We’ve had a rough start to the season between Porter’s seizures and Margarita’s Lymphoma and complications that followed. We weren’t even sure we were able to attend this event until the morning we were supposed to be leaving for our road trip. In fact, it wasn’t until about noon on July 3rd that I finished up with Margarita’s last oncology appointment and got the “ok” from her oncologist, Dr. Risbon, to travel to Canada with her. We didn’t preregister for the competition, knowing we may not even be able to attend. A lot of the jumps were marked as “full” but we know that each venue usually holds about 5 slots for people to sign up on the spot. With all of this in mind, we set still out on our way to Canada late in the afternoon of July 3rd. Boy, are we glad we did!
Limoncello enjoyed being a part of The B.A.A.A.R.K Foundation charity ball drop and having a girls GLAMping weekend with Margarita lounging in the air-conditioned camper.
Hooch had the second longest jump of the competition! This was also his first time competing in a national event as an Iron Dog. His performance should earn him an automatic World Championship invite in Elite Division Big Air, Nitro Division Speed Retrieve, and Gladiator Division Iron Dog!!
23’7″ 1st Place Elite Division
23’9″ 1st Place Elite Division
Big Air PRO Finals:
Pic Credit: Nancy Miller
6.564 seconds 1st Place Nitro Division
2973.62 points 1st Place Gladiator Division
Lager had an absolute blast this weekend getting to play his favorite game of Dueling Dogs, and participating in The B.A.A.A.R.K Foundation charity ball drop! His performance this weekend should land him an automatic World Championship invite in Turbo Division Speed Retrieve and Titan Division Iron Dog.
20’5″ 3rd Place Masters Division
20’4″ 1st Place Masters Division
7.304 seconds 1st Place Turbo Division
2876.3 points 3rd Place Titan Division
Lager made it to the first round of finals, but unfortunately was bumped out in the last round. He LOVES this game!
What a weekend this little Diva had…Margarita enjoyed Donuts, a banana split, a convertible ride, a Canada Goose stuffed toy, and other gifts from our Canadian DockDogs family!
Wish-The-Fish came out in FULL force and she increased her jumping distance with each leap into the pool, earning a 2nd or 3rd Place medal for every jump and a new PB of 8’3”! We are hopeful her average Big Air score will earn her a World Champion invitation in the Novice Division, but we will have to wait and see if the Invite Fairy pays her a visit!
3’5″ 2ndPlace Novice Division
7’5″ 3rd Place Novice Division
8’3″ 2nd Place Novice Division
7’0″ 2ndPlace Novice Division
Po-Po had a great time walking the facility grounds and also enjoyed an amazing massage from Marti at Pawz Therapy !
Week Three’s treatment went just as Rita’s oncologist, Dr. Risbon, said it might – rough. Not at first though. The first couple of days Margarita ate well and was in good spirits.
At our last visit (Wednesday, April 3), Dr. Risbon warned that Margarita may have the worst week ahead of her in regard to her treatments so far. She noted that the side effects of nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, and/or diarrhea could begin in about three to five days after her treatment. Right on cue, three days later – on Friday, Margarita was visibly not feeling well, and not interested in food. We tried all of our normal “tricks”… canned dog food, cream cheese, Spam, rotisserie chicken, cheese, eggs, bread, bacon, sausage… but she wasn’t interested.
By Saturday morning, Margarita was moving very slowly. She had some diarrhea and had mucus in her stool. We called our veterinarian, Dr. Campbell, on Saturday morning to give her an update. She let us know that she could call in an appetite stimulant if she continued not to eat. She also told us to try parmesan cheese sprinkled on the food. Dr. Campbell’s concern was making sure Margarita got back on schedule with eating her prescription diet so that her little system could absorb proteins correctly and assist in the healing process.
Luckily, by Saturday night Rita began to eat a little bit of rotisserie chicken – but nothing else. With a little coaxing (and some parmesan cheese), Rita did eat some of her prescription food. Dr. Campbell called us on Sunday afternoon (I’m telling you – “they don’t make ’em” like her anymore!!) to check on Rita, who had been enjoying some Sunday Morning porch-sittin’, and some afternoon sunbathing.
Monday was a decent day where Margarita ate some food, but still appeared to not be feeling well.
Oncology Visit #4
This week’s visit consisted of meeting with the Oncology nurse, and getting blood work drawn.
Margarita’s CBC revealed a significant neutropenia (the presence of abnormally few white blood cells in the blood, leading to increased susceptibility to infection). In order to prevent infection, Rita was started on an antibiotic:
SMZ-TMP: 480mg tablets.
1.5 tablets to be given once a day until finished
Another CBC will be repeated prior to any further chemotherapy treatments. Margarita is scheduled for a CBC and Ultrasound next week, followed by an appointment with our Oncologist, Dr. Risbon, for continued chemotherapy as long as next week’s test results are acceptable.
This week’s yummy treat was a vanilla soft-serve ice cream cone!
After Margarita enjoyed a few licks, I removed the ice cream and let her enjoy the cone.
Awareness is Power
The greater your awareness, the greater your power.
Awareness is also the greatest agent for change. One in every three dogs will get cancer… One… In…three! Now THAT’s something that needs to change. The more PAWrents know about the facts and preventative measures, the better we will be able to protect our fur-kids and decrease their odds of getting cancer.
Did you know that Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer seen in dogs?
Be your dog’s eyes: Do a cancer check on your dog at least once a month. Lumps and bumps can often be easily seen. But sometimes – like in Margarita’s case – being on the lookout for unusual behaviors and reporting them to your veterinarian is just as important for an early diagnosis and better outcome for your fur-child.
Be your dog’s ears and voice: Speak up and share anything you can about a cancer that has directly affected your fur-kid. Get people talking – LISTEN AND LEARN! The more stories that are shared, the more educated we become about cancer. This will result in more awareness raised, more research, and a greater opportunity for us all to take a bite out of canine cancer.
Thank you for joining Margarita in her journey to take a bite out Lymphoma.
For Whiskey’s first birthday, we kicked-off the weekend by taking her on a solo adventure. Whiskey is not able to do difficult hikes or long walks due to her shoulder issue, so we took her on a mini-hike at Estell Manor Park in South Jersey.
This area was owned by the Estell family and was the site of a glassworks company in the 1800’s.
This land then became the home of a munitions plant during World War I. Click HERE to read more.
Whiskey explored the ruins of Bethlehem Loading Company from 1918 – a WWl Munitions complex.
The park had a nice boardwalk throughout the forrest.
This park really had some beautiful pathways!
Whiskey inspected the river rocks in South River.
What a gorgeous park with wonderful views of South River!
We were thrilled that we were able to make it to one of our favorite annual events again this year – The Hopkinton State Fair !
The only bummer was that this year they had a target shooting show close to the competition pool, which freaked-out a lot of the dogs (one even broke out of his kennel – thank goodness he was safely caught). Our dogs were NOT fans of this noise, and we had to scratch them from several of the competition jumps.
Limoncello: Team Coach
Our team coach gave the competitors some good “Pointers” during our trip up to New Hampshire.
23’7″ 2nd Place Elite Division
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Finals Format
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Finals Format
Margarita: Team Cheerleader
Margarita’s main-man, Mr. Spock the English Pointer, brought her roses!
3’5″ 1st Place Novice Division (Whiskey’s first 1st Place medal!)
4’6″ 2nd Place Novice Division
This may be my most favorite video ever…even though I am the one being made out to be a fool! Haha! Whiskey was a crowd favorite as she ran through my legs (in the opposite direction of the pool!) I chased her on the dock and the crowd was going wild!
So proud of this little girl!
A family we met two years ago at this event made a special trip back just to see us, and give us a special gift in celebration of our new family member…some Tennessee Whiskey to celebrate OUR Tennessee Whiskey!
We had a great time seeing old friends, meeting new ones, and hanging out with our pups…AND we accomplished what we came here for: Whiskey had to jump at least once at another National level event in order to be able to accept the DockDogs World Championship invite she earned in Canada – mission accomplished…Whiskey’s going to Worlds!
This campground had been hit hard by a tornado in 2011. They are still working to recover from the tragic losses that ensued from that disaster. However, the owners could not have been nicer, and despite what the campground had been through, it looked great and was very enjoyable.
Our campsite was private and had a HUGE living space…perfect for letting the dogs out!
This was our first time competing at this event held atKlem’s . We had heard how nice it was – and we sure were not disappointed! The venue was easy to get in and out of, and the spectators and competitors were very friendly!
Limoncello: Team Coach
In between yelling at the boys, Limoncello enjoyed napping in the shade at our team canopy.
23’9″ 1st Place Elite Division
23’9″ 3rd Place Elite Division
23’3″ 2nd Place Elite Division
Big Air Finals: 23’10” 2nd Place
Extreme Vertical All-in-One-Final Format: 6’2″
Extreme Vertical All-in-One Final Format: 5’10”
7.136 seconds 3rd Place Turbo Division
2892.45 points First Place Titan Division
Margarita enjoyed walking the grounds, snacking on yummy treats, and napping along with Cello under our team canopy.
Whiskey was still our foster puppy, “Wish,” at the time. She enjoyed the attention from all the spectators, and concentrated on doing her best with chewing her special Wish-bone.
Overall, this event was a success for our team, and most of all – FUN for all! We hope to be able to attend this competition next year!
We enjoyed our trips to Canada so much in the past, that we decided to go to a different part of Ontario to compete at a venue we had never been to in the past…Caledonia! We had heard great things about this event and were very excited to compete at K9 Fun Zone!
Our camping spot on-site at K-9 Fun Zone…so close to the pool!
Limoncello: Team Coach
Limoncello enjoyed a massage from our fiend, Marti, at Pawz Therapy!
Limoncello was also chosen to be the retrieval dog for the charity ball-drop! This was a special treat for Limoncello – as she has been retired from competing in dock diving due to a heart issue. To make it even more memorable, Limoncello wore the collar of the owners dog at K-9 Fun Zone, who had recently passed away from cancer.
Hooch did not do his best in Big Air at this event, but he made up for that in the Extreme Vertical competition later in the weekend!
Semi-Pro Finals: 19’0″ 5th Place
Extreme Vertical (All in One Finals format)
Hooch tied his personal best of 6’6″ which earned him 2nd Place overall in the Top Gun Division, and a DockDogs World Championship invitation for Extreme Vertical!
Lager had a GREAT competition and earned a World Championship invitation in every discipline in which he competed!
18’3 2nd Place Senior Division
19’3″ 2nd Place Senior Division
18’7″ 1st Place Senior Division
Extreme Vertical – All in One Final Format
6ft 4th Place Top Gun Division
2884.82 2nd Place Turbo Division – which earned Lager a World Championship Speed Retrieve invitation!
Iron Dog – All in One Final Format
2884.82 points 1st Place Overall Titan Division – this earned him a Titan Iron Dog World Championship invitation!
7.184 seconds 2nd Place in Class 2 Finals – which earned him an invitation to the Dueling Dogs World Championship (Separate from the Dock Dogs World Championship)
Margarita: Team Cheerleader
Margarita also enjoyed a massage from our fiend, Marti, at Pawz Therapy! Margarita has gotten a massage each of the three times we have been to Canada so far!
Whiskey (Still Wish, our foster pup)
Whiskey (who was still our foster pup at the time) had a great trip – it was her first time in Canada! We decided to celebrate by getting her a massage as well! Whiskey liked holding a toy and watching the competition during her massage!
We had been to Canada a couple of times, but have never tried poutine (a dish originating from the Canadian province of Quebec, consisting of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy) – we finally had some! It was quite different and we liked it!
This venue gave our the most amazing prize bags!
We were quite happy we decided to try out this competition – we’ll be back next year for sure!
We were not scheduled to go to this event because the weather was forecasted to be awful. However, when we saw the weather took a turn for the better, we quickly packed everyone up in the camper and headed out to Bethlehem, Pennsylvania!
This was our first dock diving event of 2018 – and Whiskey’s first camping trip as well as her first dock diving event.
(Whiskey was still “Wish” our foster dog!)
SteelStacks has been one of our favorite venues! We have also attended this competition in 2016 and 2017 .
Although we arrived too late to compete on the first day, we were able to secure some jumps on Sunday.
Our team canopy
This was our first competition since Limoncello’s retirement. Although it was very emotional for us, Cello was quite content with her new “Team Coach” role. She is allowed to jump into the water leisurely, so at each event in between competitions, we will allow her to take a quick swim.
23’5″ 1st Place Elite Division
Finals: 22’11” First Place Elite Division
Speed Retrieve 7.573 seconds
Margarita: Team Cheerleader
Margarita enjoyed people watching and receiving tons of attention from all of her DockDogs family.
Whiskey (then “Wish” our foster dog)
Whiskey, who we took in as a foster in May 2018, was still with us because she had been put on “medical hold” due to several health issues. Not only did she ride in the camper nicely, she was very well-behaved, even with the abundance people and dogs at the event.
Overall, we had a wonderful time kicking off the start of our 2018 Dock Diving Season!
As the start of our 2018 Dock Diving season quickly approaches, we wanted to share the following with our family, friends and followers:
After some recent testing, Limoncello was diagnosed with dilated cardiomyopathy (a heart disease that causes dilation and poor contractility of the heart muscle). It was also discovered that Cello also has two leaky heart valves. After a long and difficult discussion with our veterinarian, it was determined that the best choice for Cello at this time is to retire her from dock diving.
Although we are disappointed that Cello’s dock diving career has come to an end, we are focusing our energy on celebrating her dock diving journey and how it has positively impacted our lives: her many notable accomplishments, the abundance of joy it has brought us, the amazing people we have met, the incredible dogs we have seen, the spectacular places we have visited, and the unforgettable memories we will continue to cherish. …We have SO MUCH to be grateful for because of Cello!
Without Cello on the dock this year, it will be an emotional dock diving season for sure. However, we are so thankful that because of the knowledge, expertise, and advice of Cello’s veterinarian and cardiologist, we were made aware of her condition before the season began. We are also looking at this unfortunate news as a positive opportunity to explore less intense bonding activities with Cello such as Barn Hunt, Nose Work, and Rally. We fondly anticipate learning new things, setting new goals, overcoming new challenges, traveling to new places, meeting more wonderful people, and building additional priceless memories. But above of all – we look forward to the many years of love and companionship we will treasure with Cello.
Even if we don’t understand why at this point, we are firm believers in “change is good” and “all things happen for a reason.” We are hopeful and eager to discover what new adventures will be had as Cello once again broadens our path. However, if Cello decides that in her early retirement she’d rather just relax, we welcome that change-of-pace as well.
Hooch and Lager will still be on the dock this year. We look forward to seeing our dock diving family this season.
The Dock Diving Diva’s Personal Bests:
•Big Air (on camera): 25’0”
•Extreme Vertical: 5’6”
•Speed Retrieve: 7.371 seconds
•Iron Dog: 2869.62 points *2016 DockDogs #1 Warrior Iron Dog in the World
The Fairhill International Fairgrounds hosted Four Paws, One Cause – an event where where multiple dog rescues came together and brought their adoptable dogs in order to find them loving FURever families. The purpose of this event was to bring together all kinds of different people with one similar passion: a love for dogs!
This event not only hosted the DockDogs competition, it also featured the world champion frisbee dogs featured on America’s Got Talent as well. There was live music, face painting, bounce houses, over one hundred vendors, great food, craft beer tastings, and wine tastings throughout each day!
Extreme Vertical: 5’0″
Speed Retrieve: 9.583 seconds
Iron Dog Score: 2563.55 2nd Place Warrior Division
Big Air Pro Division Finals: 24′ 0″ 1st Place Pro Division
Big Air with Brian:
19’2″ 2nd Place Senior Division
20’5″ 3rd Place Master Division
Extreme Vertical with Jenny:
5’10” 1st Place Cadet Division
Our Team Cheerleader enjoyed snoozing under the canopy in the rain, and snacking on goodies throughout the day!
Liver Killer Bling:
Best of all, through our winnings, we were able to raise $100 for the GSP Rescue of NJ!
This had been one our favorite dock diving events in the past. We loved attending this event in both 2015 and 2016 . We camped at Sunset Beach Resort (another favorite!)
Although were extremely excited to be back a third year in a row in July 2017, the weather this year was just unbearably hot. We tried jumping the dogs, but by the time Limoncello’s came up, the temperatures were a real-feel of over 103 degrees… too hot and dangerous to compete in our opinion.
22’8″ 23’5″ 2nd Place Elite Division
Even though the one jump that Lager and Hooch executed put them into the Finals, we scratched our jumps for the rest of the weekend, and forfeited our spot in the Finals. We chose to make the best of the remainder of the weekend, and enjoy the campground with the dogs.
Back to the campground to enjoy some Chesapeake Bay fun!
It sure wasn’t the weekend we thought it would be, and people thought we were crazy to give our spot in Finals…but our dogs’ safety and health come first. We made the best of the hot temps, and enjoyed cooling everyone off in the Chesapeake Bay. A bad storm eventually rolled in, but the outcome was a beautiful double rainbow, and a gorgeous sunset!
In July, we were back in Canada for the second year in a row! We attended this event last year where all three of our competitors earned their invites to the 2016 DockDogs World Championship. This trip proved to be just as rewarding, as again, all 3 GSP’s won, and earned their invitations to the 2017 World Championship!
All buckled in and on our way from New Jersey to Ontario, Canada!
Thousand Islands Bridge:
Just some of the privately owned islands among the more than 1,8000 islands in Thousand Islands!
Waiting in line at Customs:
Look out, Ontario – the Liver Killers are in town!
We arrived at K-9 Central – look how close our camper is to the competition pool! It was so nice to crate the dogs from right under our camper canopy and to be able to watch the competition from our camper spot!
21’2″ 2nd Place Masters Division
23’6″ 1st Place Elite Division
25’0″ 1st Place Super Elite Division
24’7″ 1st Place Elite Division
25’3″ 1st Place Super Elite Division
19’10” 2nd Place Senior Division
6’0″ 3rd Place Top Gun Division
At last year’s event, Tremblay Equine Massage Therapy was there, so we had signed Rita up for a massage. I had taken a picture and shared it with them. The company used Margarita as their “Poster Child!” Tremblay was there again, and Rita got another massage!
A storm rolled in, but it created a beautiful rainbow over the competition pool!
What an exciting event! 2017 World Championship, here we come!
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! 🙁
Having both brown dogs as well as a white dog, we can never seem to be without dog hair showing on our clothes, furniture, or car upholstery. I was very excited when we were asked to review the CarPET Pet Hair Remover by GlosStock.
The packaging was appealing, and the directions were easy to understand.
I was especially excited we had been asked to try the CarPET Pet Hair Remover when I had a rental car with a black cloth interior, and forgot to put a seat cover down before taking Margarita on a ride with me!
When I realized how much of Rita’s white hair was all over the rental car’s back seat, I ran to get the CarPet Pet Hair Remover…