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

If life gives you lemons, make Limoncello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

The Dock Diving Diva’s Personal Bests:

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

Photo credit: Precise Video Productions

 

 

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

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

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

Thousand Islands Bridge:

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

 

Waiting in line at Customs:

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

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

 

Limoncello

Big Air

21’2″          2nd Place Masters Division

21’5″

Extreme Vertical:  

4’10”

Speed Retrieve 

9.768 seconds

Iron Dog

2631.56 points

Hooch

Big Air

23’6″          1st Place Elite Division

25’0″          1st Place Super Elite Division

24’7″          1st Place Elite Division

25’3″          1st Place Super Elite Division

 

Lager

Big Air

19’10”            2nd Place Senior Division

Extreme Vertical 

6’0″               3rd Place Top Gun Division

Margarita

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

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

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

Pets in the Park: Newark, DE

Pets in the Park was held on June 10th and 11th, 2017 in Newark, Delaware.

Limoncello

If you remember from our Steel Stacks event, Limoncello had been a bit “off.”  Her performance was still not her usual, so we scratched her from the rest of the event in case she wasn’t feeling well.

Big Air:

14’8″      19’3″

16’4″      16’2″

 

Hooch

Big Air:

21’3″     23’2″

Big Air Finals:     21’11”     21’3″     2nd Place Elite Division

 

Lager 

Big Air (with Brian):

19’4″     19’1″     2nd Place Senior Division

19’7″     18’3″     1st Place Senior Division 

 

Margarita

Margarita stayed cool in her crate behind the fan and cheered her teammates on from the shade!

Liver Killer Bling:

Keystone DockDogs at SteelStacks: Bethlehem, PA

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

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

Limoncello:

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

Picture Credit: Pics By Kim

Big Air:

20’9″

19’7″

19’1″

 

Extreme Vertical:

4’10”

Speed Retrieve:

9.208 seconds

 

Hooch:

Photo Credit: Becca Conner

Big Air:

23’3″            1st Place Elite

23’6″            1st Place Elite

23’2″            2nd Place Elite

Photo Credit: Pics By Kim

Lager:

Big Air (with Jenny)

19’2″

18’0″

Photo credit: Pics By Kim

Big Air (with Brian)

18’0″           3rd Place Senior

20’0″

Photo credit: Pics By Kim

Extreme Vertical (with Jenny)

5’8″            1st Place Cadet

Pic Credit: Becca Conner

 

Margarita:

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

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

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

2016 DockDogs World Championship

Last year we attended the DockDogs World Championship with all three of our diving dogs qualifying to compete.  This year, we were lucky enough for all three competing dogs to qualify once again for the DockDogs World Championship in all the disciplines in which they participate! Check out our 2016 Season in Review and see some of our team’s Worlds Bling by clicking HERE!

We drove our motor home out to Iowa this year! We had custom window decals made and updated the “Miles to Dubuque, Iowa” with every stop-over!

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Our Route:

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Dubuque, Iowa – Dog Town:

Our Schedule:

LIMONCELLO:

Limoncello competed as an Iron Dog.

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Big Air:

22’0″

22’4″

Speed Retrieve: 8.531 secnds

Extreme Vertical: 5’4″

Total: Iron Dog Points: 2754.14 points

At the big Golden Paw Awards Gala, Limoncello was named DockDogs #1 Ranked Warrior Iron Dog in the World!

HOOCH:

Hooch competed in Elite Division Big Air, and Top Gun Division Extreme Vertical.

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Big Air: 23’3″

Extreme Vertical: 5’10”

At the big Golden Paw Awards Gala, Hooch was named DockDogs #1 Ranked German Shorthaired Pointer in the World!

LAGER:

Lager competed in Senior Division Big Air (with Jenny) and Top Gun Division Extreme Vertical (with Brian).

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Big Air: 19’3″

Extreme Vertical: 5’10”

MARGARITA:

Although Margarita doesn’t compete, she was sure ready to cheer her siblings on with her Super Fly suit and painted pink piggies!

Our fellow GSP Rescue of NJ friends, Jen and Grace, drove all the way from New Jersey to Iowa to be with us and our team. Jen and Grace took Margarita every day during the competition to run at the dog park! Margarita even took a trip with Jen and Grace to see the Mississippi River.  Much to Margarita’s delight, her Aunt Jen and Grace also took her to get a McDonald’s chicken sandwich for lunch one day, and to Starbucks to enjoy a puppuccino!  I think Margarita had THE time of her life!

We are so proud to have been able to compete against the best dock diving dogs in the world, and are so very pleased with the performance of our pups!

The Liver Killers: Dock Diving 2016 Season in Review

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Photo Credit: Becca Connor

The 2016 DockDogs Season ended in October, with the World Championship being held in November.  The Liver Killers had an amazing season last year.  This year was just as exciting!

Limoncello the “Dock Diving Diva”

mellow-cello

Photo Credit: Ken Tidy Photography

Limoncello had an incredible season, earning new Personal Bests in Big Air (25 ft), Speed Retrieve (7.33 seconds), AND Iron Dog (2,883 points)! She earned an invitation to the DockDog World Championship in all disciplines for the second year in a row, although Brian decided only to accept the Big Air and Iron Dog invitations.  Cello is the # 2  German Shorthaired Pointer in the World for Big Air, and also earned the #1 spot for overall Warrior Division Iron Dog in the World!

Overall World Rankings

  • Big Air:
    • 2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Master Titled
    • Average: 23’0″
  • Speed Retrieve:
    • 3rd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Turbo Titled
    • Average: 7.512 seconds
  • Extreme Vertical:
    • 5th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Cadet Titled
    • Average:  5’5″
  • Iron Dog:
    • 1# Warrior Division Iron Dog overall!
    • #3 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Average: 2,797.40 points

Hooch the “Dock Diving Dude”

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Photo Credit: Ken Tidy Photography

Hooch had a big year also!  After his “scare” on the dock last November at the World Championship when they shut the lights down and had spotlights on the dock, Hooch carried that fear until almost May of this season.  He finally gained his confidence back, and began to jump HUGE!  He earned a new Personal Best in Big Air (25’4″!!!!), and also is the #1 German Shorthaired Pointer in the World! Hooch earned himself an invitation to the DockDog World Championship for both disciplines in which he competes (Big Air and Extreme Vertical).  Hooch was also recently invited to participate in a qualifier for the Purina Pro Plan Incredible Dog Challenge!  That qualifier will be in November as well.

Overall World Rankings

  • Big Air:
    • #1 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer!
    • Elite Titled
    • 23’10” (Elite Average)
  • Extreme Vertical:
    • #4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Top Gun Titled
    • Average:  6’0″

Lager the “Deployed Dock Diving Dawg”

lager-nation

Photo Credit: Ken Tidy Photography

Lager continued to excel in his first full year of competition.  Lager secured an invitation to the DockDog World Championship for the 2 disciplines in which he competes (Big Air and Extreme Vertical).

Overall World Rankings

  • Big Air:
    • 9th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Senior Titled
    • 19’10” (Senior Average)
  • Extreme Vertical:
    • 5th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
    • Top Gun Titled
    • Average:  5’11”

Margarita the “Team Cheerleader”

Margarita joined our pack right before the start of the dock diving season, and has been a wonderful team cheerleader! Margarita is still learning toy-drive as she gets used to the water and learns how to swim.  She has come a long way, and we are very, VERY proud of her!

 

 

Sponsorships

We are super proud to be a part of some very unique and prestigious sponsorships this year!

  • Ken Tidy Photography:  
    • Ken Tidy has long been known as one of the most talented photographers in our area, capturing stunning action-packed images that truly express each dog’s individual personality. His images have been shared across the DockDogs world, and we are truly honored that Ken has chosen our fur-kids to represent his amazing work. We super excited about this sponsorship! Be sure to check out some of Ken’s amazing photography, and schedule a session with him to capture YOUR pup!
      Website: www.kentidy.com
      FB: @kentidyphotography
      Twitter: @kptidy
      Instagram: @kentidyphoto
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Photo Credit: Ken Tidy Photography

  • Undone Watches
    • Undone Watches is a unique company who’s motto is “Individuality Matters.” They make unique watches designed by you to reflect your own individuality. Every watch is a unique message!
  • TurboPUP
    • TurboPUP makes all natural complete K9 meal bars for on-the-go dogs! 

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Publications:

Limoncello, Hooch, Lager, and Margarita were featured in several publications this season!

  • Feature Story on the American Kennel Club’s FB Page

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Giving Back:

The Liver Killers are happy to report that along with the help of some friends and fellow competitors, an abundance of food, toys, and supplies were donated to a few really great organizations…and a grand total of $3,868 was raised!

  • GSP Rescue of NJ
    • 100 % of our DockDogs winnings from Finals placements were donated to the rescue
    • Sport Dog Food donation in the name of The Liver Killers
    • Cabela’s Delaware :  food servers collected money for our rescue instead of accepting tips at a Delmarva DockDogs event
    • Liver Killers T-Shirt Fundraiser through Booster
  • United States War Dogs Association
    • We matched Lager’s DockDogs winnings that were donated to the GSP Rescue of NJ and contributed that amount
    • Cash donations from family
    • Items donated from friends
    • Patriotic bandannas hand made by GSP Rescue friends were sold at events – 100% of the sales were donated
    • Sport Dog Food donation in the name of Lager
    • Fellow dock diving competitors brought items to events and sent supplies to us
    • Bay Creek Community donation in the name of Lager at a Tidewater DockDogs event
  • Animal Orphanage of Voorhees, NJ
    • All prize bag contents including toys and food won by The Liver Killers were donated
    • Fellow competitors brought items to events

 

Worlds Bling:

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  • PAWtograph cards designed by our friend, Mandy Eiche, and ordered from printfirm.com

As we begin to prepare for our second long trip out to Iowa for the DockDogs World Championship, we continue to reflect upon the amazing season we had, all the exciting adventures we encountered, and the many incredible people and dogs we met because of our pups and this wonderful sport.  We cherish every moment, and embrace it ALL: the highs and lows, the laughter and the tears, the (VERY) early mornings,  the late nights, our every-growing camping group, and the comradery shared with friends at the events. We are truly blessed to be a part of such an awesome community.  Never have we met such a large group of the nicest people who not only strive to improve within their own team, but will at the same time stop and help other fellow competitors to enhance their game, and applaud fellow opponents just as enthusiastically as they cheer on their own dog. The patience, advice, support, and guidance we have received from friends, family, co-workers, bosses, fellow competitors, and social media followers is beyond overwhelming, and greatly appreciated.  Thank you ALL for being a part of this thrilling ride with us.  We look forward to writing the next chapter of this adventure together!

We are both honored and excited to have the privilege of competing against the top dogs in the world.  No matter where our dogs rank at the World Championship this year, we are beyond proud of all of our pups, and thrilled that we have the opportunity to share this grand experience.   We cannot wait to spend the week at the World Championship with our DockDogs family!

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Hopkinton State Fair, Contoocook, NH

This was our first time at the Hopinton State Fair in Contoocook, NH.  What a beautiful area, filled with great vendors, and friendly people!Processed with Snapseed.

LIMONCELLO

Big Air:

20′          1st Place Master

19’10”

20’11”    1st Place Master

Extreme Vertical: 5’0″   4th Place Cadet Division

Speed Retrieve: 8.370 seconds

Big Air Finals: 22’1″   1st Place Semi-Pro Division

HOOCH

Big Air:

21’11”

22’1″

22’2″

21′

21’5″

Extreme Vertical: 5’8″   

Big Air Finals: 22’3″   1st Place Pro Division

LAGER

Big Air: 

18’7″      4th Place Senior

19’1″       1st Place Senior

18’3″      1st Place Senior

19’2″      2nd Place Senior

MARGARITA

Margarita worked her magic and wooed the crowd all weekend long.  People of all ages came by our canopy to say hello to her and give her some pets!

Liver Killer Bling:

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