Wow – The Miracle on DockDogs® Street contest certainly reminded us of the countless miracles the DockDogs® community has been given by participating or possibly have provided a miracle to a dog that you’ve rescued from a shelter. The quantity of stories submitted and the incredible miracles that so many handlers have experienced through DockDogs® impacting their lives was truly incredible.
Today we’re excited to announce the top 3 winners of the contest and to share their stories here on the page plus an extra surprise to all of those who participated. If you submitted a story and photo as part of the contest we want to show you our appreciation for sharing with us.
Everyone that has submitted their DockDogs Miracle will be issued $25 in credits to their handler accounts and their stories will be featured here on the DockDogs Blog and Facebook page throughout the year, be sure to stay in touch to not miss out on your favorites!
Thank you again to all of those that participated. Now let’s get onto the winners (FULL STORIES BELOW)!
Abigail Melton’s Miracle on DockDogs Street
“For me, DockDogs has simply been a gift that keeps on giving. Like many teenagers, I have struggled with self-confidence. DockDogs has given me a belief in myself. It has shown me that it is okay to try new things, and it is okay to make mistakes. I have learned to speak to a crowd and answer their questions. It has also given my Boykin, Gator, a good boost of confidence. He has learned that he can fly–and that I will always be there waiting to throw the next tennis ball. The friends I have made at practices and events have taught me that helping others is always more important than the win. DockDogs has given me happiness. The constant wag of Gator’s nub of a tail when he hits the dock has to make you smile. Seeing him that happy makes me that that happy. Albert Einstein said, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” I may just be an average teenager with an ordinary little brown dog, but every day we spend together is a miracle. ”
Ginger McBride’s Miracle on DockDogs Street
In May of 2011, I attended my first DockDogs event in North Vernon, Indiana, with 2 of my dogs – Summit and Grit. Little did I know the vast impact that this organization and the people involved with it would subsequently have on my life. That event was the first time my Malinois, Grit, had ever gone off of a competition dock. A troubled dog, Grit had entered my life of his own free will…by running from his former owner into an enclosure with my dogs, and refusing to leave. He had been badly mistreated and didn’t trust men. He was not at all fond of strangers. He didn’t like the city. The only things he wanted in his life were me and my other dogs. Being a trainer myself, I knew that flipping a dog that had been imprinted so badly was going to be a challenge. I provided him with a strong foundation in Obedience and Agility, but with Grit’s level of over-the-top prey-drive, he needed an additional outlet. I’m not even 100% sure that he knew he was heading into water the first time he sailed off of the dock…all he knew was that the bumper was moving, and he was going after it! Once was all it took. As if a light bulb went off in his head, he began sailing off of the dock for his bumper as many times as I was willing to throw it. At that first event in Indiana, I didn’t know anyone. The initial thing that really struck me was how, apparently, that didn’t matter at all. The DockDogs staff was SO helpful. They found out it was my first DD event, and went absolutely out of their way to take me under their wing and show me the ropes. I’m still friends today with many of the people that I met at that event. Furthermore, when people saw Grit’s uncertainty with the crowds of strangers, they didn’t hesitate to assist me in desensitizing him. I didn’t even have to ask. These people immediately understood how to act around a dog like him, and by the end of that first day, Grit was loving life, and was just as happy as Summit to be a DockDog – as you can see in this photo from that day. The subsequent years of my involvement with DockDogs have not only seen Grit become a happy and confident competitor, but have helped me train up my current team of 5 – Summit, Grit, Raven, Vice, and Wiley – aka, “Team Rebel”. We now travel near and far to competitions, and have been invited to compete at Worlds for two years in a row. Because of DockDogs, I not only have a wonderful energy outlet for my high-drive dogs, but I also have friends from all over the US and Canada – my DockDogs “family”. Truly, the relationships forged with the other competitors in this sport are like none other. I’ve never seen another sport where the competitors cheer each other on, go out of their way to help one another, and are legitimately such good friends on and off the dock. I’m proud to be a part of an organization like that, and am ever mindful to pay that friendliness forward to others who are new to the sport. Thanks for reading our story!
Cera Reusser’s Miracle on DockDogs Street
Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined the path that was chosen for me when Chase & I first arrived on a dock in Portland, Oregon back in February of 2004. After accomplishing the challenge I set for her in life of being a AKC Master Hunter her second career plan was to try DockDogs. At her very first event out of 6 days of full waves and dogs jumping we made the top 12 and the finals, that 12th place ribbon still hangs in her trophy case and brings back so many great memories. Thru her entire jumping career she placed in the top 12 in almost every event and so many of those she made the top four jump off too, only once where she fell to 13th and miracles of miracles she won one over the best in the West and Sisko the kid in his prime. On that very memorable weekend in June of 2006 at her last DockDogs event she place 1st in every wave and her son Big Gun placed second, on Sunday in the finals it was time to pass the torch onto her son and he took the lead with a winning jump of 25.3 and her last jump that weekend was 25 feet and a very proud 2nd place ribbon.
Just 25 days after that dream weekend I lost her to cancer, right after the nightmare of losing her a wonderful turn of events happened that while I grieved all of my dockdogs family were there to grieve with me and they helped me and rallied around me and have been by my side the past 7 1/2 years. In that time with so many dockdog volunteers and others together we have raised over $810,000 by honoring her memory in the name of “Chase Away K9 Cancer and in the memory of all the dogs that have been lost to cancer. From what started out as competing for ribbons has turned into something way bigger and that’s making a difference in our pets lives. I will always be so thankful for all of the support, love and understanding the DockDogs community gave Chase & I. Dogs playing on Docks has changed the path my life has taken and it’s been a very good path and I am so blessed by the entire DockDogs community. Thank you all for your love and support, that’s my story and I’m sticking to it to make a difference in our pets lives 🙂