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.
Scooby is a 9-year-old German Shorthaired Pointer.
His owner contacted GSP Rescue of NJ because he wanted to surrender him. Scooby’s owner no longer could dedicate the proper time to him after he and his wife had a child.
Brian visited Scooby at his home and did the initial evaluation for the rescue. Brian also drove back to the home to pick up Scooby to take him to the vet so that Scooby could get neutered and receive necessary shots and veterinary care before he could join the rescue.
Brian and I then went to the vet to pick Scooby up after he was ready to be discharged. Here he is leaving the vet office.
Scooby is as sweet as can be! We got to spend some time with him at the vet while we were waiting for his discharge papers.
Brian drove the first let of Scooby’s transport. I couldn’t go since the drive-time would be longer than we are comfortable leaving our dogs without a potty break. I was glad I got to meet Scooby and wish him well in his new adventures!
Brian left to drive Scooby up to North Jersey, where another GSP Rescue of NJ volunteer would do the second leg of his transport.
Brian said Scooby was a great passenger!
Scooby was handed off to our fellow rescue friend, Michele, who drove him into NYC so he could meet his Foster Mom!
Here is Scooby meeting his foster mom in The Big Apple!
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.
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!
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! 🙁
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!
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!
Nope…we are talking about THIS kind of bear’s claws:
When friends moved and gave us their bear skin rug, I made my Mommy’s day off quite an adventure. My curiosity of the second floor of our cabin lead me to stumble upon the bear skin rug hanging over the balcony railing.
Why have I not noticed this big toy before? Did they hang it there just for me!? They must have! When I took a closer look, I discovered that the bear’s claws looked tasty – and boy, was I right! They were very yummy snacks!! I ingested 2 before my mom caught me, and boy was she upset. The claws are as long as her finger!!
Mommy was in a panic and called my doctor. We had to drive through the snow storm to the vet so they could X-ray me in case I swallowed the claws whole.
Dr. Campbell and her nice staff fed me hotdogs and cheese (more yummy nibbles!) while they did my X-rays. They couldn’t really see any bear claws in my belly on the X-ray, so I got to eat even more yummy treats of high-fiber bread while Mommy got to watch me really closely the rest of the night…and each time I did potty, my dad got to search through it. They didn’t look excited about this …so I told them not to worry, because I searched a lot of things when I was in Iraq, and it’s really fun and exciting… And if you find what you were told to look for you get rewarded! Boy, I hope my mom and dad got a good reward after their searches out in our yard!
Dad was the best searcher, and found one of the bear claws. We never found the other, so I’m assuming the humans “overlooked” it.
My humans made me promise not to eat bear claws ever again. (They’re no fun).
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!
The humans in our pack are not fans of snow, but the fur-kids LOVE it! We knew Cello and Hooch loved snow from last year’s winter, but we were not sure how Lager would react. Without much surprise, Lager was excited as ever, and thoroughly enjoyed playing in the snow, and catching snowballs!
Here are some pictures and video of the Liver Killers enjoying the Blizzard of 2016 :
Lager’s first snow
Brian having a snow ball catch with the pups:
Cello showing the boys how it’s done:
Hooch making the catch:
Lager eyeing up the catch:
Lager over shooting the throw!
The pups had a blast in the snow, and although shoveling wasn’t so fun, Brian and I enjoyed watching Cello, Hooch, and Lager enjoy themselves!
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!
Words cannot express how exciting this week was for our pack! All three of our pups qualified for the World Championship, we drove further West than we’ve ever been before, we got to see some pretty cool sights along the way, all three Liver Killers finished within the top 10 in the world in their own divisions, and best of all, we had a safe trip out and back, with no injuries or illnesses. Here is a recap of the Liver Killer’s preparation for our road trip, and some of our adventures on the drive!
We ordered lots of bling the month before our trip! We designed and ordered team gear from CustomInk.com – – and when the company saw we donate to the GSP Rescue of NJ, they made their own donation in the Liver Killers name to the GSP Rescue of NJ – how nice was THAT?!
Lager and Jenny and Hooch and Jenny’s team gear
Brian and Cello’s team gear
Our trip wouldn’t be complete without truck bling!
Magnets for truck doors
Window deal for the truck
Our talented friend, Mandy made our trading cards:
And, of course, we did lots of shopping:
Brian bought Cello-yellow sneakers
….and a Cello-yellow tie for the big awards gala
Jenny bought a dress for the big gala!
Jenny has a very difficult time packing lightly, so the packing started (and never seemed to stop!)… and Brian decided it was a good idea to rent a little trailer just in case 🙂
Lager checking out all the gear Jenny was packing
A trailer to haul all our stuff!
DockDogs had a window decorating contest for everyone making the road trip out to Iowa… so of course we dressed up the truck windows!
And we’re off!
Longest family road trip
Cello checking out the sights along the way
Hooch likes to check out the scenes from the back window
As we crossed state borders along our ride, we saw some pretty neat sights:
Further West then we’ve ever been!
Lukoil Stadium, Indianapolis, Indiana, home to the Indianapolis Colts
World’s Largest cross, Effingham, Illinois: 198 feet tall and 113 feet wide, forged out of over 180 tons of steel
It was difficult to be in the car for so many hours, so we stopped often to let everyone potty and stretch their legs
Along our stops, we came across the coolest place right off of I-70 in Indiana! Not only is it the World’s largest “candle,” it was a candle company and gift store that had a cute little restaurant, THE coolest bathrooms ever, huge and safe areas to walk the dogs – and best part of all ???… they welcome dogs INside!
The last dock diving event before the World Championship! We chose to do this event because like the World Championship, this event was held indoors. We knew Cello would jump in any conditions, but Hooch had not been to an indoor event since March (when he was plopping in at 5-6 feet!), and Lager had never been to an indoor event.
This event, hosted by Three Rivers DockDogs, was their annual indoor “Quest for the Belt.” If you remember back to September, we attended their annual outdoor Quest for the Belt. At these events, the handler of the dog with the longest jump wins the Champion Belt. The winning team then has to return to the annual event, belt in hand, and defend the belt against a new set of divers! Hooch had the longest jump of the weekend, until Sunday rolled around and he got knocked down to 2nd longest jump by one of the biggest jumping dogs in the world! Darn! We almost got that coveted belt!
We were quite pleased with all the dogs’ performances. Each one performed in their “normal” range for an indoor event. I say that because in general, dogs do not usually jump as far inside as they do outside. Maybe its the loud noise of an enclosed building full of barking dogs and cheering spectators, or perhaps it’s the pool water that is a bit colder than usual?
Unfortunately, shortly into the event, Cello slipped on the wet floor, and injured herself. With just weeks left until the World Championship, we were very nervous that this injury could hinder her ability to perform at the World Championship event. We scratched her from the rest of this event, called our vet, and let her rest for the remainder of the weekend. Luckily, with great care and advice from our vet, Cello healed nicely and was fully recovered to compete at Worlds.
As I mentioned above, Hooch had a great weekend – and had the longest jump of the event until Sunday. We were more than pleased with his performance, and he did not show any signs of being afraid, or hesitant. Hooch is very easily spooked, so we were thrilled that he jumped with such enthusiasm in a loud, enclosed environment.
22’8″ 23’3″ 2nd Place Elite
Elite Finals: 22’2″ 22’5″ 3rd Place Elite
I was very nervous competing with Lager at this event, not knowing if he would jump indoors. As with everything else Lager is presented with, he performed exuberantly, with no hesitation at all, and was a crowd favorite!
Our friend, Kim, who is the gal that makes all those great Super Fly Suits you see the dogs wearing, had brought our completed suit that we had ordered special for Lager for the World Championship.
The picture I Googled of Captain America
The suit idea I drew up to send to Kim (side view) …except we decided against the flags on the side after “Lager”
The suit idea I drew up to send to Kim (front view)
Kim’s awesome work!
The suit is AWESOME, and in typical Lager-fashion, he displayed his excitement and “flew” out of Kim’s arms…Haha
Fits like a glove!
And we have take-off!
We had no idea about Lager’s next adventure at this event. A handler who was also competing in this event with his dog was a Veteran. Three Rivers DockDogs asked the human Veteran and Lager to lead the crowd in The Star Spangled Banner. This was SO cool, and such a huge honor! Look how proud Lager is!
THE LIVER KILLERS 2015 DOCK DIVING SEASON IN REVIEW!
The dock diving season technically ends in mid-October, with the World Championships being held in November. We have officially completed our season, and what a season we had!
Cello had and absolutely incredible season, earning an invite to the World Championships in every discipline possible!
We thought Hooch would never jump – not only did he jump – he entertained everyone with the “Hoochie Hop” – -but only for a short time as he soared to over 24 feet in just 6 months of diving at a mere 1 year old! Hooch also ranked #1 German Shorthaired Pointer for Big Air in the United States, and 2nd GSP in the WORLD – by less than an inch!
Lager came in to our lives unexpectedly, and without any training, and jumped like a boss, earning an invitation to the World Championships after participating in just 2 national events!
Limoncello was offered a sponsorship from TurboPUP.
Cello and Hooch made the front page of the top local newspapers
News teams came to our house to do features on Cello, Hooch, and Lager – and they all made the top TV news channels with their stories.
Cello and Hooch had a story published in a world-wide published magazine.
Lager had a story published in a local magazine.
TOMMY D’s LIMONCELLO
Brian’s main goal this season was to earn an invitation to the World Championship with Cello in Warrior Division Iron Dog (a combined averaged score of Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve). Not only did Brian and Cello achieve this goal, they did so very early in the season at the Wild Card event at Cabela’s in West Virginia during the month of May!
But that’s not where Cello’s invites ended! She earned an invite for Dueling Dogs, after participating in that discipline for the first time ever at the Mid Atlantic Regionals, held at Shipps Corner Pet Spa in Virginia Beach.
At the end of the season, we found out her rankings from sanctioned facility events also earned her an invite in Extreme Vertical, as well as Big Air!
OVERALL WORLD RANKINGS:
5th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
23′ 3″ average
2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
5′ 2″ average
2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
UNITED STATES OVERALL RANKINGS:
4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
#1 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
Cello ended the season with an injury. While competing at the indoor event at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo in Pittsburgh, PA, Cello slipped on the wet floor, and strained muscles in her neck and front leg. Unfortunately this meant pain meds and lots of rest during the 2 weeks leading up to Worlds. We are hopeful that she will be be back to 100% for the World Championship competition.
Windy Spot’s Homemade Hooch
As a puppy, Hooch wanted NOTHING to do with water of any sort. He slowly began to realize water wasn’t so bad, and cautiously went into our lake and into a baby pool. The weather quickly became what was to be the coldest, snowiest winter we’ve ever had, and access to water became difficult. We took Hooch to some indoor pools, were he felt comfortable jumping in at the water’s edge. However, when he found himself up on a regulation dock, which sits 2 feet above the water, Hooch gave dock diving a second thought. Hooch kicked off his dock diving career in January being very hesitant on the dock. He would run down the dock, get to the edge and “teeter” for a long while – sometimes not jumping and timing-out, and other times projecting himself off the edge of the dock as if he had springs in his back legs, only landing a few feet into the water! He quickly became a crowd favorite with his “Hoochie Hop,” as the crowd waited in anticipation to see if he would POP off the dock…or not! By about April, he was “hopping” out to about 7-8 feet, still hesitating, and still choosing not to jump at times. By May we discovered that with Jenny running down the dock with him, Hooch would hesitate less. This technique got Hooch leaping up to 17 – 18 feet by the beginning of June. By mid June we had switched to the “Place and Send” method, bringing Hooch to the very back of the dock (Thank you Frank Moraff for forcing me to do this!!) With that change came great results. Hooch jumped 21 feet in mid-June, and by the end of June soared 23’8″ and earned his invitation to Worlds at 13 months old ! By July, Hooch jumped his current personal best, 24’2″, and also earned a second invitation to the World Championship for Cadet Division Extreme Vertical. In September, Hooch was nominated for “Most Improved” for the Golden Paw Awards, held at the Gala during The World Championship celebration, and was voted to be one of the finalists for the award.
Here is my absolute favorite video from this season: It captures Hooch’s progression from being fearful of water, to his 23+ ft jump that earned him his Big Air Invite to the World Championship!
OVERALL WORLD RANKINGS:
2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
23′ 7.4 ” average
2nd ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
5′ 10.7″ average
UNITED STATES OVERALL RANKINGS:
#1 ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
23′ 7.4 ” average
4th ranked German Shorthaired Pointer
Brogan’s American Lager
Lager came home with us on August 23, apparently born to be a dock diver, not an Explosives Detection Canine! When the training company who had Lager (known then as Nayt) saw how much he loved the water, they contacted DockDogs in hopes to find a family who were familiar with the breed, had access to water for him to swim, and would promise to get him dock diving. Read the full story on how Lager became a part of our pack by clicking HERE! The first day Lager came home, he was exposed to water, and had no fear of the lake, or jumping off the dock. He had a perfect sit-stay, and seemed like he came to us with the Big Air discipline of dock diving mastered! In less than a week’s time, Lager also picked up on Extreme Vertical, easily grabbing the bumper on our home rig. Lager competed in just 2 national level events, and earned himself an invitation to the World Championships in Big Air!
When Custom Ink found out that The Liver Killers donate all their cash prizes to the GSP Rescue of NJ, they made a donation to the rescue in honor of Cello’s Corner and The Liver Killers! How cool is that?!
And of course, “pawtograph” cards – made by our friend, Mandy!
After the season our team has had, it won’t matter to us what happens at Worlds – we are beyond proud of all three of our pups- and overjoyed that we have the opportunity to share this experience as a family!
As we begin to pack for our big adventure, we continue to reflect back on the amazing season these pups had. We will cherish every memory – the highs and lows – the laughter and the tears – the (very) early mornings – the late nights watching EV under the lights – and the comradery shared with friends at events. We are truly blessed to be part of such a great community (humans and animals alike). 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, fellow competitors, and social media followers is overwhelming, and greatly appreciated. Thank you all for being part of this thrilling escapade with us. We look forward to writing the next chapter of this adventure together!
This event is one of our annual favorites – however, this year, it was a bit more exciting (and stressful!) as it was our very last chance to increase Lager’s overall Big Air average in hopes to get him qualified to earn an invitation to the DockDogs World Championship held this November.
Shipps Corner does a great job of decorating the dock for Halloween!
22’0″ 22’4″ 2nd Place Master
16’9″ 20’7″ 2nd Place Master
20’4″ 21’1″ 2nd Place Master
Pro Finals: 17’4″ 20’3″ 5th Place
5’0″ 3rd Place Cadet
8.332 4th Place Express
2735.00 Points 1st Place Warrior Iron Dog
21’2″ 23’3″ 2nd Place Elite
Pro Finals: 23’9 23’7″ 1st Place
Big Air: (Handler: Jenny)
19’4″ 19’5″ 2nd Place Senior
Extreme Vertical: (Handler: Brian)
6’0″ 5th Place Top Gun
This event was loads of fun – and one we will never forget – as it was this event (only the SECOND National event Lager has attended) where Lager pushed his Big Air Average high enough to earn a Big Air World Championship invite in the Senior Division! Way to go, Lager!
Three months after returning from Iraq, two months after joining our family, and after competing in only 2 National events, Lager earned his invitation to the DockDogs World Championship for Senior Division Big Air! Words cannot express how proud we are of this boy!
Hooch was asked by the beautiful Paisleyto the Blogville Sadie Hawkins Dance PAWty!
I have to admit he was super-excited – and what dog wouldn’t be – Hooch’s date was the prettiest gal at the dance!
To read the full story, visit our friends over at Barking From the Bayou and read the details about the dance!
Wondering who the heck Sadie Hawkins is and why she has a dance named after her? Today I Found Out has a great explanation:
Sadie Hawkins’ renown, which evolved into an American folk-holiday in some places, doesn’t really originate from a dance, but rather from a race, as we shall soon see. Sadie was the product of the fertile imagination of cartoonist Al Capp. She was a character in his popular cartoon Lil’ Abner, set in the hillbilly town of Dogpatch, that began its wildly successful 40 year run in 1934.
The way Al tells it, Sadie was the daughter of Hekzebiah Hawkins, one of the town’s first settlers, who had the dubious distinction of being the “homeliest gal in all them hills.” After waiting not-so-patiently for 15 years for a suitor to show up at her door, not a single prospective husband arrived to court her. With each passing year, Sadie became more and more panicky, as did her father, who did not relish the idea of supporting a spinster daughter for the rest of her days.
So, figuring he had nothing to lose, he called all the unmarried men of Dogpatch together and declared it Sadie Hawkins Day. In a reversal of Atalanta’s race in ancient Greek mythology, the race placed Sadie in hot pursuit of the town’s bachelors; the “lucky” chap she managed to catch became her lawful wedded husband. Or, as her Paw explained it, “When ah fires [my gun], all o’ yo’ kin start a-runnin! When ah fires agin—after givin’ yo’ a fair start—Sadie starts a runnin’. Th’ one she ketches’ll be her husbin.” Pure poetry.
The rest of the spinsters in Dogpatch thought the race was an excellent idea, and insisted upon making Sadie Hawkins Day a yearly and mandatory event, much to the horror of the bachelors in town, who apparently had no say in the matter. According to the strip, if a woman caught a man and dragged him, presumably kicking, screaming, and crying for mommy, over the finish line before the sun had set, by law he had to marry her. This had overtones of a caveman clubbing a woman and dragging her back to his cave, and was as close to women’s lib as you’d get at the time in popular entertainment.
This entire Sadie Hawkins Day story line was a plot device concocted by Al Capp for the romance between main characters Abner and Daisy Mae, which had a bit of a Ross and Rachel from “Friends” quality to it. Eventually, Capp put everyone out of their misery and allowed the two characters to finally marry.
The dance didn’t appear in the strip until a bit later. The Sadie Hawkins Dance took place on the evening before the race, and the spinster girls traditionally wore hob-nailed boots to “unintentionally” stomp on the feet of the single men in attendance, which unfortunately (for them) might adversely affect their ability to run the next day during the race.
Sadie Hawkins Day as a popular culture phenomenon was all the rage on college campuses by 1939. According to Lifemagazine, over 200 colleges were celebrating a Sadie Hawkins Day that year, and it was obvious that the tradition was quickly gaining in popularity with the nation’s young people.
The question is – why? One reason could be that as the nation was taking its first strides out of the Great Depression, a down-home low-cost activity like Sadie Hawkins Day was something that all could participate in, without the need to rent a tux or buy a gown as prom or homecoming would entail. There was also the naughty novelty of girls inviting boys for a social outing.
Compared to the Roaring ‘20s, the ‘30’s were considerably more sexually repressed. Gone were the flappers, bee-stung lips and bootleg whiskey. The depression brought with it a sober prissiness that made the very idea of a woman openly pursuing a man deeply offensive to many. But an approved activity such as Sadie Hawkins Day – where a lady could state her choice with impunity and not be labeled a Jezebel – while at the same time men could pretend to be horrified while secretly being titillated – that’s a situation where everyone wins!
By 1952, it was reported that Sadie Hawkins Day was celebrated at over 40,000 different locations. In that year, Capp wrote:
It’s become my responsibility [to include Sadie Hawkins Day every year in the strip.] It doesn’t happen on any set day in November; it happens on the day I say it happens. I get tens of thousands of letters from colleges, communities, and church groups, starting around July, asking me what day, so they can make plans.
Eventually, it morphed into an event of an entire day’s duration that fell on the Saturday after November ninth.
For today’s young women, Sadie Hawkins Day doesn’t seem all that relevant anymore. But for a few decades in the middle of the twentieth century, it served as a social bridge between the years when women rarely left the home and the sexual revolution.
The Ocean County Decoy and Gunning Show is one of our favorite competitions to attend. This event was the first DockDogs event in which Brian and Cello competed in 2013, when we met Annie, Matt, and Bailey from The Little GSP! Not only is it very close to our home, but the GSP Rescue of NJ also sets up a table here – and they are one of just many REALLY cool vendors at this large festival. We especially love that we can compete, and still volunteer the pups as donation dogs in between their jumps! This was also an especially thrilling event, because Lager won First Place in Senior Division Big Air finals! Another exciting part of this event, is that a friend and fellow GSP Rescue of NJ volunteer, Jen C. , as well as Jenny’s sister Dana, both jumped Cello… AND got medals!
Lager and Jenny with Lager’s 1st Place winnings
GSP Rescue Volunteer, Jen
Jenny’s sister, Dana and Cello with their 2nd Place medal
Finals: 22’5 22’2″ 4th Place Elite
Jen C and Cello
Dana and Cello
5’2″ 3rd Place Cadet
7.972 seconds 5th Place Turbo
**FIRST PLACE WARRIOR IRON DOG!
23’3″ 20’11” 2nd Place Elite
Finals: 22′ 7″ 23’4″ Third Place Elite
16′ 19’0″ 2nd Place Senior
18’6″ 18’11” 2nd Place Senior
18’2″ 18’6″ 1st Place Senior
Finals: 19’8″ 19’5″ 1st Place Senior
5’10” 1st Place Cadet
We were extremely proud of all 3 of our pups! They earned several awesome ribbons and medals!
The Liver Killers were pretty exhausted after performing so well, and slept in a Pointer Pile the whole way home!
With the hopes of getting Lager an invitation to the 2015 DockDogs World Championship held in November, we took a short day trip to Elkton, Maryland with Lager only, since Limoncello and Hooch had already earned invitations for multiple disciplines.