2018 DockDogs World Championship; Knoxville, TN

I am disappointed in myself for falling behind on this blog, but writing about Margarita’s Lymphoma journey each week has prompted me to remember the whole reason I began this journal of posts in the first place:  to share all the memories that have been gifted to me by my fur-kids.  It’s important to me to be able to look back on just how blessed we are to be spending a part of our lives with each and every special 4-legged angel included in this blog.

My first “catch-up” post is the 2018 DockDogs World Championship!

This was our 4th consecutive year that we have been fortunate enough to have all competing dogs qualify for the World Championship.  Even though two out of our five do not compete, we have a “no dog left behind” policy, so we travel in our camper as a family to this exciting event!

Of course we updated all of our team “bling!”

2019 Trading Cards

Team Banner:

Team Shirts:

Special Shirt Made for Whiskey’s First Year:

RV Window Decals:

This is the 2nd year the World Championship was held in Knoxville, TN.

Getting ready to leave, and tracking our miles along our road trip:

My mom was waiting outside of her house to wish us luck!

We were worried about how Whiskey would handle such a long trip…but she didn’t seem to mind one bit!

 

 

Every year one of the DockDogs clubs puts out a Road Trip Bingo game for all team handlers to play along the way!

We did get Bingo, but did not win first place!

Some road trippin’ fun along the way:

We are HERE!!!!!!!!!!!

Check-in:

The moment we’ve all been waiting for!!!!!!

Dog Town:

The amazing lady in this next photo is one of the people who helped Whiskey (then known as “Wish”) on her freedom ride from the kill-shelter to our house in NJ. Not only did she do several legs of the transport in TN, she sent Whiskey with special treats to wish her well in her new life.  When she heard that Whiskey had made the World Championship, she booked a hotel and came out to meet us, visit with Whiskey, and watch her up on the competition dock! As you can see, the blur-that-is-Whiskey was just a “little” excited!

 

As we arrived and set up our spot in “Dog Town,” a friend of ours presented me with one of the most amazing surprises ever!

He was going to paint Whiskey in between competitions!

 

“Paint me like one of your French girls.”

This was one of THE most thoughtful and loving gifts we had ever received!

Limoncello:  Team Coach

Cello is now retired due to heart disease.  She very much enjoyed hanging out at the team canopy and getting lots of attention from her DockDogs family!

Hooch

Hooch was fired up, but his normal 23+ foot jumps were just not there.

Round 1:

  • Big Air:
    • 21′ 7″
    • 21′ 5″

Round 2:

  • Big Air:
    • 21′ 0″
    • 21′ 8″

 

Lager

Round 1:

  • Big Air:
    • 17’8″
    • 18’3″
  • Extreme Vertical:
    • 5’8″
  • Speed Retrieve:
    • 9.873 seconds
  • Iron Dog Score:
    • 2579.84 points (ranked 21 overall for Round 1)

Round 2:

  • Big Air:
    • 17’3″
    • 18’11”
  • Extreme Vertical:
    • Double-missed (no score – which unfortunately also disqualified him from getting a qualifying Iron Dog score)
  • Speed Retrieve:
    • 7.582 seconds

 

Margarita:  Team Cheerleader

Rita  enjoyed  “helping”  during  setup!  

She also enjoyed hanging out with her main-man, Mr. Spock the English Pointer!

Whiskey

This was Whiskey’s first trip to the World Championship, but not her first time in TN… Whiskey was born in TN and dumped in a kill shelter before we took her in as a foster pup with Pointer Rescue, Organization in May 2018.

Round 1:

  • Big Air:
    • Timed-out (refused to jump)

Round 2:

  • Big Air:
    • Timed-out (refused to jump)

Although Whiskey refused to jump, she sure put on a show for the crowd!

Although none of our competing dogs performed as well as we had hoped, we are thrilled we had another opportunity to be a part of such an exciting event, and honored to have competed against the best dogs in the World!  People asked us if we were disappointed in our dog’s performance – NEVER!  Would we have liked to have made finals?  SURE! But, what’s most important is that our dogs had a blast, we had fun competing our dogs,  and we learned from the experience.

Brian and Lager

Jenny and Hooch

Jenny/Rita and Brian/Cello

Jenny and Whiskey

We are very much looking forward to the 2019 Dock Diving Season!

Keystone DockDogs at SteelStacks; Bethlehem, PA

We were not scheduled to go to this event because the weather was forecasted to be awful.  However, when we saw the weather took a turn for the better, we quickly packed everyone up in the camper and headed out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!

This was our first dock diving event of 2018 – and Whiskey’s first camping trip as well as her first dock diving event.

(Whiskey was still “Wish” our foster dog!)

SteelStacks has been one of our favorite venues! We have also attended this competition in 2016 and 2017 .

Although we arrived too late to compete on the first day, we were able to secure some jumps on Sunday.

 

 

                                                                                            Our team canopy

Limoncello

This was our first competition since Limoncello’s retirement.  Although it was very emotional for us, Cello was quite content with her new “Team Coach” role.  She is allowed to jump into the water leisurely, so at each event in between competitions, we will allow her to take a quick swim.

 

Hooch

Big Air

22’0″

23’5″  1st Place Elite Division

Finals:  22’11”  First Place Elite Division

Lager

Big Air

17’0″

17’6″

Speed Retrieve  7.573 seconds

 

Margarita:  Team Cheerleader

Margarita enjoyed people watching and receiving tons of attention from all of her DockDogs family.

Whiskey (then “Wish” our foster dog)

Whiskey, who we took in as a foster in May 2018, was still with us because she had been put on “medical hold” due to several health issues.  Not only did she ride in the camper nicely, she was very well-behaved, even with the abundance people and dogs at the event.

Overall, we had a wonderful time kicking off the start of our 2018 Dock Diving Season!

If Life Gives You Lemons, Make Limoncello: Cello’s Early Retirement

If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

As the start of our 2018 Dock Diving season quickly approaches, we wanted to share the following with our family, friends and followers:

After some recent testing, Limoncello was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart disease that causes dilation and poor contractility of the heart muscle). It was also discovered that Cello also has two leaky heart valves. After a long and difficult discussion with our veterinarian, it was determined that the best choice for Cello at this time is to retire her from dock diving.

Although we are disappointed that Cello’s dock diving career has come to an end, we are focusing our energy on celebrating her dock diving journey and how it has positively impacted our lives: her many notable accomplishments, the abundance of joy it has brought us, the amazing people we have met, the incredible dogs we have seen, the spectacular places we have visited, and the unforgettable memories we will continue to cherish. …We have SO MUCH to be grateful for because of Cello!

Without Cello on the dock this year, it will be an emotional dock diving season for sure. However, we are so thankful that because of the knowledge, expertise, and advice of Cello’s veterinarian and cardiologist, we were made aware of her condition before the season began. We are also looking at this unfortunate news as a positive opportunity to explore less intense bonding activities with Cello such as Barn Hunt, Nose Work, and Rally. We fondly anticipate learning new things, setting new goals, overcoming new challenges, traveling to new places, meeting more wonderful people, and building additional priceless memories. But above of all – we look forward to the many years of love and companionship we will treasure with Cello.

Even if we don’t understand why at this point, we are firm believers in “change is good” and “all things happen for a reason.” We are hopeful and eager to discover what new adventures will be had as Cello once again broadens our path. However, if Cello decides that in her early retirement she’d rather just relax, we welcome that change-of-pace as well.

Hooch and Lager will still be on the dock this year. We look forward to seeing our dock diving family this season.

 

The Dock Diving Diva’s Personal Bests:

•Big Air (on camera): 25’0”
•Extreme Vertical: 5’6”
•Speed Retrieve: 7.371 seconds
•Iron Dog: 2869.62 points
     *2016 DockDogs #1 Warrior Iron Dog in the World

Photo credit: Precise Video Productions

 

 

2018 Bark in the Park: Cape Charles, VA

This had been one our favorite dock diving events in the past.  We loved attending this event in both 2015 and 2016 .  We camped at Sunset Beach Resort (another favorite!)

Although were extremely excited to be back a third year in a row in July 2017, the weather  this year was just unbearably hot.  We tried jumping the dogs, but by the time Limoncello’s came up, the temperatures were a real-feel of over 103 degrees… too hot and dangerous to compete in our opinion. 

Hooch

Big Air:

22’8″    23’5″     2nd Place Elite Division

Lager

Big Air:

16’2″     17’3″

 

Even though the one jump that Lager and Hooch executed put them into the Finals, we scratched our jumps for the rest of the weekend, and forfeited our spot in the Finals.  We chose to make the best of  the remainder of the weekend, and enjoy the campground with the dogs.

Back to the campground to enjoy some Chesapeake Bay fun!

It sure wasn’t the weekend we thought it would be, and people thought we were crazy to give our spot in Finals…but our dogs’ safety and health come first.  We made the best of the hot temps, and enjoyed cooling everyone off in the Chesapeake Bay.  A bad storm eventually rolled in, but the outcome was a beautiful double rainbow, and a gorgeous sunset!

K-9 Central Wild Card Double Header: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

In July, we were back in Canada for the second year in a row! We attended this event last year where all three of our competitors earned their invites to the 2016 DockDogs World Championship. This trip proved to be just as rewarding, as again, all 3 GSP’s won, and earned their invitations to the 2017 World Championship!

All buckled in and on our way from New Jersey to Ontario, Canada!

Thousand Islands Bridge:

Just some of the privately owned islands among the more than 1,8000 islands in Thousand Islands!

 

Waiting in line at Customs:

Look out, Ontario – the Liver Killers are in town!

We arrived at K-9 Central  – look how close our camper is to the competition pool!  It was so nice to crate the dogs from right under our camper canopy and to be able to watch the competition from our camper spot!

 

Limoncello

Big Air

21’2″          2nd Place Masters Division

21’5″

Extreme Vertical:  

4’10”

Speed Retrieve 

9.768 seconds

Iron Dog

2631.56 points

Hooch

Big Air

23’6″          1st Place Elite Division

25’0″          1st Place Super Elite Division

24’7″          1st Place Elite Division

25’3″          1st Place Super Elite Division

 

Lager

Big Air

19’10”            2nd Place Senior Division

Extreme Vertical 

6’0″               3rd Place Top Gun Division

Margarita

At last year’s event, Tremblay Equine Massage Therapy was there, so we had signed Rita up for a massage.  I had taken a picture and shared it with them. The company used Margarita as their “Poster Child!”  Tremblay was there again, and Rita got another massage!

A storm rolled in, but it created a beautiful rainbow over the competition pool!

What an exciting event! 2017 World Championship, here we come!

Keystone DockDogs at SteelStacks: Bethlehem, PA

SteelStacks is one of our favorite venues for dock diving – and Keystone DockDogs is one of the best hosts!

We were able to camp right in the parking lot at SteelStacks too!

Limoncello:

This was a very “off” event for Cello.  She was definitely not herself, and it showed through in her performance.  We wound up scratching her from some of her jumps until we could get her seen by a vet to be sure she was OK.

Picture Credit: Pics By Kim

Big Air:

20’9″

19’7″

19’1″

 

Extreme Vertical:

4’10”

Speed Retrieve:

9.208 seconds

 

Hooch:

Photo Credit: Becca Conner

Big Air:

23’3″            1st Place Elite

23’6″            1st Place Elite

23’2″            2nd Place Elite

Photo Credit: Pics By Kim

Lager:

Big Air (with Jenny)

19’2″

18’0″

Photo credit: Pics By Kim

Big Air (with Brian)

18’0″           3rd Place Senior

20’0″

Photo credit: Pics By Kim

Extreme Vertical (with Jenny)

5’8″            1st Place Cadet

Pic Credit: Becca Conner

 

Margarita:

Margarita enjoyed her time chewing on treats, playing with toys, getting attention from fellow competitors, and hanging out with an adorable Bernese Mountain Dog puppy!

Liver Killer Bling: Gift bag full of goodies, medals, and ribbons!

If you are in the area and can stop at SteelStacks, it’s worth the trip – the stacks are amazing to see in person, and they host some pretty cool events and great concerts!