Located in the Fairmount Neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA, and set in a 19th century firehouse, Jack’s Firehouse is definitely worth a visit! Jack’s Firehouse is located directly across from Eastern State Penitentiary on Fairmount Avenue.
Even though we sat at the dog-friendly outdoor seating area, Brian and I each took a moment to explore the inside of this unique establishment. Most of the original mahogany interior, wooden plank flooring, and yes, even the brass fire pole are still intact! There is also a racing shell suspended over top the bar.
What great history this place has! The fire company that originally occupied Jack’s was Truck A, now referred to as Ladder Company 1 and located on Parish Street in Philadelphia. Truck A was the first paid Philadelphia Fire Department in 1871.
Located in the Fairmount Neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA on Fairmount Avenue, Urban Saloon has outdoor seating, is dog-friendly (they even bring our a bowl of water for your pup!) and is situated directly across from Eastern State Penitentiary.
Margarita visited here in 2019
Cello was here on April 27, 2014!
“Not a worry in the world, a PBR on the way – Life is good today. Life is good today.” ~ Zac Brown Band
It was exciting, yet eerie to enjoy a glass of wine at their outdoor seating area while gazing at the historic Eastern State Penitentiary.
This was our first time competing at this event. We were super-excited since we were able to camp on the RaittHomestead Farm Museum for the entire weekend!
Limoncello: Team Coach
In between yelling at the boys and after the competition, Cello had a chance to jump off the dock and swim in the pool. In our eyes, she won 1st Place for prettiest girl on the dock this weekend.
Hooooooooooooch had a great weekend! He is brand new to competing in Speed Retrieve and Iron Dog AND to learning the Chase Method during Big Air … and he rocked the dock in all 3 areas, despite the mistakes his Mama made, and with him being a beginner in all three “new” games! We have a lot to work on as a team, but I am so proud of this little guy!!
21’2″ 🥉3rd Place Elite Division Big Air Finals
6’0″ 🥉3rd Place Top Gun Division
6.690 seconds 🏅New Personal Best score!
2939.05 points 🥈2nd Place Gladiator Division
🥉Out of all the competitors this weekend, Hooch won 3 Place Overall in the Iron Dog competition!
Lager started off the weekend in a little bit of a slump, and was hesitating a bit on the dock. He pulled it together by the end of the competition though!
17’8″ 2nd Place Senior Division
19’10” 1st Place Senior Division
20’1″ 🥇1st Place Senior Division Big Air Finals
7.310 seconds 🥉3rd Place Turbo Division Speed Retrieve
The announcer at this event was a Massachusettes Law Enforcement Officer, and he “coined” Lager! The history of “coining” began in the ancient Roman army, where coins were presented as rewards. The U.S. tradition goes back to the 1960’s. A member of hte 11th SFG over-stamped old coins with a new emblem. The 10th SFG was the fist to mint a custom coin and remained the only Army unit with its own coin until the 1980’s. Originally the coins were given to recognized outstanding achievements. They are now used to build unit morale and cohesion. During the Vietnam Era, the “challenge-response” was added to the tradition. A soldier can be “challenged” to show his or her unit coin. Those that cannot have to “buy a round.”
Margarita: Team Cheerleader
Sweet Reet took a break from cheering on the team and caught up on some beauty rest this weekend in preparation to kick some Lymphoma butt this week!!! 💪🏼.
Despite the brand new toys Mom bought for this competition, Wish the Fish decided she would rather be a Land Shark this weekend, and timed-out in her jumps.
Porter: Team Manager
Porter had a great day of napping and taking walks around the farm on Saturday.
However, even though his meds have just been increased, the second night on the farm around 10pm he had another series of seizures. Luckily, his emergency injection of Midazolam brought him out of the seizures and he did not have to go to the ER. It had been 20 days since his last episode.
Overall, we had a great trip to Maine and enjoyed this competition!
On Friday night, October 26, 2018, Brian and I were on our way out the door to go to dinner when we got a call about someone in our area who wanted to surrender their German Shorthaired Pointer, and wanted the dog out of the home as soon as possible. GSP Rescue of NJ had a foster family who quickly stepped up to foster, so all we needed to do was pick up the dog and have her as our guest for the weekend until the foster family could pick her up.
We contacted the owner, and postponed our dinner plans.
We met Maxeen in the owners home. Her owner told us that Maxeen is 15 months old, and was purchased as a hunting dog. Maxeen did not have any interest in hunting, and spent a lot of time in her crate. Since her owner was avid hunter, and knew he could not give Maxeen the time she needed, he thought it was best to re-home her. After proper paperwork was filled out, we brought Maxeen back home with us.
We weighed her in on the antique scale, as we do with all of our fosters…
Maxeen was amazing. Super affectionate, crate trained, house trained, and very eager to please!
Maxeen went with her foster family on Sunday. In a few days, that family decided they were interested in adopting her. Before the adoption was official, however, Maxeen and the foster family’s resident dog had a few issues with getting along. It was determined that Maxeen was not a good fit for the foster family to adopt – and in everyone’s best interest, it was determined that the ideal situation was to find Maxeen another foster. Rather than have Maxeen go through another adjustment getting used to another family, we decided to take Maxeen back to our house until she found a forever home.
On November 27th, we picked Maxeen up again to take her in as our longer-term foster.
Maxeen is smart, full of energy, and willing to please!
GSP Rescue of NJ had many approved applicants waiting to add a fur-kid to their family. However, that list was greatly narrowed down knowing that Maxeen was best fit to be an only-dog.
When we spoke to the family we thought was the best match for Maxeen, we knew immediately that they’d love her like we would! They drove 3 hours to come meet her on December 8, 2018 , and as soon as they came through the door, Maxeen greeted them both with lots of kisses.
We all knew immediately that Maxeen’s forever family had been found, and Maxeen’s Christmas wish had come true! Her family took her home with them that day.
Agatha is a three year-old German Shorthaired Pointer who was found as a stray in Northern New Jersey. GSP Rescue of NJ stepped in to help this sweet girl. Agatha was on stray-hold for a week, and then was spayed by the rescue’s vet in North Jersey.
On November 16th, we drove north about an hour to a turnpike rest-stop to meet a fellow rescue volunteer who offered to transport Agatha so we didn’t have to drive as far to pick her up.
Agatha had a stuffed monkey to help her heal from her surgery.
Once we met her in person, we quickly agreed that Agatha looked more like an English Pointer than a German Shorthaired Pointer.
Another fellow GSP Rescue volunteer who had seen our pictures of Agatha on our Facebook, fell in love, and decided to adopt her!
One of my students fell in love with Agatha and drew her picture as a gift to her forever family.
Just a few days later, on the night before Thanksgiving, the rescue volunteer and her husband came to meet Agatha, and took her home!
Hooch was chosen to do a photo shoot for the 2019 Subaru Forester seat cover!
He is currently featured online in the accessory options when building your own Subaru Forester online, as well as in the accessories brochure within the dealerships. Some dealerships also have a window cling that Hooch is featured on!
Did you know that Subaru works with the Southeastern Guide Dogs, a non-profit organization dedicated solely to the task of helping blind men and women achieve independence through the means of a guide dog. Subaru sponsors a number of events that fund the training and development of guide dogs, who will ultimately be paired with people who need them.
During the month of October, through the “Subaru Loves Pets initiative,” Subaru retailers also collect new pet supplies to donate to local animal organizations in the dealership’s communities, and provide shelter supply kits for fur-kids awaiting adoption. They also donate starter kits for new pet-adopting families.
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 Islandsarea 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.
23’3″ 1st Place Elite Division
24’1″ 1st Place Elite Division
23’3″ 1st Place Elite Division
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!
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
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!
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!
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
The Fairhill International Fairgrounds hosted Four Paws, One Cause – an event where where multiple dog rescues came together and brought their adoptable dogs in order to find them loving FURever families. The purpose of this event was to bring together all kinds of different people with one similar passion: a love for dogs!
This event not only hosted the DockDogs competition, it also featured the world champion frisbee dogs featured on America’s Got Talent as well. There was live music, face painting, bounce houses, over one hundred vendors, great food, craft beer tastings, and wine tastings throughout each day!
Extreme Vertical: 5’0″
Speed Retrieve: 9.583 seconds
Iron Dog Score: 2563.55 2nd Place Warrior Division
Big Air Pro Division Finals: 24′ 0″ 1st Place Pro Division
Big Air with Brian:
19’2″ 2nd Place Senior Division
20’5″ 3rd Place Master Division
Extreme Vertical with Jenny:
5’10” 1st Place Cadet Division
Our Team Cheerleader enjoyed snoozing under the canopy in the rain, and snacking on goodies throughout the day!
Liver Killer Bling:
Best of all, through our winnings, we were able to raise $100 for the GSP Rescue of NJ!
We were able to camp right in the parking lot at SteelStacks too!
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
Photo Credit: Becca Conner
23’3″ 1st Place Elite
23’6″ 1st Place Elite
23’2″ 2nd Place Elite
Photo Credit: Pics By Kim
Big Air (with Jenny)
Photo credit: Pics By Kim
Big Air (with Brian)
18’0″ 3rd Place Senior
Photo credit: Pics By Kim
Extreme Vertical (with Jenny)
5’8″ 1st Place Cadet
Pic Credit: Becca Conner
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!
National Limerick Day is celebrated annually on May 12, and celebrates the birthday of English artist, illustrator, author and poet Edward Lear, known mostly for his literary nonsense in poetry and limericks.
National Limerick Day also celebrates the limerick poem. Limerick poems were popularized by Edward Lear’s book “Book of Nonsense.”
A limerick is a very short, humorous, nonsense poem. A limerick has five lines. The first two lines rhyme with the fifth line and the third and fourth line rhyme together.
Here is an example:
THERE WAS A YOUNG LADY By Edward Lear
There was a Young Lady whose chin Resembled the point of a pin; So she had it made sharp, and purchased a harp, And played several tunes with her chin.
Here at Cello’s Corner we thought it would be fun to try and create a Limerick about Limoncello. So on May 12, I did my best on writing my first Limerick:
During the weekend of April 22-23, The Liver Killers attended one of our favorite competitions held annually at Frontier Town Campground.
We absolutely love this campground – and the dogs LOVE the waterfront campsite !
Here are the dock diving results from this event:
Extreme Vertical: 4’10”
Speed Retrieve: 8.418 seconds
Iron Dog: 2678.44 points (3rd Place Warrior Division)
Finals: 23’2″ (First Place)
Extreme Vertical: 6’0″
Extreme Vertical: 5’8″ (2nd Place)
Margarita enjoyed competing in a Pie Eating Contest, where she earned herself a 6th Place ribbon!
Rita also enjoyed Lure Coursing… but perhaps enjoyed the horses around the Lure Coursing field more so than the Lure Coursing itself, as she ignored the lure, and bolted off to the fence-line to see the horses! 🙁
You may remember that when Hooch was a puppy, he won a contest to have his own greeting card. Well, the greeting card is in print, and it will be ready for purchase after December 26, 2016!
Here is the original photo I took of Hooch in September of 2014. Hooch was 4 months old in this photo, and was still afraid to go in the lake. This sad little puppy face was laying on the dock at our house watching his big sis, Limoncello have fun diving and swimming!
Front of greeting card:
Wagging Tail Portraits has their Wet Nose Greetings in over 90 stores so far, including 10 Whole Foods Markets in the Mid-Atlantic area!
Each year, Wagging Tail Portraits donates a portion of their proceeds to animal rescue groups!
Check out their website for many unique gift ideas featuring YOUR pup!
The students at The Calais School have created a “Wall of Stars,” honoring Veterans and current Military members. One of the students made a star very special to our hearts… Lager (War Zone name, Nayt).
A fellow GSP Rescue of NJ volunteer and friend, and GSP Rescue of NJ alumni, Sage the GSP, told one of the school’s students about Lager. Thank you to this student who chose to honor Lager, and created this star so perfectly!
We are grateful to have Lager be a part of the Wall of Stars at The Calais School, and we will forever cherish this!
Each Thursday during June through October, The Old Oar House Irish Pub hosts a “Doggie Date Night, ” where dogs are welcomed to join you as you dine in their outdoor seating area. A portion of the proceeds from your food bill goes to the Cumberland County SPCA. This particular Doggie Date Night was a very special (and rainy!) one… Margarita and her heart-throb and fellow English Pointer, Mr. Spock, helped out the Cumberland County SPCA, and got engaged!
Margarita got Mr. Spock some special engagement gifts!
And Mr. Spock had a good friend make Margarita the most perfect and beautiful engagement necklace!
There were lots of party decorations and favors!
All our 4-legged friends go dressed up for the PAWty!
And lots of people and pups came to the PAWty even though it was raining – I bet you they came for this yummy homemade cake!
Margarita showing off her new necklace:
The happy couple enjoying some of their engagement cake together:
What a fun night with good food, friends and pups! Best of all, we were able to help out the Cumberland County SPCA!
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.
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!
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!
Overall, we had a fun day, and enjoyed Barn Hunt with our two little gals!
We attended our first official Barn Hunt trial at Tail Waggin’ Events! If you are unsure of what Barn Hunt is, click HERE to read all about it!
Margarita had shown great interest in this sport up until the extreme heat wave set in. She does not do well in the heat, and we are unsure if the extreme temperature is the cause, but she seems to have lost interest in Barn Hunt. We had been practicing for a couple of weeks – both at barn facilities, and at home. Rita had been actively finding the rat and enthusiastically signaling the location, and had learned “up!” as the command to jump up on to a hay bale, and “tunnel!” as the command to go through the hay bale tunnel. She was executing all those elements over the past couple of weeks, but appeared uninterested at the trial. We will continue to bring her to practices, as well as sign her up for trials through the Fall and next Spring to see if the cooler weather helps spark her interest again. Despite her nonchalant attitude, and her Mama’s lack of skills in reading when Rita picked up the rat scent, Rita did pretty well, earning her Instinct Title!
Instinct Test: PASS!Time: 49 seconds
Rita’s Instinct qualifying ribbon
Novice Class: Timed out
Rita pretty much shut down in the heat of the day, and wasn’t very cooperative in the barn ring. She did give indication that she found the rat (which I missed completely…something I definitely have to improve upon if we continue to participate in this sport!) and would not complete the hay bale climb or tunnel.
Rita is now Instinct titled in Barn Hunt!
We decided to make Sunday a “Girls’ Day,” and bring Limoncello along to participate in Barn Hunt!
Margarita showed NO interest again today!
Novice Class: Disqualified!
Margarita again would not execute the hay bale climb or the tunnel in her Sunday Novice run. She did find the rat (and Jenny was able to identify Rita’s barely-there-signal!), however, Rita then immediately peed in the barn (oops!), which according to Barn Hunt rules is a disqualification.
Cello had never even practiced before today, yet passed her Instinct test in just a few seconds, and did really well in her Novice run!
Instinct Test: PASS!Time: 17 seconds
Limoncello’s Instinct qualifying ribbon
Novice Class: Fail: Brian called incorrect location of rat
Limoncello completing the hay bale climb and tunnel requirements:
Limoncello hunting for the rat:
Overall, it was a very fun day learning more about Barn Hunt, and how to read Rita and Cello’s instinctive hunting behaviors!
This is our 2nd year attending this event, (Click HERE to see last year’s event!) and we plan to be back again next year.
What an awesome event in a beautiful setting!
21’3″ 2nd Place Master Division
21’6″ 1st Place Master Division
Big AIR SEMI PRO FINALS: 20’10” 2nd Place Semi Pro Division
EXTREME VERTICAL: 5’6″ 2nd Place Cadet Division
SPEED RETRIEVE: 8.903 seconds
IRON DOG: 2727.38 points 1st Place Warrior Division
23’0″ 1st Place Elite Division
BIG AIR PRO DIVISION FINALS: 23’7″ 2nd Place Pro Division
EXTREME VERTICAL: 6’0″
After competing for the weekend, Lager took his first walk on the beach, and swam in salt water for the first time in the Chesapeake Bay!
18’11” 3rd Place Senior Division
17’11” 3rd Place Senior Division
16’9″ 2nd Place Senior Division
EXTREME VERTICAL: 6’0″
In between cheering for her brothers and sister, Rita enjoyed her first walk on the beach, and her first swim in salt water (The Chesapeake Bay). She also enjoyed a doggie ice cream treat to help beat the extreme heat!
When we could only make the last day (Saturday) of the Pets in the Park event in Delaware, we decided at the event to make a spontaneous trip to Fairfax, VA, where we could catch the last day of the event (Sunday Spoilers – haha!) …And Sunday Spoilers we were … Cello, Hooch, and Lager ALL made finals! It was a fun last-minute thing to do, and Margarita got to stay in a hotel (Comfort Inn, University Center) for the very first time, and did wonderfully!
21’9″ 1st Place Masters Division
Speed Retrieve: 7.771 seconds
Big Air Semi-Pro Division Finals: 21’11” 1st Place
Photo credit: KJ Photography
Big Air Pro Division Finals: 22’4″ 4th Place
Photo credit: KJ Photography
17’5″ 3rd Place Senior Division
Big Air Contender Division Finals: 17’4″ 3rd Place
Photo credit: KJ Photography
Rita stayed cool with her new crate fan:
Margarita met a long-haired version of herself! Check out these two pretty ladies!
Look – we both have pretty white eyelashes! ~Photo credit: KJ Photography
Just a couple of girls telling secrets! ~Photo credit: KJ Photography
Hooch had fractured his paw a few weeks back, and he had JUST been cleared to try one jump per day at this event. Apparently we need to restrict his activity before all events, as he earned himself a new personal best Big Air score this weekend!
24’11” First Place Elite Division and **New Personal Best!
Video of Hooch jumping 24’11’:
Big Air Elite Division Finals: 24’8″ First Place
19’6″ 1st Place Senior Division
18’6″ 3rd Place Senior Division
Big Air Senior Division Finals: 19’2″ 3rd Place
Extreme Vertical: 6’2″
Rita enjoyed the crowd and as always, received lots of attention and love from everyone!
‘Never let the odds keep you from doing what you know in your heart you were meant to do.’ This quote by H. Jackson Brown, Jr. most accurately describes how our pack, bred to carry out specific tasks, found a path to a quite different kind of ‘job’, says dog ownerJenny Beadling, as she explains how alongside her husband Brian, their new home led them to find an unexpected path to follow into the dog world.
I wish I could say that Brian and I are credited with finding such a rewarding, bond-building sport, for our dock diving dogs, but all the acknowledgement belongs to Cello.
Let me start at the beginning.
When my husband, Brian, and I bought our dream home in Medford Lakes, New Jersey, we had no idea how much it would change our lives. Our dream home is a log cabin on a lake…only it didn’t quite ‘look’ like a log cabin – and, it wasn’t quite in ‘dream-home’ state when we bought it.
Our goal was to restore this historic log cabin to its original state and to fill it with decorations and mementos of the great town we live in, as well as items that would be relevant to the cabin and its history. Brian works in the mortgage industry, and was able to research back to the original deed of our home. He found out that the log home was built in 1927, and also discovered the name of the original owner. Out of curiosity, Brian Google-searched the man’s name. Low and behold, he came up in the search!
The search result that came up was linked to the English Setters Club, a local and nationally known club that conducts field trials that are open to all pointing breeds. The original owner of our home owned a German Shorthaired Pointer, named ‘Windy Spot’, who won many awards at the club for field trials. I called the club to see if I could get more information on this dog and his owner, or a picture of them that we could hang in our cabin.
When the man from the club called me back, and I explained my story, the other end of the phone fell silent. When I asked if he was ‘still there,’ he asked me to repeat where I lived – what street, house, and so on. It turned out that the man I was speaking to was a direct family member of the man who built our log cabin back in 1927, needless to say, it was quite an interesting conversation!
Brian and I knew immediately that we needed to research German Shorthaired Pointers and we fell in love with the breed and all of their characteristics. We knew a GSP would be the perfect addition to our lifestyle, our family, and our lake home and we named our log cabin ‘Windy Spot,’ after the first dog that ever lived in our home.
In 2011 on Memorial Day, we met Limoncello, our now 5 year old GSP. Why ‘Cello’? Cello’s full name is ‘Tommy D’s Limoncello.’
Tommy D was my Italian grandfather, who was quite the character, to say the least and was famous among his family and friends for his homemade Limoncello, with his secret recipe. Before he passed, ‘Pop Pop Tommy,’ revealed his secret recipe to the family and Brian, as well as other family members, have been carried on the tradition of making homemade Limoncello ever since. When we saw Cello had yellow ‘bird dog’ eyes, we couldn’t think of a better name.
We found out rather quickly that Cello was gun-shy, not a usual characteristic of the breed. We knew GSPs need a ‘job’ to be content, but we were at a loss as to what job that would be since we knew that GSPs were bred to hunt birds. Brian found that Cello had a very strong toy drive, and began to incorporate games of fetch by throwing a tennis ball into our lake. Before we knew it, without any ball being launched, Cello began ‘flying’ off our dock over and over again, on her own. Neighbours began to notice and comment on how far she was jumping.
We happened to see an ad for a local dog festival that included dock diving. Knowing nothing about this sport, we were hesitant but decided to sign up anyway. We entered Cello in the contest, and she came in 2nd Place! Brian was hooked, and Cello found her ‘job’!
As we signed Cello up for more contests, she quickly became a crowd favourite, and continued to soar her way into Finals, placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd in every event. Cello was the number one ranked GSP in Warrior Iron Dog table in the world, and earned herself an invitation to the World Championship in each of the 5 possible disciplines!
I very much enjoyed traveling to events, taking pictures andvideoof Brian and Cello, and cheering them on.
However, I wanted to get more involved, which led us to add a second GSP, ‘Hooch,’ to our family in July of 2014. We came to find out that like his big sister, Hooch, too, was gun shy and at first, water-shy!
Hooch participated in his first official DockDogs competition in January 2015. Despite the fact that our goal was to get Hooch to run and jump his longest into the pool, he won the crowd over with his hesitation on the dock. He quickly became a crowd favourite as he hung over the edge of the dock ‘teetering’ back and forth, deciding if he should jump… or not! The crowd loved the anticipation!
Hooch began to decide to jump more times than not, but would come to the edge of the dock, look around at the crowd cheering ‘HOOOOOOOOOOOOOCH!’ and at the last minute, pop into the pool, as if he had springs attached to his back paws. The crowds went wild, as his ‘pop’ had amazing height! Even though this pop only got him to about 6-8 feet into the pool, he quickly became well-known for his ‘Hoochie Hop.’
With each competition, Hooch increased his distance, earning a spot in finals, and placing in the top 3 of his division, all while keeping the crowd entertained. In just a short 6 months, he stopped his hesitation on the dock, and soared to an amazing 24’2′ in Big Air, stunning the spectators who once knew him as the dog who branded the ‘Hoochie Hop.’
Hooch now holds a prestigious National Elite Big Air title and has begun participating in Extreme Vertical competition, and has a personal best grab of 6’2.’ Hooch remains a fan-favourite, and receives some of the biggest cheers from the crowd with his signature springboard ‘pop,’ and his ability to ‘fly’ through the air.
Hooch earned himself an invitation to the World Championships in both Extreme Vertical and Big Air. He made finals in both and placed within the top 6 dogs in the world in his division. Hooch and I even won the 2015 DockDogs ‘Most Improved Team’ award! Hooch also was ranked the number one GSP in the United States for Big Air.
Hooch has become the talk of ‘Dog Town,’ as spectators and fellow competitors alike have said he is the dog to watch in 2016.
With Cello and Hooch in tow, we were not planning on having more than two dogs, however, in late August of 2015, we received a call about a retired Explosives Detection Canine who needed a home.
The reason we were sought out as a possible candidate for Lager (known then by his war zone name, Nayt) was because Lager decided that after serving his country for 18 months in Iraq, that he would much rather jump in the water. Upon his arrival back in the United States, Lager began to show distraction duringtrainingand would often dive into water, refusing to come out.
A search began to find a home that would have access to water, have knowledge of the GSP breed, and get Lager involved in dock diving…and we were the perfect match!
Lager began his dock diving career in August, just a week after joining our family, and was immediately a crowd favourite, receiving a standing ovation while he is on the dock, due to his service for our country.
Lager has also been involved in leading the spectators through the National Anthem at events. Within two months and just 2 National events, Lager soared to 20’3′ in Big Air, and a grabbed the bumper at a whopping 6’4′ in Extreme Vertical earning his invitation to the World Championship for Big Air, and placing within the top 6 dogs of the world within his division! We cannot wait to see what 2016 brings for him.
We enjoyed this sport and the joy it has brought our dogs so much, that we wanted to find a way to make dock diving a part of helping other less fortunate dogs and so to give something back, we donate all cash prizes won at their competitions to the German Shorthair Rescue of New Jersey, and all food, treats and toy prizes are donated to a local no-kill shelter.
We are fortunate to live on a lake, where all three pups swim daily and practice for competitions where our lakeside yard has officially ‘gone to the dogs’.
We have installed a 40-foot turf runway and an Extreme Vertical rig so that all of our dogs can practice their Big Air jumps, and Extreme Vertical grabs. Our trio’s exercise regimen also includes strength and stability training, cardio, agility, hiking, swimming, treadmill, and running hills.
We never imagined being involved in a sport with our dogs but now we can’t imagine life without dock diving and its rewards.
Dock diving has brought much joy to all members of our pack.
This sport not only became the ‘job’ our dogs needed, it has also helped make a strong bond between two and four-legged family members even stronger. It has prompted us to increase our dogs’ exercise and training even outside the sport.
We have travelled to and competed in over 10 states, and have encountered some of the coolest dogs, and nicest people we ever met.
Through our travels, and the dogs social media accounts, they have been recognised and approached in public by their followers up and down the East Coast. Their social media accounts have also promoted enquiries about the sport of dock diving and have motivated over 30 people and their dogs last year tojoinin on this fun activity.
Dock Diving may not be what our German Shorthaired Pointers were ‘meant’ to do, but they didn’t let that stop them from following their hearts, and beating the odds…all while helping less fortunate dogs, and inspiring others to try this amazing sport.
About the Author
Thinking about trying Dock Diving with your pup, but have more questions and want more information?
Visit our website atcelloscorner.com where you will find more details and information on the sport.
VIRGINIA BEACH — Care-A-Lot Pet Supply will host the 9th Annual Pet Lovers’ Extravaganza featuring the popular DockDogs competition from April 29-May 1 outside of their headquarters at 1617 Diamond Springs Road in Virginia Beach. Admission is free to enjoy three days of high-flying dogs, contests and giveaways plus significant savings at all three Care-A-Lot retail locations.
“From live dock jumping and diving events to pet ice cream eating contests and even a chance to win $10,000, there’s something for everyone,” Care-A-Lot owner Bobby Clarke said. “More than 12,500 people from around the country came to watch the action last year, and this time we expect an even larger crowd.”
One fearless flyer running off the dock will be Lager, a veteran explosives detection canine who served 18 months in Iraq. The German Shorthaired Pointer is a natural in the water, ranking fifth overall in the World Championships in his division during his first year competing.
“We adopted Lager knowing he had an intense love for the water; and from the second he jumped off the dock, we knew he was a natural,” Lager’s owner Jenny Beadling said. “After being discharged from his military duties, DockDogs’ competitions have been a great way for Lager to use his skills and endless energy.”
As part of Care-A-Lot’s partnership with the Norfolk SPCA, every dog adopted at the event will receive a starter package of more than $200 worth of food, supplies and store coupons.
K9’s in Flight, the “homeless to high-flying” world champion Frisbee-catching dogs, will also return to perform throughout the weekend. All the dogs were rescued or adopted from shelters around the country.
Vendors from more than 40 pet supply manufacturers will be at the Extravaganza to provide training tips, product information and sampling. They include: Blue Buffalo, Nutro, Nature’s Variety, Canidae, Wellness, Merrick, KONG, Greenies, Chicken Soup for the Soul, Purina and more.
DockDogs® is the international governing body that oversees events which test a dog’s ability to jump as far as possible into a pool, retrieve items from the pool in a timed event and jump as high as possible. Contestants are grouped based on experience and past results. For more information, visit DockDogs online at www.dockdogs.com.
Dogs fly through the air at Dockdogs competitions in Virginia Beach
Whether detecting explosives in Iraq for the military or jumping into a pool to fetch a toy, Lager takes his job seriously.
The German Shorthaired Pointer, who lives in New Jersey with his owners, came to Virginia Beach on Friday to show off his skills in the annual DockDogs competition, part of the Pet Lovers’ Extravaganza outside the Care-A-Lot headquarters near Shore Drive.
Outfitted in a patriotic swimsuit, of course, Lager jumped twice in the qualifying round and will compete in the Big Air competition today and the Extreme Vertical competition today and Sunday with a few hundred other dogs from around the country.
Jenny Beadling, Lager’s owner, said they often bring him to events in Virginia. He practices his dock dives at home off the family’s 40-foot pier and also does agility drills, running exercises and strength training.
“I think that he takes everything like it’s his job,” Beadling said.
Lager was retired from the military because he would get distracted by water, so when he came back to the states, the contractor who worked with him wanted him to be in that kind of environment.
He earned an invitation to the DockDogs world championships last November in Iowa and placed fifth in the senior division. His leaps average about 19 feet, 9 inches, Beadling said.
The Beadlings call their dogs “The Liver Killers” because of their names: Lager, Limoncello, Hooch and their newest one, Margarita.
Another competitor Friday was Leia, who lives in Virginia Beach. She competed in the Iron Dog Warrior Competition in Iowa, another DockDogs contest, last November, coming in second in the world.
Her owner, Karen Cummings, named her dogs after “Star Wars” characters – Leia, Chewey and Vader. Leia, a Lab, was in the qualifying round for Big Air on Friday.
Cummings said Leia also competes in the speed retrieve and extreme vertical events. She trains locally by doing a lot of jumping, muscle training and agility competitions.
Along with the competitions, the event includes dozens of pet-supply vendors, and Care-A-Lot is having its biggest sale of the year.
The speed, height and distance events continue throughout the weekend. Other contests, for less athletically inclined canines, include best kisser, best dressed and best at, well, eating treats.
March 13 is K9 Veterans’ Day. Today, on National K9 Veterans’ Day , we remember and honor all military and working dogs, both past and present. We would like to thank all the courageous K9 soldiers for their service, and the sacrifices they have made for our nation. We are honored to have a K9 veteran as a family member, and thank SOC for blessing us with Lager (war zone name, Nayt) as a family member. Lager served 18 months in Iraq as an Explosives Detection Canine. In honor of Lager’s service, and all K9 veteran heroes, we took him to visit and pay our respects to the War Dog Memorial, located in Holmdel, NJ, guarding the gateway of the New Jersey Vietnam Veterans Memorial . If you know a K9 veteran, be sure to shake their paw and thank them today!
We thought it may be a good idea to continue to give Lager’s nose a work out. We signed him up for K9 Nose Work Class at Wonder Dogs, which is where we had taken both Cello and Hooch for their puppy training. Lager LOVED it, and although he was being taught to identify a completely new scent, he picked right up on this game, and is having a blast!
Brian and I got engaged the day before New Years Eve, so we used to always make a big party out of the holiday, whether it was hosing a big bash at our home, or attending a big gala or celebration… until we got Limoncello. Cello is gun shy… and shy of ANY loud noises – fire place crackling, fireworks, etc. So ever since we discovered that she was fearful of fireworks, we decided to make New Years Eve a family night at home, so that we could be there to comfort her. Once neighbors start to set off fireworks, Cello pretty much spends her night huddled in with her Papa.
We do try to make it a fun night before the “scary noises” begin, and of course, always have some NYE bling to dress the pups in!
The pack had a blast! This year, to celebrate our pups making it to the World Championship, we decorated our Christmas tree with the dogs’ ribbons and medals from special events throughout the 2015 season.
…And the stockings were hung by the chimney with care..
The Liver Killers must have been really good this year, because Santa Paws left lots of toys!