Double Nickel Brewing Company; Pennsauken, NJ

Double Nickel is a craft brewery located in Pennsauken, NJ, and is super dog friendly!  This brewery is located in the town I grew up in, so I was very excited to visit and do a tasting!

We enjoyed all the beer we tasted!

This brewery was definitely worth visiting – we will be back for sure!

Eclipse Brewing; Merchantville, NJ

Eclipse Brewing is located in Merchantville, NJ in the town’s former EMS building.

I was excited to try this Brewery, as it is located in the town where I attended elementary school! 

The tasting room had a great atmosphere – and had a World, United States, and NJ map where you can pin the location you are from!

Getting Medford Lakes on the map!

The owner is a 27-year homebrewer, and has some very tasty selections!

I liked each of the four beers in my tasting – and so did Brian.  We stayed for a glass of our favorites.

 

We will definitely be visiting Eclipse again soon!

Rita’s 1st “Gotcha” Day / Rita’s 7th-ish Birthday!

Today is a very special day, as this date marks one year since we met Margarita, and brought her home as “Penelope / Penny,” our GSP Rescue of New Jersey foster dog.  Although we didn’t officially adopt her until April, We picked March 4th – the day we met her – as Rita’s “Gotcha Day /Bday.” During her initial evaluation last year, it was estimated that Rita was 6 years old, which makes her approximately 7 years old now!
Unfortunately, Rita, found as a stray, had a bit of a rough start to life. She went through some health issues and operations during her first month with us – she was underweight, had to have 9 teeth pulled, a lumpectomy, was spayed, had “happy tail” from being in a crate, and treatment for Anaplasmosis. However, Rita was a trooper, and has had quite a healthy and active first year with us!
I promised myself that because Rita didn’t have great experiences in the first part of her life, I would introduce her to as many good things as possible, finding what activities make her most happy, and continuing to have her participate in those events. During our first year with Rita, she has been on 15 camping trips, and visited 8 new states including, DE, IN, IA, MD, NH, NY, OH, PA, and VA. Rita has even been out of the country (Canada) as well! She has visited 4 wineries, 5 breweries, 3 restaurants/bars, stayed overnight in 2 hotels, and shopped at Cabela’s and Lowe’s. Margarita has participated in 5k races, Barn Hunt, Nose Work, Lure Coursing, swim lessons, and agility. Margarita also completed training and is a registered Therapy Dog with The Alliance of Therapy Dogs, and has begun her “official” Therapy Dog visits at assisted living facilities and a local library’s children’s reading program. Most recently, Rita and I have earned our registration as a Reading  EducationAssistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) team!
Brian and I were quite content with the size of our pack before meeting Margarita. However, Rita has filled an emptiness that we didn’t even know our family had. Not only has she been a great playmate for Hooch (who often was excluded by Cello and Lager during their play sessions), she has brought the utmost joy and love to Brian and I, as well as everyone she meets. People stop us continually and ask to meet her everywhere we go. My students at school – who have never met her – love her and talk about her constantly just from looking at her picture in my classroom. There is definitely something very special about this sweet soul, and we are extremely honored to have her as a family member!
Thank you to all of you who love and support Margarita both in-person, and from afar – we can’t say enough how much we appreciate it!!
Happy Gotcha Day, Señorita Margarita, we love you!!
Link to the public photo album of Rita’s first couple of weeks with us:
Link to the public photo album from Rita’s 1st Gotcha Day/7th-ish Birthday:

Registered R.E.A.D. Team

Not long after Margarita and I passed our test to become a registered Therapy Dog Team with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, I learned about a great program called R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs). I decided this would be an excellent opportunity for us, so I began to study for the written test.  One day before Margarita’s 1st Gotcha Day / 7th-ish Birthday, we received the great news that I passed, and we are now officially a registered R.E.A.D. team!

“The mission of the R.E.A.D. program is to improve the literacy skills of children through the assistance of registered therapy teams as “literacy mentors.”

The Reading Education Assistance Dogs (R.E.A.D.) program improves children’s reading and communication skills by employing a powerful method: reading to an animal. But not just any animal. R.E.A.D. companions are registered therapy animals who volunteer with their owner/handlers as a team, going to schools, libraries and many other settings as reading companions for children.

R.E.A.D. is the first and foremost program that utilizes therapy animals to help kids improve their reading and communication skills and also teaches them to love books and reading. It’s been growing around the world since November of 1999 when ITA launched it here in Salt Lake City. More than 3,500 therapy teams have trained and registered with the program and are going strong!

Today, thousands of registered R.E.A.D. teams work throughout the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Italy, Finland, France, Sweden, South Africa, Slovenia, Spain, Netherlands, Norway and beyond. “

~Intermountain Therapy Animals

We are very excited to be a part of this wonderful program!

Lure Coursing

We recently tried Lure Coursing with Rita!

Lure Coursing is a system of mechanized lures and pulleys that simulate the unpredictability of chasing live prey. Dogs of eligible breeds are evaluated for follow, speed, agility, endurance, and overall ability as they pursue an artificial lure zigzagging across an open field.  All dogs one year of age or older from the following breeds are eligible to participate in Lure Coursing Events.

AKC Recognized Breeds

  • Afghan Hound
  • Basenji
  • Borzoi
  • Cirneco Dell’Etna
  • Greyhound
  • Ibizan Hound
  • Irish Wolfhound
  • Italian Greyhound
  • Pharaoh Hound
  • Portuguese Podengo Pequeno
  • Rhodesian Ridgeback
  • Saluki
  • Scottish Deerhound
  • Sloughi
  • Whippet

If your dog is not one of the listed breeds above, you can still have them participate in the CAT test.  The Coursing Ability Test (CAT) is an introductory event fashioned after the sport of lure coursing, and is for any dog of any breed, including mixed-breeds, as long as it is at least 1 year old and individually registered or listed with AKC. It tests a dog’s basic coursing instinct or hunting-by-sight ability. The dog chases an artificial lure, and the test is a non-competitive pass/fail event with dogs run one at a time. To pass the test, a dog running alone must pursue a lure, completing the course with enthusiasm and without interruption within a given time. Dogs that pass the CAT three times will earn a Coursing Ability (CA) title. Ten passes and a dog earns a Coursing Ability Advanced (CAA) title, and 25 passes results in a Coursing Ability Excellent (CAX) title. Licensed lure coursing clubs may hold CATs in conjunction with a licensed lure coursing trial or as a standalone event.

If your dog is not AKC registered at all, they can still participate in this lively and healthy activity by attending practice runs, as Rita did in the below video.

 She had a blast!

Lure coursing information from: AKC

 

 

Rita’s First Shopping Experience at Lowe’s Home Improvement

Rita came along with us to Lowe’s Home Improvement to help pick out our porch floor stain!

Come on, Dad – you are taking too long!

My tail points to English Chestnut… trust me on this one!

Yup – we have everything, Dad! Now let’s go home and play fetch!

Margarita was a great shopper!

*Please note- not all Lowe’s Home Improvement stores are dog friendly.  The company leaves it to the store manager’s decision, so be sure to call ahead if you plan to take your pup along with you to shop in a Lowe’s store.

Barn Hunt at Tail Wagging Events

Rita and Limoncello have both earned their Rat I title (Instinct level), and both have one qualifying run for their Rat N title (Novice level).

We attended a barn hunt at Tail Wagging Events to see if we could both secure at least another qualifying run in the Novice level.

Unfortunately, neither team was able to do so, but we once again had a great time with our pups!