We camped out in Cabela’s parking lot for this event, which was very convenient for our times in between jumps.
Limoncello competed as an Iron Dog. Here are her results:
Total Points: 2739.11
Hooch did very well this weekend, but wound up with a limp after his last jump. We noticed this as we were lining up for Speed Retrieve. Thank goodness Dr. Yurko of K.E.Y. Animal Hospitalwas there to evaluate Hooch.
It seemed Hooch had a strained muscle, so we scratched him from the rest of the competition. Here are his results from his Big Air waves:
Overall, this was a SUPER fun (and apparently an exhausting) event!
Happy Birthday to our little man, Hooch! Hooch turned 1 year old on May 24, 2015.
Where did the time go?! It seems like just yesterday this little guy stole my heart and joined our family! We cannot be happier with this pooch, as he has the sweetest temperament, and a heart of gold. Not a day has gone by since we brought him home that we haven’t laughed out loud – Hooch is truly one-of-a-kind !
Hooch’s first birthday fell on a weekend when we were in West Virginia at a dock diving event, but we didn’t let that stop us from celebrating! I baked a cake and cupcakes to bring along to share with Hooch’s dock diving buddies. Hooch and Cello watched carefully over the oven as the birthday treats baked.
What a fun and exciting Valentines Day weekend we had!
We took a 5.5 hour drive down to Hampton, Virginia, for Cello and Hooch to participate in the World of Pets Expo dock diving competition,”Lover’s Leap,” hosted by Tidewater DockDogs.
In celebration of Valentine’s Day, there was a Pawentine’s Box decorating contest.
Before we left, I built our Pawentine’s Box. Here are the pictures after I built the box with foam board and a hot glue gun:
Here is the final product:
There were many other great Pawentine’s Boxes in the contest as well:
We made Pawentine cards to place in the other boxes:
Hooch and Cello received lots of really cute Pawentines in our box!
The dog treats above were homemade by our friend, Mandy. Check out her Face Book page – her cookies are AMAZING!
We won the contest!
Although Cello has not been performing up to her last season’s standards, she had a great weekend! Cello competed as an Iron Dog, and participated in all three events: Big Air, Extreme Vertical, and Speed Retrieve.
In Big Air, Cello’s longest jump of the weekend was 21’11.” She made the Elite Finals, and placed Third.
In Extreme Vertical, She reached a height of 5’4,” and placed Third overall in the Cadet Division.
Cello set a new Personal Best in Speed Retrieve at 8.788 seconds:
…AND Cello placed FIRST in Iron Dog in the Warrior Division! Way to go, Cello!
Hooch also had a BIG weekend! He placed in every Big Air wave he jumped in, and earned his first First Place ribbon!
In just his second event ever, Hooch even made Novice Finals – and placed Second!
Hooch was once again, a crowd-pleaser, with his last-minute “pop” off the dock:
As you know from previous posts, Hooch has practiced his dock diving at both Canine Spaand Mountain Trail Training Center. However, both facilities have docks that are only a few inches off of the water. Hooch had never jumped in from a height of an official DockDogs dock (2 feet). To make sure he was comfortable with this, as soon as we arrived to the Maryland State Fairgrounds, we took Hooch up on the dock for a practice run. As soon as I unleashed Hooch, he ran down the dock stairs into the crowd, and all around the pool (TWICE!!) The third time, he ran and dove in with no problem – so I thought I had this down pat, no problem. I was highly mistaken!
Hooch’s first official recorded dive was amazing! Although we had practiced nothing but the “chase method” (where the dog is placed in a stay or wait position at the starting point on the dock. The handler proceeds to the end of the dock, then releases the dog. The chase object is thrown at just the right moment to keep the toy in front of the dog’s nose all the way into the water. Thus, the dog is chasing the object! The advantage of this method is that the handler can control and optimize the launch angle to increase distance – it avoids the flat jump that is likely with the place and send method). After Hooch had run off the dock during practice, I let it get the best of me, and decided to last-minute change to the “Place and Send” method (the dog walks with the handler to the end of the dock and is held back while the handler tosses the toy. The dog is then returned to the start point and released or sent to retrieve the toy. Dogs that use the place and send method are generally just not trained to wait or stay on the dock themselves). Even with this last-minute change, Hooch jumped big!
Hooch’s first official jump was a whopping 16 feet! I was SO excited! Luckily we had some friends at the event that took a video to capture Hooch’s Debut!
Here’s another video of the same jump, in slow motion that another friend shot for us:
For Hooch’s second jump, I also used the Place and Send method, and he jumped 13 feet, 1 inch – again – a distance I was thrilled with! Hooch wound up earning 2nd Place in the Senior Division!!
After Hooch’s first wave, he decided he was not going to run and jump – but rather run, stop at the edge of the dock, then “POP” into the water. Although this frustrated ME, the crowd LOVED him!
Hooch (AKA “Big POP-pa”) continued to be a crowd pleaser, but jumped in the Junior and Novice Divisions.
Overall, Team Homemade Hooch placed in every wave we were registered in, and won FOUR ribbons in their dock diving debut! WOOT WOOT!
Getting ribbons was fun!
Cello also did very well in her first 2015 event – she won 2nd Place Iron Dog in the Warrior Division!
This was also Cello’s first time trying Speed Retrieve – having never practiced this competition before this event! Her time was 9.85 seconds…not too bad for her first time!
Here’s Cello doing Extreme Vertical:
And here is Cello doing Big Air – although she was still a crowd favorite, she was leaving the dock SUPER early, and did not perform to her usual standards.
Brian also volunteered to announce at this event:
It was an awesome weekend filled with great friends, good conversation, and lots and LOTS of laughs! We want to thank EVERYone for their advice and support during this event. I also want to personally thank everyone who took video and photographs of both Team Cello and Team Homemade Hooch. I was so preoccupied with being a nervous wreck, that I took not ONE picture or video with my own camera or phone!
Team Homemade Hooch also wants to thank Team Cello for celebrating Team Homemade Hooch’s dock diving debut by buying us a Chesapeake DockDogs shirt in our team color!
Our 2015 shirts were a big hit as well!
We had a super-fun weekend, and are very proud of our two dock divers. We are excited to compete in part two of the World of Pets Expo in Virginia in a couple of weeks!
On January 24, Hooch turned 8 months old! I can’t believe how much he’s changed in just 6 months! He’s 49 pounds now, and slightly taller than his sister, Cello. To see just how much he’s changed, click HERE and scroll through the pictures!
Over the past month, Hooch has traveled to Pennsylvania several times to practice his diving, went on a hike, won a contest where his painted picture will be on a greeting card, and has participated in his first official DockDogs dock diving event! Click HERE to see him in action and read the details of his first dock diving adventure!
Today Hooch turned 6-months old, which means he is officially old enough to compete in a DockDogs event! We are hopeful that he will want to jump in the 2015 season!
Currently, Hooch continues to visit new places, travel to new states, and camp, (he’s been spent more weekends camping or staying in a hotel room, than he has spent at his house since we brought him home at 7 weeks of age!) Hooch is enrolled in WonderDogs obedience class to learn his basic commands and manners. He continues to be a good-hearted gentle soul, and especially loves squeaky tennis balls, and Frisbees.
Hooch was not a big fan of the water as a young pup, but gradually has ventured into the water in his own way, and in his own time! Here are some photos and videos of Team Homemade Hooch in the making:
As a wee little pup, Hooch thought being a DockDog meant just hanging out on our dock!
We tried coaxing Hooch into Cello’s baby pool…but he was NOT interested.
Then one day, his love of tennis balls tempted him enough to go in the baby pool.
Hooch watched Cello dive off of our dock into the lake every day – but he would not venture in.
One day, he fell in to our lake by accident – and we found out Hooch was not the most graceful of swimmers.
Hooch also started to go into the baby pool on his own for some summertime fun in the water!
One day, Hooch decided it was “his time” to dive into the lake like his big sis… and in he went after his ball!
While we were at Cello’s Dock Diving event in Berlin, MD, we let Hooch check out the DockDogs dock (just at the exit ramp since he was not of age to attempt to jump off the dock), and test out the pool water.
Hooch went in with no hesitation from the exit ramp:
He was very proud of himself for retrieving the bumper!