novadog Winter 2018
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
Also Inside: The High-Tech World of Pet Prosthetics On The Cutting Edge of Veterinary Surgery Start Your Barking: the Super Pet Expo is Coming to Town!
Digital Dog Days A look at technology that fascinates us and engages our pets The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher is the ticket for your tireless pooch who canâ€™t get enough of catching and retrieving balls.
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Your pet is our priority. And that’s why we’re committed to delivering world-class surgery and physical rehabilitation in a facility that provides comfort to you and your furry family member when you need it most. Our renowned medical team specializes in: • Advanced orthopedic surgery • Soft tissue procedures • Plastic & reconstructive surgery • Minimally invasive surgery • Physical rehabilitation • Pain management • Conditioning, weight loss & more! Let’s work together to restore your pet’s health and quality of life. Contact us today or speak with your veterinarian about a referral. Vienna@VSCVets.com 703-242-6000 Leesburg@VSCVets.com 703-771-2100 Winchester@VSCVets.com 540-450-0177
appy New Year! I hope that 2018 is a wonderful year for you and each of your furry companions. Within this year’s Winter issue we are diving into the expanding world of Dog Tech. As we started going over the research, we were amazed at all the cool stuff that has been developed for our faithful companions. We approached the topic thinking we had pretty much seen it all—but we were definitely wrong. We found a lot of things we’d never even heard of before! So, while it’s still easy to get by with a simple leash and poop bag for your pooch, we hope you enjoy all the gear and technology you’ll find on the coming pages. It’s a whole world of interesting advancements to keep your dog happy, healthy, and full of energy. Everything from apps to fitness and health monitors, from new foods and surgical advancements to new grooming technology. Caring for your dog has just moved up to a new level. We also talked to Derrick Campana, founder of Animal Ortho Care in Loudoun County. Dr. Campana has been making waves in the medical pet tech industry with
his custom-made pet prostheses and braces, and he’s still going strong. Whether it’s helping a dog walk again, or even getting an elephant back on four legs, Animal Ortho is dedicated to healing animals. It’s also that time of year when the lack of daylight and the cold temperatures encourage us to curl up on the couch with a blanket, the remote control, and our furry pals for the evening. However, the final leg of the CCT is featured in the Hit the Trail this issue. This hike is gorgeous enough to pull you off the couch and get you moving. The segment starts just outside of Lake Accotink Park and ends up at the end (or the beginning for some!) of the CCT at the Occoquan River. After your outdoor adventure, feel free to hunker down with your dog and give this issue a full read. We hope it’ll help get you through the rest of those chilly, cloudy days! Happy 2018 NOVADog Community! Angela
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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 www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Winner: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 Award of Distinction
contents Winter 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 D igital Dog Days
A look at technology that helps our pets. By Elissa Matulis Myers
12 D E PA RT M E N T S
1 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 4 THE SOURCE
The high-tech world of pet prosthetics
News, information, and products
24 CANINE CALENDAR
6 HEALTH WISE
26 HIT THE TRAIL
Advise and information on canine health issues
9 THE SCENE
A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs
On the cover: The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher www.goifetch.com
20 PETCENTRIC PEOPLE
10 COMMUNITY Super Pet Expo
Hiking with your dog
27 GET SOCIAL 28 WAGS TO RICHES
Adoption success stories
20 Read Lily’s adoption success story on page 28.
N ew s , i nfo rm ati on , a n d p ro d u c ts
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PHOTO COURTESY OF ALLPAWSPETPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
Super Pet Expo returns to the Dulles Expo Center March 16-18! Find a must-have collar, try out a luring course, learn how your pet can become a social media superstar, dock dive and be crowned as the best dressed pet in all of Northern Virginia. These are all things you can do at the Super Pet Expo! Considering adding a new furry member to the family? Visit the Rescue Zone and you may fall in love. PRO TIP: Buy tickets in advance online and show on your phone to skip the line. Use code NOVADOG to save $3. FIND it: www.SuperPetExpo.com
During a recent four-year study, (www.zoetisus.com) diabetes diagnosis in pets have increased by 32 percent in dogs and 16 percent in cats. Have you noticed that your dog: • • • • •
Appears fatigued or weak Has excessive thirst Urinates frequently Has an increased appetite Has lost weight
Ask your veterinarian if your dog exhibits any of these signs.
Could Your Pet Have Diabetes? Alexandria
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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
On The Cutting Edge of Veterinary Surgery Advancing outcomes for pets through the latest surgical approaches and technology By Justin G a n jei, D V M , D A C VS -S A
s the adage goes, if I had a nickel for every time I’ve had a client say (with awe and a hint of disbelief), “You can do that in animals?!” I could buy myself Starbucks for
life. In my work as a board-certified veterinary surgeon, I get this reaction from clients nearly every day after recommending advanced diagnostics like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT), or minimally invasive surgical alternatives such as arthroscopy or laparoscopy. Clients are pleasantly surprised to learn that the available options for their pet’s care are “just like they are for people!” The reality is that today, despite a few exceptions, the diagnostic and treatment options available to our veterinary patients are virtually identical to those available for human beings. So what does this mean exactly? For one, the availability of these options has allowed us to diagnose and treat conditions that we were not able to 20 and even just 10 years ago. It has also raised the bar for our veterinary patients’ standard of care, helping to optimize treatment plans, decrease morbidity and mortality, and improve survival times. As a result, we can offer more advanced technology and safer approaches to help your pet live a better life—especially right here in the Washington, D.C., area.
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Diagnostic Options Diagnostic tools help us determine a pet’s injury or illness, and advanced imaging is just one tool in that toolbox. Imaging comes in a variety of forms and applications, but essentially it helps us get a better understanding of what’s going on inside our patients. Here are a few important imaging options: Radiographs (X-rays) have been around for quite some time and will always be an important diagnostic in medicine. They are extremely sensitive in evaluating 1.) bones for pathology, such as fractures or cancer, 2.) joints for evidence of dislocation or osteoarthritis, and 3.) certain soft tissue concerns, such as hernias and bladder stones. Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses different sequences of magnetic impulses to give a more detailed view of certain anatomical regions and, in general, is more beneficial for looking at soft tissues (muscle, organs, brain, and spinal cord). It is considered the gold standard for evaluating the brain and spinal
ABOVE: Arthroscopic images of a shoulder joint. Left is a normal shoulder joint with healthy cartilage. Right shows a shoulder joint with a large cartilaginous flap caused by an osteochondritis dissecans (OCD) lesion seen in young, growing dogs.
cord for pathology, and is also useful for evaluating cartilage and ligaments for disease or trauma. In regard to joints, we use it most commonly for imaging of the shoulder and knee, as most disease processes affecting these joints involve soft tissues rather than bone. Computed Tomography (CT) or a â€œCAT scanâ€? uses the same modality as X-rays; however, it does so by obtaining images at multiple angles and then merging them into a cross-sectional image. These cross-sectional images can be rendered to create 2D and 3D pictures that facilitate surgical planning. CT scans are very useful for evaluating subtle changes in bone and soft tissues that are not picked up on X-rays. Because you can create a 3D reconstruction of a specific area, it is also helpful for planning complex surgeries, such as angular limb deformity corrections. With the recent availability of 3D printers, it is now possible to convert these 3D reconstructions from the CT scan and produce 3D-printed, life-size models of the patient to assist even further with surgical planning. Fluoroscopy uses X-ray technology to allow you to evaluate real-time, moving images of a patient. It is most commonly used to evaluate gastrointestinal motility disorders (barium swallow studies) and to perform contrast studies of the kidneys, evaluating their function and assessing any evidence of obstruction. This modality is also extremely useful in assisting with interventional procedures, such as the placement of stents (tracheal, urethral, ureteral) and occluding shunts (anomalous vessels), which helps with cardiac and liver abnormalities.
A dogâ€™s trachea taken using fluoroscopy to place an intraluminal tracheal stent for tracheal collapse, a common condition of toy breed dogs. This particular dog had a previous stent, but the trachea was collapsing around it, so another one was placed.
Minimally Invasive Surgery In addition to increasing the availability of some of the ad-
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vanced imaging modalities mentioned above, we have also been able to decrease the invasiveness of some surgical treatments. Having a better idea of where exactly the disease process is affecting the patient has helped us develop more focused surgical approaches that work more effectively. As a result, just like in people, we now have the ability to perform a variety of minimally invasive surgeries and interventional procedures in our patients. Studies have shown numerous advantages to minimally invasive surgery, including decreased morbidity to the patient, decreased infection rates, and decreased hospitalization times. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure of a joint made possible through the use of a small camera and specialized instruments. These instruments are introduced into the joint through several small incisions (< ½”) rather than a larger incision. The specialized cameras allow for superior, magnified views of joint cartilage. We use arthroscopy routinely now for the treatment of numerous conditions affecting joints, including osteochondritis dissecans (OCD), medial compartment disease or “elbow dysplasia,” meniscal tears, biceps tendon tears, and more. Laparoscopy and thoracoscopy allow for the exploration of the abdominal and thoracic cavities using small cameras introduced through several small, 1-inch incisions instead of the traditional larger incision. In veterinary medicine, we can now perform a wide variety of procedures utilizing this method, including one of the most common surgeries: an ovariectomy, commonly known as spaying. It also lets us perform more complicated procedures, including gastropexy (prophylactic surgery to prevent gastric-dilatation and volvulus or “bloat”), liver biopsies, cholecystectomy (gall bladder removal), adrenalectomy, pericardiectomy (removal of the heart sac), and many others. Interventional radiology (IR) utilizes advanced imaging modalities to diagnose and treat many disease processes
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Examples of 3D printed models created using CT images. Left is a feline skull with a rare disorder called a nasal dermoid sinus that caused a defect in the region of the skull between the eyes. Right is the forearm of a dog with an angular limb deformity. The 3D models were used to help with surgical correction of these disorders.
through image-guided procedures. Some of the more common IR procedures we perform are intraluminal tracheal stents to treat tracheal collapse, urethral stents, intra-vascular occlusion of congenital liver and cardiac shunts, occlusion of specific blood vessels to stop uncontrolled bleeding, and delivery of chemotherapeutic drugs to certain tumors that are considered inoperable. Most of these procedures involve either no incision at all or a small incision to gain access to a blood vessel.
Better Technology, Better Lives With these advancements and many others, the world of veterinary medicine today is much different than what it was even a decade ago. Dogs and cats have become more than just pets in our lives and are quite often considered to be parts of the family. They provide us with unconditional love and loyalty and, in return, we want to provide them with the most advanced and upto-date medical care that we can. These latest innovations enable us to deliver the advanced level of care our four-legged family members deserve and that we can feel good about. My sincere hope is that this trend will continue so we can offer increasingly better care for all pets, allowing them to live happier, healthier, and longer lives. ND Dr. Justin Ganjei is a staff surgeon with Veterinary Surgical Centers (VSC), which has three locations that serve the DC metro region’s veterinary surgery needs. He joined the VSC Surgical Team in July 2016, and passed the American College of Veterinary Surgeons Certification Examination in early 2017, making him a board-certified Small Animal Surgeon. Please visit www.vscvets.com to see how VSC can help your pet.
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L o c a l s t o r ie s a n d e v e n t s we’ ve sni f f ed out
Super Pet Expo
PHOTOS COURTESY OF ALLPAWSPETPHOTOGRAPHY.COM
or several thousand pets and pet lovers in Northern Virginia, the March Super Pet Expo is the social event of the season, as anticipated as the warmer spring days. This year’s pet-extravaganza will take place March 16-18 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. With close to 200 vendors, attendees will find three days of shopping, engaging activities, educational talks and dog watching! If you’ve joined the Super Pet Expo before, you know there’s nothing that brings more joy than walking the aisles and seeing every dog imaginable. From tiny Chihuahuas in sassy sweaters to lovable Newfoundlands with towel-toting owners! Take a walk in the Rescue Zone and you just might find yourself ready to add to your pack.
As always, you’ll find a great variety of pet product mainstays such as collars, leashes, harnesses, toys and beds. But humans will find a little something for themselves as well! Grab a fashionable set of handmade, clip-in ears from Here’s to Ears. Visit PAWIES to peruse tote bags and shoes featuring a variety of breed-specific designs and prints. Because we all need a Pomeranian slip-on, don’t we?? And if you’re interested in adding some fluffy flavor to your home design, Red Dog Décor will be a must stop for their rugs, pillows and house flags.
If you believe a well-exercised dog is a happy dog, you’ll find many ways to let them burn some calories and have fun at the Super Pet Expo. Let your dog loose on the Luring 101 track for a high-speed chase of an artificial lure, with varying speeds and a set number of turns and
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changes in direction. No experience is needed, and any dog in good physical condition is welcome to try luring. Get wet in The Ultimate Air Dogs dock diving competition! A 30,000 gallon pool. Dogs soaring through the air. Huge splash downs. Each day will feature three different competitions: Fetch-It, a jumping competition where the dog that jumps the furthest knocking a bumper down wins; Catch It, a dog distance jumping competition; Chase-It, a swimming contest for dogs. Once again, no experience is needed to join in. The Ultimate Air Dogs are generously sponsored by Supreme Source Pet Food.
On the Main Stage, you’ll find holistic veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan examining special care for senior pets and how to help your chubby pet shed some pounds (let’s admit it, it’s not all fur). Dana Humphrey, the Pet Lady, will host a panel discussion with local social media stars discussing how they built online followings of thousands for their pets. The All Friends Pet Care Best Dressed Pet Competition returns as one of the most anticipated moments of the weekend. Pets compete in their best costumes, working the crowd and currying favor with judges. All attendees are eligible to enter and the event begins at Noon on Saturday.
Because you love all animals
Come for everything dog and stay for all the expanded pet features! This year Super Pet Expo includes pig agility demonstrations from the
pot-bellied pig rescue Pig Placement Network. In addition to watching these little oinkers work their way through a course, learn more about their needs as pets, and how to care for them responsibility. You can even purchase a painting by a pig in exchange for a donation to the organization! For the first time, the Capital Cat Club will host a TICA sanctioned cat show right on the show floor. The area’s fanciest and most purrworthy felines will compete. Follow Super Pet Expo on Facebook for the latest event updates and contests. You won’t want to miss a chance to win a year’s supply of premium pet food from Supreme Source®. It’s made in the USA and 100% grain-free. ND
The details n Save $3 on each ticket purchased when you buy tickets at www.superpetexpo.com and use promo code NOVADOG. n The show takes place at the Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA, 20151. n Show hours are 3 - 8PM Friday; 10AM - 7PM Saturday; and 10AM - 5PM Sunday. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages 4 to 11, and FREE for kids 3 and under. Friendly, leashed pets are always welcome. Please note retractable leashes are not allowed for the safety of all guests.
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Digital Dog Days A look at technology that helps our pets By El i ssa Ma tu l i s Mye rs
rom cell phones to Google, from work to your personal life, from the kitchen to the bedroom, technology is everywhere. According to IT research firm Gartner, things like virtual reality, apps, and Alexa will only continue to develop and spread. But just in case you think this trend is only for humans, letâ€™s check out the huge market output of technological innovation designed specifically for your dog. Some of it is just plain silly fun, but other devices are extremely practical and even life-saving!
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robably the single best high-tech investment you can make is a microchip—a small, electronic device enclosed in a glass cylinder about the size of a grain of rice. It is activated by a scanner that is passed over the dog; radio waves activate the chip. The chip transmits an identification number to the scanner, which displays the number on the screen. Most veterinarians have scanners in their offices, and most will provide a scan on a “found” dog at no cost. A study conducted by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association followed more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters and showed that “dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, but microchipped dogs were returned to their owners 52.2% of the time.” For most cases where microchipped animals didn’t make it back to their parents, it was the human who messed up and forgot to input information in the microchip registry database. You can ask your local vet about the risks and rewards of a microchip, but always remember that the choice is yours to make. Lucky for us, the tech industry is teaming up with animal lovers to create other innovations for your furry friend’s care, protection, and amusement!
Safety and Protection
SureFlap has created a “smart door” called the Microchip Pet Door Connect that works with RFIDcollared and microchipped pets to ensure it only opens for the right animal.
It’s a scary world out there for dogs (big or little) and their owners. Cars, poisons, coyotes: there’s almost no end to the ways that your dog might get into trouble and potentially be injured, too often fatally. The good news is that there is an ever-widening array of technological devices that can keep you both safe and happy. Here are just a few: Ever have your dog slip his collar when he sees a squirrel or deer? During early morning or late evening walks when visibility is low, keeping track of where your buddy goes can be doubly challenging. The K-9ite Company is introducing their first product, the K-9ite Safety Light, via Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign. The K-9ite Safety Light is an LED safety belt for dogs, designed for high visibility in dark or low-light conditions. The belt uses a SekureFit Elastic Comfort Band, which lets the dog keep moving freely, and features a quick release buckle. Of course, it is also covered by LED lights housed in a lightweight, weather-proof silicone that also happens to be toxin-free. You can change the lights along a full spectrum of customized colors and select several types of flash, all of which can be controlled via Bluetooth and the K-9ite smartphone app. Expect the product to ship out in the second half of 2018, which is a bit of a wait, but we’re excited to see it light up the night and keep pups safe! https://www.k9ite.com/ The cure for that bark at the door to go out at two in the morning? An automatic pet door, naturally! Conventional pet doors make your pup push her head against a hard flap, and they can let other critters into the house by mistake. The Power Pet Door from High Tech Pets, however, uses an ultrasonic collar that’s equipped with a signal function. When your dog approaches the door head on, the door flap opens automatically, and then recloses—until he wants to come back inside! www.novadogmagazine.com
Keep tabs on your canine with a 160-degree wide-angle view and a two-way chat and barking alert, which pings you via smartphone when the dog is making noise.
And if your dog likes to take a moonlight swim during his midnight prowl, you can upgrade to a fully-submersible collar for a few dollars more. Door-and-collar packages range from roughly $300 to a pricier $830 for extra-tall patio doors. http://www.hitecpet.com/powerpet-door.html If you don’t trust your pup to come and go on his own, SureFlap has created a “smart door” called the Microchip Pet Door Connect that works with RFIDcollared and microchipped pets to ensure it only opens for the right animal. The whole kit includes a custommade smartphone app that lets you schedule curfews and remotely lock the door with a single tap, while upto-date notifications will tell you when your pet has left the building (or returned home). $250. https://www.surepetcare.com Tomofun has given us Furbo, an iOS/Android camera that connects to your wi-fi and lets you monitor your dog with livestream video, whether you’re at work in Reston or on vacation in Maui. Keep tabs on your canine with a 160-degree wide-angle view and a two-way chat and barking alert, which pings you via smartphone when the dog is making noise. (Don’t worry: you can adjust the sensitivity of the barking detection if your loved one likes to yap.) Importantly, you can talk to your dog and let him hear your voice, which can help if he’s nervous
The LINK AKC smart collar lets you GPS-track your pooch, monitor physical activity, log vet records, and get ambient temperature alerts.
or agitated. Furbo also comes equipped with a treat-tossing arm that can hold 100 treats, letting you throw in a little motivation and fun for your pet when you’re away. $199. https://shopus.furbo.com/ There are quite a few “smart collars” on the market that let you find your dog if he gets lost. One helpful option is the LINK AKC smart collar, which lets you GPS-track your pooch, monitor physical activity, log vet records, get ambient temperature alerts, and more. The collar works with a LINK AKC app to help you stay active in managing your dog’s well-being, and to keep up the connection when you’re away from home. The smart collar also comes with a tracking unit, collar carrier, base station, and charging cord. (The base station can charge the tracking unit and your cell phone at the same time!) $149 plus monthly service charge ($7-10). https://www.linkakc.com/
Technology for Training There’s no substitute for competent, personal dog training. Dogs want to please you, and they will almost always respond to your lessons with obedience if you are consistent and clear. There are, of course, many wonderful professionals in NOVA who can guide you and your dog to do the right things. (And not do the wrong things!) But here are some great tech gadgets that can help reinforce the lessons you’re trying to impart. Worried about your dog barking at runners? Chasing cars? Digging in your garden? The Bluefang training collar uses your smartphone as a remote transmitter with a 400-foot range to create different sounds you can use as corrective stimuli. It’s programmed to be “progressive,” so the first few times the dog “breaks the rules,” the sound is fairly gentle, but if he doesn’t respond, it can become more and more intrusive until he figures out that it’s just better not to bark, jump up on visitors, or otherwise misbehave. The basic version is $88. http://www.hitecpet. com/bluefang-bluetooth-dogcollar.html The Bluefang solution is getting praise, but it does depend on your participation in the process. On the other hand, the Nuyawo Mini Outdoor Sonic Dog Bark Ultrasonic Training tool is designed for hanging
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or mounting on a tree, wall, or fencepost to keep your dog (or your neighbor’s dog) from barking. The device emits an ultrasonic sound when activated by an internal microphone that works with a 50-foot range. It has adjustable volume levels, too. Please talk to your neighbors about this one before you get it! $28 on Amazon.
Just for Fun A dog’s life is more than just training, sleeping, and going to the vet. Your fuzzy companion also needs some R&R once in a while! (Okay, maybe she already spends a significant amount of time taking R&R.) Do you leave your TV on for your dog to keep him company when you’re away? Abrupt explosive noises and other unpleasant sounds, as well as images, from the TV can increase his anxiety. A Sylvester Stallone-style action movie might positively traumatize your pup, and you wouldn’t be there for comfort! That was the idea behind the new TV channel designed and programmed especially for dogs. The company says that “DOGTV’s 24/7 programming helps stimulate, entertain, relax, and habituate dogs with shows that expose them to various movements, sounds, objects, experiences and behavior patterns, all from a dog’s point of view.” Recognizing that dogs, like humans, have different interests and needs, DOGTV has organized its content into three categories you can choose from: relaxation programs for anxious
FREE MONTH of DOGTV DOGTV is sharing an exclusive deal with NOVADog’s readers for a free month of their canine channel: redeem it on their website with the code: NOVADOG and keep your fur-baby entertained all day! Go to www.dogtv.com, click on “sign up” and enter the code in the box that says “Redeem Coupon.”
or hyper days; stimulation shows that feature sounds and videos from other animals to entertain and amuse; and exposure content, which shows some common canine stressors (like lightning, vacuum cleaners, and fireworks) with limited intensity to get your pup more comfortable around them. Works through Xfinity, DirecTV, Roku, Apple TV, and Amazon Fire. https://www.dogtv.com/ The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher is the ticket for your tireless pooch who can’t get enough of catching and retrieving balls. The machine comes with three tennis balls that you can launch into the air, but your own supply should work just fine. Ideally, you will train your dog to retrieve the ball, bring it back to the machine, and reload it by dropping the ball into an opening at the top. (The option for you to reload for your dog is open too, of course!) You can adjust the launch distance to 10, 20, or 30 feet with a built-in button, or use the variable setting to keep your pet guessing. The device is marketed as “the perfect indoor or outdoor dog toy,” but I would suggest you put the fine china away if you’re going to use it in the home. There are two sizes available: one for regular-or-small-sized dogs, and one specifically for big dogs. The Original iFetch is $115. https://goifetch.com/ Puppy Tweets is an electronic tag that clips onto your dog’s collar and sends you pre-loaded Twitter posts based on what your pup is up to. Any time your dog barks, eats, or plays, the motion activity sensor
triggers one of 500 humorous Tweets that are instantly posted to Twitter. Tweets are based on movement, so when your dog is feeling hyper, you’ll get a different message than if the afternoon was one big power nap. Puppy Tweets also recognizes time of day, day of the week, and holidays. As the creator says on the Twitter page, @Puppy_Tweet, “What does your dog have to say? Find out with Puppy Tweets. It’s hard to tweet when you’re all paws!” $29.99 on Amazon. Keep in mind, however, that some Amazon users have brought up issues with the device’s functionality and size. If you want to organize your enormous library of dog pictures into one visible place, you can try Pack, a social media website that lets you create profiles for each dog and then upload all those cool moments you’ve captured with him or her. You can import all your pictures from Instagram, and then connect with other dogs around the country by sending them “hearts” and messages. People have designed some pretty fancy profiles there, too. If this seems like the same thing as Facebook or Instagram, but for dogs, then you’re right! Pack makes a point of saying that its site is 100% about pups, so if you’re only online for those dog snapshots,
The iFetch Automatic Ball Launcher is the ticket for your tireless pooch who can’t get enough of catching and retrieving balls.
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3879 Pickett Road • Fairfax, Virginia 22031 (703) 425-5000 Organize your enormous library of dog pictures into one visible place with Pack, a social media website that lets you create profiles for each dog.
then this is a good community to try. You can also use their free iPhone app Snack to receive a happiness boost of curated dog photos at a time of your choice. Not a bad way to wake up in the morning! www. packdog.com If you’re into apps, you can sign on to Wooof (that’s three o’s) for a combination of social networking and dog tracking. It lets you follow your friends and their dogs on a real-time map, assign dog walkers, and search nearby vets. Count your pup’s steps when you’re out hiking, or even call a dog-friendly taxi to wherever you are. Of course, there’s a platform for sharing pictures and video, and for chatting with people in your network. Find it on Apple and Android! https://www.wooof. com
Good Health It’s not all fun and games for a dog! Health problems crop up, and we need to deal with them. Thankfully, though, technological breakthroughs are leading to better health outcomes for our canine friends. “The world of animal medicine has seen drastic technological advances in the last 20 years,” according to Carrington College, which specializes in medical and veterinary training. Many of the new tools and techniques that the veterinary world uses had its origin in human medical treatment, so the things that help us stay healthy are being passed along to our dogs. Whether it’s MRIs or ultrasounds, the medical field is looking out for our furry friends. And while it’s not a “product,” I have to mention the Internet itself, which has opened up a world of information on how to keep your pet healthy. The website of the American Veterinary Medical Association, for example, has a publicly accessible list of animal food products that have been recalled for safety reasons. Over the past year, around 65
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products—many of them from common popular companies—have been flagged or recalled, including “Natural Selections Meals for Dogs” by Darwin’s Natural Pet Products. We can use our access to information in a way that’s healthy for our dogs, but it’s also important to consult with a vet or other professional when we have questions. Here are some ways we use technology to treat dogs: The odds are good that you’ve heard of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)—maybe you’ve had a scan yourself. This technology uses magnets and radio waves to produce detailed pictures of specific bones, joints, muscles, and internal organs. They don’t use ionizing radiation (such as X-rays) like radiography and CT scans do. Vets rely on MRIs to non-invasively examine dogs’ brains and get scans of orthopedic and soft tissue structures. With a clearer picture of what’s going on inside the animal, a vet can more accurately diagnose problems. Veterinarian Shawn Messonnier says in Animal Wellness that he typically recommends MRIs for dogs with neurological problems like seizures (“Does Your Dog Need an MRI?”). These scans aren’t exceptionally common with canines, however, in part because the devices aren’t widely available. While MRIs are helpful and powerful, they can also be expensive, often running up a $2,500 bill or more. Anesthetics need to be administered, too, since the device requires your pet to stay absolutely still. These issues have made it a bit difficult
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for MRIs to be accessible to everyone, although pet insurance plans can help on the payment side. It may look scary seeing your pup in an MRI machine, but she’s safe! If there are any metal plates or implants in the dog, however, make sure you tell your vet—some metals can disrupt imaging, and magnetic metals are highly dangerous when scanning. There’s also ultrasound imaging, which is often cheaper ($300500) and is best suited for examining internal organs. (No X-rays here, either—just focused sound waves.) Ultrasounds are widely used to create images of fetuses as they develop in a parent, but they can also help cardiovascular specialists take 3-D and even 4-D (that’s 3D shown over time) pictures of pet patients’ hearts. They’re also used to diagnose cysts and tumors, and the good news is your dog usually won’t need anesthesia for the procedure. However, these scans aren’t as helpful for looking at bones and joints. If you have a dog with diabetes, the careful monitoring of his glucose levels used to mean frequent and expensive visits to your veterinarian. To be clear, diabetes is a very serious condition in dogs, and you should seek the advice and management of your vet on a regular basis. But in between visits to the office, the AlphaTRAK 2 Veterinary Blood Glucose Monitoring Starter Kit may help manage your pet’s diabetes. It is a portable blood glucose monitoring system specifically calibrated and validated for dogs. Users say it needs only a very small sample of capillary blood: no venous puncture is required. However, while users have praised the accuracy and efficacy of the test, they also complained about the cost of test strips. Some even recommended using the human version for their dogs, but definitely consult with your vet before doing this. You can find the AlphaTRAK 2 on Amazon for about $50, but a 50-count of test strips sets you back another $55. Do you use Fitbit? Yes? No? Either way, why not get the dog version for your beloved fur-baby? WonderWoof is a free app that works with a not-free Bluetooth-enabled BowTie device, which attaches to your dog’s collar and tracks his activity. (Yes, it’s shaped like a bowtie!) It helps make sure your pup is getting the right amount of exercise based on his size, breed, and age. Whether you’re relaxing at home or in the park, you can get real-time updates via the app and know if your dog is running, sleeping, playing, or walking. (However, it is not a GPS and cannot track lost pups.) You can also connect and meet with other dog lovers in your area using the map-enabled social features. Plus, the BowTie is waterproof! BowTies are $45-65, app is free. https://wonderwoof.com/ Finally, you can help your pup get in and out of your vehicle with the Hitch Dog Ramp, which is made of lightweight aluminum and fixes to the hitch of your truck, van, or car. This might be helpful for elderly dogs or dogs with mobility issues—or if you just want to ensure that your buddy can have a comfortable time entering and exiting your ride. $350. https://www.hitchdogramp.com/ This is only a small sample of what technology has to offer our dogs. The wonderful world of dog tech will only keep developing and spreading, so I hope you learn to harness it for your furry friend’s health (and entertainment)!
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Giving Our Dogs Four Legs to Stand On
World-renowned (and NOVA local) pet prosthetist Derrick Campana explains his industry By Josep h G r a m m er
In addition to prosthetic limbs, Animal Ortho offers a range of braces for canine elbows, hips, spines, knees, and paws. These devices can help with sciatic nerve pain, arthritis, and even wound treatment.
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any dogs are unfortunately missing legs or unable to fully use the legs they have. What can we do for our pups when an injury or disease affects their mobility? One good option is to head to Animal Ortho Care in Loudoun County, Virginia, and let them help your canine companion walk again. Animal Ortho is hard at work crafting custom orthoses (braces) and prostheses for dogs and other animals in need. This is a burgeoning industry we will definitely see more of in the future, but even now the world of pet prosthetics is doing some impressive things. Dr. Derrick Campana is the brainchild of Animal Ortho. He is youthful and energetic, which, combined with his expertise, made him a great speaker for The Dodo, a popular online series that shares videos and stories about animals and the humans who help them. Derrick has gained quite a bit of visibility in his role as a hardworking guy who crafts prosthetics for animals. It wasn’t always this way, though. Originally, Derrick went to school for human orthotics and prosthetics. He worked at a people-focused office starting in 2004, but one day a veterinarian brought a dog into the clinic and requested a prosthesis. At the time he thought it was odd, but Derrick accepted the challenge and managed to make a prosthesis that worked. This was the “lightbulb” that went off for him, so he became motivated to try making more canine prostheses. (Just to be clear: prostheses and orthoses are different things. Orthoses brace a limb, while prostheses replace a nonexistent limb. Both are important in mobility work and recovery.) Dr. Campana has worked in pet orthotics and prosthetics for 13 years, but he still believes the industry is in its infancy period. He says the journey was an uphill battle back then: “no one had seen dog
prostheses before, and especially not orthotics.” It was hard at first making knee braces for animals, but Derrick was sure they could help pets avoid some surgeries, with the logic that the brace would stabilize an injured leg and keep it from getting worse. Nowadays, there are multiple conferences for pet orthotics, and there is more money in the field, not to mention a wide variety of products. Animal Ortho Care has grown in scale over time, too, and by now Dr. Campana estimates that the company has helped around 15-20,000 different animals. That’s a lot of limbs to fix! The mobility industry is using some high-tech stuff to get dogs back up on their paws. How is a canine prosthesis made? The process has changed over time, but the latest ingredients of a prosthesis/orthosis include high-temperature vacuum-formable thermoplastics, low-temperature thermoplastics, specialized foams, Velcro straps, and padding. Most of these materials conform to human medical industry standards, which means your pup will likely be getting the same treatment as you would in the same situation. According to Dr. Campana, more plastics are used in animal braces and prostheses, compared to those made for humans. This allows for a greater degree of modification, and makes the process easier to handle from far away—i.e., via snail mail. However, the overall process of making braces and other devices is similar to the way it’s done for humans. Animal Ortho Care doesn’t physically see the majority (~80%) of its animal patients. The first step in helping a dog involves shipping out a casting kit. Then the owner, or the owner’s vet, will cast the leg and ship the mold to Ortho Care. After that, Derrick and his team build the proper device based on that mold. Once that’s done, they ship it off and the owner tests out the prosthesis. Sometimes it fits perfectly the first time, but other times they have
If a dog has a full limb, but deformities or injuries prevent him from using the limb well, prostheses can help!
to work to adjust the device, occasionally creating new ones. Then it’s a matter of caring for your limb or brace, which you can learn more about on the Animal Ortho website. While the tread of a prosthesis will wear away, and the foams will need replacing, the durable shell is built to “last a long time.” Patients local to NOVA can come directly to the clinic in Loud-
Another useful tool is 3D printing. This technology has touched many industries, and the field of pet prosthetics is no exception.
oun County to undergo the fitting and molding process. A facility in Minnesota handles most of the off-the-shelf production, for devices that don’t require as much customization and finesse. With a dog, you don’t have to care as much about aesthetics in terms of prosthesis design, and you don’t have to worry about a foot fitting into a shoe. Your dog will be happy as long as the limb works properly and doesn’t hurt! This gives the prosthetist some artistic leeway during creation, but of course he does his best to make the device look like something you’d want to strap onto your pup. However, prosthesis creation is a bit more limited with dogs, according to Dr. Campana, partly because of the particularities of fur. Designing for skin, for example, lets you rely on suction systems for a good fit, but fur gets in the way. When designing canine prostheses, device makers use what they call “anatomical suspension points” instead. A dog needs to have a partial limb of some sort in order to fit a prosthesis—in other words, a lower limb up to the joint. Without a “stump,” the dog will likely require a cart for movement. The Australian rehabilitation center Dogs in Motion says that if “40 to 50% of the antebrachium (radius/ulna) or crus (tibia/fibula) are present,” a prosthesis will work. Otherwise, it could actually hurt your pup’s body! In this case, you might also be able to apply braces to the remaining limbs, and help your dog move that way. In addition to prosthetic limbs, Animal Ortho offers a range of braces for canine elbows, hips, spines, knees, and paws. These devices can help with sciatic nerve pain, arthritis, and even wound treatment. Here are three common injuries to dogs that often require braces: 1.) Partial cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears. This ligament connects a dog’s thigh and shin bones at the knee, which is called a stifle joint in canines. If a dog’s back leg starts limping, it can often signal a partial tear of this tissue. While many injuries can be stabilized with a quality brace, a full tear will usually require surgery. 2.) Achilles tendon rupture. The Achilles tendon is actually a collection of five tendons, and it helps keep your dog’s back heels elevated properly. However, some or all of these tendons can tear, which is an injury more common in large breeds or older dogs. Surgeons have been using Animal Ortho’s Achilles braces for pets during post-op recovery for tendon repair, sometimes instead
22 Northern Virginia Dog
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of the more common “cage-like” brace. An Achilles brace is less invasive since it doesn’t require any drilling or clamping. This is an example of orthoses working in conjunction with surgical procedures. 3.) Carpal hyper-extension. This injury may occur if your furry friend jumps off a high place and lands awkwardly. Many times the first observed symptom is a dog’s hesitation to put her weight on a forelimb, since the carpus is a cluster of bones in the canine “wrist.” Excessive force can tear the carpal ligaments, and in severe cases lead to joint collapse. Surgery may be required for this issue, but nonsurgical candidates can use braces, too—even long-term. To help create safe and affordable orthoses, Derrick teamed up with the Caerus brand to create and sell customizable leg braces off-the-shelf. Because of the low-temperature thermoplastic technology used to make them, a brace designer can reheat and modify Caerus devices more easily, accommodating changes in the patient’s limb due to swelling or other effects. And since the products can be mass-produced, it’s easier to have a wide effect on dogs with fractures and tears in their legs. (They can also be used to help cover wounds.) The braces can accommodate a range of sizes by adding or removing padding as needed to fit your dog’s limb. Don’t forget to clean and replace the padding regularly, too! Dr. Campana stresses that contrary to popular belief, orthotics will save people money. He notes that there is a popular conception that “you have to be rich” to get your dog a quality orthotic device, yet an ACL stifle surgery for dogs, especially in the NOVA area, can easily cost $3-5,000. “A good knee brace might be able to do the job for $700.” As for artificial limbs, they cost on average around $1,000. Such devices can help extend a dog’s life by several years, which may be priceless to many pet parents. Even so, if you want your pup to run without draining your bank account, Animal Ortho works with CareCredit (a health financing credit card) to help people pay for braces and limbs. Pet insurance plans can also help. While Derrick certainly works with dogs (they’re more than 90% of his patients), he also helps many different types of animals. Because of the diversity of these quadrupedal clients, he often needs to find creative solutions. Notably, he built prosthetic legs for two elephants in Thailand. Due to the sheer weight of the
animals, there were “a ton” of adjustments he needed to make to figure out all the forces and stresses that would impact the limbs. Plus, he had to take into consideration the specific nature of the injuries, which in this case were caused by land mines. For these mega-sized devices, Derrick sourced some titanium from car parts. He had to locate companies with big enough ovens to vacuumform custom joints and other pieces. If all that isn’t enough, Derrick is launching another business called Bionic Pet, which handles nothing but prosthetics. These will be especially helpful for dogs with congenital limb deformities, or dogs with cancer, including osteosarcomas. He recently developed an “IPOP,” or immediate post-operation prosthesis. If Derrick knows that a vet will amputate a dog’s limb, for example, he can make the device right away. This way the surgery is performed, the prosthesis is attached as soon as the procedure ends, and the dog wakes up on all fours. Acclimating the pet to the prosthesis in this way is supposed to help boost the success rate for a finalized and well-adjusted limb. Another useful tool is 3D printing. This technology has touched many industries, and the field of pet prosthetics is no exception. Although it’s still expensive on the vet side, Dr. Campana created the world’s first 3D-printed canine prosthesis for a Husky mix named Derby. Because of the nature of Derby’s injury, Dr. Campana initially thought he couldn’t make a viable prosthesis. Derby had an illness that left his forelimbs severely deformed at birth. However, Derby’s foster worked for a 3D printing company and encouraged Dr. Campana to try using the technology. Derrick then casted the dog’s leg, 3D scanned it, built the device, and ultimately helped Derby run on all fours more easily than he ever had before. Campana notes that 3D-printed materials break down more quickly than in traditional prosthetics, but replacing devices is much easier. With all these cutting-edge techniques being used, what is Dr. Campana excited about right now? His answer is pulsed electromagnetic fields, or PEMF. Without using magnets, PEMF runs low-level current through targeted pain areas to reduce inflammation and promote cellular healing. According to him, “the technology has long been proven on the human side,” but Caerus recently bought a company that owned PEMF patents, bringing them to bear on the world of pets. He plans to launch new products in 2018, and he says that this technology will alleviate pain and help dogs rely less on painkilling drugs (for instance, after surgeries). It may also help with ailments like hip dysplasia and arthritis. Undoubtedly, Dr. Campana has accomplished a few animal mobility “firsts.” In addition to helping elephants, he made artificial forelegs for the first “bionic ram” and crafted the first prosthesis for a camel. Not surprisingly, he has an Animal Planet documentary coming out in March 2018, and a possible reality show after that. Seeing as how he can seemingly handle anything, what’s Dr. Campana’s biggest challenge? In his words, “not ever [or rarely] seeing the patient.” Because he is building his devices remotely, he really needs to hone his skills so an artificial limb or brace will fit comfortably and account for that particular animal’s unique build. If designing clothes for someone you’ve never met is difficult,
imagine how hard it is to build a functional leg that will let a dog move easily, without slipping, without chafing, but never actually be in the same room as him. Right now, there are only a handful of other people and teams who can do what Derrick does at the same level. What does it take to be a top-notch prosthetic maker? For one, you need to be very good at sculpture, with an eye for extreme details. This is definitely a skilled industry, which means practice, practice, practice at your craft. In the old days, makers would take a block of wood and make prosthetic legs from it; more recently they used carbon fiber. But now 3D printing is ushering in a completely new way of helping canine mobility. Together with high-tech thermoplastics, which are far more adaptable than carbon fiber, we will likely see a boost in the number of orthotic/prosthetic devices available on the market, hopefully with a reduction in price. Dr. Campana may soon be able to produce customized working prostheses for a larger number of dogs (and other animals) than he ever dreamed of. The future of dog prosthetics and orthotics is “following the human model,” says Derrick. “Once we get a really big database from 3D scanning every single mold, we’ll be able to do more off-theshelf devices, things will be faster to create, more modifiable, and even less expensive. We have a mold library now, but we’re going to start scanning every single one to really build up a huge database of limbs.” This will save quite a lot of time, since for most of his career, Derick has hand-sculpted his devices. In terms of breeds, Derrick says he tends to see lots of Golden Retrievers and Labs. Black Labs in particular, he says, seem to come to him with cancers and osteosarcomas, and his braces and limbs have helped them stay up on their paws. With German Shepherds, CCL ruptures are more common, “in part because they’re lower to the ground in the back.” There are also fairly frequent carpal deformities in Ridgeback-type dogs. One pup who sticks out in Derrick’s mind is Ebony, a local Chocolate Lab who had a higher-level leg amputation. Derrick says that at the time, he had never made a prosthesis for that level of amputation. It took him five or six tries to get the model right, but in the end the artificial limb “worked perfectly.” This was another wake-up moment for Derrick where he realized he could help a greater population of patients. Surprisingly, Derrick didn’t grow up with dogs, but he has one now: a Cavachon (Cavalier King Charles Spaniel-Bichon Frise mix) named Henry. He is six years old, and he is Derrick’s first dog ever, but don’t worry—he is making up for lost time by bringing his canine to work with him. It’s comforting to know Derrick is out there with his pup, making sorely needed prostheses and braces for dogs. He’s the guy who helps our four-legged friends keep walking. Please see https://www.animalorthocare.com/ for more information, or to find a brace, prosthesis, or other device for your mobility-impacted dog. ND 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. www.novadogmagazine.com
Special thanks to our calendar sponsor Fur-Get Me Not.
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Puppy Bowl 2018, 3 PM It’s the annual fur-tastic battle on the grand gridiron of Puppy Bowl Stadium. Celebrating all that is right with the world, Puppy Bowl is a competition of cute and a dedication to dogged determination. Watch it on Animal Planet https://www.animalplanet.com/tv-shows/puppy-bowl/. Or stop by Wag & Brew in Old Town to watch it with Friends:
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Doggy Noses & Yoga Poses - Puppy Bowl Paws, Poses, and Pints, 10:30 AM – 11:30 AM Black Flag Brewing Company 9315 Snowden River Parkway Columbia, MD 21046 You do the yoga while the pups do the cuddles! Adorable ADOPTABLE puppies and dogs will be allowed to ROAM FREELY and interact with you during this one-hour mixed level yoga class featuring instructor Dan Hill of HopAsana, so be prepared to get puppy kisses! Space is limited and interest is high, so order your Pawssport today! Tickets are $35 if purchased online, and $40 if purchased at the door (if space is still available). A portion of all ticket sales will be donated to Operation Paws
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| Winter 2018
Dog Adoption Event, 12 PM – 2 PM PetSmart Alexandria 7690 Richmond Highway, Alexandria, VA Hosted by Homeward Trails Animal Rescue Could one of the animals attending this event be the right pet for you? Come find out! Some of our dogs who are looking for homes will be waiting to meet you and Homeward Trails volunteers will be available to talk to you about our animals available for adoption and our adoption process. If you meet a dog who’s a good potential match, you can submit an adoption questionnaire! Or you can learn how you can help homeless animals by fostering, volunteering or donating! https://www.homewardtrails.org/
Fun Dog Show Market Square, Alexandria, VA Come out for a fun morning in Old Town. Grab your green and enter your pooch in one of about a dozen contests, sure to be a wonderful time. After the Fun Dog show, stick around for the 37th Annual Ballyshaners St. Patrick’s Day Parade – with recently announced Grand Marshall’s Bernadette and Pat Troy. Plan your day: http:// www.ballyshaners.org/
9th Annual Wags & Wine Extravaganza 6-9PM Barrel Oak Winery, 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane, VA 20144 Enjoy an evening celebration with live music, dancing, food, friends & family, and of course our four-legged friends. There will be a fun live auction and plenty of fun. 100% of the auction proceeds goes directly towards saving dogs and cats in need. https://www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/events/event/ march-10-2018-600pm
Super Pet Expo Friday, 3 PM – 8 PM Saturday, 10 AM – 7 PM Sunday, 10 AM – 5 PM Dulles Expo Center Chantilly, VA Get your fix of canine fun, shopping, play, adoption, and education at the Super Pet Expo! Tickets on sale soon – check website and social media for details. Leashed pets welcome to attend – no charge. (Please note retractable leashes are not permitted.) 1 adult ticket = $13. https:// www.superpetexpo.com/chantilly #SUPERPETEXPO email@example.com
Ides of Bark, 1 PM – 4 PM On behalf of the Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck and the Fairfax County Park Authority, we would like to extend a formal invitation to you and your business to the Third Ides of Bark Dog Festival. This year’s Ides of Bark will be on Sunday, March 18, 2018, from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM at Grist Mill Park – located at 4710 Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, VA 22309. With the help of many dog owners and pet-friendly vendors throughout Fairfax County, the previous Ides of Bark events were hugely successful. We hope that you will join us at the Third Ides of Bark to keep this incredible tradition going and to celebrate responsible dog ownership. Space is limited for food vendors, so we will be accommodating vendors on a first-come, first served basis. Attached you will find the official invitation, Ides of Bark flyer, and vendor commitment form. Please feel free to contact Shirley Short, Volunteer
Coordinator, at 703-619-4339 if you have any further questions or concerns.
March 22 Low-cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic, 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, 22206 Virginia law requires that all dogs and cats four months of age and older have a current rabies vaccine. 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. Give your pet the protection of a 24PetWatch MiniChip. Each year thousands of lost and abandoned animals are taken in by shelters and humane societies across the country. Some of these animals never make it home because they can’t be identified. Microchipping offers the only truly permanent method of identifying your pet and linking the animal back to you, the owner. Rabies shot: $10.00 Microchip (including registration): $35.00 See https://www.awla.org/events/ for more information.
Pasta for Pets 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM Eastern Market 225 7th St. SE Washington, DC 20003 Join the Humane Alliance for this incredibly tasty event, all to benefit the areas homeless pets. It’s always a fun time when you can enjoy a great meal and do good at the same time. http://www.humanerescuealliance.org/special-events
April 4 Fairfax Pets on Wheels New Volunteer Orientation 7:30 PM, Providence Community Center 3001 Vaden Dr, Fairfax, VA 22031 Learn the ins and outs of this incredibly rewarding experience. Volunteering with Fairfax Pets on Wheels is an enriching and fulfilling experience for dogs and humans alike. No pets at Orientation please. http://fpow.org/dates? EventViewMode=1&EventListViewMode=2&SelectedDate= 4/15/2018&CalendarViewType=1
activities, various dog demonstrations, Dogs Got Talent show, one day only designated off leash area and so much more. Bring your K-9 talent and knowledge and celebrate National Park Week with us. Help us make this a doggone great event this year. For more information please contact Kerri Syrus at 703-221-4706 x 224 or firstname.lastname@example.org www.nps. gov/prwi
Fashion for Paws 12th Annual Runway Show 8:00 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Grand Hyatt Washington 1000 H St NW Washington, DC The Fashion for Paws Runway Show is a nationally acclaimed one-of-a-kind luxury brand event to benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. The heart and soul of the event are the fundraising models who agree to raise a minimum of $3,000 in just twelve weeks leading up to the event by participating in a friendly fund raising competition. The top fundraiser, winning “Model Washingtonian of the Year,” and the first and second runner up will be recognized on the runway. http://www.humanerescuealliance.org/specialevents
Casino Night and Silent Auction, 7 PM – 11 PM Country Club of Fairfax 5110 Ox Road, Fairfax, VA, 22030 Hosted by A Forever Home Rescue Foundation We’re at it again! Our previous Casino Night events have been highly successful (not to mention a lot of fun!), so we’re doing it again! This year, we’ll be in a more centrallylocated venue, the Country Club of Fairfax, located at 5100 Ox Road in Fairfax. Hopefully, this will make it easier for you to attend. We’ll have our normal assortment of activities (silent auction, raffles, casino games, horsd’oeuvres & drinks – you won’t want to miss this! We’re keeping the ticket prices the same as last year: $80.00 each or two for $145.00. Keep your eyes open for special coupon codes – you never know when or where they may be found (hint, keep a close eye on our Facebook Page and Twitter feed)! Visit the NOVADog calendar online at http://www.novadogmagazine.com/calendar. ND
Pet First Aid & CPR Class 9am-2pm Becky’s Pet Care 7200 Fullerton Road, Suite B-200, Springfield, VA, 22150 For pet parents, pet sitters, dog walkers, groomers, rescues, shelters & all pet care professions. First aid for dogs & cats including: CPR, choking management, bleeding protocol, insect bites, poisoning, & more. You’ll receive a workbook, emergency muzzle, & a certificate of completion as well as a card for your wallet. Sometimes the unexpected happens…will you be prepared to take action when it does? Minimum age 14. No pets. http://beckyspetcare. com/training/
Paws in the Park 10 AM – 3PM In celebration of National Park Week Prince William Forest Park will be holding PAWs in the Park 2018 on Saturday, April 28 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. This event welcomes dog owners and dog lovers to Prince William Forest Park for National Parks Week (April 21st – 29th). This is a family friendly event that highlight the importance of responsible pet ownership in national parks and the great outdoors. Events include Junior Bark Ranger
SAVE THE DATE • SEPTEMBER 29 BARKTOBERFEST BY DAY… Bands · Pet Contests & Prizes · Games for Dogs · Games for Kids · Kitty Corner · Animal Communicator · Canine Demos · Training Classes · Vendors · Artisans · Online Auction · Raffle Baskets · Food Trucks · Pouring for Paws · FOHA Pets for Adoption and much more!
…GLOW DOG GLOW BY NIGHT! 1-MILE AND 5K RACE FOR YOU AND YOUR PUP! After Party Race with Bands · Glow Swag Bag · Prize for Best Glow/Best Dressed · Glow Photo Booth · Run with your 4-Legged Best Friend and more!
HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y
Gerry Connolly Cross County Trail Segment 4 (Final): Byron Avenue Park in Springfield to Occoquan Regional Park By Angela Hazuda Meyers
The CCT offers beauty year-round. Pohick Creek’s serenity in the winter.
About Your Guide Angela Meyers is the owner of both NOVADog Magazine and a lovely pup named Maggie.
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elcome to the fourth and final segment of the Cross County Trail! This last leg covers 10.5 miles from Springfield to Occoquan. The trail continues along Accotink Creek before picking up at Pohick Creek and eventually concluding at Occoquan River. Much of this segment, around 80%, is paved. To get a trail overview, see our NOVADog Spring 2017 Issue or review the Fairfax County trail map: http://www.fairfaxcounty. gov/parks/cct/. Bring your fully charged phone (with a GPS) and zoom in until you can see the trail. Technology is helpful in ensuring you stay on track; however, most of this segment of the CCT was pretty well marked! We left off our hiking adventure at Byron Avenue Park in Springfield. For Segment 4, we head south out of Byron Avenue Park, where the trail quickly crosses Old Keene Mill Road, passes by Hunter Village Park, and stays fairly close to the road until you cross Rolling Road. Here you’ll turn right, then take a left shortly after onto a housing development trail. You’ll continue, crossing the Fairfax County Parkway, on to Hooes Road, then take a left to head into the woods. At this point the trail begins meandering along and crisscrossing Pohick Creek. This portion lasts about 3 miles and is particularly lovely. It’s fun to cross the stepping stones and just savor the stream bed valleys. Plus, you’ll get plenty of scenery and wildlife: a deer, a fox, a red-tailed hawk, and many other birds all made an appearance at different points. The trail continues along Pohick Creek and then cuts through a few different housing developments. Stay alert! While this part meanders a lot, the turns are all marked. When you come to Silverbrook Road, the trail continues on the other side of the road, but there are unfortunately no immediate markings. However, you can turn right or left to cross at one of the nearby lights, then double back to pick up the trail. At this point we are heading
Up close glances of Lorton Reformatory.
onto a wonderfully historic part of the trail. As soon as you cross Silverbrook Road, you’ll see the Lorton Reformatory, originally called the Occoquan Workhouse. The trail leads around half of the prison yard, where you’ll see the brick guard towers and walls. Then you’ll turn right and pass through the dormitories. President Theodore Roosevelt commissioned the reformatory in the early 1900s as a “rehabilitation campus” for inmates from DC, in an effort to provide better living conditions for prisoners. It gained notoriety due to its openstyle model of reform, but also for the “Silent Sentinels” women suffragists who were imprisoned there. The prison was expanded in the 1930s, and prisoners hand-made all the bricks, fired them on site, and built the new structures. Over the years the prison declined, though, and it was closed at the end of 2001. The dorms have recently been transformed into a community room, pool, workout rooms, and luxury apartments. Head down into the woods and into Giles TRAIL SPECIFICS
Distance: Create your own length from the 10 miles featured. Fido Friendly Features: Shaded, stream access, lake Best time to go: During daylight hours Access: Parking available at the following Parks: Byron Ave Park, Hooes Road and the Fairfax County Parkway, South County High School (off Silverbrook Road), Workhouse Art Center, Occoquan Regional Park Rated: 2 Paws. The trail is not hard. Very easy, no hills, but I give it a 2 for the distance. 80% paved surface.
1 paw = easy; 5 = expert
Did you hike it? Please send us pictures of you hiking the trail with your dogs! email@example.com. (Include your name, your dog’s name, and your dog’s breed/age.) Or share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@NOVADogMag), or Instagram (novadogmagazine). Run Meadow Park, a scenic 153-acre tract of land. You can take in additional historic sites including railroad boxcars, the Barrel Bridge, a historic home property, and more. After you pass under the Barrel Bridge, you’ll come to Workhouse Road, where you’ll turn left. Continue on Workhouse Road for about half a mile, then take a left onto Ox Road. Here you will get an excellent view of the Workhouse Art Center, which used to be a part of the old Lorton Prison called the Women’s Workhouse. It was transformed into an active arts community and opened in September 2008. After about a quarter mile, immediately before the fence starts, head into the grounds of the Workhouse. You’ll see a trail in front of you. Get onto the trail, turn right, and head past the “lighthouse” towers. You’ll pass two towers, then turn right onto a narrow trail. You’ll continue about a quarter mile until you reach Outlet Road. Cross over to the trail and turn left, heading down the trail into Occoquan Regional Park. You’ll reach the heart of the park after about 1 mile of gradual downhill trail. About halfway down you’ll see one of the old “beehive” kilns to your left. In the park you’ll have some wonderful views of the Occoquan River, plus the small town of Occoquan on the opposite shore. The park has many amenities in the warmer months, but please check the park schedule for hours and dates of operation. This was one of my top two segments of the CCT. With all the rich history and scenery around, there were plenty of times I had to remind myself I was just a stone’s throw from NOVA’s dense population. The historical aspects of this segment are worth lingering over, so plan additional time to investigate and relax. If you can only hike a portion of this segment, I would recommend starting at Silverbrook Road and heading to the Occoquan (roughly 3 miles) OR starting at Hooes Road and the Fairfax County Parkway and hiking until Pohick Creek (3 miles). That’s it! Our journey of the 40-mile CCT is complete. I hope you have the chance to get out and enjoy it as much as we have. It was quite an amazing adventure over the past 12 months, and one we would definitely do again. Have fun hiking! ND
Getting Social With
novadog Don’t forget to follow us on social media for event updates, and of course lots of pictures.
Twitter: @novadogmag • Instagram: novadogmagazine This winter it’s all about dog toys! We asked NOVA to show us your canines’ favorite stuffed buddies and playthings. Thanks to everybody who submitted a picture!
Suzy Sioux Sunshine, Dachshund-Cavalier mix, 6 years old
Buster, Chihuahua, 8 years old
Berklee, Lab-Doberman mix, 3 years old
Princess Buttercup, mutt, 4 years old
River, Doberman Pinscher, 3 years old
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.
Lily Annette and Thad in Herndon, VA
Adopted in: July 28, 2008 Adopted from: A Forever Home, Chantilly, VA How did she get her name? Not much of a story here—we had a list of names, but the family could only agree on Lily. As a bonus, we called her crate the “Lily pad.” Background info:
The children begged us for a dog, but we “knew” we were not going to get a permanent one. We decided that we would compromise and foster when we can, so the kids still have time with a dog. We went to an event to check it out, and Mom was the weak one: we came home with Lily a week later. Four years later, we fulfilled our promise to foster dogs, and Lily has been a great help in training the young foster puppies we have had in our home.
We picked her because: Lily was one of 8 puppies in the litter. When we went to the adoption event, she lay beneath the water bucket and all of her siblings would stand on top of her to get a drink. Her tolerance of her siblings was amazing! Favorite activity together: We like to go on long nature walks/hikes at nearby parks where we can let her off leash.
Favorite treat or snack: Dentastix and Bully Sticks Favorite toy: Heart-shaped stuffed toy We love her because: Her love is unconditional. While our kids went through the surly teenage stage, it was nice to have someone in the house be happy to see you no matter what! ND
Meet our dogs and cats at our shelter in Aldie.
Go to www.foha.org for details or email
Sue at President@FOHA.org.
A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation is a non-profit dog rescue group that operates in the Northern Virginia / Washington Metropolitan area. www.aforeverhome.org, @aforeverhome.
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The Ultimate guide to canine-inspired living in the DC Metro