Margarita and Mr. Spock Get Engaged at the Old Oar House, Millville, NJ

Each Thursday during June through October, The Old Oar House Irish Pub hosts a “Doggie Date Night, ” where dogs are welcomed to join you as you dine in their outdoor seating area.  A portion of the proceeds from your food bill goes to the Cumberland County SPCA. This particular Doggie Date Night was a very special (and rainy!) one… Margarita and her heart-throb and fellow English Pointer, Mr. Spock, helped out the Cumberland County SPCA, and got engaged!

Margarita got Mr. Spock some special engagement gifts!

 

And Mr. Spock had a good friend make Margarita the most perfect and beautiful engagement necklace!

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There were lots of party decorations and favors!

 All our 4-legged friends go dressed up for the PAWty!

file-jan-02-1-47-23-pmAnd lots of people and pups came to the PAWty even though it was raining – I bet you they came for this yummy homemade cake!

 

We’re Engaged!

Margarita showing off her new necklace:

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The happy couple enjoying some of their engagement cake together:

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What a fun night with good food, friends and pups! Best of all, we were able to help out the Cumberland County SPCA!

 

Delmarva DockDogs Jumpin’ into ‘ Jersey

Processed with Snapseed.This annual event, held at the Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show, will always hold a special place in our hearts.  Although back in 2013, this event was only our second-ever dock diving competition, it was our very first DockDogs event with Limoncello.

During this event in 2013 is also where we signed up as members with our first DockDogs Club ~ Delmarva DockDogs .  It is a joke among our DockDogs friends that we belong to every club on the East Coast, as we are now members of the Delamarva,  Keystone, Chesapeake, Tidewater, and even Rideau River [in Canada!] DockDogs clubs!

The 2013 event is also where we met Annie from The Little GSP , who not only helped us with all of our “newbie” dock diving questions, but she also was the inspiration for the start of this blog, which also led to our Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Flicker accounts! Annie’s amazing photography is also what inspired me to start the ongoing process of learning how to take better quality photos of our pups. Check out some of her amazing shots on Flickr by clicking HERE!

And here we are in 2016:  Back for our fourth year in a row, this time with 4 dogs!  As always, we camped at one of our favorite spots, Atlantic City North Campground.

Limoncello

Big Air:                      

  •  23’6″                      1st Place Elite

Extreme Vertical:    

  • 5’6″                        2nd Place Cadet Division

Speed Retrieve:        

  • 7.570 seconds      4th Place Turbo Division

Big Air Finals:           

  • 21’10”                    4th Place Elite Division

Hooch

Big Air:

  • 24’4″  2nd Place Elite
  • 24’2″  1st Place Elite

Extreme Vertical:    

  • 6’2″   2nd Place Top Gun Division

Big Air Finals:            

  • 24’9″  1st Place Elite Division

Lager

Big Air:

  • 19’11”   6th Place Senior Division
  • 19’9″    2nd Place Senior Division
  • 21’3″    2nd Place Master Division
  • 20’9″   3rd Place Master Division

Extreme Vertical:    

  • 5’10”     1st Place Cadet Division

Big Air Finals:      

  • 19’11”    6th Place Master Divsion

Margarita

Margarita had a big weekend cheering on her German siblings while spending her days with her heart-throb and fellow English Pointer, Mr. Spock!

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What a fun and exciting weekend for the Liver Killers!

All 3 dock divers made Big Air Finals:

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And we took home lots of bling!

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Running With Your Pup

Click HERE to see Rita’s Races!

Why run with your pup?  As explained by DogVacay, running is a mutually beneficial activity that can serve as a great bonding experience for you and your pooch.

Physical Benefits

While walking is good exercise, most dogs need an opportunity to run in order to burn off their energy. Running uses different muscles than walking, and will increase your dog’s heart rate more than walking.  Activities that increase heart rate are known as cardiovascular exercise, which will help increase the strength of your dog’s heart and can extend their lifetime. Many owners also note that their dogs are less likely to be destructive when they are allowed to run regularly.  While the health benefits for your dog may be enough to encourage you to run, running with your dog is also great for your own health. Research has shown that individuals who are moderately active experience great health benefits, like weight loss, muscle building, and protection against diseases.  Running a few times a week with your dog is a good way to maintain a moderate level of activity for both you and your pup.

Mental Benefits

Along with the physical benefits, there are many mental benefits that come from running with your dog.  Regular exercise has been shown to reduce mental disorders, including anxiety and depression.  Add this to the fact that spending time with a pet has been shown to reduce these disorders, and running with your dog can become a great part of your treatment plan.  Running with your dog can also help reduce stress, as touch and movement are the two quickest methods of relieving stress.  Moving with your dog and patting them as praise for good behavior can really help to better your mental outlook.  In addition, running with your dog is a great bonding activity that can help to better your relationship.

A Perfect Match

A dog is a perfect running partner.  Research done at the University of Missouri has shown that individuals who exercise with their dogs are more likely to stick with their workout routine.  Your dog will begin to look forward to your regular runs, and you will find it hard to resist those big eyes and wagging tail.  Runners also find that bringing their dog along on their runs helps them to focus less on their running time or calories burned, and instead turn their attention to enjoying their workout.  Running with your dog will help to motivate you both to enhance your physical and mental health.

 

Before leashing up your pooch and hitting the road or trails, be sure to read Active.com’s training tips to ensure your pup is prepared:

Basic Training Tips

Before you start running with your dog, make sure he is healthy and ready for the exercise. Dogs that are too old or too young might not be able to handle a running program. In fact, dogs that are younger than 18 months should stick to walking. Puppies’ bones are still developing up to 18 months old and running can impact the development of bones for optimal long-term physical integrity. Walking with a younger dog will help build a strong base for a future running program.

For dogs that are 18 months or older, start the same way you would. If your dog is new to running, don’t set out for a 5-mile run. Start slow and build your mileage together. Consistency over time is the best approach.

 

How Far To Run

Start with a 10-minute run and then add 10 minutes each week until you reach your desired time or distance. Gradual build up allows for the muscles and connective tissue to adapt and grow to the activity without injury.

With time, your dog will adapt to your pace. This can be frustrating in the beginning. Many dogs want to go much faster than you are capable of and you find yourself trying to hang on to the leash. Others dogs may lag behind and appear distracted, which leads many dog owners to think their dog doesn’t like to run.

In both cases, the dog simply doesn’t know what he’s supposed to do. You have to teach him how to be a runner. With a little patience and time, the two of you will be running side-by-side at a good pace.

Leash Training Tips

Dogs that already walk nicely on a leash will transition to running with ease. A dog that pulls can be challenging.

The first thing to do is shorten the leash. If you have a 6-foot leash, and you let your dog get in the habit of walking ahead of you, he’ll continue to pull. Instead, keep the leash short enough that your dog is by your side, 2 to 3 feet at the most.

5K or 10K Training Plan

There are many 5K and 10K running plans to help you build distance and pace. You can try one of those or start out with something even easier.

To start, figure out your average mile time. Use a local track or mark the distance in your car and then time your mile run at a comfortable pace.

Once you have a comfortable pace, take that time and multiply it by the miles to get your run time for a 5K (3.1 miles) or 10K, (6.2 miles). Example: 11-minute mile x 3.1 miles = 34.1 minutes

Begin running with your dog 10 minutes every other day for a week. Then, the next week add another 10 minutes to your running time. Continue training every other day. The third week add another 10 minutes. The fourth week add another. Continue this process until you reach your projected time. Once you reach your projected time, keep running with your dog.

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Margarita’s Therapy Dog Workshop: WonderDogs in Berlin, NJ

Brian and I think Margarita would make a great Therapy Dog, but we were unsure of the requirements, OR if Rita would truly make a good candidate for this type of work.

Last night we took her to a Therapy Dog workshop at WonderDogs in Berlin, NJ, where we have taken both Limoncello and Hooch for obedience training when they were young pups. (Click HERE to see Limoncello’s graduation from Puppy Head Start class at WonderDogs, click HERE to see Hooch’s graduation from Puppy Head Start class, and click HERE to see Hooch’s graduation from the Terrible Teens class at WonderDogs!)

Jenny and Rita getting ready to start the first activity at the Therapy Dog Workshop:

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Margarita lovers her “place” mat, and was a well-behaved, attentive student:

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The instructor, Judith Azaren, focused on a variety of skills, including:

  • Greeting/Disengaging on cue
  • Working calmly around other dogs
  • Handler engagement techniques
  • Moving exercises
  • Distraction work including dogs, people, wheelchair, walker, etc
  • Physical handling
  • Stress signals

We feel as though Margarita did very well for her first time being presented with the tasks that were covered in this workshop.

Margarita quickly learned to look at me to earn a reward when she discovers staged piles of treats on the floor.  Therapy dogs come across many items on a floor, such as medication/pills accidentally dropped on the floor.  It is imperative that the dogs look to the handler rather than ingest what they find:

Here is Margarita weaving past other dogs, and not engaging:

Rita practiced loose-leash walking:

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Margarita did well working around distractions such as crutches, wheel chairs, walkers, and a vacuum cleaner:

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Margarita picked up on the “touch” game very quickly!  Each time she touched my hand with her snout, she earned a treat.  That was a fun game for her!

Here she is working on “touch” while not engaging with other dogs as they walk by:

Working on “touch:”

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We have already contacted several Therapy Pet Registering organizations in order to start the process of Margarita’s evaluation and registration.  We are hoping that with some additional training and practice, we will be able to have Margarita certified as a Therapy Dog so that she can help provide affection and comfort to those in need!

Do you think  your dog or pet may be a good candidate for becoming a Therapy Dog?  Each organization has different requirements, so be sure to do your research.  Here are some of the most well-known for therapy pets (click on the names below to be directed to the organizations’ website):

Autumn Hills Campground, Weare, NH

We had never been to New Hampshire before, so we were super excited to cross the border!

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We camped at Autumn Hills Campground in Weare, NH when we attended The Hopkinton State Fair dock diving competition.

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Our campsite at Autumn Hills: Site T17

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Hopkinton State Fair, Contoocook, NH

This was our first time at the Hopinton State Fair in Contoocook, NH.  What a beautiful area, filled with great vendors, and friendly people!Processed with Snapseed.

LIMONCELLO

Big Air:

20′          1st Place Master

19’10”

20’11”    1st Place Master

Extreme Vertical: 5’0″   4th Place Cadet Division

Speed Retrieve: 8.370 seconds

Big Air Finals: 22’1″   1st Place Semi-Pro Division

HOOCH

Big Air:

21’11”

22’1″

22’2″

21′

21’5″

Extreme Vertical: 5’8″   

Big Air Finals: 22’3″   1st Place Pro Division

LAGER

Big Air: 

18’7″      4th Place Senior

19’1″       1st Place Senior

18’3″      1st Place Senior

19’2″      2nd Place Senior

MARGARITA

Margarita worked her magic and wooed the crowd all weekend long.  People of all ages came by our canopy to say hello to her and give her some pets!

Liver Killer Bling:

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