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novadog Fall 2018



Pairing Vets with Pets Two NOVA-area organizations that are making strides in bringing Vets and rescue dogs together

Also Inside: The Source: Holiday Edition Destinations: Petersburg, West Virginia Hit the Trail: Anacostia River Trail Segment 2


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s we enter this wonderful season, I am personally thankful for the opportunity to escape into nature’s playground: West Virginia. I had a wonderful stay with Maggie at the lovely LTD cabins. I did some research so I would have plenty of experiences and insights to share with you as you make your plans to visit. But, the next time I return, I fully intend to pull up to my cabin, unload some groceries, my pup and a bottle of wine, and not leave the property for 2 or 3 days. It’s a gorgeous place to relax and enjoy the trails and then the hot tub, sit by the ponds and soak in all of nature’s glory. This issue shines a spotlight on the organizations focused on helping veterans just in time for Veteran’s Day. There are some amazing groups around the beltway that make a huge difference in the lives of vets. Dogs are key to the healing and aid provided and the stories will inspire you and the successes restore hope where there was none. We are proud to help celebrate all who contribute to this critical mission.

Doggie technology come in many forms. The Canine Treadmill at A Dog’s Day Out is a great way to help your pooch overcome challenges from soreness, stiff joints and arthritis, as well as offer a resistance workout for overweight pups and help older pups exercise without the heavy impact on their joints. There are many great reasons to give it a try and the best Rx is the fun times your pet will have, even if they are there for therapy. I also urge you to try out the Destinations hike as soon as you can so you can experience the ½ way mark treat that is Bardo! It’s a great way to celebrate the final days of fall. You’ll love the Petcentric Profile in this issue. I hope you pull away some great nuggets of information from this issue—I know I did. Finally, in our Canine Calendar you’ll find enough activities to keep you and your dog having fun ‘til we ring in the new year! Angela

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novadog T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A



PUBLISHER Angela Hazuda Meyers | MANAGING EDITOR Joseph Grammer | CREATIVE DIRECTOR Janelle Welch |

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CONTRIBUTORS Christopher Baity, Joseph Grammer, Angela Hazuda Meyers, Michelle Schroeder Madigan, Charles Richardson ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Sabrina Sheth 703.780.4400 DISTRIBUTION MediaPoint 9708 Gunston Cove Road, Lorton, VA 22079

We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover. NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Provide training and canine health-care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Publish insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Help local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2018 is published quarterly by 343 Media, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area and are available in select locations. One- and two-year subscriptions are available. Visit for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.


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contents Fall 2018

N O R T H E R N V I R G I N I A D O G : T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A


12 V ets and Pets Are the Best

Two NOVA-area organizations that are making strides in bringing Vets and rescue dogs together by Michelle Schroeder Madigan, Christopher Baity, and Joseph Grammer

12 D E PA RT M E N T S





News, information, and products


Advise and information on canine health issues

8 DESTINATIONS On the cover:

Semper K9 Assistance Dogs Founder and Executive Director Christopher Baity.

Support local businesses


Answers to your behavior and training questions


LTD Cabins near Petersburg, WV




A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs


Hiking with your dog Adoption success stories

Read Hambone’s adoption success story on page 28.



N ew s , i nfo rm ati on , a n d p ro d u c ts

Yin & Yang Nutrition for Dogs This book details the importance of pet nutrition, and shows how to use food therapy to keep your dog naturally healthy. Author and holistic veterinarian, Dr. Judy Morgan has a passion for healing her patients with whole foods, minimizing medications and chemicals, allowing the body to heal from within. In this book she offers a variety of different menus options and easy-to-follow recipes that can be customized for your dog’s specific health issues. FIND  it: Yin-Yang-Dogs

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Handmade Happiness Your holiday gift list just got easier. Gift the perfect personalized piece of jewelry personalized with a pet’s name on it. Lemonbug jewelry is hand cut and each individual character is stamped and polished. Lemonbug loves animals just as much as you, which is why they give $1 of each purchase to animal rescue organizations. FIND  it:

Festive Holiday Flavors The Lord Jameson Dog Patisserie holiday collection consists of two unique flavors Gingerbread and Holiday Cobbler, which are set to launch October Each flavor is packaged in a beautiful holiday adorned 6 oz re-sealable pouch and retails for $14.99. These festive flavors are filled with organic fruits, vegetables, plant-based proteins, and holiday spice and will be sure to leave dogs barking (loudly!) for more. FIND  it:

Have a Socially Conscious Holiday Get them something that you can ensure didn’t harm their favorite fuzzy friend by shopping on Good Cubed. Good Cubed is the one-stop online shop for socially conscious indie beauty products. All products sold are clean and cruelty-free. Plus, a portion of every sale goes to support the end of animal testing and cruelty. FIND  it:


H E A L T H  W I S E

A d v i ce an d i n fo rm ati on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s

Pet Safety this Holiday Season


ach holiday season homes are filled with new smells, strange décor and an increase in new guests and parties. All of these traditions that make our holidays ones to remember, can be a bit stressful for our pets. Luckily, there are many ways you can acclimate your pets to the holidays so they can enjoy them as much as we do. Here are some safety precautions to consider: • Avoid tinsel! Your pet may think that it is a toy to play with and they may accidentally swallow and choke on the tiny strings. • Avoid decorating your tree with popcorn or other food items and remove all edible gifts from under the tree. • Hang small and breakable ornaments out of your pet’s reach (puppy delight!) • Have SAFE tree water: Keep chemicals out of your tree’s water. Such chemicals may keep your tree fresh longer, but they can prove very harmful to your pets. Use a tight-fitting tree skirt to help prevent your pet from drinking the tree water as it can get dirty and needle filled. • Some pets love people, and some don’t. If you are having a

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Luckily, there are many ways you can acclimate your pets to the holidays so they can enjoy them as much as we do. party, provide your pet with a quiet, comfortable, safe room. You can also consider taking your pet to a pet sitter, an overnight facility or a neighbor’s house. Sometimes even pets that love people can be overwhelmed. • Lights are very inviting, not only to you and your neighborhood, but to your curious pets as well. Make sure that all of your electrical connections and outlets are secured and concealed. Tape electrical cords to the walls or floors to ensure that your pet will not chew on them.

• Edible treats are a no-no for pet safety: Never hang edible treats: unwrapped candy canes, chocolate wreathes, etc. in dangerous places, such as near a fireplace or on a Christmas tree. Stick with Milk Bones or Meow Town Catnip! • Holiday Plants Can Be Deadly: Poinsettias, amaryllis, mistletoe, and holly are traditional and beautiful, but they are poisonous to pets. If ingested, they may cause vomiting, diarrhea, or more serious problems. • No Holiday Table Food: After you have had your fill of holiday turkey, ham, chicken, and/or roast beef make sure you throw the bones away – do not give them to your pet! Bones can splinter easily and cause damage to your pet’s throat and intestines. Bones can also become lodged in your pet’s throat, which may result in your pet not being able to breathe. Chocolate, candy, and cookies can make your pet very sick, resulting in extreme vomiting. • After your gifts are opened, quickly dispose of all plastic wrappings, ribbons, and bows that can be easily swallowed by curious pets. With a bit of planning and awareness of pet safety tips, you and your pets can enjoy a delightful and safe holiday season together. Happy Holidays! ND These tips are courtesy of the National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network! Find us at

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D o g f r ie n d ly s p a c e s in N or t her n Vi r gi ni a and beyond

Gorgeous view at Germany Valley, a scenic overlook on your drive in to LTD Cabins. (Also, opposite page, bottom.)

Maggie takes a break while hiking on the wellmarked trails covering 100 acres at LTD Cabins.

LTD Cabins: A Destination on its Own.

Petersburg, West Virginia is the perfect place to relax, or channel your inner angler. By Angela H a z u d a M ey e rs


he drive to LTD cabins is full of eye candy. From the lovely small towns, to the mesmerizing views, to country shops that beg you to pull over, to breweries that call your name for a quick pit stop and the way-too-fun-to-drive twisty, winding roads—there are so many places to explore. But when you turn onto the gravel road, come through the gate and down the lane, pulling up to Coyote Run Cabin, you’ll find a picture-perfect cabin, perched atop a crest, peering out over the valley, hot tub perfectly placed to maximize the view and you will think to yourself: this is the destination. So yes, you could use the lovely LTD cabins as a home base for your tourism and

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travels of course, but you should also consider making LTD cabins your sole destination, it’s that perfect. The LTD Cabins are perfectly well-appointed, down to the dog bowls greeting you at the front door and the complimentary jar of s’mores essentials suggests you drop your gear and gather round the fire pit. The gorgeous surroundings combine with a long list of cabin amenities making it the perfect place to stay put during your entire visit. Inside and out, the cabins are gorgeous, thoughtfully wellmaintained and cater to your every need. Inside: Past the front door of the cabin you are greeted by cozy décor which invites

you to relax. Each detail clearly considered, making it easy to feel right at home in your home away from home. There are big oversized, cozy chairs and couches, all the cookware you need, a washer and dryer, sparkling bathrooms, a plethora of blankets and towels, as well as starter supplies of paper products and cleaning necessities. Outside: You’ll find a grill, fire pit, deck, hammocks, hot tub, chairs, horseshoes, a front porch and seriously gorgeous views. Also impressive is the detailed guidebook for how to use the house amenities like Direct TV and gas fireplace as well as tons of information on attractions in the area. Surrounding Grounds: Each cabin has a trail head that interconnects with the rest of the on-property trail system – which consists of 93-acres. You can easily spend one day exploring around the area, hiking a number of miles throughout the grounds. Not to be missed are the stocked fishing ponds. At the base of Coyote Run, there are a series of interconnected ponds, each getting larger as you proceed from the upper ponds to the lower ponds. The lower ponds are complete with 2 lovely gazebo type areas that include seating (one has shade). They are a gorgeous place to spend the day, watching the deer, ducks and frogs or channeling your inner angler. Should you choose to leave the property there are a host of options to enjoy in the nearby areas and towns:

Head North: Start your day with a great cup of Joe and a sweet treat at Southside Depotin Petersburg. This dog-friendly location is also the home of the Grant County CVB and a “can’t be missed” country shop that would take hours to fully explore. Petersburg is also home to many civil war points of interest. From here, head out on a hike and take your pick from a wealth of dog-friendly options nearby: North Fork Mountain Trail, Dolly Sods (a gorgeous elevated plateau, a great option is Bear Town Preserve and trail head for hiking), Blackwater Falls or Seneca Rocks (a well-regarded rock climbing destination which also has great hiking trails and views). That evening, take in a well-earned brew from Stumptown Ales or Blackwater Brewing in Davis or head to Thomas for a craft beer at Mountain State Brewery or enjoy nightly music at the Purple Fiddle (the porch is dog-friendly)

Maggie, relaxing inside the pristine Coyote’s Run cabin. She found many favorite napping locations.

Head South: If you love a scenic drive, head south on South Mill Creek Rd to Franklin, pick up Rt 33 towards Seneca Rocks. On your way you’ll be treated to lovely farms, winding roads, and an amazing view at Germany Valley overlook. You’ll find a few country stores where you can pick up an area favorite, the pepperoni roll, as well as a couple antique stores. The Seneca Rocks Discovery center is worth the stop. The grounds are dog-friendly and while the inside is not, it is worth stopping in to explore the very interactive, informative visitor’s center. At this same intersection you can also pit stop at Yokum’s or the Harper’s Old Country Store. Pop in and enjoy a step back in time. Continue up 28N for



D o g f r ie n d ly s p a c e s in N or t her n Vi r gi ni a and beyond

One of the relaxing docks down by the ponds, inviting you to bring a book, a fishing pole and an unscheduled afternoon.

wonderful views of ridges of rocks that run through the hillsides, called Champe Rocks.

Side notes Also nearby, but not dog-friendly are NRocks (a no experience necessary Italian rock climbing experience called Via Ferrata), Seneca Caverns and Smokehole Caverns. Additionally, early December is Old Time Christmas in Petersburg. It’s a great way to enjoy the holidays in a new and special way, from theatre productions to horse drawn sleigh rides, A Festival of Lights as well as hot cocoa, cookies, fires and fun through the downtown shops. Driving in if you need to stop, Lost River or Wardensville Garden Market are great options, both in Wardersville. You can stretch your legs in Baker at rock Cliff Lake and Trout Pond. Grocery stores and other necessities are located in Petersburg and Moorefield. Whether you choose to leave our car parked for your entire stay and simply enjoy all of the wonderful onsite amenities of the LTD cabins or head out to enjoy any or all of the above listed attractions, you will not regret prioritizing a mountain getaway to LTD this fall. You can easily book online at ND

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A gl i m ps e i n to the l i fe of No rth e rn V i rg i n i a d o g s

Cage-free daycare, boarding, grooming and more. Five great locations in Northern Virginia. Visit The Prize Pack Winner (#1) receives a NOVADog Magazine limited-edition T-shirt and a gift certificate from A Dog’s Day Out.

1. TRIXIE & MAESON loved by Michael & Sharon in Burke, VA



2. DASHER loved by Rosario in


Woodbridge, VA

3. MINNIE loved by Jianne in Arlington, VA


Submit your dog’s photo on our homepage, and see the slide show of all submitted dog photos at www.

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Christopher Baity of Semper K9, rescues shelter dogs and trains them to be service dogs at no cost for disabled service members. “I’m using my Marine Corps and my post-deployment challenges to assist other veterans overcome their own difficulties,” Baity said. He and his wife, Amanda, founded Semper K9 in 2014.

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Vets and Pets Are the Best Two NOVA-area organizations that are making strides in bringing Vets and rescue dogs together B y Mi c h e l l e S c h ro e d e r M a d ig a n , C h r is t o p h e r B a it y, and Joseph Grammer


retty much everyone in the world can appreciate dogs. They love us unconditionally—they look out for us, they wait for us to get home just so they can lick our faces. They’re the members of our family who play the most and complain the least (although when they need to go out at 4 in the morning, it can be a little rough).

On a different note, we can all appreciate our warriors in the U.S. Armed Forces. They look out for us too, and they do a tough job without any cameras or glamour. They protect people for a living, no matter what, even if it hurts them to do it. Now that we’ve established how crucial these groups are on their own, let’s take a look at the love and healing that arises from their bond together. The relationship between a Vet and their pet can be a special thing, and it’s time we highlighted that. We’ll take a look at two NOVA-area organizations that are making strides in bringing Vets and rescue dogs together: Pets for Vets and Semper K9.

Pets for Vets Veterans challenged with PTSD, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or other behavioral health issues might not use prosthetics or adaptive medical devices, but their invisible injuries can be equally painful. These neurological and psychological wounds are real, and they can prevent Veterans from engaging in simple, daily activities like walking to a park, attending a party, or going out to eat. These challenges significantly decrease quality of life for our nation’s warriors. Clinical studies have shown that a specially trained Compan-


ion Animal can help manage psychological or traumatic injury. A Companion Animal can reduce stress, depression, hyper vigilance, and anxiety, leading to significantly increased quality of life. The Washington DC Metro Area Chapter of Pets for Vets uses the power of the human-animal bond to heal Veterans’ emotional wounds and offer a second chance for shelter animals. Volunteer Trainers rescue and train dogs (as well as other animals) from DC Metro Area shelters to become Companion Animals for local Servicemen and -women who are still coping with traumatic service experiences, or with the transition to civilian life. Pets for Vets Volunteer Trainers must finish an extensive program (in addition to their Karen Pryor Academy or Certified Professional Dog Trainer Certifications) to learn how to best communicate with injured Veterans. They work to isolate the Veteran’s unique needs and tailor the Companion Animal to those needs, so that the dog becomes an integral part of a Veteran’s recovery journey. The Trainers meet with each Veteran several times prior to selecting a shelter animal. Companion Animals may be trained to awaken a Veteran from frequent nightmares, create a “buffer zone” in front of their Veteran in a crowd, or just be an attentive listener when needed. “I get to use my skills as a trainer in the happiest of manners—I get to choose a great rescue dog and I get to train it properly, so that the Vet doesn’t have to worry. It’s a trainer’s dream scenario.” Pets for Vets Trainer Desiree Lomer-Clarke has had the opportunity to complete the Pets for Vets training and

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work with DC-area Veterans, matching them with their perfect companion. Desiree is the founder of Arlington Dog Nanny, an enhanced walking service that offers emotional and intellectual enrichment for their clients, along with daily exercise and playtime. Desiree’s most recent case included a Veteran and her family with two young children. The Veteran experiences PTSD, panic attacks, anxiety, and regular nightmares. Having a Companion Dog by her side will likely reduce the symptoms of these issues and potentially eliminate some of them. Desiree especially enjoys working with the family because she “loves their enthusiasm about something I care about so deeply.” The cost of creating a successful match between a Veteran and their new companion is approximately $6,000. This includes the costs of adopting the animal, veterinary services, spay/neuter, microchipping, training aides, boarding during training, and a Welcome Kit that’s delivered with the companion to their new home. The Welcome Kit contains all the things a new friendship will need to succeed: bowls, beds, treats, toys, and lots of love. Pets for Vets Washington DC Metro keeps their operating costs relatively low by operating as an all-volunteer organization. There are no administrative costs to the organization, so all donations are applied to creating positive and lasting companionship for both the animal and the Veteran. “I believe that the organization offers a rewarding opportunity for all area Trainers. It’s a chance to gain additional training in areas that are not ordinarily available to them,” says Pets for

Pets for Vets Washington DC Metro keeps their operating costs relatively low by operating as an all-volunteer organization. Vets Washington DC Metro Chapter Director Michelle Schroeder Madigan. It’s also an opportunity “to make a real and lasting positive change in not only the life of a shelter animal, but that of a Veteran in our community who has suffered for their service to our country.”

Semper K9 Combat Veteran-founded and -operated, Semper K9’s mission is to enhance the quality of life for wounded or critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families by providing them assistance dogs free of charge. These dogs come from shelters, rescue operations, and families, but are then trained to assist Service Members with psychiatric alert and mobility challenges. Semper K9 also trains and provides facility dogs and comfort/ crisis dogs for eligible programs and institutions. All Semper K9 dogs undergo a rigorous regimen that includes cross-training in therapy.


Most of Semper K9’s service dogs in-training are named in honor or memory of a Veteran or Service Member Labeled “Mental Health-Mobility Service Dogs,” these highly capable canines are trained to the specific needs of their disabled Veteran. The dogs can respond to and interrupt behaviors related to a disability, for example distracting the Veteran or physically removing them from a situation. Other forms of assistance include seeking out a caregiver or family member within the home,

or locating and retrieving medical equipment or personal items. Picking up specific objects, responding to emotional outbursts, and turning on lights have become common tasks that Semper K9 service dogs are able to offer. Semper K9 utilizes K9 Coach volunteers to train service dog candidates. These volunteers train their service dog in-training for 6-18 months. The training is conducted in the human’s normal day-to-day lives, including commutes, co-worker interactions, and family events. Service dogs also attend weekly training classes at Camp Semper K9 or other training environments around the community. With the help of over 150 volunteers and 25 K9 coaches, Semper K9 has placed more than 30 Service dogs around the country and abroad, including Japan and Hawaii. Most of Semper K9’s service dogs in-training are named in honor or memory of a Veteran or Service Member. These “namesakes” are selected through a nomination process that considers military service and actions after service. Many are named in honor of a Service Member who made the ultimate sacrifice, losing their life in combat, but also those who survived and now give back to their Veteran community. One volunteer stated, “When a Soldier or Marine dies in combat, their name stops being mentioned. This is a way for their memory to live on.” Veterans who receive service dogs complete their final training within the local community, including attending events in DC and Baltimore: Awesome Con, GI Film Festival, Washington Continued on page 18

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Getting Social With


Follow us on social media for event updates, and of course lots of pictures.

Twitter: @novadogmag Instagram: novadogmagazine

We asked you to show us your dressed up pets to enter to win some tickets to this year’s Bark Ball and we got these gorgeous shots posted.Â


Meet the Semper k9 Trainers Bonnie G.

My daughter wanted to volunteer with SemperK9, and so someone had to drive her to class. I’ve been hooked since the first puppy kiss there! The most challenging part of it is answering strangers’ questions when I’m in a hurry. The most rewarding part is seeing the changes in a Veteran’s face from pre-ServiceDog to with-Service-Dog. I would tell someone that is thinking of getting involved with SemperK9 to go to lots of classes, work with different dogs, and take short-term coaching opportunities to build up their confidence. It’s not that hard!

Kate J.

I have always had a passion for dogs. Several years ago, I watched a documentary about how service dogs helped those in need. I started looking for a service dog organization that needed volunteers and found Semper K9. The fact that they help US Veterans made it all the better. I love the bond that I’ve created with my dog Morti. If I leave the room or go outside without him, he comes looking for me. He is constantly looking at me for direction, validation, or praise. He and I have a unique relationship that I have never experienced with another dog. The training is as difficult as it is rewarding. Practice, practice, practice is the key. When they look at you with their cute puppy dog eyes, it’s hard not to give in to them. I can’t do that because I am training this dog for a Veteran who needs the dog to perform consistently. One day, I was working at my desk and focused on a project, oblivious to Morti who was lying on the floor next to me. I accidently dropped my pen, but before I could move, he had retrieved the pen and given it to me. I was like, “Wow, he gets it.” It was the first time this happened in a non-training environment—I will never forget it.

Nationals games, Baltimore Ravens games, etc. Veterans have received their service dogs in grand fashion, including on the field at a New York Giants game. These receptions are meant to immerse the Veteran in a real-life situation to prepare them for normal life outside the control of the Semper K9 trainers. Often these events are requested by the Veteran or family, since they have missed attending them as a family or in their normal day-to-day life. This sets the stage for the Veteran’s relationship with the service dog. When Veterans begin training with the program, they go through a fast-paced version of what the service dogs have been in for the previous 12 months. Veterans will train with new puppies and then graduate to older service dogs in-training before finishing placement with their specific service dog. This pairing and training process for these veterans may take up to six months. After completing certification and standards testing, they graduate as a group as a service dog team. These training standards include over 200 hours of instruction and practical training in proper service dog handling, care, and obedience. Many additional classes offered are dog first aid, mental-health first aid, and navigating the Americans with Disabilities Act. All training and services are provided at no cost to the Veteran, and all training is conducted by Semper K9 volunteers and staff.

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Seeing the dog and their new Veteran together and knowing that you have made a huge difference in someone’s life is the most rewarding part. It’s a fulltime job, but so worth it in the end when you see the difference it’s made. I was in the checkout line once and dropped my change all over the floor. Lizzy proceeded to pick up the change while other people in the checkout line watched in awe. Lizzy didn’t have to be asked—she just wanted to please.

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Semper K9 currently graduates as many as 20 service dog teams each year but plans to move up to around 48 teams. Intended for completion in Summer 2019, the 33-acre “Camp Semper K9” lies adjacent to Marine Corps Base, Quantico, and will host an 8,000 square-foot training facility for all Veterans and participants to work with service dogs in a controlled, yet natural environment. Amenities will include outdoor classrooms, living spaces, and recreational and therapeutic activity centers. Semper K9 will keep exploring better ways to help Veterans while also rescuing dogs who need a loving home.

A Bond That Benefits Both Pets for Vets and Semper K9 train and facilitate loving bonds between Veterans and their service dogs. This is not a small or easy task—it takes a great deal of time and effort to reach out to Vets, find rescue dogs, and pair them together in a way that can help them both. We all know that dogs can be avenues for our own healing and comfort, but we can’t forget that we also improve our dogs’ lives. In particular, these NOVA-area Veterans and Service Members are giving rescue dogs a newfound purpose and an endless source of love—in other words, these dogs get people who need and care about them just as much as they care about people. The work of organizations like Pets for Vets and Semper K9

can remind us that humans and dogs are engaged in a symbiotic, familial relationship. This has been true ever since we first domesticated these beautiful pets, and it is true of our country’s Veterans and their service dogs. ND Please contact the Washington DC Metro Area Chapter of Pets for Vets for additional information about how you can help their mission: Michelle Schroeder Madigan proudly serves as Chapter Director. Pets for Vets Trainers are offered a stipend for their time and all related expenses are covered—they also have the option to advertise their affiliation with the organization. Please also visit for any walking services you might need. Semper K9 is a 501 c(3) non-profit that operates nationwide and internationally. It was founded in 2014 by USMC Combat Veteran (and Military Working Dog Handler) Christopher Baity and American Service Dogs Magazine publisher Amanda Baity. Please learn more at Joseph Grammer is Managing Editor for NOVADog Magazine. He lives in Alexandria, VA, but grew up in New Jersey with a bunch of adopted dogs, including a mutt (Blizzard) who he found on the street.

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H an g i n g wi th DC Me tro ’s d o g -c ra z y c ro wd

When you Support Local Business, You Receive Professional Care


olidays are generally a time for family, friends, fun and travel. Sometimes our pets can join us on these fun excursions, and sometimes it’s more comfortable for them to stay at home. When you find yourself in the need of pet care, you are faced with a myriad of choices. Family members, friends, or neighbors, local teenagers, and you can also consider the many local professional pet care companies throughout the area. As you sort through all of your many options, some questions to ask are: 1. What kind of care do my pets need? 2. Are my pets taking medication or do they have other more complicated instructions for care? 3. I s the person I am asking capable of taking good care of my pets? Are they knowledgeable? Are they able to walk and control my pets? 4. What would the care provider do if one of my pets escaped? 5. What back-up procedures would be in place if the provider I ask isn’t available or has an emergency? 6. Am I asking a large favor of them during a busy time in their lives or during the busy holiday season?

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7. D  o they have enough time to dedicate to ensuring my pets have enough companionship while I am away? When considering these choices, it is important to evaluate your needs and the needs of the others you are involving in the care of your pets. From a professional perspective, the National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network (NCAPPSN) is a professional networking group with a mission to promote professional pet sitting in the DC Metro area, including Northern Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. NCAPPSN members are our industry’s true professionals who adhere to industry professional standards that set them apart from friends and neighbors. A professional pet sitter is trained in pet first aid and CPR and knows the first signs of illness and distress in pets. They are bonded and insured, which is important for someone you’re trusting to be alone in your home. Because it is their profession, they have an eye to detail to both the pet and your home. A professional pet sitter can also give your home a lived-in look by opening and closing blinds and alternating lights, as well as bring in mail and newspapers, water plants and take out trash and recycling. Professional pet sitters are thoroughly prepared

Shirlington and Old Town Locations


for the job before your trip. They ensure they have emergency contacts, vet information and other house details such as where the main water shut-off and the fuse box are located in case of emergency. Emergencies that local pet sitters have reported over the years include: • A pipe burst flooding the home. The pet sitter shut off the main water valve, contacted the emergency contact and waited for help – all while ensuring the pets were safe and dry. •A tree fell and damaged the fence. The pet sitter ensured that the pet was secure and could not get out of the yard. • The pet sitter arrived at a house when the family was out of town and found the front door wide open. Before entering, the pet sitter called 911 and waited for police. After the house was checked by the police, the pet sitter was able to get inside to care for the pets. • The pet sitter showed up at a house on a hot summer day where the heat in the house was too high. They found the battery of the thermostat was dead. The pet sitter replaced the battery so the thermostat was operational to cool off the house. These are just a few of the scenarios that professional pet sitters have encountered. They are fully prepared with back-up systems and procedures to ensure safety and well-being of your pets. Here are some things you can do to help make sure your pets are in the best care possible when you are away: • Hire a Local professional pet care company. Using dog walkers and pet sitters recruited from online national service pools may be convenient, but many of them are not been carefully vetted by their employer or you prior to providing care. • A criminal background check should be the starting point of hiring a reliable pet sitter. • Make sure the pet care company you select follows professional Standards of Care as referenced on the NCAPPSN website. • Provide all necessary information to your pet sitter so that they can do the job you expect. Make sure you provide the latest information on medications and feeding. Your pets are family. Hire someone who feels this way too and has dedicated their profession to them. If you plan to travel, a professional pet sitter will provide you with the assurance that your pets are in the best possible hands while you’re away and that your house is watched over. Find a great pet care professional at: Happy Holidays from the National Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters Network! ND

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E X P E R T  A D V I C E

A n s w e rs to y ou r b e h a v i o r a n d tra i n i n g q u e s ti o n s

Strengthening Canines with A Water Treadmill by Char les R ich a r d son


Dog’s Day Out started operating 14 years ago, offering the residents of Northern Virginia dog daycare, boarding, and grooming services. In 2018, we decided to add something special to our core services and provide our clients a new method of helping their dogs. The Oasis canine water treadmill is the end result: an exciting tool that can be used for exercise and therapy. We are exploring partnerships with veterinarians so they can use the treadmill for rehabilitation and therapy of dogs in their care. We believe this treadmill can offer you and your loving dogs several benefits: • An alternative to walking your pup in bad weather, or when you just don’t have time. • Improved flexibility and range of motion in older dogs. • Low impact exercise on your dog’s joints compared to a traditional treadmill or walking on hard surfaces. • Reduced stiffness and soreness in joints and legs, for dogs that may be healing from an injury.

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• An excellent cardiovascular workout. • Weight loss for dogs that need to shed a few pounds. When the canine water treadmill was first installed in our Springfield facility (located at 5425-B Port Royal Road), our team couldn’t wait to try it out. Initially, we used the canine water treadmill with my very own dog Cocoa, a female Labradoodle, followed by my 10-pound Papillion and 100-pound male Husky. Small, medium, large, and extra-large dogs can use the canine water treadmill—we’ve seen them all! The first trial relied on the bond of trust my dogs and me had built up between us. After all, not every dog is keen on getting in a tank and using a brand-new machine. However, just like they got used to taking car rides, my dogs quickly began to recognize the genuine fun they experienced with their new activity. I believe this was partly because I stayed with all three the whole time, and in fact we require owners to stay with their dog during their sessions. Repetition is the key here, and now my dogs love the water treadmill. A little about my beloved Labradoodle Cocoa is that she is

14 years old. Cocoa has always been a super-happy dog, but in the last few years I noticed her leg joints becoming stiffer. She struggled more with these pains and became slightly overweight. After using the canine water treadmill, she definitely has more pep in her step again, and she’s lost a few pounds. In conjunction with the treadmill, I did also scale back what she was eating. As we all know, extra weight in dogs (like people) can cause health problems they would not otherwise encounter. The water treadmill turned out to be a fun and low-impact way to counteract her weight gain and boost her energy. When Cocoa is on the canine water treadmill and the water is about chest high, most of her weight is supported by the fluid around her, which means less stress on her joints and more enjoyable exercise. This has become a win-win for Cocoa and the rest of our family. Believe me, exercising was never one of Cocoa’s favorite things to do, but now she likes being inside the canine water treadmill. It’s wonderful to watch your dog trust you enough to enter the water, conquer the unknown, and find pleasure in a new activity. Plus, I’m happy she’s getting all the benefits that come with water-based exercise. Some helpful features worth mentioning about the canine water treadmill include adjustable water levels, an electric water heater, adjustable treadmill speeds and inclines, and four water jets that can increase the resistance in a session. The treadmill’s dimensions are 78” x 32” x 32”, and it has a touch-screen control unit to meet each dog’s unique needs. After every dog has used the canine water treadmill, we clean the inside to ensure that it is fresh and ready to go for the next happy camper. We also monitor the chlorine/pH levels daily and maintain a log. An A Dog’s Day Out staff member is always pres-


To schedule a reservation, please contact our Springfield facility by phone at 703-321-DOGS (3647) or by email We offer 20-minute or 30-minute sessions, and clients can purchase single sessions as well as 5, 10, and 20-session passes. We offer discounted pricing to existing clients. We also encourage anyone interested in using our canine water treadmill to visit or call our Springfield facility to speak with a knowledgeable staff member.

ent while a dog is inside the canine water treadmill. After your dog is finished, clients are welcome to use our dog wash for a discounted price so they can rinse their dogs off before taking them home. A Dog’s Day Out’s self-serve dog wash provides shampoo, conditioner, and towels for our clients. (The mess is left to our dog-loving team to clean up.) We love the chance to give pet parents a new and exciting challenge for them to conquer and enjoy with their family dogs. After all, we live for dogs! And the canine water treadmill is one more way we can help dogs lead better lives. ND Please visit if you’d like to learn more. You can find A Dog’s Day Out on Twitter @ADogsDayOut and Instagram adogsdayout. We also have individual Facebook pages for our Springfield, Vienna, Ashburn, Alexandria, Haymarket, and Van Dorn locations.


Special thanks to our calendar sponsor Fur-Get Me Not.

NOVEMBER November 10 4th Annual Paws & Claus Fundraising Event! Award-winning pet photographer Ellen Zangla will be taking professional photos of pets with Santa on our rustic Ski lodgethemed set. The event will feature a great group of vendors for holiday shopping for people and pets as well as food and music from local companies. Photo booth with costumes so you can take fun pictures with your friends, family and pets while you wait in line. Pictures printed immediately so you can take them home with you and a web-optimized version for holiday cards! The donation is $30 per picture with Santa, cash or check only. Proceeds benefit Loudoun County Animal Services. Please register in advance, 30 minute time slots starting at 9am through 2PM. Email with your availability and preferred times. We will email you back with a confirmed time slot.

Event Location: Woofie’s44200 Waxpool Rd, Ste 137, Ashburn, VA 20147

November 10 Paws & Whiskers Bazaar Party: Enjoy us for a pet filled holiday bazaar and party for both humans and your fur babies. We will have pet related vendors to get a jump start on holiday shopping. Pet pictures with Santa, pet treats, holiday costume contest, and more. Admission is FREE, public is invited. So please make time to join us 11:00am - 4:00pm. This event benefits the Fredericksburg SPCA. Event Location: Hurkamp Park, 500 William Street, Fredericksburg, VA 22401

November 22 Kongs-giving 2018 is a fun and meaningful way to give back on a day when we are all remembering how important it is to be thankful for our blessings. Help enrich the life of our shelter animals this Thanksgiving with our annual Kongs-giving celebration. While our adoptables may not

be sitting down to a hearty meal of turkey and cranberry sauce (please note that pets should NOT eat cranberry sauce either), you can still improve their day by providing them with some delicious and entertaining treats for Thanksgiving and the rest of the Giving Season. Register Now! How You Can Give Join us on Thanksgiving from noon to 1:30pm. Event Location: Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 4101 Eisenhower Avenue Alexandria, VA 22304

DECEMBER December 1 Howlidays at Mount Vernon Photo Station Bring your pet to Mount Vernon Estate for a special holiday photo opportunity! Located on the estate grounds at Bowling Green, there will be special photos session for your pups. 11:00am - 2:00pm, the photo session is included in your price of admission.

December 1

Our Courses Help You Get Prepared, Save Money, and Even Save a Life.

Scottish Christmas Walk one of the area’s oldest traditions! OldTown, Alexandria VA Join Operation Paws for Homes as we walk in the 48th consecutive year of the Campagna Center’s Scottish Christmas Walk Parade. Enjoy marching units filled with the magnificent tartans of Scottish Clans, the stirring sound of Scottish bagpipes and drums, Scottish dancers, reenactment groups, Scottie dogs, dignitaries, classic cars, Santa Claus, and much more. The parade begins at St. Asaph and Wolfe Streets and concludes at Market Square (301 King St, Alexandria, VA 22314 ) with a massed band concert. The parade will take place rain or shine! from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm

– Pet CPR & First Aid

December 1

Tools and Knowledge for Exceptional Pet Parents

– PetPREP: Healthy Ages & Stages

– PetPREP Dental Care – Emergency PET PREParedness – And More!



Courses Offered at Becky’s Pet Care SPRINGFIELD • 7200 Fullerton Rd • # B-200 HERNDON • 33-B Carlisle Drive 24 Northern Virginia Dog

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Join us for our most popular day of the year, our 6th Annual Santa Paws event. The amazingly talented Carina of Hounds & Hearth will be snapping the photos for us again. We have our favorite backdrop yet and you’ll have the opportunity to get photos with or without our special visitor, the Grinch! We will also have local vendors, rescues, holiday treats and in store specials. Join us from 10 AM – 4 PM. Event Location: Happy Hound19352 Promenade Dr, Leesburg, VA 20176

December 3 Holiday Photos with Your Pet: The Big Bad Woof & Adoption Event Get your annual Holiday Photo with your Pet. Be sure to stop by to visit with Santa from 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM, and have your holiday photo taken with the whole family, fur babies and all!

Our mobile adoption vehicle will be on site from 12:00 PM - 3:00 PM with adoptable cats and dogs from our Oglethorpe Street adoption center. Meet, adopt, and go home with your new best friend. Photos by Pooch Portrait Studios. $20 donation includes a printed photo in magnet frame and digital copy. Location: The Big Bad Woof , 6960 Maple St NW Washington, DC

December 4 Jackson 20 Yappy Hour (runs on all Tuesdays from 4-7PM) 480 King St, Old Town Alexandria.

December 6 Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. Waiting is outdoors, so please dress for the weather. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers. Waiting is outside so dress appropriately for the weather. Rabies shot: $10.00 24PetWatch MiniChip: $35.00: Event Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Event Location: Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington, VA 22206

December 10 Baby-Ready Pets : Every year, thousands of animals are turned into shelters by parents concerned about how their pet may affect the health and safety of their new baby. Any pet can have undesirable, although natural reactions to a new baby. New sounds, smells, and activities surrounding an infant may cause a pet to see the baby as competition, prey, or even a toy. Baby-Ready Pets offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival. Event Time: 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm. Event Location: Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington, VA 22206. This event is Free.

December 9 Photo’s with Santa! Support PWC Dogs by coming out to The K9 Gunner Memorial Dog Park and get your pups picture taken with Santa from 10 AM – 2 PM ! The cost is a $10.00 donation and all proceeds go towards dog park maintenance and improvements. Event Location: K-9 Gunner Memorial Dog Park, 13000 Minnieville Rd, Woodbridge, VA.

HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y

Handmade murals dot the Anacostia River Trail, they depict the heritage as well as the flora and fauna of the area.

Anacostia River Trail Segment 2 By Angela Hazuda Meyers


his segment of the Anacostia River Trail is a wonderful 8 mile loop that starts on the East Bank Trail, heads south crosses the Frederick Douglas Bridge and the return brings you up the West Bank Trail and back across the Benning Road Bridge.

About Your Guide Angela Meyers is the owner of both NOVADog Magazine and a lovely pup named Maggie.

To start the hike, there is street parking at the intersection of Benning Road and Anacostia Ave near the Anacostia Recreation Center. The trail starts down along the river and is very well-marked. As you travel along the East Bank Trail heading south, you will be treated to original, hand-painted murals along the river bank. As you continue along the trail through Anacostia Park, the trail hugs the river for the majority of the trail, providing views of the Gangplank Mariana, the Washington Yacht Club, and the Navy Yards. There are very few turns along the trail, but each are well-marked with substantial signage,

follow signs towards Frederick Douglas Bridge. The trail is minimally used, when you do encounter people along the trail, they are usually bikers. It is wonderful to have the solitude of exploring the trail on your own. When you reach the end of the East Bank Trail, you will be at the entrance to the Frederick Douglas Bridge to the left. Take the trail to the left and then access the bridge by taking the high trail that goes up and over on the bridge, not under the bridge. As you cross the bridge you will be at the halfway point. Immediately across the bridge you’ll find a hidden


HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y

Excellent trail markers provide great direction on both sides of the shore.

One of the many Yacht Clubs along the shoreline of the Potomac.

sis: Bardo Brewery. Invited to overtake the space and provide amenities to the nearby residents, Bardo went above and beyond simply occupying the space. They created a unique, artful, outdoor beer garden that can’t be missed, and it’s dog-friendly. Upon entering, you are immediately greeted by a car atop a shipping container and a Bardo sign – and it is this moment you know you found something special. Bardo Brewery has a long and varied history in the DC Metro. This newest incarna-

tion showcases their agility and highlights their creative, funky side. There are new areas to explore around every corner, from being greeted by large than life art while visiting the loo, to the corn hole games under the shade of construction netting, to the use of reclaimed wood throughout the entire space. This construction space was thoughtfully redefined, providing an inviting, unpretentious, alluring and comfortable escape. Their amenities include a long list of tasty “guest-made” brews,

Did you paddle it? Please send us pictures of you with your dogs! (Include your name, your dog’s name, and your dog’s breed/age.) Or share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@ NOVADogMag), or Instagram (novadogmagazine). 26 Northern Virginia Dog

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rotating food vendors (often delicious BBQ and Pizza), waterfront tables, fenced dog park, outdoor entertainment including corn hole and music and it’s dog-friendly. My visit was all too short, but it shall be repeated. They are only open til the weather turns, so plan to soon and check their website for days and hours before your visit. After this perfect pitstop, you can head out of the brewery by exiting through the fences along the water. This will take you past the new apartments and the new DC Sails kiosk along the waterfront. (**If you stay along the street, you will continue down the sidewalk, past Bardo and past the first apartment building, then take a right toward the water until you connect with the pier, where you will turn left onto the pier to continue the trail.) Continuing along the pier will take you past the new construction of apartments, shops, restaurants and boat rentals. If you recall from our last issue, the Capitol SUP DC and the Yards Marina are dog-friendly. If you want to take a paddle this is a great time. You are passing through the Navy Yards now, you’ll see the Nationals Stadium to your left, you’ll pass through some lovely landscaped gardens. These gardens are complete with lounge chairs, a shady canopy of trees, interesting plant life and

Bardo Entrance.

are a great spot for a nice rest and water break. After rejuvenating, as you continue along the pier, you will find you are now permitted to pass along the front of the navy facility and continue out the north side (this was previously not possible), so stay on this trail and continue north along the water through the various sets of gates. You will hug the water, passing the Washington Yacht club and the District Yacht Club. The trail will connect with the road for about 1/2 mile, when it returns to the trail you will head towards a bridge shortly

Ariel view of Bardo Grounds.

afterwards, as you pass under the bridge you want to take the dark red wooden bridge to your right that escalates over the water, but not across the water. This trail will keep you on the west bank trail. You will continue along with trail hugging the water for another mileish, then you will pass RFK Stadium. After another ½ mile, you will also pass the entrances for Heritage and Kingman islands (see the next issue for detailed hike notes for Heritage and Kingman Islands). The segment after the Navy Yards through here is secluded, you will pass very few people on the trail. Stay on the trail following it until you are able to access the bridge to take you across Benning Road. You will turn right to cross Benning Road bridge and immediately you will be at the intersection of Benning Road and Anacostia Ave. You’ll turn right on Anacostia Ave straight back to your car. ND


Distance: 8 mile loop, remove the gravel trails Best time to go: Anytime, if you want to enjoy a few hours at Bardo, plan to leave the trailhead by 10AM. Access: Street parking (free) at the intersection of Benning Road and Anacostia Ave. Rated: 1 Paw. The trail is easy and flat, it is a bit long, but with a nice break at the halfway point it is still a very doable and relaxing walk.

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert


WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Rescued Dogs Are Waiting for Their Forever Homes Looking to add a family member? A Forever Home Rescue has big dogs, little dogs, gentle dogs and playful dogs ready to be adopted! Can't adopt? Save a life by fostering, volunteering or donating.

Hambone Loved by Alice Park

Adopted: November 15, 2015 Adopted from: A Forever Home, Chantilly, VA How did he get his name? I think it was given to him by his original owner. It just fit him so well, I didn’t change it! Background info:


From what I know, his original owner passed away and he was given up by the owner’s family, who couldn’t take him in. Hambone was grossly overweight (his old vet records say that he was 57 lbs at one point), and he may have been in some sort of neglectful situation as well.

We picked him because: Look at that face! I know people tend

not to adopt seniors, particularly ones with health problems, but something about his chubby face and smile spoke to me. Originally I suggested him as a pick for another friend of mine who loves Dachshunds, but the more I dwelled on his picture, the more I wanted him for myself.  

Favorite activity together: If not napping, then going for wagon rides along the trails surrounding our neighborhood.

Favorite treat or snack: Peanut butter. Also strawberries! Favorite toy: Pinky, his pink tennis ball that his foster Suzanne gave him.

I love him because: He is unconditionally loving and wonderful.

He is absolutely adorable and does the cutest things—no matter how down I’m feeling at the end of my day, when I come home and see his wiggle-butt wagging away and a shoe or toy in his mouth as a present for me, my spirits instantly get lifted. No matter what I want to do, he will always join me at my side. ND

A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation is a non-profit dog rescue group that operates in the Northern Virginia / Washington Metropolitan area., @aforeverhome.

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NOVADog Magazine Fall 2018  

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NOVADog Magazine Fall 2018  

The Ultimate Guide to Canine-Inspired Living in the DC Metro

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