Be a Warrior, Not a Worrier

Week 13 Recap and Oncology Visit #14

“Worrying does not empty tomorrow of its troubles. It empties today of its strength.” ~Corrie Ten Boom

Margarita has been the ultimate Warrior.¬† Both her primary veterinarian, Dr. Campbell,¬† as well as her oncologist, Dr. Risbon, have told me that Margarita is doing much better than some dogs do when going through chemo.¬† Not only do some dogs have many more or worse side effects, but some dogs unfortunately aren’t even able to complete the 16-week plan for different reasons.¬† I am in awe of Sweet Reet’s strength and resilience, and she has inspired me to transform my worrier tendencies into Warrior energy these past 13 weeks.

As her PAWrent, it was extremely difficult at times over the last 13 weeks to clear my mind of distress, transform that negative energy into the positive strength needed to make clear decisions, and to physically and emotionally assist Margarita in her most important battle.  Keeping a calm, upbeat demeanor was important to me, knowing the vibes I emitted would undoubtedly transfer to Margarita.  A positive attitude and a calm, gentle peaceful voice made her feel happy and secure.  Like all dogs, Margarita is extremely sensitive to silent communication as well Рso it was just as important for me to keep my mood and body language optimistic, despite the anxiety and heartache that I felt.

However, the mind is a treacherous battlefield, and if I was not careful…if I let my guard down jus a little…the Warrior in me disintegrated into a worrier instantaneously. So what have I done to help train my heart and mind to be a Warrior like Sweet Reet?¬†¬†Call me crazy – but I watched Rita – closely.¬† Despite not feeling well 100% of the time, I saw Rita still take joy in small things.¬† Undeterred by the side effects of chemo, she still woke up with her tail wagging and happy to be alive.¬† Her bravery and endurance truly inspired me to start each day anew with an optimistic mind and happy heart, no matter what transpired the day before.¬† How do you like that? SHE was the one going through battle, yet she was helping ME all along…A true example of a Warrior.

Week 13 Recap

The week following her treatment day was great.¬† Margarita did not have any reactions to the Vincristine, and was feeling well enough to enjoy a trip to Maine with us.¬† The hair from her splenectomy surgery area has not grown back yet – which we kind of expected. But more recently, Margarita has had a bit of hair loss in her face, and some pigment discoloration in her muzzle.¬† Below are not the best of pictures, but I tried to show a “before'” (left side) and “current” (right side) for comparison.

We first noticed that her nose, the skin around her eyes and lips, and her muzzle were all turning darker:

Then we noticed hair loss on her face…

…and on her muzzle:

Definitely some noticeable changes – but still one of the prettiest gals we know!

Oncology Visit 14

Margarita’s CBC revealed a very mild drop in her white blood cell count, but the levels were still acceptable for continued therapy. Her physical examination was normal, and her weight was stable.¬† Dr. Risbon said that after the chemotherapy is completed, Margarita’s hair should fill back in, and she should regain the original pink coloring in her muzzle.

This Week’s Treatment

Dr. Risbon changed the treatment for today.¬† Rita was supposed to have Cyclophosphamide today.¬† However, the last time Rita had Cyclophosphamide, she displayed was suspected to be¬† sterile hemorrhagic cystitis , a side effect with this drug seen in about 10% of dogs.¬† To be sure this didn’t happen again, the Cyclophosphamide was substituted with Chlorambucil .

This Week’s Treat

This week’s treat was extra special.¬† Margarita surprised her 2-legged cousin, James on his last day of school!

First car in the Parent Pick-Up Line!

Margarita was patiently waiting for James.

James was happy and surprised to see Rita when he opened his door!

Rita’s Grammy drove us all to get a treat.

We went to Evergreen Dairy Bar . This well-known restaurant and ice cream stand opened in 1949 and is a popular spot for locals, as well as road-trippers passing by on their way to or from the Jersey Shore.

James and Margarita enjoyed a hot dog for lunch.¬† As you can see, Rita thinks her lunch is lip-smackin’-good!

Diggin’-In!

After lunch, James and Margarita also enjoyed a delicious ice cream treat!

As always, thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.

 

No One Fights Alone

Week 9 Recap and Oncology Visit #10

“When someone has cancer, the whole family, and everyone that loves them does too.”¬† ~Terri Clark

When we first found out about Margarita’s diagnosis, there was no question or hesitation for us to put all other things on hold if needed, and fight right alongside Rita in her biggest battle.¬† We vowed to do anything we could to help our 4-legged family member survive, as long as her medical advocates deemed the actions appropriate to continue to improve Rita’s quality of life. We are extremely fortunate to have an amazing medical team behind Rita, whom we trust wholeheartedly.¬† Our family has been understanding, encouraging, and sympathetic. Additionally, thanks to dog sports and social media, we are beyond blessed to have a large network of extended family and friends who have not only been equally supportive, but also have been invaluable resources.

That doesn’t mean we haven’t come across those who do not understand, or cannot relate to our efforts or our bond with our 4-legged family member.¬† I’ve been asked by people who don’t know our family well:¬† “You’re getting chemo for your…DOG?!?!”… “Is it really worth it?” … In keeping the tone of Margarita’s documented journey positive, I won’t even go there – just consider yourself extremely lucky if you are like us and have friends and family who support your efforts to help your fur-child fight such a serious disease.¬† At the same time, be prepared as a PAWrent to be criticized or questioned by those who “don’t get it,” and think your 4-legged child is “just a dog.”

———————————————————————–

JUST A DOG

From time to time, people tell me, “lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or “that’s a lot of money for just a dog.” They don’t understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for “just a dog.”

Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.” Many hours have passed and my only company was “just a dog,” but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by “just a dog,” and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” gave me comfort and reason to overcome the day.

If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” then you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”

“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure and unbridled joy.

“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.

Because of “just a dog,” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future. So for me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog” but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

I hope that someday they can understand that it’s not “just a dog,” but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a woman.” So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog,” just smile–because they “just don’t understand.”

~Author Unknown

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If you cross paths with those who don’t quite understand the love you have for your fur-child, you may start to doubt yourself – or may wind up feeling alone and helpless. In addition to the possibility of unsupportive friends and family, you could have financial constraints or other situations that may make chemotherapy difficult or impossible.¬† Remember:¬† NO ONE FIGHTS ALONE! There is support in each area that you can find elsewhere to assist you in your part of the battle to save your pup.¬† First and foremost, ask your veterinarian and/or oncologist if they can suggest any helpful and reputable emotional and/or financial support groups.¬† I’m sure there are others out there if you search, but below are some options for emotional, informational and financial support that I found either through a friend’s suggestion, or a quick Google Search.

Emotional or Informational Support:

  1. Put out a post on social media
    • You will be surprised at how many others have been through cancer with their pup, and can provide some very helpful tips and information
  2. Pick up a copy of The Dog Cancer Survival Guide
    • This book was recommended to us by a friend of ours whose dog also battled cancer
  3. A list of suggested reading from Help Your Dog Fight Cancer :
  4. Watch The Dog Cancer Series
    • Also recommended to our by a friend of ours whose dog also battled cancer
  5. Join a Facebook support group such as the examples below or search for groups on Facebook specific to your dog’s needs:

Financial Support 

  1. If you have pet insurance, contact them to see what they will cover
  2. Apply to CareCredit.
  3. Attempt to secure a bank loan.
  4. Contact the organizations below, or search for others:
    • The Magic Bullet Fund
      • Nationwide financial assistance for people who have a dog with cancer but cannot afford treatment costs.
    • The Pet Fund
      • Assists owners in covering medical costs beyond the normal expenses of vaccination, spay and neuter surgeries, food and routine veterinary care.
    • Brown Dog Foundation
      • This organization is dedicated to helping families who find themselves in a temporary financial crisis at the same time their pet requires life-saving treatment or life-sustaining medications.
    • The Onyx and Breezy Foundation
      • This is a privately run nonprofit started in memory of the founder‚Äôs dogs.¬† This foundation has helped animals in a variety of ways: from spay/neuter programs, to getting dogs on death row out of high-kill shelters, to providing emergency medical care to animals whose owners have fallen on hard times.
    • Breed-Specific Support
      • There are many rescue groups and associations that support specific dog breeds. Reach out to your local breed clubs for information on local, state and national groups involved in dog breed-specific veterinary care assistance programs. Examples include groups like¬†CorgiAid,¬†Special Needs Dobermans,¬†LabMed,¬†Pit Bull Rescue Central.
    • Joshua Louis Animal Care Foundation
      • Assists owners of pets who are in need of cancer treatment.
    • The Mosby Fund
      • Provides financial assistance for dogs in need of critical care.
    • The Riedel & Cody Fund
      • Provides hope, knowledge and funding for owners of companion animals diagnosed with cancer.
    • RedRover Relief
      • Assists animals in crisis through emergency sheltering, disaster relief services, financial assistance and education.
    • Rose’s Fund
      • Financially assists pet owners and Good Samaritans who have an animal with a good prognosis for a healthy life, but are at a financial loss.

Week 9 Recap

The week following Oncology Visit #9 was a good one!  Rita experienced some mild diarrhea on day two after her treatment, but one Metronidazole did the trick, and she had normal bowl movements the rest of the week leading up to oncology visit #10.

If you have been following along with us for a while, you are probably tired of hearing me say how blessed we are to have found ourselves involved in GSP Rescue of NJ , Pointer Rescue, Org ,  and  DockDogs Рand our ever-growing extended family that came about because of those groups.  I am blown away with the continued friendship, support, motivational messages, prayers, gifts, and gestures from these wonderful people.

This week, one of our extended-family members who attends daily mass lit a candle for Rita and prayed to St. Rita of Cascia on the St. Rita’s Feast Day this week (May 22).

Another one of our extended-family members sent us two of the “No One Fights Alone” Lymphoma bracelets from the Delmarva DockDogs Canine Cancer fund raiser she orchestrated in the name of our Sweet Reet at the last Delmarva DockDogs event.¬† This amazing woman had no idea that my “theme” this week was going to be No One Fights Alone!

 

Oncology Visit #10

On our way to VSEC with some new “bling!”

This week Margarita’s passed her physical exam with flying colors, and her CBC was normal (aside form the mild anemia that is continuously monitored).¬† Margarita’s chemotherapy this week is an oral medication that is administered by us at home.

This Week’s Treatment:

  • Cyclophosphamide 40mg
    • Give 2 tablets by mouth on 5/22, and 5/23 and 1 tablet by mouth on 5/24
      • Wear gloves
      • Do not split/crush tablets
    • This drug can cause some irritation to the bladder (called sterile hemorrhagic cystitis).¬† This week we will have to monitor Rita for straining during urination, urinating small amounts frequently, incontinence, or blood in her urine.

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This Week’s Treat

Margarita was excited to indulge in some grilled chicken nuggets and waffle fries from Chick-fil-A !

Grilled nuggets!!

Waffle fries!

Have a great week, everyone!

As always, thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.

 

 

Be Your Dog’s Hero: Chase Away Canine Cancer

Week 7 Recap and Oncology Visit #8

Margarita had a slightly rough time this past week, but she did get to spend some time outside enjoying the softness of our newly sodded yard.

The side effects of chemo usually show up 3-5 days after the treatment day.  Although we started her on anti-nausea medication on the day of her treatment as a preventative, by Sunday Margarita was very lethargic and was not interested at all in food. This continued for about 3 days.  However, she slowly began to find food enjoyable again, and ate well the rest of the week.

Oncology Visit # 8

This was Rita’s “off” week for treatments, which meant she only needed to get blood work and a physical exam done to make sure she was healthy enough to continue treatment.¬† Her CBC showed no abnormalities, and her nurse noted that Rita was a good girl during her visit!

This Week’s Treat:

This week we stopped at Arby’s !¬† Margarita enjoyed a few bites of a roast beef and cheese slider.

She also had a curly fry for the first time!

 

“Chase” Away Canine Cancer

Chase away Canine Cancer is a division of the National Canine Cancer Foundation, and is an organization that is near and dear to our hearts. Chase was a female black Labrador Retriever, who was an Elite division dock diving competitor.¬† Her PAWrent, Cera Reusser, discovered a lump under Chase’s chin while petting her. The lump turned out to be metastasized cancer, which spread from nasal carcinoma. Unfortunately, even after the best possible care from her oncologist , Chase lost her battle to cancer, and passed away three months shy of her seventh birthday. Chase’s steadfast devotion to her family and her courage throughout her battle earned her the title of hero.

Cera became Chase’s Hero

Driven by the loss of her beloved Chase, and determined to find a cure for this devastating disease, Cera Reusser committed herself to being a hero for Chase, and set out on a mission to do all she could to help others in this difficult battle.¬† Through fundraising and the start of Chase Away Canine Cancer, Cera’s efforts in conjunction with hundreds of volunteers and donations from across the USA & Canada have made a huge difference in the fight against canine cancer.

Chase Away Canine Cancer posts resources for people who have fur-kids battling cancer.    Click HERE to view the current posts.

Chase Away Canine Cancer also has a volunteer-run online store , which carries products such as the personalized reversible bandana Rita is wearing in this post.¬† Profits from the K9 Trading Company’s sale of Chase Away Canine Cancer merchandise go directly toward the Chase Away Canine Cancer Organization. A portion of all other merchandise on the site also goes to Chase Away Canine Cancer.

How can you be YOUR dog’s hero?

  • Take a few minutes to do a body check each month.
    • Choose a monthly date (Chase away Canine Cancer suggests the 14th since this was Chase’s birthday) and do a body check on this date each month. The National Canine Cancer Foundation has graphics you can print out or save to help guide you through your monthly checks:
  • Be sure to schedule and attend your dog’s routine veterinary appointments.¬†¬†
    • Follow up with an additional exam outside of your routine appointments if you observe something suspicious
  • Keep notes on any growths or abnormal behavioral observations
    • This will help you track important information about your dog’s health, and also will be helpful if you need to share notes to your veterinarian or a specialist on quick notice

As you may have read in our very first post about how we found Margarita’s Lymphoma, we did not discover any lumps. Sometimes cancer does not show itself in the form of visible lumps bumps. So what do you look for?¬† The National Canine Cancer Foundation lists these top 10 early warning signs of Cancer:

  1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  2. Sores that do not heal
  3. weight loss
  4. loss of appetite
  5. bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  6. offensive odor
  7. difficulty eating or swallowing
  8. hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  9. persistent lameness or stiffness
  10. difficulty breathing, urinating, or defecation

 

Thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.

 

 

 

 

K9 Central Wild Card Double Header: Bowmanville, Ontario, Canada

This venue by far is our favorite!  The event at K9 Central has camping on site, awesome pool set-up, and some of THE nicest people you will ever meet!

Not only is the venue our favorite, the easy drive, and the beautiful scenery add to the enjoyment of our road trip.

One of the most exciting parts of this journey is the Thousand Islands Bridge.

I am not a fan of bridges – especially narrow ones (yikes!).

However, I do my best to put my fear aside so that I don’t miss out on the beautiful scenery of the Thousand Islands area on either side of the bridge.¬† The view is gorgeous, and you get to see many of the privately owned islands while crossing the bridge.

 

The past few years we had taken a few extra days off for this trip, so we are usually the first ones there!  We love how close our camper is to the pool!

This was also the first trip in our new camper!

We upgraded to a bigger camper with double slides so we could have more room !


Limoncello:  Team Coach

Limoncello enjoyed lounging in the camper with Margarita.¬† ¬†Coaching Hooch and Lager is a “ruff” job – so Cello relieved some stress by getting a massage from our friend, Marti, at¬†Pawz Therapy.

Hooch

Big Air

  • 22’6″
  • 23’3″¬† 1st Place Elite Division
  • 22’9″
  • 24’1″¬† 1st Place Elite Division
  • 23’3″¬†¬†1st Place Elite Division
  • 22’9″
  • Big Air Pro Division Finals:¬† 22’6

Extreme Vertical All-in-One Final Format

This probably was the most exciting Extreme Vertical for Hooch and Jenny as a team!¬† Hooch matched his personal best, grabbed the bumper at 6’6″¬† and in the end earned 3rd Place Top Gun Division¬† – but not before¬†Hooch had to go into a “jump-off” with 2 other dogs who were in a 3-way tie with him!

Lager

Big Air 

  • 17’7″
  • 19’1″
  • 20’9″¬†¬†2nd Place Master Division
  • 18’6″¬†¬†2nd Place Senior Division
  • 19’2″¬† 1st Place Senior Division
  • 19’8″¬†1st Place Senior Division

Extreme Vertical All-in-One Final Format

  • 6’2″

Speed Retrieve All-in-One Final Format

  • 7.037seconds¬†¬†1st Place Turbo Division

Iron Dog All-in-One Final Format

  • 2920.34¬†¬†3rd Place Gladiator Division

Margarita:  Team Cheerleader

Margarita made sure to get her beauty rest in the camper with Limoncello in between cheering-on her siblings during the competition.  She also enjoyed a massage with Marti!

Whiskey (Wish): First Ever DockDogs Competition AND Adoption Day!

Whiskey was still our foster dog, Wish at the time of this trip.  However, she had begun jumping into the lake at home, so I figured, why not try her up on the dock?!?!

We had been calling her “Wish the Fish,” so I bought Whiskey¬†very own “fish wubba” for the dock.

I registered her under the name “WISHkey,” as a guest Liver Killer team member, and hoped for the best! Whiskey not only jumped into the pool, but earned herself a DockDogs World Championship invitation!

Big Air

5’10”

4’3″

7’0″¬† Second Place Novice Division

6’3″¬†¬†Second Place Novice Division

We had fallen in love with Whiskey long before this trip, but had been fighting the urge to adopt her.  We decided while on this trip we would no longer fight that fight, and called Pointer Rescue, Organization to let them know we would like to adopt her.  Welcome home, Tennessee Whiskey!

Liver Killer Bling

We had been known for our American Flag team canopy for quite some time now.  Unfortunately, at this event, a huge wind gust came along and mangled it! We have been searching for another one ever since.

This was also not a very good “maiden voyage” in our new camper.¬† ¬†It had rained very hard the last day of this competition, and the ground became extremely muddy. We sank – A LOT – and had to get towed out.

 

Luckily there was no damage done to the camper and we made it safely home!

We can’t wait to come back to Canada next year!

 

 

PV Pet Pet Palooza: PV Pets, Pennsville, NJ

This was our second year back at this event.  Click HERE to see us at this event last year.

We like this event since it is very close to home!

Limoncello:  Team Coach

Limoncello enjoyed taking a dip in the competition pool in between the scheduled jumps.

Hooch

Big Air

22’9″

Big Air Finals:¬† 22’9″ 2nd Place Pro Division

Lager

Big Air

17’9″

18’5″¬† 3rd Place Senior Division

 

Speed Retrieve

7.605 seconds

 

Margarita:  Team Cheerleader

Rita was not impressed at this event, and enjoyed taking naps throughout the day.

Whiskey

Whiskey, still our foster pup, Wish, at the time, enjoyed getting all kinds of attention!

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‚Äôs 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 Рwe look forward to the many years of love and companionship we will treasure with Cello.

Even if we don‚Äôt understand why at this point, we are firm believers in ‚Äúchange is good‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúall things happen for a reason.‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôd 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:

‚ÄĘBig Air (on camera): 25‚Äô0‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘExtreme Vertical: 5‚Äô6‚ÄĚ
‚ÄĘSpeed Retrieve: 7.371 seconds
‚ÄĘIron Dog: 2869.62 points
     *2016 DockDogs #1 Warrior Iron Dog in the World

Photo credit: Precise Video Productions

 

 

Iris

Meet Iris!

She is a 3 year old English Pointer who was found as a stray in GA, and ended up in a kill-shelter where she had limited time. Then a nice volunteer from Pointer Rescue, Organization offered to foster her!

We are happy to have been able to be a part of her freedom-ride up the East Coast to help get her to her foster home in NY!
ūüĆłthe Iris flower symbolizes:
Freedom‚ÄĘHope‚ÄĘTrust‚ÄĘFaith‚ÄĘValor‚ÄĘRoyalty
Check the many¬† adoptable Pointers on the rescue‚Äôs FB page! ‚úĆūüŹĽ‚̧ԳŹ ūüźĺ
.

‚Äč

Adams County Winery: Gettysburg, PA

Adams County Winery is one of the oldest wineries in Pennsylvania, and also was voted Best Winery in Gettysburg.  Best of all, they have free wine tastings every day!

Santa, Mrs. Claus, and a few of their elves even stopped by to visit Margarita and tell her she was on the Nice List!

 

 

Barn Hunt at Tail Wagging Events

Rita and Limoncello have both earned their Rat I title (Instinct level), and both have one qualifying run for their Rat N title (Novice level).

We attended a barn hunt at Tail Wagging Events to see if we could both secure at least another qualifying run in the Novice level.

Unfortunately, neither team was able to do so, but we once again had a great time with our pups!

Barn Hunt Trial: Pawsable K-9 Events, Millstone Township, NJ

Our second Barn Hunt Association trial was held at Pawsable K-9 Events.

Both Limoncello and Margarita did very well this weekend!  Both gals ran 2 Novice runs, and both secured one qualifying Novice score toward their Novice title. The Novice level requires the dogs to find the tube containing the rat, complete a tunnel, and have all-fours up on a hay bale (in no particular order) within two minutes.  Cello and Rita will need two more qualifying scores to earn their Novice title.

Margarita

Instinct Run: Qualified! 13.53 seconds (new Personal Best!)

*For those of you wondering why we participated at the Instinct level when Rita is already titled at this level, you are allowed to still do an Instinct run to get your pup warmed up as long as the dog has not titled in Novice.

Novice Run 1: Qualified!  1:44.71 seconds

Novice Run 2:  Rita completed the tunnel, and before she could attempt the hay bale climb, Jenny jumped-the-gun and called the wrong

                               location of the rat.

Rita’s First Qualifying Novice Score Ribbon!

File Aug 29, 7 32 46 AM

Limoncello

Instinct Run: Brian called the wrong location of the rat.

*For those of you wondering why we participated at the Instinct level when Cello is already titled at this level, you are allowed to still do an Instinct run to get your pup warmed up as long as the dog has not titled in Novice.

Novice Run 1: Qualified!  1:50.82 seconds 

Novice Run 2:  Cello executed the tunnel and the hay bale climb, but Brian called the wrong location of the rat.

Brian and Cello in Novice Run 2:

Cello’s First Qualifying Novice Score Ribbon!

File Aug 29, 7 32 10 AM

Overall, we had a fun day, and enjoyed Barn Hunt with our two little gals!

 

Hooch’s First Dance !

Blogville Sadie Hawkins Dance PAWty!

Hooch was asked by the beautiful Paisley to the Blogville Sadie Hawkins Dance PAWty!  

I have to admit he was super-excited – and what dog wouldn’t be ¬†– Hooch’s date was the prettiest gal at the dance!

Paisley and Hooch Sadie Hawkins 640

To read the full story, visit our friends over at Barking From the Bayou and read the details about the dance!

Wondering who the heck Sadie Hawkins is and why she has a dance named after her?  Today I Found Out has a great explanation:

Sadie Hawkins’ renown, which evolved into an American folk-holiday in some places, doesn’t really originate from a dance, but rather from a race, as we shall soon see. Sadie was the product of the fertile imagination of cartoonist Al Capp. She was a character in his popular cartoon Lil’ Abner, set in the hillbilly town of Dogpatch, that began its wildly successful 40 year run in 1934.

The way Al tells it, Sadie was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of the town‚Äôs first settlers, who had the dubious distinction of being the ‚Äúhomeliest gal in all them hills.‚ÄĚ After waiting not-so-patiently for 15 years for a suitor to show up at her door, not a single prospective husband arrived to court her. With each passing year, Sadie became more and more panicky, as did her father, who did not relish the idea of supporting a spinster daughter for the rest of her days.

So, figuring he had nothing to lose, he called all the unmarried men of Dogpatch together and declared it Sadie Hawkins Day. In a reversal of Atalanta‚Äôs race in ancient Greek mythology, the race placed Sadie in hot pursuit of the town‚Äôs bachelors; the ‚Äúlucky‚ÄĚ chap she managed to catch became her lawful wedded husband. Or, as her Paw explained it, ‚ÄúWhen ah fires [my gun], all o‚Äô yo‚Äô kin start a-runnin! When ah fires agin‚ÄĒafter givin‚Äô yo‚Äô a fair start‚ÄĒSadie starts a runnin‚Äô. Th‚Äô one she ketches‚Äôll be her husbin.‚ÄĚ Pure poetry.

The rest of the spinsters in Dogpatch thought the race was an excellent idea, and insisted upon making Sadie Hawkins Day a yearly and mandatory event, much to the horror of the bachelors in town, who apparently had no say in the matter. According to the strip, if a woman caught a man and dragged him, presumably kicking, screaming, and crying for mommy, over the finish line before the sun had set, by law he had to marry her. This had overtones of a caveman clubbing a woman and dragging her back to his cave, and was as close to women’s lib as you’d get at the time in popular entertainment.

This entire Sadie Hawkins Day story line was a plot device concocted by Al Capp for the romance between main characters Abner and Daisy Mae, which had a bit of a Ross and Rachel from ‚ÄúFriends‚ÄĚ quality to it. Eventually, Capp put everyone out of their misery and allowed the two characters to finally marry.

The dance didn‚Äôt appear in the strip until a bit later. The Sadie Hawkins Dance took place on the evening before the race, and the spinster girls traditionally wore hob-nailed boots to ‚Äúunintentionally‚ÄĚ stomp on the feet of the single men in attendance, which unfortunately (for them) might adversely affect their ability to run the next day during the race.

Sadie Hawkins Day as a popular culture phenomenon was all the rage on college campuses by 1939. According to Lifemagazine, over 200 colleges were celebrating a Sadie Hawkins Day that year, and it was obvious that the tradition was quickly gaining in popularity with the nation’s young people.

The question is ‚Äď why? One reason could be that as the nation was taking its first strides out of the Great Depression, a down-home low-cost activity like Sadie Hawkins Day was something that all could participate in, without the need to rent a tux or buy a gown as prom or homecoming would entail. There was also the naughty novelty of girls inviting boys for a social outing.

Compared to the Roaring ‚Äė20s, the ‚Äė30‚Äôs were considerably more sexually repressed. Gone were the flappers, bee-stung lips and bootleg whiskey. The depression brought with it a sober prissiness that made the very idea of a woman openly pursuing a man deeply offensive to many. But an approved activity such as Sadie Hawkins Day ‚Äď where a lady could state her choice with impunity and not be labeled a Jezebel ‚Äď while at the same time men could pretend to be horrified while secretly being titillated ‚Äď that‚Äôs a situation where everyone wins!

By 1952, it was reported that Sadie Hawkins Day was celebrated at over 40,000 different locations. In that year, Capp wrote:

It’s become my responsibility [to include Sadie Hawkins Day every year in the strip.] It doesn’t happen on any set day in November; it happens on the day I say it happens. I get tens of thousands of letters from colleges, communities, and church groups, starting around July, asking me what day, so they can make plans.

Eventually, it morphed into an event of an entire day’s duration that fell on the Saturday after November ninth.

For today’s young women, Sadie Hawkins Day doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore. But for a few decades in the middle of the twentieth century, it served as a social bridge between the years when women rarely left the home and the sexual revolution.

Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show, Hosted by Delmarva DockDogs, Tuckerton, NJ

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The Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show¬†is one of our favorite competitions to attend. ¬†This event was the first DockDogs event in which Brian and Cello competed in 2013, when we met Annie, Matt, and Bailey from The Little GSP!¬† Not only is it very close to our home, but the GSP Rescue of NJ also sets up a table here¬†–¬†and they are one of just many REALLY cool vendors at this large festival. ¬†We especially love that we can compete, and still volunteer the pups as donation dogs in between their jumps! ¬†This was also an especially thrilling¬†event, because Lager won First Place in Senior Division Big Air finals! ¬†Another exciting part of this event, is that a friend and fellow GSP Rescue of NJ volunteer, Jen C. , as well as Jenny’s sister Dana, both jumped Cello… AND got medals!

LIMONCELLO:

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Big Air:

21’9″ ¬† ¬† 22’3″

Finals: ¬†22’5 ¬† ¬† ¬† 22’2″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†4th Place Elite

Extreme Vertical:

5’2″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†3rd Place Cadet

Speed Retrieve:

7.972 seconds         5th Place Turbo

**FIRST PLACE WARRIOR IRON DOG! 

 

HOOCH:

Big Air:

23’3″ ¬† ¬† 20’11” ¬† ¬† ¬† 2nd Place Elite

22’0″ ¬† ¬† 21’9″

22’2″ ¬† ¬†22’5″

Finals: ¬†22′ 7″ ¬† 23’4″ ¬† ¬†Third Place Elite

 

LAGER:

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Big Air:

16′ ¬† ¬† 19’0″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†2nd Place Senior

18’6″ ¬† ¬† 18’11” ¬† ¬†¬†2nd Place Senior

18’2″ ¬† ¬†18’6″ ¬† ¬† ¬†¬†1st¬†Place Senior

Finals: ¬† 19’8″ ¬† ¬† 19’5″ ¬† ¬† 1st Place Senior

Extreme Vertical:

5’10” ¬† ¬† 1st Place Cadet

We were extremely proud of all 3 of our pups! They earned several awesome ribbons and medals!

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The Liver Killers were pretty exhausted after performing so well, and slept in a Pointer Pile the whole way home! 

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Quest for the Belt, Hosted by Three Rivers DockDogs: Cabela’s, Triadelphia, WV

Lager’s first official dock diving competition!

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In less than 2 weeks after Lager joined our pack, we were entering him in his very first official DockDogs competition! Three Rivers DockDogs hosted an event at Cabela’s in Triadelphia, West Virginia.

LIMONCELLO:

Big Air:

21’5″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†21’2″

21’3″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†22’2″

20’4″ ¬† ¬† ¬† 20’7″

19’10” ¬† ¬† ¬†20’9″

Extreme Vertical:

5’0″

Speed Retrieve:

8.489                          Second Place Express

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HOOCH:

Hooch was up on the dock when a gust of wind blew a banner off of the side of the pool, freaking him out completely .  It was a tough weekend, as Hooch had a difficult time gaining enough confidence on the dock to run and jump at his full speed.

Big Air:

22’7″ ¬† ¬† 15’9″

21’2″ ¬† ¬† 22’11”

13’0″ ¬† ¬† 14’11”

23’0″ ¬† ¬† 22’3″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Third Place Elite

22’5″ ¬† ¬† 23’6″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†First Place Elite

Extreme Vertical:

5’10’ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Second Place Cadet

LAGER:

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Big Air:

13′ 4″ and 13′ 11″ ¬† ¬† ¬† First Place Junior (with Brian)

15’7″ and 16’2″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†(with Jenny)

16’9″ and 18’2″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†Second Place Senior¬†(with Jenny)

17’0″ and 17’5″ ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†(with Jenny)

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Extreme Vertical:

This was Lager’s first attempt at EV. ¬†Lager missed both times, but was very determined – we had no doubt that he will excel at this in the future!

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None of the pups made the finals at this event Рfirst time all season!!  There were some HUGE jumping dogs here!  We had a great weekend camping with friends, and enjoyed watching Lager have a blast on the dock at his first official event!

The Liver Killers on 6 ABC News!

The Liver Killers first time on the news! 

Nora Muchanic visited us at our home to do a story on the Liver Killers!

See the full story, plus a video of the news segment Рclick HERE!

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Most people just walk their dogs. But Jenny and Brian Beadling’s dogs go for a flying leap.

The German Short Haired Pointers (GSPs for short) are two of the top dock diving dogs in the country and also rated internationally.

Brian says, “They are fun, happy, energetic dogs who really love competing and playing. And they think of all of this as play, which is really exciting for us.”

And Jenny tells us, “They need extreme exercise and what you would think of as your exhaustion point is just their starting point.”

The dock at the Beadling’s Medford Lakes cabin has become a launching pad as these two pooches practice each day. In competition they are judged on how high, long and fast they can jump.

A room inside the Beadling’s house is filled with ribbons and medals.

Hooch is the number one ranked GSP in the country for “big air”; Cello is ranked number one for “iron dogs”, the canine equivalent of a triathlon.

Jenny says, “They can run for hours and hours and hours on end. And they will keep going, they’re working dogs. They will keep going until you shut them down.”

The newest member of the family is Lager, a former bomb sniffing dog for the U.S. government who served in Iraq.

Now Lager regular leaps into the lake with his new companions.

He is clearly adjusting to his new digs.

They are highly trained and these dogs may be world class dock divers, but if you ask me they look like they’re just having fun.

Brian explains, “The humans involved take the competition seriously. The dogs just enjoy being out with the owners, jumping in the water. To see them just have fun and love life it’s really fun for us as well.”

Jenny a special education teacher and Brian a mortgage banker, travel with the dogs to competitions several times a month. The cash prizes Hooch and Limoncello win are turned over to a GSP rescue group.

Jenny says, “The amount of work that goes into it and the enjoyment you see in the dog is the best.”

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Cabela’s Summer Splash, Hosted by Keystone DockDogs: Cabela’s, Hamburg, PA

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We love Cabela’s events where you can camp right in the parking lot, and crate the dogs right from your home on wheels!! ¬†This event was hosted by Keystone DockDogs, and held at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA.

We set up “camp” with other dock diving friends who also have campers – and had a BLAST! (We are the camper with the American Flag canopy).

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We also love this event since it is close enough for friends and family to venture out to watch the pups dive. ¬†One of Brian’s coworkers, and Brian’s mom, brother, & god-daughter all came out to watch the Liver Killers get some big air! ¬†The only pictures I took this weekend are the ones you see above (bad dog mom!).

Luckily two of our friends and fellow competitors took some pictures of Hooch, which I am sharing below (thank you, Kevin and Gary!!)

There were some computer issues at the event, so I don’t have all the recorded jump information just yet, but I will share the scores that I do have.

This was a particularly good event for Hooch!

Hooch jumped big all weekend, soaring over 23 feet in all five of his Big Air waves, acquiring (3) First Place medals, (1) Second Place medal, and (1) Third Place medal – all in the Elite Division. Hooch also took First Place in the Elite Division Big Air Finals! ¬†His biggest jump of the weekend was 24’1″, just an inch under his personal best.

Here is Hooch in action during a Big Air jump:

Hooch secured¬†a new Personal Best in Extreme Vertical, with a grab of 6’2″ !! ¬†This also earned him a First Place ribbon for the Top Gun Division!

Cello jumped consistently all weekend, but score just below her current division most of the weekend. ¬†Cello did make the Elite Big Air finals (this was the first time Cello and Hooch made the same division finals and went head-to-head!) Cello placed 5th in the Elite Division Big Air Finals with a jump of 21’6″.

Cello did Extreme Vertical as well  Рhowever her biggest nemesis (golf cart) made an appearance while she was up on the dock, and she lost her focus, knocking her out of the competition earlier than she should have been.

Overall, we had a really fun weekend with friends and family, won some really cool ribbons, medals and Cabela’s goodies, and even got to meet some new friends who follow Cello and Hooch’s adventures on their Instagram account!

Hooch Ranked #1 GSP in the United States!

As of now, Hooch is ranked THE #1 German Shorthaired Pointer in the United States with a DockDogs Big Air average of 23′ 7.4″unnamed (1)

His current average also ranks him the #2 German Shorthaired Pointer in the World!!

Words cannot describe how proud I am of this boy!

Limoncello and Hooch Featured on AKC’s WOOFipedia!

Limoncello is featured on the American Kennel Club’s online publication, WOOFipedia!

Taken from: http://www.woofipedia.com/articles/meet-the-dog-who-can-fly

MEET THE DOG WHO CAN FLY

Posted By: Liz

Jenny and Brian Beadling had no idea they were raising a prodigy.

Their German Shorthaired Pointer, Limoncello, never took to the sport her breed is known for‚ÄĒhunting‚ÄĒbecause she had a fear of guns. But she still had that GSP high drive, which she‚Äôd exert by jumping off the dock of the family‚Äôs lake house to retrieve toys they‚Äôd thrown in the water. ‚ÄúWe began to notice at a very young age, she would jump off the dock just for fun‚ÄĒeven with no toy being thrown for her,‚ÄĚ Jenny Beadling says. So when the family saw a ‚Äúdock diving‚ÄĚ event¬†for dogs at a local festival, they thought, ‚Äúwhy not?‚ÄĚ

And so, a star was born.

Limoncello (or Cello for short) came in second place in that first event and in the year and a half that followed, she’s become one of the highest-ranked dock-diving GSPs in the world.

Cello competes as an ‚ÄúIron Dog,‚ÄĚ meaning that she participates in all three dock-diving events, including Big Air (long jump), Extreme Vertical (high jump), and Speed Retrieve (timed retrieving). And this November, she‚Äôll be one of the dogs¬†representing the USA at the DockDogs World Championship¬†in Dubuque, Iowa. She’s also inspired her little brother, Hooch, to try out the sport.

And like any pro athlete, Cello has earned endorsement deals. TurboPup selected Cello to be the ambassador for their human-grade meal-replacement bars for active dogs on the go. Her social media accounts have attracted tens of thousands of followers, and she’s been featured in multiple publications.

‚ÄúWith her vibrant personality, extreme speed, and stunning build, she is a crowd favorite,‚ÄĚ says Beadling.

But she’s not in it for the fame and fortune. The Beadlings donate all the cash awards won by Cello and Hooch to the German Shorthaired Pointer Rescue of NJ, and all of their food and toy prizes go to a local animal-welfare organization.

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You can see the original story by clicking HERE !

Longport Dog Beach, Egg Harbor Township, NJ

BringFido.com has a list of their top 10 dog friendly beaches in New Jersey.  I decided to take Hooch for a ride and try one out Рso off we went to the Longport Dog Beach!

Hooch was ready to go on his first-ever solo adventure!

We found it!  This beach is located at the base of the Ocean Drive Bridge, on the Longport side, across from the fishing pier.

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Walking on the path leading to the beach:

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Along this path we saw the sweetest thing:  A tribute to a dog who once loved to play on this same beach.  A basket of toys were left in memory of Scruffy, so that other dogs could enjoy the beach as much as Scruffy did.

The beach was a pretty good size, with many families enjoying time with their dogs off-lead both on the beach, and in the water.

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Hooch is not ready to be off-lead, so he enjoyed  running in the water on his leash.  Even though he was on-lead, he still somehow managed to steal a tennis ball from a Jack Russell Terrier!

Hooch LOVED playing in the waves:

We were both soaked, exhausted, and full of sand after this trip!

My sandy co-pilot on the way home:

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Looking forward to the next summer adventure!

Cello and Brian – Filmed By Drone!

At our last dock diving event, Family Fun Day, this past weekend in Elkton, MD, there was a drone flying around filming the weekend happenings.

Cello and Brian were filmed during one of their jumps – how cool is THAT?!?!

We were very excited with this first-time ever view of Cello in action!

11 Months

Our little (or NOT so little!) Hooch turned 11 months old on April 24!

He weighs 57 pounds now!

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Hooch has been absolutely loving the water this Spring! He has been diving off of our dock at home!

Hooch has also been doing very well at his dock diving competitions!

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In fact, on his 11 month birthday, Hooch competed in the Family Fun Day dock diving event, and earned 2 First Place medals, and 2 Second Place medals! Way to go, Hooch!

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Happy 11 months, Hooch!

10 Months

On March 24, Hooch turned 10 months old… how did he get so big so fast?!?!

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Hooch is now taller than his sister, Cello, and weighs 50 pounds.  He continues to love the water and dock diving, although he still will not jump off our dock at home, and still hesitates to jump at competitions.  Hooch has picked up a stronger toy-drive, and enjoys chasing a tennis or soccer ball, and chewing on sticks.  He is the happiest, puppy we know, and he makes us laugh every day, as he is such a goof-ball!  Happy 10 months, buddy Рwe love you!

Winter Meltdown, hosted by Keystone DockDogs in Harrisburg, PA

Cello and Hooch’s third dock diving event of the 2015 season was hosted by Keystone DockDogs.

This event, “Winter Meltdown,” was held at the Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex¬†in Harrisburg, PA.

Cello

Cello had been going through a little bit of a slump, but during this event, she really seemed to be starting to get back on track! We were very proud of her!

Big Air Results:

22’6″ ¬† ¬† 22′

22’3″ ¬† ¬† 21’10”

23’3″ ¬† ¬† 21’9″ ¬† ¬† 2nd Place Elite Division

21’3″ ¬† ¬† 21’5″

Extreme Vertical Results:

5’2″ ¬†3rd Place Cadet Divsion

Speed Retrieve Results:

17.128     10.968

Big Air Finals:

22’2″ ¬† ¬† 17’5″ ¬† ¬† 3rd Place Elite Division

Iron Dog Points: 2511.83     3rd Place Warrior Division

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Hooch

Hooch is still a bit nervous to run and jump off the dock, but he loves to get the crowd going with his “Hoochie Hop” off the end of the dock!

Big Air Results:

8’7″ ¬† ¬† 8’1″ ¬† ¬† 3rd Place Novice Division

7’9″ ¬† ¬† 8’6″ ¬† ¬† 2nd¬†Place Novice Division

7’10” ¬† ¬† 7’3″ ¬†2nd¬†Place Novice Division

8’1″ ¬† ¬† 8’2″

7’8″ ¬† ¬† 7’4″ ¬† ¬† 3rd¬†Place Novice Division

Big Air FInals:

8’4″ ¬† ¬† 8’1″ ¬† ¬† 3rd¬†Place Novice Division

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Hooch had a BLAST!

9 Months

Hooch turned 9 months old on February 24th. ¬†He’s getting so big! ¬†He is now officially taller than his sister, Cello!

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Over the past month, Hooch has earned his first 1st Place ribbon in dock diving,  qualified for Finals for the first time РAND came in 2nd Place in the Novice Finals! Way to go, Hooch!

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Hooch LOVES playing in the snow! ¬†And thank goodness, because we’ve had LOTS of¬†it over the past month! ¬†DSC03610

One of Hooch’s favorite things is playing ball in the snow!

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Happy 9 Months, Hoochie!

World of Pets Expo, Timonium, MD, hosted by Chesapeake DockDogs (Hooch’s Dock Diving Debut!)

World of Pets Expo,¬†¬†hosted by Chesapeake DockDogs,¬†was Hooch’s dock diving debut!

As you  know from previous posts, Hooch has practiced his dock diving at both Canine Spa and Mountain Trail Training Center. However, both facilities have docks that are only a few inches off of the water.  Hooch had never jumped in from a height of an official DockDogs dock (2 feet).  To make sure he was comfortable with this, as soon as we arrived to the Maryland State Fairgrounds, we took Hooch up on  the dock for a practice run.  As soon as I unleashed Hooch, he ran down the dock stairs into the crowd, and all around the pool (TWICE!!) The third time, he ran and dove in with no problem Рso I thought I had this down pat, no problem. I was highly mistaken!

Hooch’s first official recorded dive was amazing! ¬†Although we had practiced nothing but the “chase method” (where¬†the dog is placed in a stay or wait position at the starting point on the dock. The handler proceeds to the end of the dock, then releases the dog. The chase object is thrown at just the right moment to keep the toy in front of the dog‚Äôs nose all the way into the water. Thus, the dog is chasing the object! The advantage of this method is that the handler can control and optimize the launch angle to increase distance ‚Äď it avoids the flat jump that is likely with the place and send method). ¬†After Hooch had run off the dock during practice, I let it get the best of me, and decided to last-minute change to the “Place and Send” method (the dog walks¬†with the handler to the end of the dock and is held back while the handler tosses the toy. The dog is then returned to the start point and released or sent to retrieve the toy. Dogs that use the place and send method are generally just not trained to wait or stay on the dock themselves). ¬†Even with this last-minute change, Hooch jumped big!

Hooch’s first official jump was a whopping 16 feet! ¬†I was SO excited! Luckily we had some friends at the event that took a video to capture Hooch’s Debut!

Here’s another video of the same jump, in slow motion that another friend shot for us:

For Hooch’s second jump, I also used the Place and Send method, and he jumped 13 feet, 1 inch – again – a distance I was thrilled with! Hooch wound up earning 2nd Place in the Senior Division!!

After Hooch’s first wave, he decided he was not going to run and jump¬†–¬†but rather run, stop at the edge of the dock, then “POP” into the water. ¬†Although this frustrated ME, the crowd LOVED him!

Hooch (AKA “Big POP-pa”) continued to be a crowd pleaser, but jumped in the Junior and Novice Divisions.

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Overall, Team Homemade Hooch placed in every wave we were registered in, and won FOUR ribbons in their dock diving debut! WOOT WOOT!

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Getting ribbons was fun!

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Cello also did very well in her first 2015 event – she won 2nd Place Iron Dog in the Warrior Division!

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This was also Cello’s first time trying Speed Retrieve ¬†– having never practiced this competition before this event! ¬†Her time was 9.85 seconds…not too bad for her first time!

Here’s Cello doing Extreme Vertical:

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And here is Cello doing Big Air – although she was still a crowd favorite, she was leaving the dock SUPER early, and did not perform to her usual standards.

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Brian also volunteered to announce at this event:

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It was an awesome weekend filled with great friends, good conversation, and lots and LOTS of laughs!  We want to thank EVERYone for their advice and support during this event.  I also want to personally thank everyone who took video and photographs of both Team Cello and Team Homemade Hooch.  I was so preoccupied with being a nervous wreck, that I took not ONE picture or video with my own camera or phone!

Team Homemade Hooch¬†also wants to thank Team Cello for celebrating Team Homemade Hooch’s dock diving debut by buying us a Chesapeake DockDogs shirt in our team color!

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Our 2015 shirts were a big hit as well!

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We had a super-fun weekend, and are very proud of our two dock divers.  We are excited to compete in part two of the World of Pets Expo in Virginia in a couple of weeks!

8 Months

On January 24, Hooch turned 8 months old! ¬†I can’t believe how much he’s changed in just 6 months! ¬†He’s 49 pounds now, and slightly taller than his sister, Cello. ¬†To see just how much he’s changed, click HERE and scroll through the pictures!

Over the past month, Hooch has traveled to Pennsylvania several times to practice his diving, went on a hike, won a contest where his painted picture will be on a greeting card, and has participated in his first official DockDogs dock diving event! Click HERE to see him in action and read the details of his first dock diving adventure!

Our little man is sure getting big!

8 months

Happy 8 month birthday, Hooch!

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Hooch’s Mug on a Greeting Card!

Hooch was the winner of Wagging Tail Portraits’ Facebook That’s Your Pet¬†contest!

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His cutie-patootie face will be inspiration for one of Wagging Tail Portraits’¬†future Wet Nose Greetings¬†Cards! ¬†Hooch will also be featured on Wagging Tail Portraits blog, Wagging Tales.”¬†We¬†will also receive 50 complimentary cards and an 11×14 print of the painted illustration.

We are so proud of you, Hooch!

Hooch’s First Hike: Historic Batsto Village, Hammonton, NJ

We took Cello and Hooch to historic Batsto Village for a hike!

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Although this is both Cello and Hooch’s first visit to Batsto Village, this historic site holds a very special place in our hearts. ¬†If you’ve been following this blog, you know the story of how we discovered the German Shorthaired Pointer, and why we knew we would eventually forever have GSPs as family members. ¬†If you don’t know the story, click HERE . ¬†Six months after we bought our dream home, Brian and I went to the Country Living Fair, an event¬†held annually on the third Sunday in October at Batsto Village, in hopes to find some historic items related to our area to decorate our home. ¬†While walking through the Village, we saw (for the very first time) a couple with a German Shorthaired Pointer. ¬†We approached the couple to pet the dog, and to ask some questions about the breed, since at the time we knew nothing about GSPs, other than what we had researched online. ¬†When Brian asked what the man thought of the breed, the man’s exact words were, “These dogs¬†are the biggest pain in the A_ _.”

I often think of this, with three things that come to mind:

1) I can only feel sorry for that man who didn’t understand just how wonderful GSPs are

2) I pray that the man was joking, and that the beautiful dog we saw that day is leading a family-life full of love and care

3) I thank God we didn’t let the man’s opinionated statement divert us from our desire to have GSPs in our family.

At this exact spot, approximately 5 years ago, we saw and petted a German Shorthaired Pointer for the very first time!  Today, Brian and Cello stood in that same spot:

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Batsto Village dates back to 1776, and is located in Southern New Jersey in the Wharton State Forrest, New Jersey’s largest state forest, located in the heart of the Pinelands (home of New Jersey’s cultural icon, The Jersey Devil!) ¬†¬†Archeologists have found evidence of Prehistoric life in the Batsto area¬†as well…the history dates back several¬†thousand years!

Batsto Iron Works was built along the Batsto River in 1766. Batsto had all the natural resources necessary for making iron:  bog ore from the banks of the streams and rivers, wood for fuel, and water for power. The Batsto Iron Works produced household items such as cooking pots and kettles. During the Revolutionary War, Batsto also manufactured supplies for the Continental Army. By the mid 1800’s, iron production was down, and Batsto re-invented itself as a glass-making community, specializing in window glass.

Today Batsto Village is a New Jersey Historic site, and is also listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

The Batsto area also has numerous hiking trails, some of which connect with the 50-mile long Batona Trail (whose name derives from the words BAck TO NAture).

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We decided on the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail.

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To get to this trail, park in the Visitor Center parking lot.  Walk past the Visitor Center, toward the Village and turn right to go past the Mansion, a 32-room home that served as the former residence of generations of ironmasters.  Fourteen rooms, (including the parlors, dining room, library and bedrooms), are open to view for people visiting Batsto.

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Just beyond the Mansion are many original structures still standing in the Village, including a General Store, Post Office, Gristmill, Sawmill, Blacksmith, Glassworks, Ice House, and the Batsto Church.  Other cool things not to pass by are the remains of an ore boat, extracted from the bottom of Batsto Lake, an ore pile, iron furnace, and Farm.

The Gristmill below was powered by Batsto Lake and processed the¬†wheat, corn, other grains sold in the Village’s General Store:

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The picture below is the Piggery.  This structure was used to slaughter hogs to provide food for the Village. The tall stone and brick tower on the left provided water from a large tank, which flowed into a large processing tub where the animal parts were further processed. The cast iron tub is thought to have been manufactured by the iron workers in the village.

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Other Farm structures to check out before continuing on the hike are:

Wood House:¬†where wood for the Mansion’s cook stoves was stored here

Carriage House: used to house various horse drawn vehicles

Horse Stable: ten stalls, where riding horses and carriage horses were kept

Threshing Barn: contained a threshing machine which separated the grain from the straw and chaff

Range Barn: where the cattle were kept

Mule Barn: constructed of Jersey ironstone, it served as a team stable, hay storeroom, and an 8-stall mule barn

Continue across Batsto Lake on a plank bridge, where you will also see (and hear!) the dam.  Just across the dam is the Sawmill, which was powered by  Batsto Lake.  The mill cut lumber and shingles that were transported by train all over the east coast, providing additional profit for Batsto.

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Just over the bridge is a great place to sit and take in the views of Batsto Lake.  Batsto Lake and River were the major reasons for the location of the Village and its Iron Furnace. The river provided bog ore, and the lake was produced by the dam which allowed boats to move the bog ore from the river to the Iron Furnace.

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The lake also provided water power for both the Sawmill and the Gristmill.

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The sandy trail then leads through  a row of homes once inhabited by the employees of Batsto.

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The state of New Jersey purchased the Batsto area¬†in the mid 1950‚Äôs. At this time, there were still a few people¬†living in the Village houses, and they were told that they were allowed to remain living there for as long as they wanted. ¬†It wasn’t until 1989 that the last house was vacated!

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People emplyed at Batsto lived in cottages consisting of 2- 3 rooms downstairs, and 2-3 rooms upstairs.  Each house had an attic, fireplace, and an outhouse.

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Several homes are open for visitors to walk through.

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Once past the cottage-style homes, a path leading to the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail and the yellow-blazed Mullica River Trail is set diagonally off to the right.

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You can pick up the yellow-blazed Mullica River Trail along the way, but we decided to stick with just the orange-blazed Tom’s Pond Trail.

Although there were many Pine and Oak trees, we also went through a White Cedar bog, located along the Mullica River. Here is a picture of Hooch and Jenny just before we went through the bog:

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There were several foot bridges we crossed along the way.

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Hooch did a great job keeping up!unnamed (6)

The orange-blazed trail is very well marked.  The path follows along the Sleeper Branch of the Mullica River, then loops around for your return trip to the starting point. unnamed (5)

Not bad for Hooch’s first hike!

In addition to the historic buildings and hiking paths, Batsto hosts many events and tours.  Camping and Canoeing are also popular at this historic site.  Other amenities include a park office, restrooms, telephone, water, and picnic area.

Hooch’s First Dog Park Visit: John Connolly Memorial Park, Voorhees, NJ

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Hooch had never been to a dog park yet, so we took Cello and Hooch to John Connolly Memorial Park, in Voorhees, NJ.

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Hooch was having a blast chasing Cello and the Chuck-It ball РUNTIL a huge male Great Dane puppy decided Hooch looked like a cool dude to play with.  The Great Dane wanted nothing but to run with and chase Hooch Рbut the size of this immense pup scared poor Hooch to death!  He ran away barking like mad, and ended up running to his mommy for safety!  The poor Great Dane had no idea why Hooch did not want to play with him!  Hooch was pretty spooked at that point, so we left the dog park.

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Hopefully visit #2 will go a bit smoother for the Hoochie Coochie Man!

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Hooch and Cello in action:

Of course Cello wanted nothing but to chase her ball, so nothing or no one phased our ball-crazy gal!

Merry Christmas… Hooch’s First!

Hooch celebrated his first-ever Christmas!

He was a good sport as we dressed him up with Christmas props!

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Cello wasn’t left out of the Christmas madness:

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“Christmas, Christmas time is near

Time for toys, and time for cheer

We’ve been good, but we can’t last

Hurry Christmas, Hurry Fast…

…We can hardly stand the wait

Please Christmas don’t be late!”

~Alvin and the Chipmunks
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Christmas morning proved that Santa Paws had Cello and Hooch on his “Nice List!”

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This year we ordered German Shorthaired Pointer stockings from Pawsome Donations Рeach purchase helps out dogs in need, as 25% of all profits will go to rescue organizations, including the GSP Rescue of NJ.  Check out the Pawsome Donations Facebook page HERE.1555341_793178327415036_8015198393828786679_n

Merry Christmas, cabin style, from Cello and Hooch!

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Holiday Inn Harrisburg/Hershey, Grantville, PA

Cello and Hooch stayed at the Harrisburg/Hershey Holiday Inn in Grantville, PA for their dock diving practice at Mountain Trail Training Center.

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The hotel upgraded us to a bi-level suite at no charge!!

This suite had a king bed, three entrance/exit doors (one of which opened out immediately to the outside, which was great for letting the dogs out!) two floors, 1.5 baths, a wet bar, and two sitting areas!

Bottom floor:

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Cello and Hooch liked that they could keep an eye on their Pop when he went outside to smoke.  unnamed (14)

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Spiral staircase leading up to the second floor:unnamed (15)

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Cello and Hooch took turns sitting on the ottoman:unnamed (18)

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The hotel was clean, and the staff could not have been nicer!

Keystone DockDogs Practice at Mountain Trail Training Center, Grantville, PA

Cello and Hooch attended dock diving practice at Mountain Trail Training Center in Grantville, PA.

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Cello getting some big air during practice:DSC01956

Hooch in action:

For All of You Who Wonder Why We Do What We Do…

 

photo 1A lot of people ask me WHY we would want to spend most of our free weekends traveling many miles to take¬†Cello to dock diving events and practices. Most don’t understand why we enjoy this so much. ¬†Some are disappointed that we miss other events to attend dock diving competitions and practices. ¬†Many people chuckle, and even roll their eyes, when they hear my answer to the their question of “What did you do this weekend?” ¬†I get counter responses like, “It’s just a dog” (Ummm – really?! Click¬†HERE to find out what “Just a dog” means to US,¬†and why we feel sorry for those who “Just don’t understand!”) …”Your dog does WHAT?” … “So, let me get this straight… you spent your whole weekend watching your dog jumping¬†into a pool?” …”You’re kidding, right?” ¬†(No, …we are NOT kidding!!)

Aside from spending time with some of coolest dogs and nicest people we have ever met, there’s an even greater reason…

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I found this on Facebook,¬†and It couldn’t explain any better just WHY we do what we do:

WHY TITLE A DOG?

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial.  It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain.  Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.

And though the dog itself doesn’t know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that in the end, your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short live is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.

A title earned is nothing less than love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.

~Sandra Mowery

15 Weeks

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Today Hooch turns 15 weeks old! ¬†This has been a VERY exciting week for us because Hooch decided that he FINALLY likes the lake – and dove in all by himself! ¬†It started with Hooch jumping in to follow Cello. ¬†Then Brian started throwing a ball – and Hooch dove in off the steps to retrieve it! ¬†We are VERY excited! This week we continue to work on name recognition, “come,” “down” with duration, ¬†and will be adding “leave-it” to our practice schedule. ¬†

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Here is Hooch diving in after his ball!  The ball is still a bit big for him Рso it took some effort to grab it!

We call Cello our little Dock Diving Diva… will Hooch be our little Dock Diving Dude?!¬†¬† We are anxious to see if in the following weeks Hooch will attempt to dive off the dock!

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We are so proud of this little nugget!

Editor’s Pick for Pack Dog! Featured on All Social Media sites!

Cello was chosen as the “Editor’s Pick” on Pack Dog’s website! ¬†She was also featured on their Twitter¬†, Facebook, Tumblr, and Instagram accounts!!

Check out her Pack posts here!

Here is the email I received letting me know she was the Editor’s Pick!

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Keystone DockDogs Cabela’s End of Summer Splash, Hamburg, Pennsylvania

Cello participated in Keystone DockDogs End of Summer Splash dock diving event held at Cabela’s in Hamburg, Pa.

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Cabela’s is an amazing store on its own – but add dock diving, and it’s THE coolest!

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We even got to camp right at Cabela’s with some of our other fellow Keystone members.

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Best of all, Cello earned her Elite title at the “club” level, AND won first place overall in the Masters Division finals!!

Here are the weekend’s results:

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21′ 11″ ¬† ¬† 22’4″ ¬†First Place Medal

21′ 8″ ¬† ¬† ¬† 22′ 2″ ¬†Second Place Medal

20′ 1 ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†21′ 0″ ¬† did not place

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Sunday:

18′ 11″ ¬† ¬† 21′ 00″ ¬† ¬†did not place

22′ 10¬† ¬† ¬† 21′ 11″ ¬† First Place Medal

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Finals:

22′ 8″ ¬† ¬† ¬†23′ 4″ ¬† ¬† ¬†First Place Masters Division

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Brian volunteered to do some announcing at this event!

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During this event,  Keystone DockDogs was challenged to do the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge!  Check out the video below! (Brian is in the yellow shirt all the way to the right):

What a great weekend!