novadog Winter 2015
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
Help us set a
doggie Kiss world record see page 16
This Valentineâ€™s Day, show your canine companions how much you care
Also Inside: Disabled Dogs: Staying Mobile Greyhounds Take Gettysburg
Digital Edition Sponsored by: Beckyâ€™s Pet Care Inc.
A Winter Hike and Wine Tasting
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contents Winter 2015
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 F or the Love of the Dog This Valentine’s Day, show your canine companions how much you care By Taylor McLean
Help us set a
doggie Kiss world record see page 16
18 D isabled Dogs: Staying Mobile
How carts and prosthetics are improving dogs’ lives by Karen Baragona
12 D E PA RT M E N T S
3 PUBLISHER’S NOTE 4 THE SOURCE
Kira and dog, Riley show the ultimate puppy love. Photo by Deb Cobb. To view more of her work, or to arrange your own puppy love photo session, contact her at www. debcobb.com.
News, information, and products
24 CANINE CALENDAR
6 HEALTH WISE
Common Canine Neurologic Diseases
On the cover:
23 GET SOCIAL
Greyhounds in Gettysburg
10 PETCENTRIC PROFILE Kathy Benner
26 THE SCENE
A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs
27 HIT THE TRAIL Winter Adventure
28 WAGS TO RICHES
Adoption success stories
The Super Pet Expo
Read Tink’s adoption success story on page 28.
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PUBLISHER Angela Hazuda Meyers | firstname.lastname@example.org MANAGING EDITOR Claiborne Linvill | email@example.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Janelle Welch | firstname.lastname@example.org CONTRIBUTORS Karen Baragona, Carol Brooks, Toni Duchi, Elissa Matulis Myers, Taylor McLean, Lauren R. Talarico, DVM, DACVIM ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Lisa Trinkle: (p) 703-780-4400 (f) 853.753.0064 email@example.com DISTRIBUTION MediaPoint 9022-A Telegraph Road Lorton, VA 22079 firstname.lastname@example.org
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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 © 2014 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, 703.887.8387. 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.
Help us LICK LONELINESS You and your cat, dog or rabbit are needed to join other Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc. volunteers who make a difference in the community by visiting residents of nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
Visit: www.fpow.org or Call: 703-324-5406 2 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
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Happy New Year! I wish you all a fabulous ’15!
n addition to being dog lovers first and foremost, many of us also have soft spots for all kinds of animals. Last fall, my household joined the ranks of multi-pet families by adopting two rabbits. Boppity and Alice came to us via the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, and they’ve hopped right into our hearts. My children love them, of course, and even our dog Maggie likes the new additions. We let them roam freely throughout the house, and Maggie and I often find them on the couch when we return from our morning walks—sometimes they are even in “her” spot. Though a house full of three young children, a dog and two bunnies can get rather chaotic (and full of hair), we all thrive from the love and joy our pets add to our home. This Winter issue is all about spreading and showing that love and joy to our dogs. Valentine’s Day offers the perfect time to reflect on our canine bonds, but we can easily show our
dogs love throughout the year. We’ll even be showing off that love in an attempt to set a Doggie Kissing World Record at Super Pet Expo at 9 a.m. on March 28. Be sure to join in the fun and help us show the world how much Northern Virginians love our dogs. One of the best ways to show your dogs how much you love them is to spend time playing and exercising together outside. We’re launching a three-race series this spring and we hope you will join us! The SeeSpotRun Series will take place throughout April and May and will include fun races, such as a Glow Run, a Mud Run and a Water Run. It’s going to be the furriest 5K on the planet! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter or visit www.NovadogMagazine.com/SeeSpotRun for registration and other details. Angela Hazuda Meyers email@example.com
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Ne ws , i n fo rm a ti on, and pr oduct s
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Golden Study Celebrates Its Second Year Morris Animal Foundation Works to Understand Cancer in Dogs
Like most Golden Retriever “toddlers,” Bridger is an enthusiastic, unapologetic ball of energy and joy, all contained in a beautiful Golden Retriever body. And, even though he doesn’t know it, he is a hero for all dogs. Bridger is a participant in Morris Animal Foundation’s Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which enters its third year in September. The Golden Retriever Lifetime Study is the largest, longest and most complete study ever conducted in veterinary medicine. It will unquestionably, fundamentally change the way we understand disease in dogs. Through owner questionnaires, veterinary exams, blood tests and genetic sequencing, the study team will learn nearly everything there is to know about each of the 3,000 Golden Retrievers in the study, and better yet, they will collect this information every year of the dogs’ lives. This level of information gathering becomes extremely relevant as the dogs age and may become sick. When one group of dogs develops a disease (cancer or diabetes, for instance), there will be another group that doesn’t. With the data collected, scientists can identify the differences between the two groups’ nutrition, genetics and environments, allowing them to piece together risk factors that cause dogs to develop a specific disease. The Foundation will lead this study for the next 10 to 12 years, with hope to continue to follow these dogs’ puppies, and possibly their puppies, for much longer. If you would like to help Morris Animal Foundation understand cancer and other diseases in dogs or enroll your dog in the study, visit www.CanineLifetimeHealth. org. FIND it: www.morrisanimalfoundation.org
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H E A L T H W I S E
Ad v i ce an d i n fo rm ati o n o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s
Common Canine Neurologic Diseases By L aur en R . Ta la r ico, D VM , D AC VI M (N e uro l o gy/N e uro s u rg e ry)
eurologic diseases are rather common illnesses that affect canine brains and spinal cords. Mostly commonly, dogs have either seizures (a disease in the brain) or herniated or “slipped” discs (a disease of the spinal cord). If your dog suffers from a neurological disease or you fear she may be experiencing brain or spinal-cord problems, it’s important to understand what’s happening and speak with your veterinarian right away. Treatments are available to ensure your dog can live a long and healthy life.
Seizures Seizures occur when the cells comprising the brain, known as neurons, fire uncontrollably. When this occurs, a dog’s brain loses the ability to inhibit certain bodily functions. Dogs often lose consciousness and do not respond when their names are called, and their muscles become rigid and often begin convulsing. Dogs may also urinate and defecate during or immediately after a seizure. There are three main phases of a seizure: the pre-ictal, ictal, and post-ictal phases. The pre-ictal phase occurs minutes or hours prior to the actual seizure event. During this time, many dogs become excessively “clingy” to their owners or other pets in the house. Alternatively, some dogs will appear anxious or sometimes lethargic. The ictus is the actual seizure event, when the brain’s electrical activity is uncontrollable. The actual seizure occurs from the time a dog loses consciousness to the time when she regains it. The post-octal phase is sometimes called “the aftermath.” It can last for several minutes, hours, or upwards of two weeks. Common post-ictal behaviors can include transient blindness, lethargy, excitement, aggression, pacing, agitation and increased appetite. The most common cause of seizures in dogs is idiopathic epilepsy. Other causes can include: toxin exposure; metabolic or endocrine diseases; autoimmune, inflammatory or infectious diseases; brain tumors; congenital brain malformations; and strokes. To diagnose a seizure patient, your vet will order routine bloodwork, a brain MRI, and a spinal tap. An MRI allows us to fully evaluate the brain for an underlying cause of seizure activity. A spinal tap is sometimes used to rule out underlying autoimmune causes, infectious diseases and some forms of cancer. There are many different anti-seizure medications approved for use in dogs and cats, which your veterinarian will recommend. Every pet is different in the combination and type of medication needed to help control their seizures. The goal of anti-seizure medications is not to “cure” the patient of seizures, but rather to help decrease the frequency and/or severity of their seizures by at least 50 percent. So proper medication can likely improve the quality of life for your dog.
Intervertebral Disc Disease The most common cause of spinal cord compression in dogs is in-
6 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
If your dog suffers from a neurological disease or you fear she may be experiencing brain or spinal-cord problems, it’s important to understand what’s happening and speak with your veterinarian right away. tervertebral disc disease (IVDD). IVDD is analogous to a herniated or “slipped disc” commonly diagnosed in humans. The intervertebral disc normally resides between the bones in the spine known as the vertebrae. The disc is shaped exactly like a jelly donut. When the jelly part of the “disc donut” moves out of place, the spinal cord that is positioned above the disc is compressed. The spinal cord is like a highway that transmits messages from your dog’s toes to their brains and back down again. If the spinal cord is compressed, it’s like there’s traffic on a highway. Messages can no longer travel fast enough to the brain, and animals begin walking with a wobbly gait. In very severe cases of spinal cord compression, dogs can become paralyzed. A dog’s back and/or neck can be affected by IVDD. The most common signs of spinal cord disease in dogs include dragging or scuffing their paws on the ground, walking with an uncoordinated or weak gait, and developing a hunched-over posture. Some dogs with spinal cord disease affecting their necks will hold their necks in
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a stiff position and are reluctant to bend when eating or drinking. If the primary site of compression is in the back, only the hind limbs are affected. Conversely, if the compression is located in the neck, all four legs will be abnormal. The diagnosis of spinal cord disease is time sensitive in dogs. Prognosis is directly related to the time between when the incident occurs and treatment is started. The earlier spinal cord disease is diagnosed and treated, the more favorable the prognosis. IVDD can be diagnosed by either a CT scan or an MRI. Treatment options involve either medical management, or surgical decompression of the spinal cord and removal of the herniated disc material. Medical management typically consists of 4-6 weeks of strict crate rest, anti-inflammatory medication, pain medications and muscle relaxants. The surgical treatment option affords removal of the disc and decompresses the spinal cord. Deciding between medical management versus surgical decompression is based on the severity of a dog’s neurologic signs as well as their CT or MRI findings. ND If you believe you dog has been diagnosed with seizures or IVDD or if you are concerned your dog may be suffering from any neurologic disease, please feel free to contact Dr. Talarico at VCA Southpaws Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center in Fairfax, Va. You can also visit her website at www.theneurovet.com.
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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
1,000 Shades of Grey
Join Thousands of Greyhound lovers and their dogs in Gettysburg, Pa., this April By To ni D u ch i
hen most people think of large dog events, they might mention Westminster or Krufts. But when Greyhound owners think of a large event, they think about Greyhounds in Gettysburg (GIG). Make no mistake, this is not a Greyhound show: it is a Greyhound event! Each April, more than 1,000 Greyhound lovers and their dogs make the pilgrimage to Gettysburg, Pa., to celebrate this magnificent athlete of the canine world. For four days, participants socialize at events designed just for them and their dogs, shop more than 70 vendors, get educated about the breed, enjoy the Gettysburg experience, and play, cry, eat, pray, and laugh together. GIG had humble beginnings in 1997, when a few close friends converged on Gettysburg for a weekend. It has now grown to be the largest Greyhound-specific event in the world. Other sighthound breed lovers have discovered the event too, and now Italian Greyhounds, Whippets, Borzois, Wolfhounds, Salukis, and Galgos can be seen lounging on the grounds of the Allstar Family Fun Center. In 2013, Nittany Greyhounds, an adoption group in Pennsylvania that re-homes retired racing Greyhounds, inherited the event from Triangle Greyhound Society in North Carolina. At the time, hundreds of people attended each year, and it had become a good fundraiser for their group. Nittany Greyhounds felt lucky to take over the well-established event. They moved the venue to the Eisenhower Hotel/Allstar Family Fun Center, a pet-friendly and fun host,
8 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
To be clear, this event is not just for Greyhound owners. Anyone who loves dogs is welcome to attend GIG and is sure to have a great time. and attendance has increased steadily. The next sighthound celebration will be April 23-26, beginning with a welcome reception at the local Harley-Davidson dealership and a bonfire with memorial luminaries. On Friday and Saturday expect plenty of activities, including educational seminars (on topics like canine nutrition and holistic health care), costume contests, unique shopping, great meals, and a banquet with keynoter Ernie Sloan, Group Editor of I-5 Publications, which produces Dog Fancy Magazine. Sunday morning features the annual Blur of Fur Speed Run, during which Greyhounds run as fast as they can as theyâ€™re timed with a radar gun. The event also encourages attendees to explore the lovely town of Gettysburg by offering guided historic tours of battlefields and downtown.
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To be clear, this event is not just for Greyhound owners. Anyone who loves dogs is welcome to attend GIG and is sure to have a great time. But be aware—all that time around Greyhounds will likely have you seeking out the adoptable greys that will be on-site with numerous adoption and rescue groups. GIG is truly a celebration of this wonderful group of dogs. Not only that, but it is a significant fundraiser, not only for Nittany Greyhounds, but also for the entire Greyhound adoption network. For more information about GIG and to plan your visit, go to www.GreyhoundsInGettysburg.org. To find out more about Nittany Greyhounds, call 814-933-6981 or visit www.nittanygreys.org. ND
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Children’s Therapy Comes on Four Paws There is nothing tedious about physical therapy sessions when they’re led by a dog and handler Kathy Benner By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s
he 5-year-old boy, Kaylin, laughed with delight as Hobbes, a 5-year-old yellow Labrador Retriever, rolled a ball to him. Kaylin rolled the ball to Hobbes, and Hobbes rolled it back. It was a scene played out by other children and other dogs all over the world. But what made this particular moment moving was that Kaylin is a little boy coping with some big physical challenges, and Hobbes is one of his “physical therapists.” Hobbes is one of six dogs from Heeling House Inc., a heart-warming and successful initiative started by dog-trainer Kathy Benner, CPDT-KSA, to help motivate, engage and support children in need of major therapy. Kathy grew up around horses in Cupertino, California, riding and showing her skill in handling animals. As long as she can remember, she knew she wanted to train animals, and that she had a talent for doing it. As a young girl she had two Beagles trained to do endless tricks to the amazement of her family. While studying environmental biology at California Polytechnic Institute, she saw an ad for an exoticanimal training program at America’s Teaching Zoo in Moorpark, Calif. She was accepted into the program, and while there, she jumped at the opportunity to spend two weeks in Hawaii training sea animals. “I essentially wrote my own internship program, and I guess they liked my work, because when I graduated I had a job waiting,” says Kathy. “It was an incredible experience – I designed and implemented behavior modification and training programs for dolphins, sea lions, seals and penguins.” To supplement her income, she started offering her services as a dog trainer at a local military base, and her business took off. Seeking more opportunity, she landed in Northern Virginia and worked for a year at a veterinary clinic in Manassas. She happened to
run into a friend who had a veterinary clinic in Loudoun County that had a vacant office right next door, and in 2001 she opened The Animals’ House, the first dog day care facility in that county. The Animals’ House offers dog day care, boarding as well as basic obedience training and classes in nose work, agility, and more. Kathy spent the next 12 years successfully running her facility and teaching people and their animals, but still, she thought, “something was missing.” She had an idea. More than basic good behavior, she wanted to teach dogs to make a contribution – and she began to consider using dogs in child therapy.
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[hurry!] 10 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
5 Minutes with Kathy... Dog of her own? Atlas, Juan, and Clint, an older Australian Shepherd – plus three horses, two ponies, a guinea pig named Brownie, and ten goldfish. New Ideas on the horizon? I’m working on a felt vest with pockets that the dogs can wear, for the children to attach cards that match letters, shapes, or colors. The dogs can be dressed too – and the children can master buttons, putting on socks, and tying shoes as they dress the dogs. Most rewarding moment? “There was a young boy who we had been working with for many months. He had been trying to learn to walk on his own. The first time he took steps on his own was with Atlas, holding on to the harness. It was magical. And it’s so moving to see children who have speech challenges learn to verbalize commands for these dogs.” Favorite Book? “The one I am currently writing – about Atlas and his adventures in getting his gall bladder removed. I expect to publish “Atlas: The Very Special Therapy Dog” this March. Atlas is very special. He was born without a tail -- born different, like many of the children he works with. *For more information about Heeling House, Inc. visit www.heelinghouse.org or www.facebook/heelinghouse
“Another of our special dogs,” Kathy adds, “is Juan, an Australian Shepherd mix, rescued through HART Rescue two years ago. He is great with children with autism – he somehow connects to them. He’s very tactile and loves to be petted, and doesn’t mind the kids lying on him.” All of the dogs that work in the program are certified through Pet Partners, an organization that registers therapy teams. “Pet Partners offers online and in-person training, and then the handler has to pass a test, and then the dog and handler together are tested and locally evaluated, and if all goes well, the team gets certified.” “Basketball!” says Kaylin. The PT gives him a sheet of orange paper and helps him wad it up into a ball. Kaylin drops it in a trash-can “basket.” Then Kathy takes the paper ball and drops it on the floor, and Hobbs picks it up in his teeth and drops it in the basket. Over and over they take turns “shooting” the ball into the basket. “Working with the children and these special dogs has brought together everything I’ve done so far in my career,” says Kathy. “I feel so lucky to be doing this work. It’s an honor to be able to spend time with the special children, therapists, and dogs. And I hope someday to also incorporate ponies into the therapy.” ND Elissa Myers is a writer in Northern Virginia. She lives in Springfield with her tireless black Lab Indi and writes a daily column for the online Examiner.
“I approached Suzan Syron, who owns and operates the Children’s Therapy Center, which has locations both in Springfield and Sterling. She enthusiastically welcomed me to bring a pilot program offering animalassisted therapy to the center,” says Kathy. “Suzan is wonderfully creative in working with the children and has created so many special programs. The dog therapy was an instant success. The therapy sessions can be exhausting and frustrating for a child—everyone is focused on them, watching them ‘work.’ The dogs take the focus off the children and turn the work into play.” To help spread the idea, in September of 2014 Kathy created a nonprofit organization, Heeling House, Inc. All of the work she does with dogs and children is voluntary – Kathy operates her therapy work only thanks to donations. “We have lots of fundraising to do,” she says, because there are so many neat opportunities coming up. She hopes to introduce her special therapy secrets to the Loudoun County School District, working with children with special needs and pairing up with occupational and physical therapists. But back to Kaylin and Hobbes. They move on to another training room, where Kaylin sits on a low board with wheels, and Hobbes gently pulls him across the room. A PT brings a puzzle out and hides the puzzle pieces around the room. Hobbes wheels Kaylin around to find each piece and watches while the pieces are correctly fit together. “Our best ‘sled puller’ is Atlas, a French Mastiff, who has a special pulling harness,” says Kathy. “Atlas is a great stabilizer with the kids who need help walking. They can walk next to him, lean on him, and he is calm and still.” www.novadogmagazine.com
This Valentineâ€™s Day, show your canine companions how much you care By Taylor McLean
Join NOVADog Magazine and the Super Pet Expo to Set the Doggie-Kissing WORLD RECORD! SEE ALL THE DETAILS ON
love of the dog Unconditional. Loyal. Devoted.
Kira and dog, Riley show the ultimate puppy love. Photo by Deb Cobb. To view more of her work, or to arrange your own puppy love photo session, contact her at www.debcobb.com.
These are words used to describe the love our dogs bestow upon us every day, while asking little in return but food, water, shelter and the occasional belly rub. Indeed, anyone who has had the pleasure of being greeted by a wagging tail at the end of a long day can tell you that there is no love quite as selfless and pure as the love of a dog. What better time to celebrate this love than Valentine’s Day—our annual reminder to appreciate the many forms of love —Helen Exley in our lives, including the kind that comes on four legs. Fortunately for us, returning our dog’s fondness doesn’t have to involve diamond-studded collars, weekend getaways or expensive dinners. In fact, the things that our dogs tend to value the most are also the things we should already be doing to care for them and to ensure that they live long and healthy lives. The Valentine’s Day holiday is great time to kick that care into high gear and send some extra love to your canine companion. Start with these special treats and add few ideas of your own, and your pooch is sure to feel extra pampered.
“The average dog has one request to all humankind. Love me.”
Book a Day at the Spa While a head-to-toe spa package might feel like a luxury to you, regular bathing and grooming are necessary for maintaining the health and vitality of your dog. Bathing provides relief for dry, itchy or irritated skin, and removes dead hair and dirt that can harbor bacteria and parasites that lead to problematic skin conditions. Regular brushing stimulates blood flow and contributes to a healthier skin and coat. Frequent grooming is especially important for breeds with thick undercoats that become easily matted and long-haired breeds whose coats can get tangled and cause uncomfortable pulling of the skin. Trimming hair around the face of long-haired dogs also helps prevent irritation of the eyes and ears. Even if you regularly groom your dog at home, a full professional grooming package will allow for special care to be paid to parts of your pooch that don’t get as much attention, such as ears, eyes, skin and nails. While you’re at it, be sure to have your dog’s anal glands expressed to prevent potential impaction and discomfort. Utilizing the services of a professional groomer or taking your dog to a self-service dog wash can also be a gift to you in the form of eliminating messy
clean up at home. Most people notice an extra bounce in their dog’s step after a trip to the groomer, and for good reason—it feels great! Whether you choose the do-it-yourself option or a full-service groomer, treating your dogs to a spa day is sure to make them feel like they’ve settled in the lap of luxury. As an added bonus, coming home smelling better means more cuddles from the human family—a very special gift indeed.
Take the Hands-On Approach Wouldn’t you love a long, relaxing massage this Valentine’s Day? Chances are your pup would too. Canine massage and bodywork is a growing practice that practitioners say offers similar benefits for dogs as it does for humans, including increased mobility, improved circulation and digestion, muscle relaxation and relief from minor aches and pains. Regular massage is also a great way stay in touch with your dog’s health and well-being and can help you detect any stiffness, pain, swelling or strange lumps or bumps that could turn into bigger problems down the road. According to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation,
massage can be particularly helpful for decreasing discomfort and restoring range of motion and mobility in older dogs that may be experiencing the cumulative effects of compensating for chronic muscle imbalances. You can read up on do-it-yourself massage techniques, enroll in a course in canine massage, or take your dog in for some professional bodywork. Learning some basic, gentle massage strokes to employ yourself is a soothing way to strengthen your bond with your canine partners and give them the individual and undivided attention they deserve. On the other hand, professional bodywork aimed at addressing specific issues might be more suitable for dogs that have injuries, ailments or chronic conditions that would benefit from the expertise of a trained professional who is well versed in canine anatomy and physiology. Many veterinary offices, groomers and boarding facilities in the area offer massage as a specialty service, or they can refer you to an independent professional who will come to your home. Either way, remember that while massage can be a great stress reliever, it is not for ev-
Apartments & Townhomes We warmly welcome pets at our community and love delighting our furry friends and their families. From pet and resident social events to a Pet Park for play and a Pet Spa for pampering, we take every opportunity to include your pets in our community
To learn more about leasing, visit us at: AVALONFALLSCHURCH.COM
14 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
12/15/14 2:45 PM
Classes now in
North Arlington RESOURCES: Dog Bakeries • Dogma Bakery and Boutique—www.dogmabakery.com • Wylie Wagg—www.wyliewagg.com • Barkley Square Pets—www.barkleysquare.com Massage • www.k9zentime.com—Eneida Ramirez, Professional and certified Canine Massage Therapist (in-home massage) • www.ksrpetcare.com—30-minute sessions with certified massage therapist Brigitte Aronhime (in-home massage) • www.ponyandpooch.us—Holli Shan, ESMT, CMT Indoor Swimming • Olde Towne Pet Resort—www.oldetownepetresort.com • Pup ‘N Iron—www.pupniron.com • Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center—www.animalswim center.com • Liberty Hill Pet Resort—www.libertyhillpetresort.com • Gunnys Rainbow—www.gunnysrainbow.com
ery dog. You know your dog best; and whether it’s your hands or someone else’s doing the massaging, be aware of whether your dogs are comfortable, relaxed and enjoying the experience.
Go Gourmet We all know that eating well can make us feel healthier, more energized and better able to face the stresses of the day. The same is true for dogs, and yet while most of us go to great lengths to make sure the food we are consuming is of high quality, we often don’t think to pour over the ingredient labels of our dog’s treats in the same way. By far the best way to keep tabs on the food your dog is consuming is to make it yourself. Homemade dog treat are often healthier, tastier and cheaper than their store-bought counterparts. By baking your own treats at home, you can control what goes into them and make sure they are free of harmful additives that can impact your dog’s health over time. Plus, your dog will love them! A good place to look for
recipes is online. Does your pooch go crazy over peanut butter or cheese? Simply start your search with a main ingredient in mind and begin experimenting. Keep in mind that dogs can have food allergies and intolerances, just like people, and be on the lookout for any symptoms such as itching, vomiting or diarrhea. If spending time in the kitchen is not your thing, you’re in luck. We are blessed with a plethora of bakeries in the area that can help you pick out some healthy and delicious Valentine’s Day treats for your pooch, without you having to lift a pot holder. Check out Dogma Bakery and Boutique, Barkley Square Pets and Wylie Wagg for some tasty and unique Valentine’s Day (or any day) treats.
■ Puppy and Dog Manners Class—in Fairfax and Arlington ■ Nose Knows—teach your dog how to use his nose to hunt ■ Treibball—play this fun game while learning off-leash control and focus We offer private training for dogs of all ages and needs. Register at www.kissablecanine.com.
Happy Dogs. Happy Homes. —KissAble Canine Voted Best Trainer two years in a row! Northern Virginia Magazine
Get Out of the House Winter is a tough time to keep up with exercise. If your long walks and afternoons spent at the park have morphed into brisk turns around the block, finding new ways to get out and
Serving the Washington, DC Metro area
Show the World How Much You Love Your Dog Join NOVADog and Super Pet Expo to
Set the Doggie-Kissing World Record! “Whether it’s belly rubs or special scratches above the tail, we lavish our dogs with affection…” says Alexandra Mason, marketing manager for the annual Super Pet Expo. While we know you and your dog love on each other every day, this year’s Expo is planning a special event to show the world how much DC-Metro dogs and owners love each other.
How to Set a Record Meet in the parking lot on Sat., March 28, 9:40 a.m. (please check-in before 9:20 a.m.) at the Dulles Expo Center 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20151
Plan to: •G ive your dog a kiss on the head at the same time as hundreds of other caninehuman pairs • Laugh a lot • Take home some goodies • Have a great time
On March 28 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va., NOVADog Magazine is teaming up with Super Pet Expo to host a Doggie Kissing World Record Attempt. Bring your pooches to help set a world record for the most people kissing dogs at the same time! We’re anticipating hundreds of participants, so arrive at the Dulles Expo Center to check-in between 9 and 9:20 a.m. Enjoy music and refreshments (for dogs and humans), and get to know other attendees and their furry friends. The big kiss will occur promptly at 9:40 a.m. You won’t want to miss this chance to make doggie history with your beloved best friend! “It’s our hope that this Kissing World Record Attempt will bring attention to just how special the relationship between dog and owner is,” says Eric Udler, founder of Super Pet Expo. This event is just one more fun part of the Super Pet Expo for both dogs and owners. Following the Kissing Contest, doors to the 2015 Super Pet Expo will open at 10 a.m. Be sure to join the fun inside the Expo.
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move might be just what you and your dog both need to feel revived. You could take a Valentine’s hike or a road trip for a change of scenery (see the “Hit the Trail” article for a great day-trip idea), or consider signing up for a class for you and your pup to have some fun together while learning something new. Many trainers in the area have classes outside the normal obedience offerings, like agility, Nosework, rally and Treibball. Figure out what fits your dog’s idea of fun and you’ll be rewarded with a tail that never stops wagging. Do you have the kind of dog whose personal ad might include “loves long walks on the beach?” If so, nothing will bring the memories of summer back quite like some hydrotherapy, or in dog language, fun in the pool! While swim therapy pools are often used for rehabilitation for dogs recovering from injury or illness and for older dogs with arthritis and joint pain, they are also a great source of low-impact exercise that can help any dog reduce stress and anxiety, build endurance, flexibility and strength, and work off some extra winter weight. Olde Towne Pet Resort’s locations in Springfield and Sterling both offer 20-foot-long heated lap pools and swim sessions supervised by a trained attendant. The Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center in Middleburg also offers year-round water therapy and specializes in helping newbies get acclimated to swimming. Pup ‘N Iron is a canine training and fitness facility in Fredericksburg that offers hydrotherapy for rehabilitation, as well as Fun and Fitness sessions, where owners can join their dogs for some fun in the pool. Book some time at the pool this Valentine’s Day and your water-loving pooch will certainly love you. And if you’re planning a romantic getaway this winter, consider bringing your pup along with you! BringFido.com can help you find pet-friendly accommodations and attractions in more than 54 countries and has pet travel experts on call to help with booking questions. With more and more hotels catering to canine guests, spending a weekend away from home no longer has to mean leaving your dog behind.
What is fun, 4-legged, fastpaced, totally fantastic and
furry all over? The NOVADog Magazine’s SeeSpotRace Series The only 5K series for owners and their dogs. Enjoy Glow, Mud and Water Runs, fun after-parties, music, swag, and great times with fellow dog lovers. Find dates and times at www.novadogmagazine.com/ SeeSpotRace.
Spend Some Quality Time Regardless of how you choose to pamper your pooch, remember that what your best bud cherishes most is time spent with you. If your busy life has cut down on the amount of attention your dog receives, now is your chance to re-balance. After your trip to the spa or masseuse this Valentine’s Day, be sure to set some time aside for just the two of you. Choosing a longer route on your morning walk, playing together and building some extra cuddle into the day are great ways to show your dog appreciation and love throughout the year. One of the most special qualities dogs possess is their ability to be truly present. By taking a lesson from your four legged friend on living more fully in each moment, you will both reap the rewards of that special brand of doggie love. ND Taylor McLean is a writer and dog lover living in Alexandria, Va. She and her husband enjoy long walks in the woods with their Bassett Hound, TJ. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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staying mobile by Karen Baragona
uddha is a pug on the go. He gets five walks a day, romps with pals at the dog park, swims in the neighborhood pool. He was even in a wedding. When he’s not out gallivanting, Buddha mans the front door, yelling at the world, “Get off my lawn!” Buddha also happens to have spinal ataxia and can’t use his back legs.
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Not long ago, such a disease might have been the end of the line for Buddha and others like him. For dogs with incapacitating injuries, deformities and diseases there were few options for maintaining a good quality of life. Euthanasia was commonly considered the most humane route. But today the outlook is far brighter for dogs with impaired movement. From carts to braces to prosthetic limbs, there’s a wide range of highly effective and surprisingly affordable assistive devices that restore or enhance mobility. These devices, when paired with spunky dogs and dedicated owners, can give dogs a second chance at first-rate lives.
Carts Many conditions can hurt, weaken or immobilize a dog’s back legs, including severe arthritis, nerve damage, disk disease, or spinal injury. A cart can get dogs rolling again. Some carts on the market are custom-built for each dog, while others are adjustable across a wide range of heights and weights. Or if you’re handy, you can make one yourself with tutorials on YouTube. Buddha’s original cart was a two-wheeler, but with limited core strength, he struggled to propel himself on just his front legs. Buddha needed four wheels, but his dad Stephen Smith groaned at the cost of a new rig. Necessity being the mother of invention, he headed out to Home Depot, old cart in hand, in search of “anything that looked like it could be front wheels.” He came home with a sack of parts, welded it all together, and after some trial and error, finally got a fit. Buddha saddled up and took eight steps. The next day he ventured a bit further. And over the coming weeks, there was progress, but Buddha remained reticent. Instead of being liberated by the cart, he seemed dragged down. That all changed when Buddha met Saoirse (pronounced “Seersha”)—a lab-boxer mix whose name means “freedom” in Irish—who regained her freedom when she, too, started using a cart. Saoirse ruptured a disk while playing fetch, and within hours, her back legs were motionless. After a complicated surgery and agonizing weeks of crate rest, she was still paralyzed. She had to be carried everywhere. She seemed miserable. Her heartbroken mom, Maggie Slye, reluctantly began to consider euthanasia. “I felt like we were just keeping her alive, nothing more.” The alternatives were a second surgery with a low probability of success, or a cart. She opted to try an adjustable cart, purchased through Waggin’ Wheels (www.wagginwheels.com). The cart turned out to be a literal life saver. Before long, Saoirse was sprinting around the yard again. One fateful day, Stephen spotted Maggie and Saoirse rolling through his Arlington neighborhood. Overwhelmed with relief to have found another dog like Buddha, he rushed over and introduced himself. They shared their stories and arranged a meet-up. The first time Buddha saw Saoirse, Stephen recalls, “He suddenly realized, ‘Hey, this isn’t a punishment device, this is a THING!’” Buddha took over 80 steps that day. He chased Saoirse. Saoirse let him catch her. They became fast friends. Wearing their wheels, they were not disabled dogs, they were just dogs being dogs.
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Braces It’s becoming more common for dogs to undergo knee surgery for torn cranial cruciate ligaments (CCL), a severe injury that, left untreated, can cause chronic pain and lameness. Far less common, though, are knee braces that can replace, prevent, or complement surgery. If the ligament is only partially torn, it may heal on its own with a couple months of rest. This rest, however, is a tall order for active dogs and their owners. According to Derrick Campana, a certified orthotist/prosthetist and owner of Animal Ortho Care (www.animalorthocare.com) in Chantilly, supporting and protecting the damaged knee with a brace gives it the best chance of repairing itself. If surgery is still necessary, the brace can be used post-operatively to ensure a complete recovery. In 50 percent of cases, the same ligament on the opposite leg will also rupture within a year. Applying a brace to this vulnerable limb can keep it strong and help dogs dodge a second operation.
Prosthetics While knee braces account for 90 percent of Campana’s business, prosthetics are his true calling. He’s one of only a handful of specialists worldwide who create artificial limbs for animals. Early in his career, Campana worked only with human patients. His eureka moment came when Charles, a dog with a congenital limb deformity, hobbled into his office. His owner hoped a human prosthesis could be adapted to get Charles up and around. With some clever jury-rigging, Campana managed to fit his first canine client with a partial prosthesis. With some further tinkering, off Charles strode into the sunset. It dawned on Campana that plenty more
animals could benefit from prostheses—but no one was making them. “Light bulbs went off: I need to start a company right away.” That was ten years ago. Since then Campana has treated whole a menagerie—including a llama, a gazelle, and a crane—but most of his clients are dogs who lack the use of one or more limbs due to deformities or amputation. Many of us have marveled at the nimbleness of “tripods”— dogs missing one leg, most often because of osteosarcoma (bone cancer). Indeed, dogs seem to do fine on three legs, but over time,
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20 Northern Virginia Dog
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Maybe it’s the food. Whole Pet Central has just what the doctor ordered! We oﬀer the area’s ﬁnest selection of healthy foods for dogs and cats. the remaining joints can deteriorate from bearing the extra weight. If enough of a residual limb remains after surgery, a prosthesis may be an option. Why do we still see so many more tripods than dogs sporting bionic legs? It’s partly because so few people, even surgeons, know they exist. And those who do know may presume the cost is prohibitive, when in fact the average prosthesis runs roughly $850. Campana keeps costs down by making most of his products in house, adapting components used for humans and molding plastic parts by melting them first in a pizza oven. He has even partnered with 3D Systems to print 3D prosthetics.
Worth the effort Despite all these technological advances, caring for a disabled pet isn’t all sunshine and roses. Dogs using assistive devices may still have to be carried at times, including up and down stairs. While some dogs are up and running with their new parts and carts right away, there may be a prolonged period of acclimation for others, and a few never accept them. Dogs who lack sensation in their legs can scrape and bruise them unknowingly, and may need protective accessories like special boots or “drag bags.” Some disabled dogs go through a period of anxiety and require medication. And there are emotional costs for dog parents as well. For example, some people still assume disabled dogs are suffering and should be put down, and aren’t shy about saying so. This is hurtful to owners and clashes with so much evidence to the contrary. In spite of all this, these resilient dogs and their devoted owners do, with time, hit their stride. Stephen Smith attests, “In so many ways, not that much has changed. Buddha is head of the household, and always has been.” Maggie Slye agrees. “We’re diplomats for ‘You can have a dog like this.’” She hopes one day Saoirse, who adores people, can become a therapy dog at a children’s hospital. What a lesson she has for them—and for us all—about rolling with the punches. ND
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Karen Baragona teaches dog training and trains shelter dogs in Arlington. She lives near Mount Vernon with one husband, one cat, two kids, two rabbits, and a rowdy rescue hound named Huckleberry. www.novadogmagazine.com
N e w s an d Ev e n ts We ’ v e S n i ffe d Ou t
Super Pet Expo A “Super” Q&A with Gwyn Donohue of TwoDogTales.com
ne of DC’s premier pet events, the Super Pet Expo, takes place March 27-29, 2015, at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va. We tapped their marketing manager, Alexandra Mason, and popular blogger extraordinaire, Gwyn Donohue of TwoDogTales. com, for their unique perspectives on this must-attend annual event. Gwyn Donohue is a lifelong dog owner and 20-plus-year resident of the Metro-D.C. area. She currently has a 7-year-old Golden Retriever and a 6-year-old shelter rescue who looks like a black Golden Retriever but whose high-energy personality screams “Border Collie!” She began her blog, Two Dog Tales (www.twodogtales.com), in 2010 as a way to share news and experiences with like-minded dog owners. When did you first attend the Super Pet Expo, and why did you come?
I attended my first Super Pet Expo a few years before I started my blog. At the time, I had a super-spoiled Golden Retriever who was very good with dogs and crowds of
Alexandra’s Tips & Tricks for the Savvy Attendee • Help break a world record Be a part of the doggie-kissing record-breaking event! The headliner of this year’s Super Pet Expo will be the attempt to set a world record for the most owners giving their dogs kisses on the head simultaneously. On Saturday, March 28, at 9 a.m., come to the Dulles Expo Center with your dogs for the attempt. It’ll be a fun way to highlight the amazing the bond between owners and their dogs. Plus, how often do you get a chance to make history? • Prep your pet There’s a lot of sniff-and-be-sniffed happening. Dogs are so excited to
people. I thought it would be a great way to both give her an experience outside of her regular routine and shop for some new toys and collars.
greet one another. If your dogs love the dog park, they’re going to love coming! There’s even an indoor dog park on the Expo grounds called the Puppy Playground. But if your dog tends to be shy, or isn’t a fan of other dogs, he or she will probably be happiest hanging out at home and enjoying the treats and toys you return with. • Give yourself time There will be 150+ vendors to check out, so you’ll want to plan on spending at least an afternoon at the Expo. The best shoppers take a loop and see what’s available before making their purchases. You never know what you’ll find.
• Don’t miss the entertainment! Just watching all the pets interact can be pretty entertaining, but there will be plenty of planned entertainment as well. This year the Marvelous Mutts are back, and they put on a great dock-diving show. We really love them, because all of their doggy entertainers were rescued. You cannot miss the Best Dressed Pet Contest. Last year a cat named Coco won with an outfit featuring pink booties, a hat and a pink wing. You’re just not going to see that anywhere else. And don’t forget educational features like the Parakeet Encounter or the chance to have your dog go through the Canine Good Citizen test.
Photos by Ana Ka’ahanui
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Getting Social With
Barks heard round the water dish Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/novadog.
NOVADog asks, What’s your dog’s favorite holiday treat? Kim E. My dog loves Fruitables Pet Food! I make a peanut butter sandwich “cookie” out of two Fruitables--a swipe of PB on the flat side and then put together. Mack goes nuts for them! Beth M: Anything with peanut butter or bacon.
Shannon C: My dogs love homemade pumpkin treats! Sheena D: My dog loves any pumpkin treats!!! I swear when I find them, I stock up on them.
NOVADog asks, Where’s the weirdest place your pet has left a stain? Stacey L. How to choose?! Maybe the pile of dirty laundry waiting for wash? At least she made it easy for me...
Karen R. The comforter on my bed. Rebecca R My lap as I was sitting on the bed trying to put my tights on for work!!!!
Missa M. my backseat.... #2.....
Did anything about the show surprise you? Yes, I was surprised by the vast numbers of people who attended and their wide variety of dogs. The parking lot was overflowing, and nearly every single family there had at least one dog. There were puppies that could fit into your pocket right up to Great Danes the size of small ponies. I’ve never seen such a collection of sizes, ages, colors and breeds in one place. And everyone wanted to see, pet, and talk about the dogs. Super Pet Expo offers a lot of shopping opportunities. Did you find anything special? I enjoy the selection of collars. Since both my dogs are long-haired, they don’t need coats, so a collar with a theme is a fun way to dress them up. Last year, I got them matching Buffalo Bills NFL collars that they wore all season. Unfortunately, it didn’t prove to be a good luck charm for the team! When I decide we have too many
Most Shared The most shared video we’ve ever posted on NOVADog’s Facebook page was a Golden Retriever hilariously failing an obedience test. I guess we all enjoy watching a dog just go for what makes him happy. Watch the video again at http://bit. ly/1495QWt.
collars, I donate them to a rescue I volunteer for, GRREAT (Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training) or the local animal shelter. What tips would you provide to those attending? Buy your tickets in advance! The line to purchase them on-site can stretch around the building. And, many rescue groups sell Super Pet Expo tickets as a fundraiser so you can help save dogs at the same time. And make sure your human children have safe dog manners—such as always ask the owners before touching their dogs, and don’t reach for a dog’s head, but offer your hand so the dog can choose to sniff you first.
The Super Pet Expo takes place March 27-29 at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va. Tickets and show info are available at www.superpetexpo.com. Friday, 4 p.m. – 9 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. One Day Adult (12+) - $13.00 One Day Child (4-11) - $8.00 Weekend Pass (Adult) - $20.00 Weekend Pass (Child) - $10.00 *Watch the NOVADog Facebook and Twitter pages for chances to win free tickets!
CANINE CALENDAR JANUARY Jan. 14 6PM – 8PM – Architect for Animals. A fundraising and awareness initiative to support the Washington Humane Society’s community cat program – CatNiPP. Participating architectural design firms build and donate creative outdoor winter shelters to provide DC’s homeless cats with refuge from the season’s freezing temperatures. These shelters will be on display to the public at the event, and at the end of the evening, all shelters will be donated to caregivers who work with the WHS. The American Institute of Architects. 1735 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, DC. Learn more and buy tickets at support.washhumane.org
Jan. 17 3PM – 7PM – Self Serve Pet Wash at VIP Pet. The cost for each dog brought to the self-serve pet wash is $15 and 100% of proceeds will be donated to the Washington Humane Society. Event will be at 110 S. West Street, Alexandria, VA. Learn more at support.washhumane.org and www.vippetsalon.com
Jan. 22 6:30PM – 8:30PM – Rabies & Microchipping Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Have your dog or cat vaccinated with a three-year rabies shot or invest in a 24PetWatch MiniChip, which is one-third the size of a standard microchip. For vaccinations, please
provide prior rabies certificate. Without said records, pet will receive a one-year shot instead of the three-year. Rabies shot $10, microchipping $30 and includes registration. Find out more at www.awla. org/events/
FEBRUARY Feb. 4 6AM – 9PM – 2015 Sugar & Champagne Affair. Join the Washington Humane Society’s annual reception filled with desserts, champagne and other delectables to celebrate WHS Law Enforcement Officers, Animal Care & Control Officers, Humane Educators, local “Humane Heroes,” and others who devote their work to combatting animal cruelty. Multiple ticket options available and on sale now. Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC. More info visit www. sugarandchampagne.org
Feb. 4 7:30 - 8:30PM: New Volunteer Orientation for Fairfax Pets on Wheels. Train for you and your dog to brighten the lives of residents of nursing homes and assistedliving facilities in Fairfax County. Please complete the online registration first, and do not bring dogs to the orientation. At Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA. Check online calendar for exact room location. More info and forms at www.fpow.org.
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24 Northern Virginia Dog
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Special thanks to our calendar sponsor Fur-Get Me Not.
Feb. 13 8:30PM – 12AM – 2015 Have a Heart Hop with Gottaswing. Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is one of two charities to benefit from this fundraising event featuring live music by The Fabulettes, dancing, silent auctions and more. Tickets are $25 at the door, $20 in advance. Beginner dance lesson is included in ticket purchase. Hilton Washington Dulles, 13869 Park Center Road, Herndon, VA. For more details, visit haveahearthop.org
Feb. 14 8AM – 5PM – For the Love of Animals, Wine & Whiskers Valentine Event at Barrel Oak Winery. The Middleburg Humane Foundation (MHF) will host an event filled with live music, adoptable animals, food, auctions and more. A portion of the Barrel Oak bottle sales will go towards the MHF. Attendees must be 21 and over. Learn more and buy tickets at www.middleburghumane.com/wine---whiskers.html
Feb. 21 6 – 10PM – Spaghetti Bingo for Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. Join this family-friendly night of fun and fundraising. Ticket prices include all-youcan-eat spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert and soft drinks, as well as five bingo cards. Additional bingo cards, raffle tickets, T-shirts, merchandise, and beer and wine will be available for purchase, and there will be many great items on the silent auction. Unitarian Universalist Church, 4444 Arlington Blvd., Arlington, VA 22204. Buy tickets and learn more at www.homewardtrails.org.
MARCH March 4 7:30 - 8:30PM: New Volunteer Orientation for Fairfax Pets on Wheels. Train for you and your dog to brighten the lives of residents of nursing homes and assistedliving facilities in Fairfax County. Please complete the online registration first, and do not bring dogs to the orientation. At Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA. Check online calendar for exact room location. More info and forms at www.fpow.org.
Mar. 7 Fun Dog Show at the Old Town Alexandria St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Dress your dogs in their finest Irish attire for this annual event. Costume awards will be given before the parade starts. Get details at www. ballyshaners.org/parade/ParadeInfo_dogshow.htm.
Mar. 21 7AM – 11PM – Casino Night 2015. A Forever Home Rescue Foundation is hosting its Fourth Annual Casino Night and Silent Auction with raffles, casino games, drinks, hors d’oeuvres and fun! Piedmont Club, 14675 Piedmont Vista Drive, Haymarket, VA. Find out more at www.aforeverhome.org/events/
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Mar. 27-29 Mar. 29 10AM – 5PM – Super Pet Expo Chantilly. This pet lover’s dream weekend event will feature exciting edutainment for pet lovers, over 150 local and national shops and exhibitors, adoptable pets, learning opportunities about pets and pet related products, Canine Good Citizen Testing with the AKC, the Aquarium Experience, the Cat-Centric Exhibitors and more! Leashed pets welcome (Retractable leashes NOT permitted). Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA. Learn more and buy tickets at www.superpetexpo.com/chantilly.
Mar. 28 9AM – 9:45AM – Dogs-Kissing-Humans World Record Event. NOVADog Magazine and the Super Pet Expo are attempting to set a word record for the most dogs kissing humans at once. This event will take place in the parking lot outside of the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA before the doors open for the Super Pet Expo. Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA. For details, visit www.novadogmagazine.com/event/dogs-kissinghumans-world-record-event/
APRIL April 1 7:30 - 8:30PM: New Volunteer Orientation for Fairfax Pets on Wheels. Train for you and your dog to brighten the lives of residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Fairfax County. Please complete the online registration first, and do not bring dogs to the orientation. At Fairfax County Government Center, 12000 Government Center Parkway, Fairfax, VA. Check online calendar for exact room location. More info and forms at www.fpow.org.
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For more events check out our Canine Calendar online at: www.novadogmagazine.com
NOVADog Magazine’s SeeSpotRace Series 3-race 5K series this spring for owners and their dogs. Enjoy Glow, Mud and Water Runs, fun after-parties, music, swag, and great times with fellow dog lovers. Find dates and times at www.novadogmagazine.com/ SeeSpotRace.
SeeSpotRace 5K race series Spring 2015
Join NOVADog Magazine and the Super Pet Expo to Set the Doggie-Kissing
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1. RYDER loved by Ratha
2. ECKO loved by Dawna in
3. ZEKE, TAVE, & MAISY loved by Beth in Alexandria
4. TWINKIE loved by Meghan in Manassas
5. CHARLIE loved by Bruce in Manassas
6. MORTY loved by Jessica 7. SUNNY loved by Wanda in Washington, DC
8. STRIDER loved by Allison in Centreville
9. STARBUCK loved by Allison in Alexandria
10. DUTCHESS loved by Kim in Herndon
26 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
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HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y
Winter Adventure By Carol Brooks
n the cold winter months, it can seem daunting to find fun outdoor activities for you and your dogs. But with a little planning, you can enjoy a dog-friendly winter adventure through the Virginia countryside to eat, hike and even enjoy some wine or cider. Your well-behaved dog is in for a treat. These suggested lunch and vineyard stops allow dogs inside. The hike destination, the State Arboretum of Virginia, is about 60 miles from D.C. and allows dogs to run free off leash on most of its property. You can go directly to the arboretum via the fastest route or start out early and create an all-day adventure. The all-day adventure option begins with a drive through Virginia’s famed horse country to lunch in dog-friendly Middleburg, followed by a dog-tiring winter trek, and then a relaxing visit to a unique vineyard.
Lunch in Middleburg I suggest the adventure option, which is what my friend and her dog, Aspen, and I did recently. Start with lunch in historic Middleburg. Take the scenic route by following directions via Route 50 to Middleburg. This picturesque 18th-century town is about 20 miles from the arboretum and a perfect place to break for lunch. Many of the town’s restaurants allow dogs on their patios (when open). Market Salamander, a gourmet market and cafe that sits on the corner of Route 50 and West Washington Street, allows dogs inside all year. Yes, well-behaved dogs are allowed inside! In addition to gourmet food that is available to eat in or to go, with 24-hour notice they will put together a personal picnic basket. Visit their website for more information: www.marketsalamander.com.
Hike Options After a lunch stop, continue on Route 50 another 20 miles to the State Arboretum on
About Your Guide Carol Brooks is co-owner of DogOn Fitness, a daily exercise service for dogs. She specializes in high-energy and overweight dogs, providing them with working walks, running, adventure hikes, and training reinforcement. Headquartered in Reston, DogOn Fitness services Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, MD. Visit them on the Web at www.dogonfitness.com.
Cobbler Mountain Cellars’ fire ring.
the left. This tranquil tract of land in Boyce, Va., situated on the northern corner of the Shenandoah Valley, is home to a collection of 6,000 trees and shrubs. It offers numerous marked trails of varying lengths that loop around the property and highlight its extensive plant life. The rolling terrain in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains makes a delightful setting for this comfortable winter hike for any level of hiker. From Route 50, turn left and drive into main parking area, which is across from the Community Garden and next to the Arboretum Information kiosk. Note: dogs are allowed off leash on this property except in parking areas, horse trails, and within 200 yards of buildings, and must be under voice control at all times. Please follow their pet guidelines so everyone can enjoy this property. Before choosing a route, take a moment to review what’s available at the kiosk, including trail maps and a pet poop bag station. We decided to head out (from the main parking lot) on the Wilkins Lane Loop Drive, which is the main gravel road that loops around the interior of the property. Most of the trails are accessible from this loop, and you can ramble around on trails such as the Herbaceous Gardens, the Native Plant Trail, or Ginkgo Grove. Trails range in distance from .75 miles to 2 miles, plus you can weave together any length you want. The terrain at the Arboretum is open and inviting, allowing you to see which paths will return to your car from almost any point. Dogs are allowed off leash on these trails. We wandered to the wetlands and climbed the steps of the lookout tower for an expansive view of the arboretum. From that vantage point, we discovered a magical path through conifers featuring natural rock ledges perfect for climbing and well-maintained boardwalks to vary the hiking terrain. You can also choose the longer 7.5-mile Bridle Trail on the outside perimeter of the property; dogs must be kept on-leash on the Bridle Trail. For more information and directions, visit www.blandy.virginia.edu/arboretum.
Relax at a Dog-Friendly Winery After our invigorating hike at the Arboretum, we headed to our final stop for the day, Cobbler Mountain Cellars just off Route 66 in Delaplane, Va. This dog-friendly gem allows dogs on-leash in the tasting rooms and off
Aspen and owner Jennifer at the arboretum.
leash anywhere on the expansive grounds. Upon our arrival, Aspen fell asleep at our feet in the tasting room to the sounds of live music after her adventure at the Arboretum. On chilly days, if you want to sit outside, you can warm up at one of the many outdoor fire rings stocked with wood. Cobbler Mountain features wine tasting in the main room and hard cider tasting in the back “Pub Room” area. Though we didn’t explore them, it also boasts over 7 miles of hiking trails. Visit www.cobblercellars. com for more information. Be sure to start your adventure early in the day. The winery closes at 5 pm. Market Salamander opens at 8 a.m. and as of this writing, offers a Sunday Brunch until 11 a.m. The State Arboretum of Virginia is open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year, and is free to the public. ND
Did you hike it? Please stop by our Facebook page to leave some of your own feedback, www.facebook.com/novadog. TRAIL SPECIFICS
Getting There The State Arboretum of Virginia: 400 Blandy Farm Lane, Boyce, VA 22620 Market Salamander: 200 West Washington Street, Middleburg, VA 20118 Cobbler Mountain Cellars: 5909 Long Fall Lane, Delaplane, VA 20144 What to Bring: Wear hiking shoes or boots. Bring water for you and your dog, poop bags, layered clothing, and blankets and towels for after-hike clean-up. Arboretum Specifics Distance: 0-7 miles or more. You decide. Fido-Friendly Features: Off-street parking, fun dog-safe on- and off-leash trails, wide trails, numerous trash cans and recycle bins. Public bathrooms available Use: hikers, horses, dogs. Best Time to Go: Anytime. Rated: 2 paws (moderate)
1 paw = easy; 5 = expert
WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories
age 3, is loved by Lynn in Springfield, Va.
Adopted on: March 12, 2013 Adopted from: The Humane Society of Fairfax County Background: Tink came to the Humane Society of Fairfax
County with 22 other dogs. They were living in a hoarding situation in a filthy, rural trailer. Her life is so much better now!
How did she get her name? When I adopted her she had already had the name Tink, and with all that she had been through, I did not want to change her name. Benefiting the
You picked her because... of her sweet disposition. Favorite activity together: We love the beach and being outdoors.
Favorite treat or snack: Beneful Baked Delights FEBRUARY 4, 2015 Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW Washington, DC Hosted by Chef Todd Gray and Ellen Kassoff Gray Presented by Trade Center Management Associates FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.sugarandchampagne.org 202-735-0324 • email@example.com
28 Northern Virginia Dog
| Winter 2015
Favorite toy: It’s a hard bone that she carries around and
hides under pillows (we have named it ‘bonie’), and when I tell Tink to put her bonie somewhere safe, that’s where she hides it.
You love her because...She is just so sweet and lovable. ND
The mission of the Humane Society of Fairfax County, Inc. is to promote humane education; to prevent all forms of cruelty to animals, both domestic and wild, by every legitimate means; and to assist the community with all matters pertaining to the welfare of animals. Find out more at www.hsfc.org.
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