICAL WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RANKING:  4th in the world

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Hooch doing Extreme Vertical:

Jenny and Hooch winning 2015 DockDogs Most Improved Team:

Words cannot express my excitement for this awesome award!

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See just how far Hooch has come from 8 weeks old, to 1 year old, and 6 months of competing:

 

Lager (Handler: Jenny)

The fact this amazing boy earned his way to the World Championship in 2 months, and just 2 National level events, with no training, and with never having been on a dock before was unbelievable.  When he made the finals, we were filled with excitement and joy!

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Our friend, Kiersten, caught us just at the moment we found out Lager made finals:

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File Nov 23, 5 53 15 AMBig Air

  • Qualifying Round 1:    17’11”     19’6″
  • Qualifying Round 2:    19′         19’7″      Qualified for finals
  • FINALS:                       17’7″     18’8″
  • OVERALL SENIOR BIG AIR WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP RANKING:  5th in the world

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Lager doing Big Air:

A whole-lotta Liver Killers bling!

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Besides medals and trophies, we got some other pretty cool “bling” while at Worlds:

Out of thousands of dogs, only a few hundred are lucky enough to earn their invitation to the World Championship…out of those few hundred, only 6 dogs in each division make it to the finals…I can’t say enough how proud we are of our three fur-kids! 678

Road Trip! 2015 DockDogs World Championship

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Words cannot express how exciting this week was for our pack!  All three of our pups qualified for the World Championship, we drove further West than we’ve ever been before, we got to see some pretty cool sights along the way, all three Liver Killers finished within the top 10 in the world in their own divisions, and best of all, we had a safe trip out and back, with no injuries or illnesses.   Here is a recap of the Liver Killer’s preparation for our road trip, and some of our adventures on the drive!

Everyone was asking for us to bring Tommy D’s famous Limoncello, so Brian made a few batches to bring with us:

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We ordered lots of bling the month before our trip! We designed and ordered team gear from CustomInk.com – – and when the company saw we donate to the GSP Rescue of NJ, they made their own donation in  the Liver Killers name to the GSP Rescue of NJ – how nice was THAT?!

 

 Our trip wouldn’t be complete without truck bling!

Our talented friend, Mandy made our trading cards:

And, of course, we did lots of shopping:

Jenny has a very difficult time packing lightly, so the packing started (and never seemed to stop!)… and Brian decided it was a good idea to rent a little trailer just in case 🙂

 DockDogs had a window decorating contest for everyone making the road trip out to Iowa… so of course we dressed up the truck windows!

 

And we’re off!

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As we crossed state borders along our ride, we saw some pretty neat sights:

It was difficult to be in the car for so many hours, so we stopped often to let everyone potty and stretch their legsunnamed (41)

Along our stops, we came across the coolest place right off of I-70 in Indiana!  Not only is it the World’s largest “candle,” it was a candle company and gift store that had a cute little restaurant, THE coolest bathrooms ever, huge and safe areas to walk the dogs – and best part of all ???… they welcome dogs INside!

Warm Glow Candle Company

We are huge American Pickers fans, so we couldn’t help but stop to see their Antique Archaeology shop!

 

Crossing the Mighty Mississippi!

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We went a bit out of our way for this one, but we couldn’t miss the opportunity to stop at the movie set from Field of Dreams!

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Once we checked into the hotel, and got the pups settled, we celebrated our adventurous road trip, and our safe arrival at our destination in Iowa!

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What an exciting week of competition we have ahead!