Rita’s 1st “Gotcha” Day / Rita’s 7th-ish Birthday!

Today is a very special day, as this date marks one year since we met Margarita, and brought her home as “Penelope / Penny,” our GSP Rescue of New Jersey foster dog.  Although we didn’t officially adopt her until April, We picked March 4th – the day we met her – as Rita’s “Gotcha Day /Bday.” During her initial evaluation last year, it was estimated that Rita was 6 years old, which makes her approximately 7 years old now!
Unfortunately, Rita, found as a stray, had a bit of a rough start to life. She went through some health issues and operations during her first month with us – she was underweight, had to have 9 teeth pulled, a lumpectomy, was spayed, had “happy tail” from being in a crate, and treatment for Anaplasmosis. However, Rita was a trooper, and has had quite a healthy and active first year with us!
I promised myself that because Rita didn’t have great experiences in the first part of her life, I would introduce her to as many good things as possible, finding what activities make her most happy, and continuing to have her participate in those events. During our first year with Rita, she has been on 15 camping trips, and visited 8 new states including, DE, IN, IA, MD, NH, NY, OH, PA, and VA. Rita has even been out of the country (Canada) as well! She has visited 4 wineries, 5 breweries, 3 restaurants/bars, stayed overnight in 2 hotels, and shopped at Cabela’s and Lowe’s. Margarita has participated in 5k races, Barn Hunt, Nose Work, Lure Coursing, swim lessons, and agility. Margarita also completed training and is a registered Therapy Dog with The Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and has begun her “official” Therapy Dog visits at assisted living facilities and a local library’s children’s reading program. Most recently, Rita and I have earned our registration as a Reading  EducationAssistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) team!
Brian and I were quite content with the size of our pack before meeting Margarita. However, Rita has filled an emptiness that we didn’t even know our family had. Not only has she been a great playmate for Hooch (who often was excluded by Cello and Lager during their play sessions), she has brought the utmost joy and love to Brian and I, as well as everyone she meets. People stop us continually and ask to meet her everywhere we go. My students at school – who have never met her – love her and talk about her constantly just from looking at her picture in my classroom. There is definitely something very special about this sweet soul, and we are extremely honored to have her as a family member!
Thank you to all of you who love and support Margarita both in-person, and from afar – we can’t say enough how much we appreciate it!!
Happy Gotcha Day, Señorita Margarita, we love you!!
Link to the public photo album of Rita’s first couple of weeks with us:
Link to the public photo album from Rita’s 1st Gotcha Day/7th-ish Birthday:

Margarita’s First Swim Evaluation and Lesson at Green Leaf Pet Resort

Those of you who follow our Facebook, Instagram, and/or Twitter pages, know that Margarita cannot swim very well.  When we saw her lack of confidence while in our lake, we decided that it would be beneficial to have a swim instructor evaluate her current swimming ability, and help her improve enough to feel comfortable swimming with Limoncello, Hooch, and Lager. We took her to Green Leaf Pet Resort, where we had taken Limoncello and Hooch in the past to swim during the winter months.

Green Leaf was very festive and ready for the Holidays!

Margarita’s instructor, Krystal, was so patient and kind!

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With a little coaxing and a lot of patience, Rita was swimming with some guidance.

Margarita is definitely going to need some further instruction.  We plan to continue to take her twice a month through the winter months in hopes to become a more confident swimmer this year.

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Day of the Dog Virtual 5k Run

Rita participated in the “Day of the Dog” 5k race through Virtual Run Events!

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Our time was 33:01 – we managed to shave off 56 seconds from our last race!

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This was a great run, as the fall colors were absolutely amazing!

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20% of our registration fee was donated to Freedom Service Dogs. Freedom Service Dogs is a nonprofit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by rescuing dogs, and custom training them for individual client needs. Clients include children, veterans, active duty military, and other adults. Their disabilities include autism, traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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Rita added another medal to her spot on our “Wall of Fame!”file-jan-15-7-03-27-pm

Rita’s total race miles;  9.35 miles

Señorita Margarita: Our First English Pointer

Well, we are proud to admit we are complete failures.  Foster failures that is! Remember Penelope our foster-kid? (If not, click HERE to read her story) Well, she quickly ingrained herself into our hearts and home…and we could not imagine our pack without her!  We have officially adopted her, and her new name is Señorita Margarita (“Rita” for short!)

Welcome to your forever home, Rita! 

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Penelope, The English Pointer

The rescue we volunteer for, GSP Rescue of NJ, covers all of New Jersey, parts of New York, and assist other recognized out-of-state GSP rescues in urgent situations. In addition to rehoming GSPs, they also work with owners to help them with any issues they may have with them.  In emergency situations, the rescue will also reach out to help English Pointers.

GSP Rescue of NJ offered to help a female English Pointer, known as Penelope.  Although the rescue was willing to help this poor girl who was found as a stray, our foster homes were full, and there was no one available to foster her.  This meant that Penelope could find herself in a shelter.  Although we do not usually foster, we decided that we just couldn’t let this skinny pretty girl end up in a shelter. On March 3, 2016, we committed to fostering Penelope so that she could begin her road to recovery.

She was transported to the rescue’s vet, and was examined.  Penelope was emaciated, appeared to have had many litters, had a lump on her neck, and severely damaged and rotted teeth.  She also had a cut on her tail and her belly.  While at the vet, she was supposed to have dental work done, and also be spayed.  The dental work took so long, that not all needed teeth could be pulled, and the spay could not be performed due to the length of time she was under anesthesia.  She had a total of 6 teeth pulled.  The vet set her up with a future appointment for continuation of dental, her spay, and removal and biopsy of the lump on her neck.

Another rescue volunteer, Mandy, was nice enough to pick Penelope up from the vet and meet me half way to cut down on my 2 hour drive-time.

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Penelope was a great passenger, and rested calmly for her ride to our home.

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Once home, we introduced her to each of our fur-kids individually on lead by meeting out on the street and taking a short walk together.  After the initial greetings were over, we gave her some time to explore the yard on her own before we settled her down in a crate.

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In just the first night and day that we spent with Penelope, we got her to sit for a treat, and sit-stay for a picture.  She does not appear to know basic commands, but is very food-driven and eager to please.  She did wonderfully in her crate, ate well, and slept soundly.

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We introduced her to our cat, Loki, and she seemed to be just fine with him.

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We also introduced her to fellow rescue friends Jen and Grace’s male English Pointer (Penelope LOVED him!) as well as our friends’ two GSP puppies.  She did amazing with all the dogs, and had a very fun-filled, exhausting day!

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We will be fostering Penelope until she has her vetting complete, and can be adopted.

Click HERE to view a public photo album of Penelope!

Beautiful Bella, the German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy

We received a post from the GSP Rescue of NJ about an owner-surrender situation.  Someone had purchased a GSP puppy from Tennesee, not having researched the breed very well.  The puppy arrived to NJ at 8 weeks of age, and 8 weeks later, the owner was in over their head.  They could not provide this pup with an appropriate amount of exercise to diminish the GSP puppy craziness, so they decided to surrender the puppy to our rescue.  As soon as I read 16 week old female puppy, I could not help myself!  We agreed to foster this baby until a forever family was found for her.

On October 17th we picked Bella up from her home.

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We immediately fell in love with Bella!  She was loving, playful, and got along with Cello and Hooch so well!  We actually gave thought to adopting her ourselves!

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Hooch could’t keep up with the girls!DSC08090

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Bella had a blast running off lead in our yard! DSC08066

Bella has one ear that is shorter than the other…our vet said it looks to have been “cut” off. DSC08059

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…having fun and being a happy puppy!
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Bella also has a really cute tan area that you can see in this picture:DSC08010

In just 6 short days, Bella was adopted by a family that lives not too far from us.  We hope to get all our pups together for play-dates often!

Bella is now known as Pepper, and is just loving her new life!! She is living with an AMAZING family who just adores her, has a HUGE yard to run all that GSP energy off, and has (2) very beautiful and loving 2-legged sisters, and (1) 4-legged sister named Mocha.  Mocha is a Viszla/Weimaraner mix who looks like Cello’s twin!

Mocha and Pepper:

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Pepper is a very lucky gal to have found such an awesome home, and we are so thankful for having met her new wonderful forever family! We are SO happy for Pepper!

German Shorthaired Pointers are often discarded, given up, abandoned, and returned due to their high energy level and strong hunting drive.  Some are discarded by hunters because  they won’t hunt, or they may be “gun-shy.”   We have fallen in love with this often misunderstood breed. ..So…Cello, Hooch, Brian, and I have been volunteering for the GSP Rescue of NJ.  We have made phone calls to vets for background checks and references, visited GSPs in shelters to evaluate them and offer the help of the GSP rescue, called potential adopters for initial screening and application review, transported GSPs to their foster homes, temporarily fostered, and have done home inspections for potential adopters.  Cello and Hooch have even volunteered as donation dogs, wearing a donation vests and “working the crowd” with their cuteness at events such as the Ocean County Gunning and Decoy Show in Tuckerton, NJ.

Live in the NJ/NY area and want to help GSPs in need?  Contact our rescue today!

Want to help dogs in your area but don’t know how? Click HERE to see just some of the ways you can help!

Thinking of a GSP?  Think rescue! The National GSP Rescue lists regional GSP rescue groups across the United States and Canada. If you are interested in adoption, volunteering, or would like information on how to surrender your dog to rescue (Please do not surrender GSPs to a shelter or abandon them!!!!), please contact the group that covers your state or region.  If there is no contact listed for your state, you can email the National GSP Rescue at rescue@gspca.org .

A GSP rescue will help match you up with the perfect GSP for your family!