Thank you for hanging out with me! From day to day you never know what life will throw at you. And it will often be this way in my blog as well :) But lest RUN WILD and LIVE FREE in this amazing adventure together!
Hey all! I have been meaning to get you guys the next instillation of dock jumping 101 for a few days and it jus didn’t happen. I love having the time freedom to hang with our dogs and my kiddo. Just means I pack our schedule even more full.
Let’s pick up where we left off last time. So last time your dog has gotten use to the water, the dock and the atmosphere. You have picked out their favorite toy. Now what? How do we get more and more distance from our dogs?
Well lets start with different technique. Also different clubs and how they run their rules. There are three main organizations: UAD, NADD and Dock dogs. These are the ones we see the most of. But being on the East side of the country we may just not see and hear as much about others as in the past there have also been SRS and Splash Dogs. But for today we will focus on the three we are familiar with. Both UAD and NADD allow two people to be on the dock at one time when jumping a dog. Three if the handler who is throwing is needing the physical assistance. Dock Dogs only allows one handler on the dock and also does a stop watch for counting down the amount of time you have on the dock. So be aware of those things.
There are two methods of throwing the toy for your dog. The basic lingo is “place and send” or “chase” method. During the place and send method the toy is thrown into the pool and the dog watches it land in the water and then the dog is “sent” after the toy. So the toy is already in the water. During the chase method the dog is going to start away from you, start running down the dock and as you throw the toy the dog will jump and chase after the toy. Think of this like a dog jumping and going after a Frisbee in the air. The dog is following the toy and chasing it through the air.
Typically the chase method does get more distance. The key to both methods is finding the timing and right distance on the dock for the dog. Dogs will hit their max speed within a certain number of feet. So not all dogs are needing the same amount of dock to get the best distance. This is a hit and miss of each dog and figuring out where is best for them. Each of of our dogs starts differently. Tucson is a place and send dog, right now so is Talia. Phoenix, Rumor and Vader all are chase. With Vader just starting to learn it. Many dogs start with place and send to build their confidence on the dock. Then change over to chasing.
To change over we always work on land first having one handler hold the dog and the other out front throwing the toy out and having the dog chase it on the ground. Yes they will jump up slightly but this isn’t the key. The key is for them to focus on the toy and go after it. This can then be started on the dock. We start wit the dog just short distance back. This build trust. Trust from the dog to you that you will throw the toy. From there it is gradual building further back distance and timing the throws.
So get out there. Start practicing and have fun with your dogs. I think I will start doing posts about each dog over the next week or so as well! I hope you enjoy the information.
I have been asked many times how we got started in what we do with our dogs. So lets go back on a little journey together. Jeff and I got married in 2007. I helped him pick out a dog to adopt before we ever got married. He wanted a little dog. Can you imagine him with a little dog? Haha. Neither could I! For anyone who knows him and knows how much into sports and such he is it just didn’t make sense. So we got Rajah.
Rajah was the start of it all. We didn’t have any plans to get involved with dog sports. And I don’t honestly know how we ever learned about dock jumping. But Rajah would sore over waves at the beach and we found out about an event near us in Grand Rapids, MI so we went. He jumped in….once! But it was indoors and he really didn’t know what he was doing, nor did we. That water was ICE cold. So over the rest of the spring we took him to the beach as much as we could cause we were hoked once we really saw what dogs could do and how much fun it was.
Fast forward to June of 2005 and we went to another event on the east side of Michigan and Rajah jumped 19’….needless to say we were hooked. Going from hardly jumping to that was amazing to us. And back in that time that was one of the longest jumps of the weekend. Rajah went on to hold the record for distance jumping for an APBT (American Pit Bull Terrier) for several years with a 23’7” jump and was the first APBT to get an ultimate vertical title.
When Rajah got us hooked, I decided I needed a dog of my own to jump. I didn’t want to just be the dog holder ;) So the search was on. And we decided to get a German Shorthaired Pointer. We could say the rest is history but it really is so much more than that.
I grew up in a home where my dad hunted but I really didn’t and Jeff grew up a home that didn’t hunt at all! Needless to say we have missed more birds than what we have harvested for our table. We quickly fell in love with the breed and with hunting. And eventually we started our breeding program.
Our foundation female, Phoenix, paved the way for our bigger jumping GSPs. In the beginning we had a dog named Moose, who was very picky on if he would jump or not jump. And a little GSP we would call Tiny Tundra. She was a fireball and eventually did jump well. But the big hitter came in Phoenix. Phoenix is now 10 (at the writing of this) and is still doing amazing in dock jumping. I think I will highlight each dog in their own post someday.
Many people will ask us how we train our dogs to dock jump. We are blessed to have a pond in our own back yard. So we start our dogs as young puppies in getting them confident in swimming and often times this does mean one of us putting our waders on and going in the pond to help a puppy gain their confidence.
Once this is established we will start taking hem to various places to swim so that their water drive is there no matter the location. We then will progress to things like docks at lakes and jumping off of them. We do have a dock at our pond as well that we start on. But our pond gets very shallow in the summer so our time to be able to work on that is very short lived.
The biggest key once the toy drive and water love is there is to find an event to go to. Dogs often who jump in the pond or lake will not jump in a pool. A dog can’t tell that the clear water of a pool is water. And to them it looks like a big blue thing they are jumping into. So proper introduction at an event is key. You may even spend money to work on proper introduction and never get a true jump in. It all depends on the dog. At an event the biggest thing is to take them up and down the exit ramp to swim as much as possible until they are leaping off the exit ramp to go for their toy. At this point you can go up to the dock and start working there. But this often takes quite a few exposures.
I will leave this post here on just the introduction to the dock and events. There are many small details that go into each dog. And each dog is different as well in their technique and how they need to be handled.
To start, the biggest thing is get your dog loving water, pick a toy that is ONLY for that event and it will make them excited every time they see it, take your dog out in public and to busy events (dog or otherwise) as much as possible as dock jumping events tend to draw a brig crowd, then introduce them to the ramp and the dock. But most of all….BE PATIENT. Don’t get frustrated or go in with the idea of your dog jumping the same way they jump at a lake or pond and have FUN. Your dog doesn’t care how far they jump. They don’t know. They just want to have FUN! So celebrate the small victory. Be crazy excited and act crazy stupid. It will make your dog wiggle their tail and their whole body and they will be smiling right back at you!
You can always check out our dogs on our website or Facebook page as well.
This week I have been doing more live videos on facebook and even pre- recorded and posting them on youtube. This morning I was thinking about this a bit. My pre -recorded is mostly letting you all into our lives at home and what I am making for dinner. I HATE to cook. Like it is one of those things that I dread doing. I am not sure why exactly. I don’t know if it is because the lack of space in the kitchen, that we don’t have AC in our house so I get really warm just standing there on a warm summer day, or if it is the pure time it takes. My mind wonders when I am standing there, cutting up food and prepping. Maybe it is because I am not a patient person and want things done NOW. Or it is a culmination of all these things into one that creates the dislike for this. I would much rather just throw something pre made in the oven or microwave. We often joke that if it I can’t just dump a bunch of random stuff in the crock pot that it won’t get made.
This week has been different though. Not a whole lot different. I still am making things that are fast an easy and don’t take a lot of time out of the day. But we have been planning out meals. And guess what…..they have been REALLY GOOD! And we haven’t felt rushed around after school, sports practice etc. to find something to get in our bellies and off to the next event. It has been super rewarding being this organized and also having everyone saying MMMMM that was really good. It is also great knowing exactly what is going into the food we are having. Not having it processed and pre- made for us allows to cut down on the nasty stuff I don’t want to eat.
This really leads me to thinking about doing things we may not want to do. What is it in your life that you don’t want to do? That you are dreading taking care of or getting done? Then stop and think….why am I dreading this? What purpose does it serve to put this off or not get it done? If I were to just jump in with both feet, take care of whatever it is how would that make me feel after?
There are so many things in life we don’t want to get done. And this week I have been really focusing on stopping, taking a deep breath and asking myself the question of “what purpose does this serve?” before I get frustrated or impatient. What a WORLD of difference that little question has made. Often there isn’t an answer. And when there isn’t an answer the answer is “nothing” or “no purpose”. When I find myself in that answer it makes it so much easier to just let the frustration, procrastination, and even fear of the unknown go.
I encourage you today to ask yourself that question “What purpose does this serve?” when you are:
Tired and fed up
About to get in a heated typing or talking argument (admit it we all tend to be keyboard warriors from time to time)
About to snap at others (our spouse? Our kids? The car in front of us who is driving like a complete idiot ;) )
If your answer to this question is blank, negative, or self serving….LET IT GO. Only keep the answers that are positive and blessing to others.
I hope this blog post has left you with some encouragement to tackle the things we don’t want to do. Because when I tackle those things and overcome them there is a sense of accomplishment in my day and I want that for you too!
Happy Sunday all. I hope this finds you very very well!
Today I want to talk with you about hitting ROCK Bottom. Are you there? Have you ever been there? Can you feel that struggle. The feeling of “can it get any worse” or “why me” Or “what did I do to deserve this”. Or even “God you are horrible, I hate you, I can’t believe you are letting this happen.” Yup…..Let’s be honest here and admit…especially that last sentence. Have you said this? Or something close to it? Ok good! Remember that. But know that it is OK to say these things.
When we get to our lowest of lows, when we feel nothing more can possibly happen to make life worse, that is when GOD does his best work. Are you scratching your head and thinking I am crazy? That is totally ok! Please hang in there with me and keep reading.
We were encouraged today to think about the following points.
The portal to God’s POWER is through your WEAKNESS………
Got it? Do you feel it? Think about this for a moment. Sometimes we need to be hurt deeply before God can use us greatly. When we are hurt deeply, when we are at our weakest and we feel like we can’t possibly go any further….this is when we break and have complete and total dependence on HIM. This is when He allows for the things we hold dear to be taken away so that we can SEE Him and lean on Him.
The greater the need, the more glory God gets in the provision…….
Deep right? Think again on this for a moment. The more we lean on God, the more we have needs in our lives, the more God steps up to say “remember…..I will give you EVERYTHING you need. Why are you worrying”. Have you ever found this to be true in your life? Just in the last year there have been a few times where I have sat and been writing in my journal, prayed and talked with God where I simply say….”God I can not see it. I cannot see how I am going to make ends meet in this situation. I honestly don’t think I can. I am scared and worried” And I always tend to pause and really keep thinking about this. And almost every time I also start to think back to the last time I felt this way. And I think…..”Am I ok? Did we make it through that? Do I still have my family, home and food on the table? YES……OK why is this any different.” Maybe I am simple minded, but that simple reminder to remember that when something like this happened in the past it was all ok, helps me to leave the problem at God’s feet and let HIM deal with it. And guys…..when we do this, God provides WAY WAY WAY beyond what we would ever expect! It may not be immediate, but it happens. I promise!
And lastly God Always has an Agenda MUCH Bigger and better than ours!!!!!
This is so mind boggling to me. And what puts me in such awe of our creator. I have a list of what I would do if money was endless….now this may sound petty and shallow. But this list is powerful. It has so many people and organizations on it that I would bless and show love to through being able to help them financially. It honestly takes my own breath away to FEEL and imagine what that day will be like when I can do these things. But do you realize, God’s agenda and God’s plan is sooooo much bigger than even my list. I can’t even put into words the amazement and awe that puts me in. If my own small list takes my breath away what would God’s list do that he has already planned for my life (and yours) do to me if I could physically read it?! That EXCITES me. To know that my plans are so small compared to God’s.
What we think is our greatest need is far smaller than God’s plan for us…….
“What’s coming against you is only training for where God is about to take you!” – S Derdowski
Hold on. Buckle your seat belt. Especially if you are at rock bottom. BE READY! There are GREAT things coming for you. Believe. Not only in yourself but in your creator!
Because music has really been impacting and speaking to my soul this past year I want to leave you with these powerful lyrics and this amazing song as well:
Jesus, you change everything
Jesus, you change everything”
A while back I did a post about relationships. It was a pretty high level post. But recently I made a business change in my life. IT was a pretty big time of transition for me. For over a year relationships with my old team and company were being built. And when I work and brainstorm with people I tend to build very strong relationships. Some of these were so strong that there were things that I shared with them about myself personally that I still have only ever shared with my husband. I had gotten to a point where I didn't think there would ever be a day with out these people in my life. We prayed together and had shed tears together. Celebrated together and took on defeat together.
In August I took a step back to come up for air so to speak and really hit the reset button on both a mental and physical level. I realized it was time to move on from the previous company I was with. With that came the end of some of these very meaningful and deep friendships. I sat and wondered to myself if these friendships were real or if they had only been there for business. I had myself questioning the sincerity of the friendships as well. But then I remembered that not all friendships and relationships are meant to be forever. Not everyone in yoru life can go on your journey with you. They aren't meant to. We all have our own journey and our own path. There are people who are meant to be on your journey forever. For some of us this is our family, spouse or other special people in our lives.
Then there are the people who are only in our lives for part of the journey. Sometimes this may be a very short part of the journey. But there are reasons people don't come along on our life long journey.
Every person has a specific purpose in our journey that they serve. God put them in that place to serve that purpose. Once it has been served it hten becomes time for both to part ways. And yes this may be hard to do and may be hard to let go but it is ok to feel that way. These are the people in our lives who are seasonal. People that are put there for just a short season, a quick road on our journey and then it is done.
Then there are the people that will always help you remember the past. no matter if it is good ro bad. These people kind of bank on the edge of seasonal as once the "past" is done there really isn't a purpose that this relationship is serving. For myself reliving the past and "remembering when" is a lot of fun. But it is very important to not stay in the past. If we stay in the past, if we hang on to the good and bad of the past too much, we can not move forward. There is a reason the past is in the past! So don't dwell there.
And lastly the journey you are on, some people simply can't handle. And that is OK! They may not be able to handle your big dreams and goals. They may not understand why you have these dreams and goals. Remember, this is YOUR JOURNEY! This is the path that GOD put in place for you. He didn't create this path for anyone else. So if they can't handle your path, if they don't agree with it, respect them but don't let them drag you down and keep you from going after your dreams!
It is super hard to do, but do not be afraid to cut the ties that need to be cut.
BE BOLD in the pursuit of your dreams, goals and the journey GOD has designed you for and don't let anyone hold you back.
I learned recently that someone I feel is a very dear friend of mine is giong through a really hard time. Someone significant in their life left and after spending some time with them it hit me how much this situation has impacted them. It wasn't said directly, but in reading between what was aid, there are so many questions, A LOT of hurt and I could see a lot of questioning of self worth coming through.
Then Sunday came along and we (our family) heads to church like most Sundays. And the message hits me. The entire message hits me. But I felt so deeply a calling to write and share about one specific moment. That moment was this....
Each and every one of us are diamonds in God's personal collection. We are amazingly special. We are cherished. We are loved beyond measure. We are unique. And God holds us, ever single one of us, in his own personal collection of diamonds. There is no price tag large enough that He would ever sell us, discard or disown us.
He paid the ultimate price for every single one of us when he died on the cross. He knows all your hurt, all your sorrows and all your anger and all your fears. On the days where we are angry with God.....he already knows. he knows it all. The good, bad and ugly. Every ounce of your being, He knows. And absolutely NOTHING we do, or say will ever change how much He loves and adores us. He loves everything about YOU just the way you are. And he made you, perfectly in His Image.
Think about that for a moment. When YOU look in the mirror your are looking at the face of God.
I truly pray that my friend reads this. That they know they are loved beyond measure. That they hold so much worth in the eyes of their friends and family...but that even more they hold the most worth to God. That they have been crafted, by hand, by the ONE true God.
And I pray that anyone reading this, who may be having a rough time, maybe questioning their self worth or hating God right now, that you find someone to talk to. If you want to talk to me I am here as well. But you are PRICELESS. You are adored and you are a diamond. You are loved.
I am going leave you with some Lyrics from a song that really has touched on this for me as well. You can hear the entire song through the youtube link as well below.
"God only knows what you've been through
God only knows what they say about you
God only knows how it's killing you
But there's a kind of love that God only knows
God only knows what you've been through
God only knows what they say about you
God only knows the real you
There's a kind of love that God only knows"