Back to the Splash Spring Fling at Shipps Corner, Virginia Beach, VA

Now THIS was a fun event! Cello and Hooch participated in Shipps Corner’s Back to the Splash Spring Fling.

This National event was an 80’s theme, and everyone was encouraged to dress and decorate in the 80’s fashion.

Hooch immediately flaunted his swag:

Our team canopy was decorated with 80’s bling:

Hooch had himself an 80’s boom box:

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There was an 80’s playlist jamming all weekend long, and the dock was also decorated 80’s style:

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They used 80’s style bracelets in place of the regular Handlers’ bracelets:

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Besides this event being an absolute blast, Limoncello and Hooch each ROCKED the dock!  Check out the results below!

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Extreme Vertical:

5’4″

Big Air :

21’0″     21’0″      Second Place Master Division

21’1″     20’1″     First Place Master Division

21’2″     20’3″     Third Place Master Division

21’5″     21’5″     First Place Master Division

BIG AIR SEMI-PRO FINALS:

21’3″     19’11”   First Place Semi Pro Division

Speed Retrieve:

8.378     8.052     First Place Express Division

Iron Dog:

2789.90     First Place Warrior

HOOCH

Big Air:

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10’4″     14’5″     First Place Junior Division

9’5″       10’6″

10’5″     16’1”     NEW PERSONAL BEST!

10’0″     14’7″     First Place Junior Division

8’7″        12’5″

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Speed Retrieve (first time EVER!!!)

Brian held Hooch so that he could see the other dogs performing Speed Retrieve:

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Although he hesitated at the end of the dock, which made his score very low, he  did jump off and retrieve the bumper at the end of the pool – so we are extremely proud of Hooch for catching on to this “new game” so quickly!

17.564     17.878

We all had a great 80’s weekend!

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Cello and Brian – Filmed By Drone!

At our last dock diving event, Family Fun Day, this past weekend in Elkton, MD, there was a drone flying around filming the weekend happenings.

Cello and Brian were filmed during one of their jumps – how cool is THAT?!?!

We were very excited with this first-time ever view of Cello in action!

Finding Nemo

Cello’s best friend is Nemo, a 4 year old male Boykin Spaniel.  Cello and Nemo have been buds since the first week they both came home with their humans! “Finding Nemo” was one of the best things that happened to Cello – as Nemo is the only dog Cello truly ever fully “accepted.”  If you have ever seen these two together, you can really see just how alike they are – and just how much they truly enjoy each other.  They have played, swam, had sleep-overs, camped, and of course dock-dived together!

Cello and Nemo lounging on the couch together:

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Cello and Nemo “holding hands” while sleeping during their first sleep-over:

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Nemo, like Cello, has been dock diving for about 1.5 years. In fact, they attended their first-ever dock diving event together!

Nemo’s mom, Cindy, wrote a beautiful article on Nemo, which was published in the Boykin Spaniel Society Magazine, and included a mention of Cello.

The two pictures that were chosen for the magazine happen to be two pictures I took of Nemo and Cello at Nemo’s house.

The article is a wonderful read!

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Although Nemo lives in our town, his mom, Cindy, has recently started a job in Michigan.  Nemo and his parents travel back and forth from Michigan to NJ, and we are often away at dock diving events, so Cello and Nemo don’t get to see each other as often as they used to.

We wish we could gather more often, so we do try to get together whenever both families are home in NJ and have a free weekend!

10 Months

On March 24, Hooch turned 10 months old… how did he get so big so fast?!?!

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Hooch is now taller than his sister, Cello, and weighs 50 pounds.  He continues to love the water and dock diving, although he still will not jump off our dock at home, and still hesitates to jump at competitions.  Hooch has picked up a stronger toy-drive, and enjoys chasing a tennis or soccer ball, and chewing on sticks.  He is the happiest, puppy we know, and he makes us laugh every day, as he is such a goof-ball!  Happy 10 months, buddy – we love you!

Virginia World of Pets Expo, Hampton, VA

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.

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In celebration of Valentine’s Day, there was a Pawentine’s Box decorating contest.

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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:

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Hooch and Cello received lots of really cute Pawentines in our box!

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The dog treats above were homemade by our friend, Mandy. Check out her Face Book page – her cookies are AMAZING!

We won the contest!

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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!

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Hooch also had a BIG weekend!  He placed in every Big Air wave he jumped in, and earned his first First Place ribbon!

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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:

Hooch’s best jump of the weekend was 8’10”

While we were there, someone recognized Cello from our Instagram account — our friends, Cyndee and Lola – – How cool is THAT?!?!

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This was a SUPER-fun event, and the best Valentine’s Day weekend ever!

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Cello and Hooch hope everyone had a great Valentine’s Day!

World of Pets Expo, Timonium, MD, hosted by Chesapeake DockDogs (Hooch’s Dock Diving Debut!)

World of Pets Expo,  hosted by Chesapeake DockDogswas Hooch’s dock diving debut!

As you  know from previous posts, Hooch has practiced his dock diving at both Canine Spa and 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.

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Overall, Team Homemade Hooch placed in every wave we were registered in, and won FOUR ribbons in their dock diving debut! WOOT WOOT!

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Getting ribbons was fun!

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Cello also did very well in her first 2015 event – she won 2nd Place Iron Dog in the Warrior Division!

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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:

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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.

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Brian also volunteered to announce at this event:

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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!

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Our 2015 shirts were a big hit as well!

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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!

For All of You Who Wonder Why We Do What We Do…

 

photo 1A lot of people ask me WHY we would want to spend most of our free weekends traveling many miles to take Cello to dock diving events and practices. Most don’t understand why we enjoy this so much.  Some are disappointed that we miss other events to attend dock diving competitions and practices.  Many people chuckle, and even roll their eyes, when they hear my answer to the their question of “What did you do this weekend?”  I get counter responses like, “It’s just a dog” (Ummm – really?! Click HERE to find out what “Just a dog” means to US, and why we feel sorry for those who “Just don’t understand!”) …”Your dog does WHAT?” … “So, let me get this straight… you spent your whole weekend watching your dog jumping into a pool?” …”You’re kidding, right?”  (No, …we are NOT kidding!!)

Aside from spending time with some of coolest dogs and nicest people we have ever met, there’s an even greater reason…

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I found this on Facebook, and It couldn’t explain any better just WHY we do what we do:

WHY TITLE A DOG?

Not just a brag, not just a stepping stone to a higher title, not just an adjunct to competitive scores, a title is a tribute to the dog that bears it, a way to honor the dog, an ultimate memorial.  It will remain in record and in memory for as long as anything in this world can remain.  Few humans will do as well or better in that regard.

And though the dog itself doesn’t know or care that its achievements have been noted, a title says many things in the world of humans, where such things count.

A title says your dog was intelligent and adaptable, and good-natured. It says that your dog loved you enough to do the things that please you, however crazy they may have sometimes seemed.

And a title says that you loved your dog, that you loved to spend time with it because it was a good dog, that you believed in it enough to give it yet another chance when it failed, and that in the end, your faith was justified.

A title proves that your dog inspired you to that special relationship enjoyed by so few; that in a world of disposable creatures, this dog with a title was greatly loved, and loved greatly in return.

And when that dear short live is over, the title remains as a memorial of the finest kind, the best you can give to a deserving friend, volumes of pride in one small set of initials after the name.

A title earned is nothing less than love and respect, given and received, and permanently recorded.

~Sandra Mowery