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:

ONE YEAR OLD!

Happy Birthday to our little man, Hooch!  Hooch turned 1 year old on May 24, 2015.

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Where did the time go?!  It seems like just yesterday this little guy stole my heart and  joined our family! We cannot be happier with this pooch, as he has the sweetest temperament, and a heart of gold. Not a day has gone by since we brought him home that we haven’t laughed out loud – Hooch is truly one-of-a-kind !

Hooch’s first birthday fell on a weekend when we were in West Virginia at a dock diving event, but we didn’t let that stop us from celebrating!  I baked a cake and cupcakes to bring along to share with Hooch’s dock diving buddies.  Hooch and Cello watched carefully over the oven as the birthday treats baked.

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Hooch had himself a mock-choc bone-shaped birthday cake, and peanut buttter/banana PUPcakesBoth treats had a cream cheese icing also!

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(I noticed after the picture was taken I had placed the “1” backwards!!…oops!)

Hooch had an abundance of birthday toys waiting for him in our camper when he woke up:

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The announcer at the dock diving event even wished Hooch a happy birthday!

Happy First Birthday, Hooch…we love you!

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4 Yrs

Happy 4th birthday to Limoncello!

On March 14, 2015, Cello turned 4!

Over the past year, Cello has:

  • continued to achieve in dock diving
  • adapted to multiple fosters in the house
  • welcomed her new brother (she even occasionally pretends like she likes her brother, Hooch!)
  • added new adventures to her “been there” list
  • grown a white goatee
  • became an ambassador for TurboPup

Cello continues to be happy and energetic – and we love her so much!  Happy Birthday, pretty girl!

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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!

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Happy 8 month birthday, Hooch!

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It’s My Birthday, And I Can Bark If I Want To…

This Friday, March 14, Cello turned three years old!  I truly cannot believe it has already been three years that we have been lucky enough to have her in our life.

I’d say Cello had a pretty good birthday! …See if you agree!

I put together a “Basket of Birds for the Birthday Bird Dog,” which she discovered, and helped herself to her birthday goodies (after the “OK” command of course)!

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Cello’s Aunt Casey stopped by and dropped off a nice birthday card, and a birthday gift!  …Thanks Aunt Casey and Cousin James!

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My very cool shirt from Casey and James…perfect!

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Then, Cello had a birthday treat of fresh rotisserie chicken, green beans, and carrots…

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And THEN, her Daddy took her on a shopping spree to PetSmart to pick out her own birthday treats….

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I think overall, this birthday gal had a GREAT day!

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Happy 3rd Birthday, Cello…we love you!!!

Blue Rocks Family Campground for Jen’s 41st Bday

April 2013

Aunt Joyce and Uncle Johnny, and friends Chris and Cindy and their dog, Memphis (one of Cello’s boyfriends) joined us on this trip.  I had a great birthday – we hiked, then had a little birthday party around the campfire with cake and cupcakes!

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View from our campsite

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Happy Birthday to me! …camping style!photo 4 (8)

Cello pondering over the blue rocks…photo 5 (4)