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!
Instead of camping, we decided to stay at a hotel for our last dock diving event of the season, since we are not used to staying in hotels, and because we would have to stay in a hotel for the DockDogs World Championship. We hoped that this would prep our whole pack for our trip out to Iowa in November. The Westin was attached directly to the Pittsburgh Expo Center, so we decided that would be our home-away-from-home for the weekend.
What a gorgeous hotel this was! …And the hotel staff were MORE than dog friendly! We felt so at-home here! The biggest surprise was the size of our room… it was GINORMOUS! The dogs thought they were at an indoor dog park!
View from our room
Leading into wet bar and bathroom area
Seating area and table
This hotel was very clean, the staff were not only friendly – but super DOG friendly, and the breakfast was delicious!
We love Cabela’s events where you can camp right in the parking lot, and crate the dogs right from your home on wheels!! This event was hosted by Keystone DockDogs, and held at Cabela’s in Hamburg, PA.
We set up “camp” with other dock diving friends who also have campers – and had a BLAST! (We are the camper with the American Flag canopy).
We love our new American Flag Canopy!…
…And Cello’s new TurboPUP banner!
Our new Liver Killers banner
Dan from TurboPUP came out to watch the 2 TurboPUP Ambassadors do their thing!
We also love this event since it is close enough for friends and family to venture out to watch the pups dive. One of Brian’s coworkers, and Brian’s mom, brother, & god-daughter all came out to watch the Liver Killers get some big air! The only pictures I took this weekend are the ones you see above (bad dog mom!).
Luckily two of our friends and fellow competitors took some pictures of Hooch, which I am sharing below (thank you, Kevin and Gary!!)
There were some computer issues at the event, so I don’t have all the recorded jump information just yet, but I will share the scores that I do have.
This was a particularly good event for Hooch!
Hooch jumped big all weekend, soaring over 23 feet in all five of his Big Air waves, acquiring (3) First Place medals, (1) Second Place medal, and (1) Third Place medal – all in the Elite Division. Hooch also took First Place in the Elite Division Big Air Finals! His biggest jump of the weekend was 24’1″, just an inch under his personal best.
Here is Hooch in action during a Big Air jump:
Hooch secured a new Personal Best in Extreme Vertical, with a grab of 6’2″ !! This also earned him a First Place ribbon for the Top Gun Division!
Cello jumped consistently all weekend, but score just below her current division most of the weekend. Cello did make the Elite Big Air finals (this was the first time Cello and Hooch made the same division finals and went head-to-head!) Cello placed 5th in the Elite Division Big Air Finals with a jump of 21’6″.
Cello did Extreme Vertical as well – however her biggest nemesis (golf cart) made an appearance while she was up on the dock, and she lost her focus, knocking her out of the competition earlier than she should have been.
Overall, we had a really fun weekend with friends and family, won some really cool ribbons, medals and Cabela’s goodies, and even got to meet some new friends who follow Cello and Hooch’s adventures on their Instagram account!
What a beautiful place to hike! This area was acquired by Jacob Nolde in the early 1900s. As the story goes, a single white pine grew in a meadow. Inspired by this tree, Jacob Nolde hired an Austrian forester to create a coniferous forest. As the trees grew, they formed a this magnificent forest!
There was a pretty stream running through most of our hike.
Cello and Hooch were excited to be on this adventure!
Throughout the hike, there were many unique stone bridges and lined walkways.
This was Hooch’s first Pennsylvania hike – and first hike in the warmer weather. He was getting tired quickly, and began to stop in the shady areas for a breather!
At one point, in usual Hooch fashion, he decided he was “DONE!”
Belly rubs, anyone?
At the end of the hike, we were rewarded with the beauty of an early 1920’s mansion. In 1926, Hans Nolde, a son of Jacob, began work on the Tudor-style mansion that sits on the property. Today, visitors can tour the grounds as well as the inside of this mansion.
The garden area of the mansion was incredible!
Pennsylvania purchased the property in the late 1960s , and in 1970, Nolde Forest was established as the first environmental education center operated by the Bureau of State Parks. Now operated by the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and Bureau of State Parks, the park provides a wide variety of programs for students, teachers, and adult groups. Teaching stations offer places for students to work, and benches for those who wish to sit and enjoy nature.
The hotel upgraded us to a bi-level suite at no charge!!
This suite had a king bed, three entrance/exit doors (one of which opened out immediately to the outside, which was great for letting the dogs out!) two floors, 1.5 baths, a wet bar, and two sitting areas!
Cello and Hooch liked that they could keep an eye on their Pop when he went outside to smoke.
Spiral staircase leading up to the second floor:
Cello and Hooch took turns sitting on the ottoman:
The hotel was clean, and the staff could not have been nicer!
This hotel is conveniently located, and is dog friendly. Dogs stay with an added nightly fee. We requested a first floor room located near an exit, since Hooch is still not “100%” at potty training. We were given a room with a perfect location – right near side-exit door, which had a nice grassy area, doggy waste bags, and a trashcan. We were also able to park right at this door, which was very convenient.
The hotel room was clean, smelled nicely, and had extremely friendly staff, who called our room after our arrival to check to make sure we were satisfied.
This was an especially exciting event for us! Cello set a new personal best – not once, but THREE times this weekend as she soared 23′ 1″ then 23′ 6″ then 23′ 7″ !! How awesome is that?! These were all Elite jumps (one division higher than her current Master division title). Elite jumpers jump between 23′ and 24’11”. She even qualified for the Elite Division Finals, and finished 4th against some HUGE jumping dogs! We are so proud of her! Brian and I were recapping our weekend, and we were just amazed at Cello’s improvement since her first-ever dock diving event just 9 months ago.
We had a great weekend hanging out in our little “tent city” with great people we have met through dock diving! Lots of members of Chesapeake DockDogs and Keystone Dockdogs were in attendance.
Uncle Johnny and Aunt Joyce even came to cheer on Cello!
Cello in Slo-Mo!
Cello’s results from Codorus Blast:
20′ 4″ 23′ 6″First Place Division Elite Medal **Her FIRST Elite Division Medal and new personal best!!!
21′ 3″ 23′ 1″First Place Division Elite Medal
23′ 6” 22’11” First Place Division Elite Medal
23′ 0 23′ 7″ First Place Division Elite Medal **New personal best!!
22′ 8″ 22′ 9″ Third Place Masters Division Medal
22′ 0″ 22′ 0″ First Place Masters Division Medal
Finals: Cello was in her first Elite Division Finals!!
22′ 8″ 22′ 3″ Fourth Place Elite Division Ribbon
Cello and her Codorus Blast Bling:
Although we missed them dearly at this event, our friends Lisa, Ryan, Millie, and Addison had an amazing weekend as well! They attended an event in Maine, were Millie (Marvelous Millie, as I like to call her!) not only won 1st place in the Elite Division finals with a HUGE jump of 24’7 – but Millie and Ryan also got an invitation for the World Championship in Iowa in November! We are SO happy for them, and so very proud of them both!!
For this event, we stayed at Granite Hill Campground in Gettysburg, PA, as this was the closest full-hookup campground to the winery.
Granite Hill is located on a 150 acre Civil War Era farm.
The campground had a cute “Red Shed Cafe” that offered breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Cello crossed over the Mason Dixon Line to get to and from the PuppyPalooza dock diving event!
Detour Winery is located in Keymar, Md. We drove on some really beautiful country roads to get there. The winery provided free tastings of their wines for the dock dogs participants, and offered wine by the bottle or glass for sale. They were also selling a really cool wine “sippy cup” that I just HAD to have…!
This was the first contest that we have attended where the dock was set up into a pond instead of a pool.
Although it started out as NOT Cello’s weekend, she wrapped it up nicely with a spot in the finals, and earned Second Place in the Masters Division Finals with a jump of 22’8″, just one inch shy of her personal best.
Cello’s results from PuppyPalooza were as follows:
Day 1, Saturday, May 31
19′ 11″ 18′ 8″ Cello did not place in this wave.
17′ 7″ 19′ 6″ Cello did not place in this wave.
18′ 9″ 20′ 8″ 2nd place Masters Division ribbon
Day 2, Sunday, June 1
21′ 19′ 11″ 4th place Masters Division (no ribbon)
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.
We enjoyed a glass of wine and ordered the Calamari with Hot Pepper Chips, Carrots, and Hot Lava – and it was absolutely amazing! We enjoyed being able to take in the historic, yet sometimes eerie views of Eastern State Penitentiary, and Cello enjoyed people and dog watching from her blanket.
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.
“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.
Although we did not try the well-known food at London Grille, we did enjoy a glass of wine from Paris Wine Bar, the “sister-establishment” to London Grille. Six wines are offered here “on draught,” tapped from kegs that have been specifically filled by the winemakers for Paris Wine Bar. The wine selections change frequently in order to showcase the best of Pennsylvania’s winemakers such as Allegro, Pinnacle Ridge, Galen Glenn, and Manatawny. The rotating selections always include 2 whites, three reds, and one dry rose.
Cello enjoyed the attention she received from 2-legged and 4-legged passerby’s, and the Sauvignon Blanc we ordered was delicious.
Named after a perfectly poured pint of Guinness, The Bishop’s Collar is located in the Fairmount neighborhood of Philadelphia, PA on the corner of 24th Street and Fairmont Avenue.
This was our first stop after my Birthday Hike at Wissahickon Park. Here we enjoyed Risotto Balls appetizer, served with marinara sauce (YUM!)… and of course washed them down with a Bloody Mary (Jen’s choice) and a pint of Boddington’s (Brian’s choice).
The atmosphere was fun and lively on this day, as the Flyers were playing. Cello enjoyed people and dog watching along Fairmount Avenue, and we very much enjoyed our food, drink, and the jubilant atmosphere here!
Located along Forbidden Drive in the Wissahickon Valley Park area of Philadelphia, Valley Green Inn is a great place to end a hike in the Wissahickon Valley Park, and has some great history behind it!
We started my birthday hike in the park at the Inn, and were planning to end our hike here with a reward of good food and drinks. We made reservations for the dog-friendly porch seating area, overlooking the Wissahickon Creek. However, Cello had her own agenda planned. We did not realize it was Wissahickon Day, which included a horse parade down Forbidden Drive. Cello has been very vocal in displaying her distaste for horses lately (something we have begun working on immediately and hope to correct). We decided it would be best for the horses outside of Valley Green Inn if we had lunch elsewhere! We decided to head over to the Fairmount Neighborhood of Philadelphia instead.
We hope to come back to Valley Green Inn someday soon with Cello to enjoy food, drink, and the view of the creek.
I picked this hike for us to do on my birthday, as I have had this hike on my All Trails “wish-list” for quite some time.
It just so happened that my birthday also fell on Wissahickon Day, where each year on the last Sunday in April people gather at the park to celebrate the fact that Forbidden Drive ( a gravel road that runs along the Wissahickon Creek) was successfully closed to cars in 1921. Around that time, a turnpike was proposed to run the length of this gravel road. However, equestrian park users protested with a parade of carriages and horses. Hundreds of horses turned out for the parade in protest of the turnpike, and the proposal was defeated. Each year on Wissahickon Day, horses and carriages return to celebrate…festivities include a horse show, parade of carriages and horses, and added this year was a Fancy Hat Competition.
We chose to skip the horse-related activities, as Cello has become “spooked” by horses lately (something we are trying to work on with her). We did see lots of horses and carriages coming and going from their activities though!
We did about a 3.37 hike that led us on the trails, as well as onto Forbidden Drive. The hike took longer than usual because of all the stops we made to take pictures, and also because Cello has suddenly begun to lunge at all bikes, as well as all horses, and random bigger dogs. She was a bit on-edge at the park with all the horses, so we didn’t want to push-it with her. We have contacted a well-recommended local trainer and hope to counter-condition these behaviors.
Our hike began on Forbidden Drive at the Valley Green Inn, a historic Inn along Forbidden Drive.
About a half-mile into our hike we came to Magarge Dam that once powered the Margarge Mill wheel, the last active mill in the Wissahickon Valley, which closed in 1883.
At about 1.15 miles, we came across this neat stone bridge, archway, and stairs.
We stopped for a minute so that Cello could go in the Wissahickon Creek
Then at about 1.55 miles we reached Thomas Mill Covered Bridge, the only covered bridge still standing within the city limits of Philadelphia, and the only covered bridge in a U.S. City. The bridge spans across the Wissahickon Creek. As of 1980, the bridge is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Thomas Mill Covered Bridge was originally built in 1855. It was renovated by the Works Progress Administration in 1938, and by the city of Philadelphia in 2000. The bridge is open to pedestrian traffic only.
Our first time walking through a covered bridge!
At this point, we decided to head back to Valley Green Inn, where we parked. We took Forbidden Drive all the way back to our starting point.
Cello and Brian on Forbidden Drive:
Overall, this is is a great hike with decent trails, historical significance, and beautiful sights along the way!
Boyfriend Memphis, and his parents Chris & Cindy joined us for this trip to Dingmans Campground. It was a great weekend with a trip to Bushkill Falls for a short hike. Our campsite was right on the Delaware River. Right after we retired to inside the tent the first night, we had what sounded like a pack of wild coyotes run by – it was so scary to hear something like that so close by!
View from our campsite (on the water)
Having Boyfriend Memphis on the trip was a real treat for Cello!