We’ve had a rough start to the season between Porter’s seizures and Margarita’s Lymphoma and complications that followed. We weren’t even sure we were able to attend this event until the morning we were supposed to be leaving for our road trip. In fact, it wasn’t until about noon on July 3rd that I finished up with Margarita’s last oncology appointment and got the “ok” from her oncologist, Dr. Risbon, to travel to Canada with her. We didn’t preregister for the competition, knowing we may not even be able to attend. A lot of the jumps were marked as “full” but we know that each venue usually holds about 5 slots for people to sign up on the spot. With all of this in mind, we set still out on our way to Canada late in the afternoon of July 3rd. Boy, are we glad we did!
Limoncello enjoyed being a part of The B.A.A.A.R.K Foundation charity ball drop and having a girls GLAMping weekend with Margarita lounging in the air-conditioned camper.
Hooch had the second longest jump of the competition! This was also his first time competing in a national event as an Iron Dog. His performance should earn him an automatic World Championship invite in Elite Division Big Air, Nitro Division Speed Retrieve, and Gladiator Division Iron Dog!!
23’7″ 1st Place Elite Division
23’9″ 1st Place Elite Division
Big Air PRO Finals:
Pic Credit: Nancy Miller
6.564 seconds 1st Place Nitro Division
2973.62 points 1st Place Gladiator Division
Lager had an absolute blast this weekend getting to play his favorite game of Dueling Dogs, and participating in The B.A.A.A.R.K Foundation charity ball drop! His performance this weekend should land him an automatic World Championship invite in Turbo Division Speed Retrieve and Titan Division Iron Dog.
20’5″ 3rd Place Masters Division
20’4″ 1st Place Masters Division
7.304 seconds 1st Place Turbo Division
2876.3 points 3rd Place Titan Division
Lager made it to the first round of finals, but unfortunately was bumped out in the last round. He LOVES this game!
What a weekend this little Diva had…Margarita enjoyed Donuts, a banana split, a convertible ride, a Canada Goose stuffed toy, and other gifts from our Canadian DockDogs family!
Wish-The-Fish came out in FULL force and she increased her jumping distance with each leap into the pool, earning a 2nd or 3rd Place medal for every jump and a new PB of 8’3”! We are hopeful her average Big Air score will earn her a World Champion invitation in the Novice Division, but we will have to wait and see if the Invite Fairy pays her a visit!
3’5″ 2ndPlace Novice Division
7’5″ 3rd Place Novice Division
8’3″ 2nd Place Novice Division
7’0″ 2ndPlace Novice Division
Po-Po had a great time walking the facility grounds and also enjoyed an amazing massage from Marti at Pawz Therapy !
Week Three’s treatment went just as Rita’s oncologist, Dr. Risbon, said it might – rough. Not at first though. The first couple of days Margarita ate well and was in good spirits.
At our last visit (Wednesday, April 3), Dr. Risbon warned that Margarita may have the worst week ahead of her in regard to her treatments so far. She noted that the side effects of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and/or diarrhea could begin in about three to five days after her treatment. Right on cue, three days later – on Friday, Margarita was visibly not feeling well, and not interested in food. We tried all of our normal “tricks”… canned dog food, cream cheese, Spam, rotisserie chicken, cheese, eggs, bread, bacon, sausage… but she wasn’t interested.
By Saturday morning, Margarita was moving very slowly. She had some diarrhea and had mucus in her stool. We called our veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, on Saturday morning to give her an update. She let us know that she could call in an appetite stimulant if she continued not to eat. She also told us to try parmesan cheese sprinkled on the food. Dr. Campbell’s concern was making sure Margarita got back on schedule with eating her prescription diet so that her little system could absorb proteins correctly and assist in the healing process.
Luckily, by Saturday night Rita began to eat a little bit of rotisserie chicken – but nothing else. With a little coaxing (and some parmesan cheese), Rita did eat some of her prescription food. Dr. Campbell called us on Sunday afternoon (I’m telling you – “they don’t make ’em” like her anymore!!) to check on Rita, who had been enjoying some Sunday Morning porch-sittin’, and some afternoon sunbathing.
Monday was a decent day where Margarita ate some food, but still appeared to not be feeling well.
Oncology Visit #4
This week’s visit consisted of meeting with the Oncology nurse, and getting blood work drawn.
Margarita’s CBC revealed a significant neutropenia (the presence of abnormally few white blood cells in the blood, leading to increased susceptibility to infection). In order to prevent infection, Rita was started on an antibiotic:
SMZ-TMP: 480mg tablets.
1.5 tablets to be given once a day until finished
Another CBC will be repeated prior to any further chemotherapy treatments. Margarita is scheduled for a CBC and Ultrasound next week, followed by an appointment with our Oncologist, Dr. Risbon, for continued chemotherapy as long as next week’s test results are acceptable.
This week’s yummy treat was a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone!
After Margarita enjoyed a few licks, I removed the ice cream and let her enjoy the cone.
Awareness is Power
The greater your awareness, the greater your power.
Awareness is also the greatest agent for change. One in every three dogs will get cancer… One… In…three! Now THAT’s something that needs to change. The more PAWrents know about the facts and preventative measures, the better we will be able to protect our fur-kids and decrease their odds of getting cancer.
Did you know that Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer seen in dogs?
Be your dog’s eyes: Do a cancer check on your dog at least once a month. Lumps and bumps can often be easily seen. But sometimes – like in Margarita’s case – being on the lookout for unusual behaviors and reporting them to your veterinarian is just as important for an early diagnosis and better outcome for your fur-child.
Be your dog’s ears and voice: Speak up and share anything you can about a cancer that has directly affected your fur-kid. Get people talking – LISTEN AND LEARN! The more stories that are shared, the more educated we become about cancer. This will result in more awareness raised, more research, and a greater opportunity for us all to take a bite out of canine cancer.
Thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.
Brian and I are always trying to think of more ways we can help dogs in need. This Valentine’s Day Brian bought me a portable photography lighting kit and backdrop set. Not only will this be fun to use with our own pack, but the overall thought is that we could mesh one of my favorite activities (taking dog photos) and our biggest mutual passion (helping dogs in need). We plan to offer to take free photos of needy pups that shelters/rescues can use on social media in hopes to help some homeless pups find their forever families. …Now to figure out how to use the lighting correctly, learn how to shoot good indoor photos, and reach out to local shelters/rescues to see if they’d be interested!
For Whiskey’s first birthday, we kicked-off the weekend by taking her on a solo adventure. Whiskey is not able to do difficult hikes or long walks due to her shoulder issue, so we took her on a mini-hike at Estell Manor Park in South Jersey.
This area was owned by the Estell family and was the site of a glassworks company in the 1800’s.
This land then became the home of a munitions plant during World War I. Click HERE to read more.
Whiskey explored the ruins of Bethlehem Loading Company from 1918 – a WWl Munitions complex.
The park had a nice boardwalk throughout the forrest.
This park really had some beautiful pathways!
Whiskey inspected the river rocks in South River.
What a gorgeous park with wonderful views of South River!
We were thrilled that we were able to make it to one of our favorite annual events again this year – The Hopkinton State Fair !
The only bummer was that this year they had a target shooting show close to the competition pool, which freaked-out a lot of the dogs (one even broke out of his kennel – thank goodness he was safely caught). Our dogs were NOT fans of this noise, and we had to scratch them from several of the competition jumps.
Limoncello: Team Coach
Our team coach gave the competitors some good “Pointers” during our trip up to New Hampshire.
23’7″ 2nd Place Elite Division
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Finals Format
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Finals Format
Margarita: Team Cheerleader
Margarita’s main-man, Mr. Spock the English Pointer, brought her roses!
3’5″ 1st Place Novice Division (Whiskey’s first 1st Place medal!)
4’6″ 2nd Place Novice Division
This may be my most favorite video ever…even though I am the one being made out to be a fool! Haha! Whiskey was a crowd favorite as she ran through my legs (in the opposite direction of the pool!) I chased her on the dock and the crowd was going wild!
So proud of this little girl!
A family we met two years ago at this event made a special trip back just to see us, and give us a special gift in celebration of our new family member…some Tennessee Whiskey to celebrate OUR Tennessee Whiskey!
We had a great time seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and hanging out with our pups…AND we accomplished what we came here for: Whiskey had to jump at least once at another National level event in order to be able to accept the DockDogs World Championship invite she earned in Canada – mission accomplished…Whiskey’s going to Worlds!
This campground had been hit hard by a tornado in 2011. They are still working to recover from the tragic losses that ensued from that disaster. However, the owners could not have been nicer, and despite what the campground had been through, it looked great and was very enjoyable.
Our campsite was private and had a HUGE living space…perfect for letting the dogs out!
This was our first time competing at this event held atKlem’s . We had heard how nice it was – and we sure were not disappointed! The venue was easy to get in and out of, and the spectators and competitors were very friendly!
Limoncello: Team Coach
In between yelling at the boys, Limoncello enjoyed napping in the shade at our team canopy.
23’9″ 1st Place Elite Division
23’9″ 3rd Place Elite Division
23’3″ 2nd Place Elite Division
Big Air Finals: 23’10” 2nd Place
Extreme Vertical All-in-One-Final Format: 6’2″
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Final Format: 5’10”
7.136 seconds 3rd Place Turbo Division
2892.45 points First Place Titan Division
Margarita enjoyed walking the grounds, snacking on yummy treats, and napping along with Cello under our team canopy.
Whiskey was still our foster puppy, “Wish,” at the time. She enjoyed the attention from all the spectators, and concentrated on doing her best with chewing her special Wish-bone.
Overall, this event was a success for our team, and most of all – FUN for all! We hope to be able to attend this competition next year!
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.
22’8″ 23’5″ 2nd Place Elite Division
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!