Margarita’s Therapy Dog Workshop: WonderDogs in Berlin, NJ

Brian and I think Margarita would make a great Therapy Dog, but we were unsure of the requirements, OR if Rita would truly make a good candidate for this type of work.

Last night we took her to a Therapy Dog workshop at WonderDogs in Berlin, NJ, where we have taken both Limoncello and Hooch for obedience training when they were young pups. (Click HERE to see Limoncello’s graduation from Puppy Head Start class at WonderDogs, click HERE to see Hooch’s graduation from Puppy Head Start class, and click HERE to see Hooch’s graduation from the Terrible Teens class at WonderDogs!)

Jenny and Rita getting ready to start the first activity at the Therapy Dog Workshop:

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Margarita lovers her “place” mat, and was a well-behaved, attentive student:

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The instructor, Judith Azaren, focused on a variety of skills, including:

  • Greeting/Disengaging on cue
  • Working calmly around other dogs
  • Handler engagement techniques
  • Moving exercises
  • Distraction work including dogs, people, wheelchair, walker, etc
  • Physical handling
  • Stress signals

We feel as though Margarita did very well for her first time being presented with the tasks that were covered in this workshop.

Margarita quickly learned to look at me to earn a reward when she discovers staged piles of treats on the floor.  Therapy dogs come across many items on a floor, such as medication/pills accidentally dropped on the floor.  It is imperative that the dogs look to the handler rather than ingest what they find:

Here is Margarita weaving past other dogs, and not engaging:

Rita practiced loose-leash walking:

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Margarita did well working around distractions such as crutches, wheel chairs, walkers, and a vacuum cleaner:

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Margarita picked up on the “touch” game very quickly!  Each time she touched my hand with her snout, she earned a treat.  That was a fun game for her!

Here she is working on “touch” while not engaging with other dogs as they walk by:

Working on “touch:”

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We have already contacted several Therapy Pet Registering organizations in order to start the process of Margarita’s evaluation and registration.  We are hoping that with some additional training and practice, we will be able to have Margarita certified as a Therapy Dog so that she can help provide affection and comfort to those in need!

Do you think  your dog or pet may be a good candidate for becoming a Therapy Dog?  Each organization has different requirements, so be sure to do your research.  Here are some of the most well-known for therapy pets (click on the names below to be directed to the organizations’ website):

Penelope, The English Pointer

The rescue we volunteer for, GSP Rescue of NJ, covers all of New Jersey, parts of New York, and assist other recognized out-of-state GSP rescues in urgent situations. In addition to rehoming GSPs, they also work with owners to help them with any issues they may have with them.  In emergency situations, the rescue will also reach out to help English Pointers.

GSP Rescue of NJ offered to help a female English Pointer, known as Penelope.  Although the rescue was willing to help this poor girl who was found as a stray, our foster homes were full, and there was no one available to foster her.  This meant that Penelope could find herself in a shelter.  Although we do not usually foster, we decided that we just couldn’t let this skinny pretty girl end up in a shelter. On March 3, 2016, we committed to fostering Penelope so that she could begin her road to recovery.

She was transported to the rescue’s vet, and was examined.  Penelope was emaciated, appeared to have had many litters, had a lump on her neck, and severely damaged and rotted teeth.  She also had a cut on her tail and her belly.  While at the vet, she was supposed to have dental work done, and also be spayed.  The dental work took so long, that not all needed teeth could be pulled, and the spay could not be performed due to the length of time she was under anesthesia.  She had a total of 6 teeth pulled.  The vet set her up with a future appointment for continuation of dental, her spay, and removal and biopsy of the lump on her neck.

Another rescue volunteer, Mandy, was nice enough to pick Penelope up from the vet and meet me half way to cut down on my 2 hour drive-time.

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Penelope was a great passenger, and rested calmly for her ride to our home.

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Once home, we introduced her to each of our fur-kids individually on lead by meeting out on the street and taking a short walk together.  After the initial greetings were over, we gave her some time to explore the yard on her own before we settled her down in a crate.

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In just the first night and day that we spent with Penelope, we got her to sit for a treat, and sit-stay for a picture.  She does not appear to know basic commands, but is very food-driven and eager to please.  She did wonderfully in her crate, ate well, and slept soundly.

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We introduced her to our cat, Loki, and she seemed to be just fine with him.

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We also introduced her to fellow rescue friends Jen and Grace’s male English Pointer (Penelope LOVED him!) as well as our friends’ two GSP puppies.  She did amazing with all the dogs, and had a very fun-filled, exhausting day!

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We will be fostering Penelope until she has her vetting complete, and can be adopted.

Click HERE to view a public photo album of Penelope!

Share the Light

Cello won a contest, and we are proud to announce that she is now helping to “share the light” with Charity Wick Candles!

Cello Candle

Cello’s 16 oz Candle, “Red Hot Cello,”  has the aroma of fresh-cut granny smith apples, smothered in butter and topped with cinnamon… YUM! 

The candle is made with all natural, kosher 100% soy wax with a lead and zinc-free self trimming cotton wick. The burn time for this candle is approximately 150 hours.

…The best part of this candle?  $6 of the purchase price benefits the German Shorthair Pointer Rescue of NJ !

All Charity Wick’s candles are produced from vegan friendly, kosher certified, soy beans grown in the USA.  All candles are free of any dyes or coloring, and feature lead free, self trimming cotton wicks,  as well as environmentally conscious fragrance oils.

Even more reasons to buy a Cello candle:

  • Lasts up to 50% longer
  • Burns slower and cooler which helps to better distribute the fragrance of the candle
  • Melted soy wax will not cause severe burns
  • Non-toxic
  • Less likely to trigger allergies
  • Clean up off of fabric and carpet with soap and water
  • Produces very little soot compared to paraffin wax based candles.
  • Made from American-grown soybeans, so it supports the U.S. economy instead of foreign oil conglomerates
  • Biodegradable
  • Manufactured here in the USA!

The positive attributes of Charity Wicks soy candles, combined with the fact that your purchase benefits the GSP Rescue of NJ, makes any

Shorthair Candle the best choice for any candle friendly household!

Help “Share the Light,”for the GSP Rescue of NJ,  and order your Shorthair Candle Company candle today by visiting Charity Wicks website!

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Charity Wicks is sharing the light on Facebook too! Visit their page by clicking HERE.

Beautiful Bella, the German Shorthaired Pointer Puppy

We received a post from the GSP Rescue of NJ about an owner-surrender situation.  Someone had purchased a GSP puppy from Tennesee, not having researched the breed very well.  The puppy arrived to NJ at 8 weeks of age, and 8 weeks later, the owner was in over their head.  They could not provide this pup with an appropriate amount of exercise to diminish the GSP puppy craziness, so they decided to surrender the puppy to our rescue.  As soon as I read 16 week old female puppy, I could not help myself!  We agreed to foster this baby until a forever family was found for her.

On October 17th we picked Bella up from her home.

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We immediately fell in love with Bella!  She was loving, playful, and got along with Cello and Hooch so well!  We actually gave thought to adopting her ourselves!

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Hooch could’t keep up with the girls!DSC08090

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Bella had a blast running off lead in our yard! DSC08066

Bella has one ear that is shorter than the other…our vet said it looks to have been “cut” off. DSC08059

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…having fun and being a happy puppy!
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Bella also has a really cute tan area that you can see in this picture:DSC08010

In just 6 short days, Bella was adopted by a family that lives not too far from us.  We hope to get all our pups together for play-dates often!

Bella is now known as Pepper, and is just loving her new life!! She is living with an AMAZING family who just adores her, has a HUGE yard to run all that GSP energy off, and has (2) very beautiful and loving 2-legged sisters, and (1) 4-legged sister named Mocha.  Mocha is a Viszla/Weimaraner mix who looks like Cello’s twin!

Mocha and Pepper:

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Pepper is a very lucky gal to have found such an awesome home, and we are so thankful for having met her new wonderful forever family! We are SO happy for Pepper!

German Shorthaired Pointers are often discarded, given up, abandoned, and returned due to their high energy level and strong hunting drive.  Some are discarded by hunters because  they won’t hunt, or they may be “gun-shy.”   We have fallen in love with this often misunderstood breed. ..So…Cello, Hooch, Brian, and I have been volunteering for the GSP Rescue of NJ.  We have made phone calls to vets for background checks and references, visited GSPs in shelters to evaluate them and offer the help of the GSP rescue, called potential adopters for initial screening and application review, transported GSPs to their foster homes, temporarily fostered, and have done home inspections for potential adopters.  Cello and Hooch have even volunteered as donation dogs, wearing a donation vests and “working the crowd” with their cuteness at events such as the Ocean County Gunning and Decoy Show in Tuckerton, NJ.

Live in the NJ/NY area and want to help GSPs in need?  Contact our rescue today!

Want to help dogs in your area but don’t know how? Click HERE to see just some of the ways you can help!

Thinking of a GSP?  Think rescue! The National GSP Rescue lists regional GSP rescue groups across the United States and Canada. If you are interested in adoption, volunteering, or would like information on how to surrender your dog to rescue (Please do not surrender GSPs to a shelter or abandon them!!!!), please contact the group that covers your state or region.  If there is no contact listed for your state, you can email the National GSP Rescue at rescue@gspca.org .

A GSP rescue will help match you up with the perfect GSP for your family!

GSP Rescue of NJ at Doggie Appreciation Day

Yesterday Brian, Cello, Hooch, and I volunteered for the GSP Rescue of NJ at Doggie Appreciation Day, held on the grounds of L’Oreal in Cranbury, NJ.  This was a free, dog-friendly event.

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Just some of the great activities going on were:

  • Puppy stadium races
  • 10th annual NJ State Puppy Limbo Championship
  • NJ State Dog Bone Stacking Contest
  • Rescue Bingo all day (great prizes to benefit our Rescue friends)
  • Raffles
  • Doggie Swimming Pools
  • Over 75 Rescue Groups and Pet Vendors

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This event was an opportunity to talk to people about German Shorthaired Pointers and rescue/adoption.   It’s important as a rescue to “get the word out” of animal-related events happening in the area, and spread the word about the work rescues do.  Brochures and other materials were available to help publicize our organization, rescued GSPs were present, and adoptable GSPs were displayed on a information board.

Hooch won over the heart of fellow rescue friend, Jen:

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And Rescued GSP Eve welcomed Hooch to the event:

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Overall, it was a great day spent education people about the breed and rescue!

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Working Dog Winery, Hair of the Dog 5k and Chesterfest Wine Festival, East Windsor, NJ

We made it out this Sunday to Working Dog Winery in East Windsor, NJ, for the Hair of the Dog 5k / Chesterfest Wine Festival!

Proceeds from the 5k race benefit local animal rescues. The Chesterfest Wine Festival immediately followed the race.  $10 got us entrance to the festival, and a souvenir wine glass.  Award winning wines from Working Dog Winery were available to buy by the glass or bottle.  Flying Fish Beer had a tent set up to purchase their beer as well.  Food carts from Nomad Pizza, and Zinna’s Bistro provided yummy food choices. Live music was also provided by Vic Della Pello.

Everyone brings blankets and chairs, and spends the day enjoying delicious wine and good music…all while supporting local shelters!

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Located in Mercer County, NJ, and formerly known as Silver Decoy Winery, Working Dog Winery recently changed their name in honor of their hard-working good-natured dogs!

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Originally our schedule did not allow us to make this event, but when plans changed, we jumped in the car and headed to the Festival!  We missed the 5k by the time we got there, but Cello was able to volunteer as a donation dog to help raise funds for the GSP Rescue of NJ.

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The owners of the winery have a German Shorthaired Pointer as well.  We just love the winery’s name – and the wine labels!

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It was a beautiful day, and we got to meet some fellow volunteers of the GSP Rescue of NJ that we have only known at this point through email.  It was great to meet the other volunteers in person…and to meet their rescued GSPs.

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While we were at the festival, Brian noticed that there was a woman selling some jewelry.  I am not a big jewelry person, so I hadn’t even noticed the table of jewelry – but Brian told me that I “HAD” to go look at this woman’s jewelry.  What I didn’t realize, is that this lady was selling jewelry made from sea glass. Brian knew that as a child, I would collect sea glass at the beach each year my family stayed at the Jersey Shore.  Brian spotted this, and knew I would just love it! He bought me a necklace made from sea glass, with a charm attached that was shaped like a heart with paw prints on it. Brian is such a thoughtful husband…and I’m a lucky gal. 🙂

photo 2 (2)Visit Phyllis at  PK’s Kreations to see some of her really cool jewelry made from sea glass!

Margarita visited this winery on July 24, 2016!

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