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novadog Winter 2013



Also Inside: Tips for Choosing a Dog Daycare Explore Virginia’s Blue Ridge Hit the Trail Hike: Peaceful Mason Neck State Park

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contents Winter 2013

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




Fresh-Air Adventures Explore Virginia’s Blue Ridge with your four-legged friends.


 People. Animals. Love.


DC-based PAL is uplifting patients with disabilities, one at a time. By Lindsay Tilton



News, information, and products


On the cover:

Eleanor Thompson, a patient at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital, sits with Buddy, an 8-year-old mix of Jack Russell Terrier, Italian Greyhound and Chihuahua. Photo by Robin Burkett. To view more of Burkett’s work or to schedule an appointment for pet photos, visit www. pawprintsphotography.com.


Literature, arts, and new media


A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

Four steps to a fresh start in 2013




Questions to ask when choosing a Dog Daycare

14 PETCENTRIC PEOPLE Hanging with DC Metro’s dog-crazy crowd


27 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories


Happenings we’ve sniffed out

Find a pet service provider—see the directory on page 26. www.novadogmagazine.com


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

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PUBLISHER Angela Meyers | ahazuda@yahoo.com MANAGING EDITOR Claiborne Linvill | claiborne@novadogmagazine.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Janelle Welch | janelle@2houndsproductions.com CONTRIBUTORS Christy Bell, LVT, Carol Brooks, Robin Burkett Laura Cruz, Sabrina Hicks, Ingrid King Elissa Matulis Myers, Lindsay Tilton ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers, p: 703.887.8387, f: 815.301.8304 ahazuda@yahoo.com DISTRIBUTION MediaPoint 9022-A Telegraph Road Lorton, VA 22079 Info@Mediapointusa.com

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.

Size does matter.

Choose Bistro Bites – a tasty, healthy treat made especially for small dogs • Contains all-natural ingredients • Available in a variety of flavors and sizes • Grain, oil, and gluten-free! • Made in USA Hungry for more? Visit bistro-bites.com. When you order, enter promo code HEALTHY and get FREE SHIPPING on your first order until 3/31/13. Also available locally at Uptown Pet Bistro and Boutique in Fairfax, VA and at Fetch Dog & Cat Bakery Boutique in Occoquan, VA.

2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2013

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2013 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 the NOVADog website 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.

facebook.com/novadog twitter.com/2_hounds flickr.com/photos/novadog novadogmagazine.com/blog Visit us on the Web at www.novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR Code.

Winner: 2009, 2010 & 2011 Award of Distinction

Farewell, But Not Goodbye It is with great excitement (and a small dose of misty-eyed reflection) that I introduce the new publisher of NOVADog Magazine. Due to some personal concerns, I have decided to step down as publisher and pass the baton. Some of you may already know her as my current right arm: Angela Meyers, VP of Marketing and Advertising. I can’t think of a better person to take over the helm at NOVADog. Angela has been extremely instrumental in helping me to launch and create the NOVADog Magazine community. It has been a true honor to have served as publisher of NOVADog for the last four years, and I am very proud of the special community that we all have created together. The magazine is very near and dear to my heart, and I have enjoyed meeting so many of our readers and their canine companions out and about in the community. I won’t actually be saying goodbye though. I will still be involved in running some things at the magazine, and you’ll still see me around, just a bit more behind the scenes. I hope you will join me in congratulating Angela as she continues her

journey with NOVADog and moves into her new role. I wish her much success! Looking back, when I launched the magazine four years ago, I had no idea where the road would take me. Turns out, it was a very fun and exciting trip, one I wouldn’t trade for the world. There are so many good things on the horizon for NOVADog. I am excited and I hope you are too! As always, we value the input of everyone involved in the dog community here in the DC Metro, and we hope that you will continue to email us with story ideas, future article topics, or maybe just to say “hi.” Since I will still be involved in determining the editorial calendar for the year, please direct any comments or ideas to janelle@2houndsproductions.com.

Bev Hollis Photography


connect with us facebook.com/novadog twitter.com/2_hounds flickr.com/photos/novadog novadogmagazine.com/blog

Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com Visit us on the Web at www.novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR code above.




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

Dapper Dog This adorable plaid bow tie is designed to slide on and off your dog’s existing collar. Made to order from LittleBlueFeathers on Etsy.com, bow ties are handmade and machine sewn, available in regular (good for small to medium dogs) and large (good for larger breeds). Shop owner Michelle Sharkey tells customers two things: Boston Terrier not included, and please do not leave dogs unattended in collar accessories. FIND  it: www.etsy.com/shop/ LittleBlueFeathers

Say Cheese.... Then Order Free Prints! Free Prints by PhotoAffections.com lets you order free 4x6 photos—right from your iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch. Printed on deluxe, glossy photo paper, you’ll have your free professional-quality pictures, delivered to your door within days, and you just pay a small fee for shipping and handling. Users can order up to 85 free 4×6 prints per month or other sizes at extremely competitive prices, and they arrive in just days. FreePrints accesses photos stored on the iPhone as well as Facebook and Instagram, giving you the chance to select, crop, and order photos from any of your albums. Shipping costs start at $1.99 and payments are simple and easy, made via credit card or PayPal. FIND  it: free on the iTunes App Store by searching for “FreePrints.”

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DIRECTIONS Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a large bowl, mix cheeses with oil. Stir in flour, dry milk, and salt until blended. Add water and knead until dough comes together. Roll dough on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness, and cut out treats using a cookie cutter. Repeat until all dough is used. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until treats are golden brown. Allow to cool thoroughly before serving to your four-legged friend. Editor’s Note: Substitute whole wheat flour to make an even healthier treat for your dog. We used Nutritional Yeast (available at Whole Foods and Health Food Stores) in place of the garlic salt. Recipe Courtesy of Paula Deen

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Pet Poison Helpline Reaches Out to Pet Owners with iPhone App As part of an ongoing effort to keep animals safe, Pet Poison Helpline offers several ways for pet owners to learn about dangerous and potentially deadly poisons that lurk in their homes and gardens. Already downloaded by thousands of pet owners, the recently launched Pet Poison Helpline iPhone app has an extensive database of more than 200 plants, household items, foods, and drugs that are poisonous to pets.  “Our goal is to keep pets safe, and we feel that reaching out directly to pet owners through educational opportunities is the best way,” says Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, and associate director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. “Because pets are beloved family members, pet owners want to learn more about protecting them. The app is packed with potentially life-saving information designed to help prevent the anxiety and heartache that inadvertently happens when pets are accidentally poisoned.”  Pet Poison Helpline’s handy iPhone app, called “Pet Poison Help,” puts life-saving information at the fingertips of pet owners, whether they

are at home, on the road, or somewhere off the map without cell service or Internet access. It contains an extensive database of more than 200 foods, drugs, household cleaning supplies, and plants commonly found in the home and yard that are poisonous to pets. Each toxin has a full-color photo, description, list of symptoms, and a bright yellow banner that indicates the severity of the toxin: from “mild to moderate,” to “moderate to severe.” The app also features a powerful indexing tool that allows users to search for toxins, crossreferencing them by poison type and animal species to make it easier for owners to see what toxins are poisonous to their specific pet. Pet Poison Help is available on iTunes for $1.99. More information is available for download at the iTunes store. For pet owners who don’t have an iPhone, Pet

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6 Northern Virginia Dog

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Poison Helpline suggests bookmarking www. petpoisonhelpline.com on any smartphone for immediate access to pet poisoning information.  Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals, and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800.213.6680.

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RedRover Helps Victims Escape Abuse Without Leaving Their Pets Behind RedRover, a national animal protection nonprofit based in California, is bringing attention to the connection between animal abuse and family violence by offering information about grants available to domestic violence shelters. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, more than 70 percent of pet-owning women entering domestic violence shelters reported that their batterer had injured, killed, or threatened family pets for revenge or psychological control. As many as 48 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave. Only 3 percent of shelters can house pets on-site; a portion provide off-site housing referrals, while the majority of shelters do not offer any resources at all. RedRover offers aid to victims of domestic violence and their pets through the RedRover Relief program. This program provides financial support for veterinary care and boarding to enable domestic violence victims to leave their batterers without having to leave their pets behind. “Sadly, many domestic violence victims stay in abusive homes because they are afraid to leave their pets,” says Nicole Forsyth, RedRover president and CEO. “Their pets are often also victims of abuse, suffering from injuries and neglect. RedRover Relief grants make it possible for victims to safely escape, reassured that their pets are protected.” Donations to the RedRover Relief program have funded critical care and shelter for animals displaced by family violence. In one case, RedRover awarded a $300

grant to a woman seeking a protective order against her husband, who had threatened to drive her cats into the woods and abandon them. Another applicant finally found the courage to leave her abusive husband, but she said she would sleep in her car before she gave up her elderly pug. And in another case, a grant from RedRover paid for two months of boarding for a family’s dog while they sought child- and pet-friendly housing after fleeing a very dangerous situation.

As many as 48 percent of domestic violence victims are unable to escape their abusers because they fear what will happen to their pets when they leave. Increased outreach and greater public awareness on domestic violence issues have led to a 70 percent rise in applications for the RedRover Relief program in the last year. Founded in 1987, RedRover focuses on bringing animals out of crisis and into care through a variety of programs, including emergency animal sheltering and disaster relief services, financial assistance for urgent veterinary care, and humane education. ND FIND  it: www.redrover.org

703-574-3383 Sign up for a creative learning workshop! n Artful Dog-rrr— Color outside the lines in this fun art class for canines! n The Nose Knows— Focus on your dog’s keenest sense: smell. n K.I.S.S. Bad Habits Goodbye—Present your dog’s problem behavior. n Canine Mediation and Healing—Learn meditation and healing techniques to practice with your dog. n Urban Herding 101—Teach your dog this new sport, herding for the dog not on a farm! To register for workshops visit the KissAble Canine website:


Happy Dogs. Happy Homes. —KissAble Canine Voted Best Trainer two years in a row! Northern Virginia Magazine

Serving the Washington, DC Metro area www.novadogmagazine.com


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

RESOLVE TO GET ACT IVE TOGET leash and go HER: Grab ! Ten minut the es is a good but some pe starting go ts will need al, time to work up to that.

Four Steps to a Fresh Start in 2013

Resolutions come in all shapes and sizes. Here are a few pet-friendly ideas to start the year off on the right foot. By Ch ri s ty Be l l , LV T 1

Create a health pet profile & plan. The value of a veterinary visit isn’t just to treat what ails your pet but also but to aide in prevention! So give your pets the gift of a thorough medical checkup. Talk with your veterinarian about the current health of your pet and what you can do to keep your him or her in tip-top shape. Make a plan. Many diseases don’t become obvious until it’s too late. To uncover hidden problems before they surface, take your pet for blood and urine testing on a yearly or twice-yearly basis, as recommended by your veterinarian. Vaccinate according to your veterinarians’ knowledge and disease endemic for your region. Preventative care: this is a special gift that can truly save the life of your pets.

2 Daily exercise. Those added pounds could rob your pet of precious years from his or her life. To keep your pet fit, engage in some aerobic activity together each day. Take it slowly if he or she is not used to regular exercise. Ten minutes is a good starting goal, but some pets will need time to work up to that. Does your community offer a dog park or a reputable doggie daycare? Nothing will please your dog more than playing, tossing a toy, or taking a walk. You and your pet will have fun, feel less stress, and have a happier start to the new year. The buzz word in behavior has been “enrichment ”: so offer your pet a challenge­—some mental or physical stimulation

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that offers the opportunity for increased cognitive function. Hide a treat in a box, place peanut butter in a Kong toy of treats. Allow your pet to use his ingenuitive nature to sort things out and receive a reward—whether its food or cuddles!

3 Dentistry is more than kissable breath. A key to good pet health is kissable breath. According to the American Veterinary Dental Society, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop gum disease by the age of three years. Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition affecting dogs and cats. Infection and inflammation of the gums and supportive tissues of the teeth are caused by the bacteria present in plaque and calculus (tartar). The problem begins when plaque and calculus are allowed to build up on a pet’s teeth, especially below the gumline. Bad breath, bleeding and inflammation of the gums, receding gums, and the loosening and eventual loss of teeth are characteristic of the condition. Prophylactic treatment to keep the teeth clean is of great importance. Your veterinarian may recommend an oral hygiene program that includes regularly brushing your pet’s teeth with toothpaste formulated for animals. Oral rinses and specially formulated chews are also available. Diet is a major factor in the development of plaque and calculus. Soft, canned or sticky foods should therefore be avoided, while certain chewing toys are beneficial. Specially formu-

lated diets with dental benefits (reduced accumulation of plaque and calculus) are now available for dogs as well as cats. Be patient when initiating oral home care, especially in older animals. It is best to start dental care at an early age. Introduce brushing gradually and begin by rubbing your pet’s teeth and gums with a soft gauze wrapped around a finger. Gradually switch to using a toothbrush designed for pets or to a very soft human toothbrush. Avoid forceful restraint; rather make it a bonding experience and always praise and reward your pet for good cooperation. Oral health has a profound effect on your pet’s general health. Periodontal disease may cause bacteria and toxins to enter the bloodstream with potentially harmful effects on internal organs. On the other hand, poor systemic health may manifest in the oral cavity in various ways and may also exacerbate periodontal disease. Your pet’s dental examination is therefore not limited to the oral cavity but should always include a general physical examination. Laboratory examinations, to evaluate systemic disease concerns, may also be recommended. Some dogs and cats suffer from chronic oral infection or stomatitis, a poorly understood condition that is difficult to treat. Your veterinary team can help you plan for in-clinic dentistry events. You should request a consultation so that you know what to expect: Who will perform the dentistry? What training have they received that qualifies them for this procedure? Are special procedures necessary, such as root canals or dental radiographs? Typically, a pet dentistry consists of the following: a physical exam, pre-anesthetic bloodwork, IV catheters, medication planning, sedation, patient monitoring, tooth cleaning/polishing/scaling, possible extractions, and pain control. All subjects worthy of discussion. Be your pets advocate: get involved and work with your veterinary team. Financial options may include pre-payment discounts, payment plans, and credit card financing plans. January and February are typical pet dental health months; perhaps you can take advantage of specials or incentives.


Locate emergency resources for your pet. Loss of power or heat and storms or inclement weather conditions: all good reasons to prepare an emergency plan in advance. If you need to evacuate your home, what medications, supplies, cages, crates, toys, food, and bowls should you have ready for getting your pets out safely? Many pet owners store an extra leash, dog bowl, and blanket in a crate, so that if they need to leave quickly with their pets they can. What hotels within a 75 mile range allow pets? Where are the three best emergency hospitals that treat pets in your region? Power outages may be widespread, so look beyond your local veterinarian, and ask them who they recommend if they can’t help you. Keep a copy of all certificates and vaccine records. Don’t stress later, plan now. Whatever preventative steps, large or small, you can fit into your budget to improve your pets health and wellbeing are typically repaid tenfold in doggy kisses and kitty purrs! But pre-planning is also a benefit to pet owners, who are rewarded with relaxation and quality family time. ND Christy Bell is a Licensed Veterinary Technician at Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates in Purcellville, Virginia. Client education, veterinary blood banking, emergency medicine, and professional photography are her key interests.

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

Questions to Ask When Choosing a Dog Daycare By Laur a C r u z

more in-depth knowledge than a new hire would be expected to have.

I have heard lots of good things about dog daycare, but my dog Jasper has never been to one before. The weather is going to get colder soon, and so I’d like to try one out where he can plan indoors. He is pretty shy, and, at the dog park, he gets his toys taken by other dogs a lot. I want to make sure that they keep on eye on him. He has a tendency to let other dogs bully him. I was wondering what questions I should ask the daycare staff when I go for our evaluation next week? QUESTION

First, let me say bravo for ANSWER being such a great pet parent! You’re already ahead of the pack because you’ve recognized that, while dog daycare can provide your dog with some exercise and joy, you know that finding the right fit is what is going to keep your dog happy and healthy. Asking the right questions will help you determine which dog daycare is best for you and your dog. Dog daycare offers many benefits beyond a place to play indoors. Your dog can also gain

10 Northern Virginia Dog

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important socialization and development, while meeting new friends! Whether your dog is shy or a social butterfly, ask the following questions and you’ll be on your way to finding your perfect fit.

Who is doing the evaluation? If the daycare includes any kind of open play, you want this answer to include someone with training in dog behavior and internal testing or certification of some kind. Determining which dogs pass evaluation requires

What training does your team receive? Team members should follow a standardized curriculum that emphasizes dog behavior, positive reinforcement leadership techniques, and proactively maintaining safe levels of play.

How many on your team are certified in pet first aid and CPR? The more members of the management team are certified, the greater the likelihood that the facility has someone in the building who carries a certification at all times.

How do your playroom policies keep dogs safe? An open-ended question like this will help you understand how thorough the team’s knowledge of dog behavior and safety is. Answers can run from making sure dogs are separated by size and temperament, to what methods are implemented to minimize bullying, and whether toys are considered a fun accessory or a gateway to possessive

arguments. Minimizing the use of toys and treats in open play shows that a facility has knowledge of how to reduce the risk of resource guarding.

What is the dogs’ schedule? You’re looking for a routine because that’s what dogs thrive on. You always want a nap or rest time; no matter how playful your dog, without a nap he’s going to get cranky and potentially clumsy. You can also ask about flexibility. While a routine is helpful, how accommodating will the team be if your oldtimer needs extra naps?

How much playtime do they get? Are you paying for a full day of play, or are you getting mini sessions throughout the day? While a period of rest is healthy, weigh the cost to actual services provided.

What are your cleaning standards? You want to know that there are actual cleaning standards in place, not just sporadic or situational cleaning. This is also the time to ask how management might deal with the inevitable conjunctivitis or canine cough outbreak. If a facility states that this would or could not occur, this is a flag. Any social environment increases the potential of communicable illness.

Touch a Life and Change Your Own 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.

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What is your emergency evacuation plan? First of all, every dog daycare should have a well thought-out evacuation plan. But more importantly, does everyone in the building know it, or just the manager?

How does your team communicate special needs and requests? It’s imperative that special needs are not simply kept in one individual’s head or written on a post-it note. There needs to be a standardized system of communication across all levels. That way anyone can know at a glance that your dog has taken his or her medication and needs a bath with a special shampoo.

You are your dog’s advocate. You know your dog and his or her needs better than anyone. Find the right daycare, and you can leave your fear behind you, knowing that your dog is well cared for and happy. Put in the effort right at the beginning, and you can look forward to many years of a happy and social dog, not to mention a whole team of people that look forward to spoiling him almost as much as you! ND Laura Cruz joined the Dogtopia team in December 2010. She previously worked on the company store side, both as an Assistant Store Manager and as the Community Ambassador, before joining the home office team as Operations Support Specialist. Laura believes in focusing on internal and external customer service as a means to create a positive corporate culture. She finds happiness in standardization and enjoys proving that holding everyone to the same high standard can be fun. Laura has more than 10 years of experience in the animal service industry in a wide variety of fields. www.novadogmagazine.com



D og -fri en d l y s p a c e s i n No rth e rn V i rg i n i a a n d b e y o n d

Fresh-Air Adventures

Explore Virginia’s Blue Ridge With Your Four-Legged Friends


ust as resounding as the grandeur and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Roanoke Valley offers an abundance of fresh-air adventures for all types of outdoor enthusiasts—even the most devout four-legged fanatics. With an array of greenways, parks, trails, and special events, the Roanoke Valley is a premiere, pet-friendly destination for all visitors. Let the journey begin at the Roanoke Star & Overlook, located on Mill Mountain, one of 60 parks complete with a trail system and a host of outdoor recreation. Roanoke City also offers a dog park, where dogs of all sizes can romp and roam off leash within the special area, which is part of the larger Highland Park. Open since 2009, the site allows owners to bring up to two dogs at a time from 6pm - 11pm and includes convenient Mutt Mitt stations for immediate clean up and disposal of pet waste, and enough open space to run for the most rambunctious dogs.

Greenways Galore The Valley’s more than 22 miles of greenways allow domestic pets that are leashed and with their owners to enjoy a walk, run, picnic, bike ride, or simply watch nature in a peaceful setting. The Roanoke River Greenway, Lick Run Greenway, Mill Mountain Greenway, Murray Run Greenway, and Tinker Creek Greenway serve as scenic connectors linking Roanoke’s natural charm to its alluring neighborhoods and radiant downtown. Not far from the center of town is Carvins Cove Natural Reserve, the second-largest municipal park in the nation that boasts a major water source within its 12,700 acres and plenty of hiking and equestrian trails. Continue your outdoor exploration along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Appalachian Trail, which welcome furry family members for hikes, camping, and all-around fun along their picturesque trails. Dogs must be leashed while on the Parkway, as well as on the Appalachian Trail for safety and courtesy to others. (Visit

12 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2013

www.blueridgeparkway.org/v.php?pg=54 for parkway regulations and www.appalachiantrail.org/hiking/hiking-basics/hiking-with-dogs for trail regulations.) Of course, owners are responsible for cleaning up after their pets.

History and Tradition Thrive When you’re ready for a change of pace, venture to downtown Roanoke and discover the lure of the Historic City Market, which boasts a storied tradition and thrives as the pulse of the Roanoke Valley. Open year-round, pets are allowed to walk along the market if leashed and picked-up after. Some retailers (like Walkabout Outfitter and Orvis) sell pet merchandise, while others may place a welcome water dish for pets outside their doors on warm days. When you find yourself hungry for some homemade fare, stop by any of the local eateries for a great meal. While you will likely find plenty of fare to satisfy your appetite, PawPaw’s, which typically occupies a market stall, sells savory homemade dog treats even the most curious canines are sure to love. Shopping takes on an entire new meaning at Black Dog Salvage, located just minutes from downtown Roanoke in the Historic Grandin Village. Be sure to greet Sally the Salvage Dog as you browse through 40,000 square feet of architectural antiques, commercial salvage, and an assortment of other one-of-a-kind finds.

Dog lovers can continue the theme of relaxation while indulging in the serene surroundings at Chateau Morrisette Winery, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Floyd County. Tour the grounds, taste their most flavored blends, and savor cuisine from the American South, all while captivated by the views of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Each year, the winery hosts such events as the Black Dog Wine and Music Festivals, held on select weekends throughout the summer and early fall. Enjoy more Virginia wines, with your favorite four-legged friend in tow, at the annual Horse and Hound Wine Festival held in July at Johnson’s Orchards in Bedford County. Take a horseback ride through the orchards’ rolling hills; test the agility of your pet in the dog and muskrat races; shop the many arts, crafts, and food vendors; or grab a spot for you and your pooch under a tent as you sip fine wine and sway to the live music. If you’re looking for a more dog-specific affair, spend time in the summer sun at the annual Woofstock event in June at Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, or choose the cooler fall weather at Dogtober Fest held in October at the Saint Frances Training Center in Roanoke. The event boasts the Parade of Dogs and other activities for dogs and kids, including the PawCasso Paw Painting, the Doggone Good Diner, an obstacle course, a

mechanical surfer, music, and more. When it’s time to wind down, choose from a variety of pet-friendly hotel/motel properties in the Roanoke Valley to book a room for you and your beloved pet. Some allow you to bring up to two pets for an additional fee, and some feature designated pet areas on their grounds. At Sheraton Roanoke Hotel and Conference Center, be sure to ask for the Sheraton Sweet Sleeper Dog Bed for your tired tail-wagger. ND

IF YOU GO: Come discover what makes the Roanoke Valley prime for pet lovers. For more information about Virginia’s Blue Ridge, visit www.visitvablueridge. com, call 800.635.5535, email Kaki Smith at kaki.smith@geigerpr.com, or stop by the Roanoke Valley Visitor Information Center located in Downtown Roanoke. Open 9am – 5pm daily.




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

Selling an Experience, Not Just a Space By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s


n 2004, Kim Campbell was working as a consulting accountant, when she and her husband found themselves lunching near Potomac Mills one day. Looking through the window, they saw a pet boarding facility that “looked like it needed a lot of tender loving care.” With a great location just off Interstate 95 and a lot of land, they thought it might prove to be a good investment. They made some inquiries, and soon after found themselves in the pet business: establishing The Dog Eaze Inn. “We spent lots of money on re-engineering the facility and rebuilding the structures. In the original business, the dogs were kept in cages so small that the big dogs couldn’t stand up. We rebuilt the kennels to give them plenty of temperature-controlled room, but, in fact, our dogs spend most of their time happily outside in the play yards.” Dogs participating in the daily daycare sessions have a busy routine, including lots of outdoor play. “After the first few visits, some owners have expressed surprise at how calm and exhausted their dogs are,” says Campbell. “It’s no wonder they are tired—they’ve been running and playing all day.” For an additional fee, dogs that lodge at the Inn have access to an array of extra activities and playtime packages during their stay. The Dog Eaze Inn maintains an average ratio of one handler to 10 dogs, and the dogs are separated into one of three play yards based on their size, disposition, and special needs. Comfortable indoor areas are

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provided for dogs with extreme special needs—“like one of our elderly regulars with hip dysplasia,” Campbell says. Four years ago, Melissa Monaghan joined the staff as on-site manager of the facility. Monaghan started her career as a daycare manager for human children, but she discovered that her passion was caring for animals. Monaghan walks the talk, caring for 10 dogs (or “fur babies” as she calls them) of her own at home, including an Irish Wolfhound; a Beagle; a couple of Pit Bulls; Sassy, a Pekinese; Sarge, an American Foxhound; and more. When asked how she maintains order at home, she says, “It’s all schedules and routine. Every dog knows where and when they eat. They know the rules of the pack. And we follow a strict routine every day.”

Adding in Some Fun and Games It’s not all serious business, though. There are lots of fun events for clients and their pets. Dog Eaze supports a regular “pup crawl” and on St. Patrick’s Day offers to take pictures of your pup with a leprechaun. Monaghan has been instrumental in bringing innovations to the Inn that make it special. “We offered a special Thanksgiving dinner for our guests—either dine-in for those staying with us or carry-out for those who would be with their families. The dinner included all-natural turkey breast, harvest stuffing with apples and celery, cranberries, and pumpkin muffins. For Christmas, we offered roast

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Melissa Monaghan (left) and owner Kim Campbell of The Dog Eaze Inn.

Advice for someone thinking about getting into a dog-care business? “Be prepared to work hard. Your choices will be critical for the welfare of the dogs. Prepare for the unexpected. And don’t take on every dog that is brought to you—some dogs just won’t be a good fit with your policies.” Kim’s favorite Dog Movie? “The Incredible Journey, the story of three pets that travel hundreds of miles across the Canadian wilderness to find their owners.” Melissa’s Favorite Dog book? A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron -“a dog’s-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man’s best friend.” Funniest Experience? “On opening day a woman drove up with a Beagle and a two-year old child, and proceeded to video-tape the Beagle to capture his first day at “school.”

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Advice for dog owners? “Do your homework and understand what your dog has been bred for. Retrievers like to retrieve. Shepherds like to herd. They will be happier if you help them fulfill their destiny.”

beef in place of turkey,” says Monaghan. The Dog Eaze Inn has a full-time trainer on staff who uses a mix of positive and corrective techniques to provide the perfect blend of messages for each individual dog.

Educating Clients Campbell and Monaghan also are working to help educate clients that “we don’t sell space, we sell an experience. People are sometimes surprised to realize that we aren’t just selling enclosures—we are offering a total quality experience, with the values of cleanliness and safety embedded in everything we do,” says Campbell. They are planning a series of on-line videos for the families of pets on topics like what to expect when you drop your dog off. “Dogs are happier when they are active, and when they get attention,” says Monaghan. “We fill their days with activities like playtime, grooming, and a belly-rub.” The Dog Eaze Inn is a family-owned and run business. “We take great pride in finding the right staff to work with the dogs and in training them to interpret the ‘markers’ dogs use to communicate – teaching them to differentiate between dogs as they get to know them, and to distinguish, for example, between growls,” explains Campbell. “Many of our clients are busy two-income couples for whom the dog is their ‘child.’ They bring special shampoos with them when they drop the dog off, or a special toy or bottled water. They know what they want for their fur babies, and we take pride in accommodating them,” says Monaghan. It’s no surprise that many of the dogs they care for become lifetime devotees of this charming Inn. 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 on-line Examiner. www.novadogmagazine.com



Buddy, a visiting PAL dog sits wtih Samuel Nwachukwu, age 13, of Bowie, MD.

people. For more information about PAL visit www.peopleanimalslove.org.

For more information about MedStar National Rehabilitation Network, visit www.nrhrehab.org.


animals.love. Uplifting Patients One at a Time B

uddy, an 8-year-old mix of Jack Russell Terrier, Italian Greyhound, and Chihuahua, is your typical dog. He takes long naps in the sunny spots of the house when home alone and is highly sociable and explorative when meeting new people.

However, when Saturday rolls around and his owner, Adrienne Wojciechowski, straps on his “People. Animals. Love.” vest, he is calm and ready to go to work. Buddy is just one of the few hundreds of volunteer dogs whose job is to make those with serious health injuries and disabilities crack a smile and let out a laugh. “People. Animals. Love.”, or PAL, is a DC-based organization where volunteers and their dogs travel to more than 30 locations around the District to help spread liveliness and a spark of happiness to people with disabilities. From an elderly patient who is

recovering from a stroke to a child who needs a touch of confidence in interacting at school, PAL dogs are dedicated to support those who need an encouraging boost. Some of the places PAL journeys to for their “pet visiting program” are nursing homes, hospitals, mental illness facilities, libraries, and elementary schools. Having begun in 1982, PAL was founded by Dr. Earl Strimple, a DC veterinarian. Throughout his career caring for animals, Strimple noticed the amazing bond between humans and animals, and the positive influences a pet had on a family. He took this

By Lindsay Tilton Photography (pages 16 and 18) by Robin Burkett. To view more of Burkett’s work or to schedule an appointment for pet photos, visit www.pawprintsphotography.com.



A young patient visits with PAL dogs Jon Jon and Buddy.

knowledge and started PAL as a way of spreading the effectiveness of the human and animal bond. Thirty years later, PAL has about 350 human volunteers with over 350 certified dog volunteers. One of the sites PAL travels to is MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital (NRH), a facility specializing in treating patients who’ve suffered disabling injuries or events in their life such as stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury, or orthopedic injuries.

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For five years now, on every second and fourth Saturday a month, PAL volunteers will bring a handful of their dogs to an open area of the facility for about an hour, to work their magic in cheering inpatients. “We have seen that the patients have responded very well to animals and have tapped into the love the animals bring,” says Joan Joyce, therapeutic recreation coordinator for MedStar NRH. With just a slight pat on a dog’s head or a nuzzle in their warm fur, the kids’ spirits are instantly lifted. Some kids like Samuel Nwachukwu, a 13-year-old and first-time PAL visitor, took some time to warm up to the animals. However, by the end of the hour, he was glowing with excitement from feeding the dogs treats and following his new furry friends in his wheelchair. While some patients curiously stopped by for a quick glance at the animals, others stayed for the entire hour to play and pet the dogs. Jon Jon, a big but loving 3-year-old white Husky mix, even gave one of the inpatients a ride by pulling her wheelchair around the atrium. Fitzy, a 3-year-old Havanese, relaxed comfortably on patients’ laps, while Buddy jumped up on stool seats to have a better reach for those in wheelchairs. Patients like Suuf Saadawi, 21, were particularly excited for the dogs’ arrival to the facility. Having been at MedStar NRH for


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Beating the Odds Nick Balenger, 17, was a devoted attendee to PAL’s pet visiting program during his two-month stay as an inpatient at MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital. After a swimming accident during a family vacation in Hawaii, Balenger suffered a severe spinal cord injury and was paralyzed. While spending time learning how to move his fingers and toes again, Balenger would take a break and play with PAL’s dogs. “I’m a dog lover, and I haven’t seen my own dogs in months, so it was great getting to see the animals and being able to play with them,” says Balenger. While Balenger continues to recover as an outpatient, his own dogs, Jinga and Scrappy, remain close to his side at home. Follow Balenger’s story on his website: www.nickbalenger.com.

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a week and still learning to gain feeling in his body after a surgery that removed tumors on each side of his spinal cord, Saadawi was all smiles and enthusiastic for the four-legged visitors. “I’ve always wanted a pet, especially a dog. It’s really nice to be able to see the dogs and play with them while I’m here recovering,” says Saadawi. Some dogs are meant to help people like Nwachukwu and Saadawi smile—even if it is with a wag of the tail. PAL group leader, Wojciechowski, was drawn to join PAL because of her own dog, Buddy. “He has so much love and patience to give,” she explains. “And having seen how positively my own grandmother reacted and interacted with dogs at her assisted living facility, I knew it was a perfect fit for Buddy.” Jeremy FitzGerald, a member of MedStar NRH’s Board of Directors and owner of Fitzy, says, “Getting involved with PAL has been a wonderful way to get to know the people in the hospital. Plus, it’s so nice to see people come out to see Fitzy and the other dogs. They look so happy.” Though humans cannot understand what dogs think or want to say, their actions speak loudly. It only takes a lick on the hand or a look in your eye to know that they want to comfort and care. PAL continues to accomplish Strimple’s goal of bringing meaning to humans’ lives and striving to solve challenging societal needs through the caring nature of animals. ND Lindsay Tilton is a freelance writer and recent graduate from Christopher Newport University. She is passionate about writing and adores animals of all kind—especially dogs. To get in contact with Lindsay, email her at lindsay.tilton.08@cnu.edu.


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et lovers in the DC Metro couldn’t be more excited for the Super Pet Expo, which will again unite pet owners and animal lovers at the premiere shopping and entertainment destination. From Friday, March 15, through Sunday, March 17, pet owners will be able to peruse more than 150 pet-oriented vendors. The fun-filled family event will also feature some unique entertainment and educational opportunities. Looking for a new best friend? With many area pet rescues in attendance, the show also promotes responsible pet ownership and helps draw attention to abandoned pets available for adoption.

Something for Everyone Walking into the event is always a thrill. A huge, open building full of nothing but pet-related items like fashionable dog collars, reptile enclosures, hamster environments, cat scratching posts, bird toys, animal shows, and much more. Bring along your dog, but don’t forget the leash.

An Action-Packed Weekend There is so much to do and see, you won’t want to miss any of it, including the following: Echo the Singing and Talking Bird. Sarah Hoeft and Echo, her 15year-old effervescent, double yellow headed Amazon parrot, are making their first trip to the Washington Metro area. See Echo talk, sing, laugh,

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cry, party, and even speak Spanish. In 2011, they brought their amazing talents to America’s Got Talent. Dock Diving. Fueled by EVO. Witness four-legged performers soar through the air into a 30,000 gallon swimming pool. These worldclass Frisbee dogs fly through the air after discs and zip through agility courses. Their athletic abilities are truly electrifying. Rescue Ink. Meet the Rescue Ink tough guys. Rescue Ink is a rescue group unlike any you have seen before: a bunch of tattooed, motorcycle-riding tough guys who have joined together to fight animal cruelty, educate abusers, and help resolve situations other rescue groups cannot or will not handle themselves. Rescue Ink has appeared on major TV networks including Fox, NBC, ABC, and CBS, in addition to the Ellen DeGeneres show. In 2010, the National Geographic channel had a season-long series documenting their efforts. Dog Agility Classes. Kathy Benner with The Animals’ House will teach obedience and agility classes. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to take a class with your dog right at the show, and watch local dogs whiz through an agility course. Bobby G Pets. Matt Butler is committed to the protection and welfare of all animals. He takes a fun, informative, and educational approach to show everyone the environmental value of reptiles. Plus you will be able to get up close to snakes, turtles, alligators, and more.


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Extreme Reptiles Exhibit. You can experience the wonder and excitement of this one-of-a-kind venomous snake exhibit. Animals include cobras, giant pythons, boa constrictors, anacondas, vipers, and more. Gain new respect for these wonderful animals and become inspired to take action for the preservation of these animals and their habitats. Puppy Playground. The world’s largest indoor puppy playground, spanning nearly 5,000 square feet, guarantees to be a fun and educational environment for your dog. There is no better way to socialize man’s best friend. Pony Rides by Marshal Steve. Children will love going for a ride on the old-fashioned pony wheel, where they will find clean, safe, and well-cared for ponies.

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Show hours are 4:00 to 9:00 PM on Friday, March 15; 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on Saturday, March 16; and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Sunday, March 17. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www. superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG (expires March 15). Leashed pets welcome (no charge).



In Review

L i tera tu re , a rts , a n d ne w me d i a

book review

The Dog Who Danced By Susan Wilson, Reviewed by Ingrid King


his new novel from Susan Wilson, the author of One Good Dog, is about a woman’s cross-country journey to find her lost dog and discover herself. It weaves together two different story lines about loss and love. It’s the story of Justine, a single mother in her 40s whose son lives with his father. She’s a restless soul, always hoping that the answer to her problems will be around the next corner. The one constant in her life is her grey and black Sheltie Mack, a dog she taught to dance. It’s also the story of Ed and Alice, a couple who has been living separate lives together for seven years after their young daughter’s suicide. When Justine’s father is dying in her childhood home, she and Mack hitch a ride across the country with a trucker. In one life-changing moment, Justine looses Mack. When Ed and Alice take in the friendly lost dog, their lives begin to change. Caring for the dog brings them closer to

22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2013

each other, and their lives take on hope and meaning again. Meanwhile, Justine is frantically searching for her dog, while reconnecting with her dysfunctional family in an attempt to heal old wounds. The novel is narrated from three points of view: Justine’s, the couple’s, and Mack’s. In the segments written from Mack’s point of view, Wilson perfectly captures a dog’s innate ability to bring out the best in humans. I never quite could bring myself to like the humans in this story, but I fell in love with Mack and his ability to heal wounded hearts. Ingrid King is the award-winning author of Buckley’s Story – Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. She is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health, and happiness for cats and their humans, which has won multiple awards. King is the publisher of the online magazine News for You and Your Pet, which goes out to subscribers around the world. For more information about King, please visit www.ingridking.com.


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March 15-17—Super Pet Expo. More than 150 vendors for a cool shopping experience, plus outstanding entertainment. Show hours are 4:00 to 9:00 PM on March 15; 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on March 16; and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on March 17. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www. superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG (expires March 15). Leashed pets welcome (no charge). GET A FREE NOVADOG MAGAZINE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION WITH YOUR ONLINE TICKET ORDER.

JANUARY January 19 10AM—Canine Good Citizen Testing at KissAble Canine (held outdoors in an enclosed area at The Muddy Mutt: 2603A South Oxford Street Arlington, VA 22206) Cost $25. For more info: www.kissablecanine.com.

January 22 8PM-9:15PM—The Nose Knows Level I & II by KissAble Canine. (Class is held at Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S Arlington Mill Rd, Arlington, VA 22206.) This workshop is focused on your dog’s keenest sense: smell! It’s stimulates their brainpower, encourages them to work independently and keeps it fun for dogs of all ages and breeds. Cost $185. To register: www.kissablecanine.com.

January 24 6:30 - 8:30PM—Low-Cost Rabies and Microchip Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. $10 Rabies shot, $30 microchip. Bring prior rabies certificate (not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org.

January 27 3PM—Dog Training Workshop: No Jumping! at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www. furgetmenot.com.

January 27 5-9PM—PetTech 4-Hour CPR Pet FIRST AID Class by Safety Furst, A Division of Loyalty Pet Care. Class is held at Animal Welfare League of Arlington Education Room, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206. Cost $69.00. To register: www.loyaltypet.com/safetyfurst.html

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January 30 1:30PM—Dog Training Workshop: Leash Manners, at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www. furgetmenot.com.

January 31 6-9 PM—12th Annual Sugar & Champagne Affair, Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. This celebration of all things sweet, showcases the DC area’s most talented pastry chefs. Enjoy delectable confections complement-

ed by some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. Proceeds benefit the animals and programs of the Washington Humane Society. Ticket information: www.washhumane.org/sugar.

FEBRUARY February 3 12 noon—Basic Manners Made Easy from Rudy’s Friends Dog Training (classes held at Pro Feed, 234 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180) Basic skills, good manners (door greetings, no jumping, etc), loose leash walking, recalls, sits and stays, Off and take it commands. 7 sessions, $190. To register: www.rudysfriendsdogtraining. com.

February 5 6:30 PM—Basic Manners Made Easy from Rudy’s Friends Dog Training (classes held at Pro Feed, 234 Maple Ave E, Vienna, VA 22180) Basic skills, good manners (door greetings, no jumping, etc), loose leash walking, recalls, sits and stays, Off and take it commands. 7 sessions, $190. To register: www.rudysfriends dogtraining.com.

February 13 8:30 PM—Dog Training Workshop: No Jumping! at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www. furgetmenot.com.

February 24 3PM—Dog Training Workshop: Leash Manners, at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www. furgetmenot.com.

February 24 5-9PM—PetTech 4-Hour CPR Pet FIRST AID Class by Safety Furst, A Division of Loyalty Pet Care. Class is held at Animal Welfare League of Arlington Education Room, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206. Cost $69.00. To register: www.loyaltypet.com/safetyfurst.html

February 27 8:30PM—Dog Training Workshop: Tricks, at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www. furgetmenot.com.


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Website:  www.pampered-pets.us email: info@pampered-pets.us Is your dog getting enough exercise?

NOVADog Magazine and the Pet Lovers Companion have consolidated, uniting two publications beloved by pet owners in Washington, D.C., Maryland and Northern Virginia.

Serving NOVA & MD

www.PetLoversCompanion.com | www.NOVADogMagazine.com.

703 627 4462


“ We’re more than just a walk around the block! ”

For more information, contact publisher Angela Meyers at ahazuda@yahoo.com, or call 703.887.8387.

MARCH March 3 9AM—Canine Good Citizen Testing at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. For more info: www.furgetmenot.com.

March 3 8PM-9:15PM—The Nose Knows Level I & II by KissAble Canine. (Class is held at Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S Arlington Mill Rd, Arlington, VA 22206.) This workshop is focused on your dog’s

keenest sense: smell! It’s stimulates their brainpower, encourages them to work independently and keeps it fun for dogs of all ages and breeds. Cost $185. To register: www.kissablecanine.com.

March 8 Save the Date--3rd Annual Mardi Growl Gala at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, VA 22314. More information coming soon, visit www.alexandriaanimals.org.

March 9 10AM—First “Hit the Trail with NOVADog” Group Hike. Bring your friends--2 and 4 legged!  Meet up with other dogs and dog lovers to explore the “Hit the Trail” trail and hopefully see some bald eagles.  Meet at Mason Neck Park at the Bay View Trailhead at 10AM for a fun and furry hike.  Dogs are permitted on a 6 ft flat leash. We’ll have prize drawings and everyone who attends will receive a free 1 year mailed subscription ($19 value).  See you there!! For more information email ahazuda@yahoo.com.




March 27

3PM—Dog Training Workshop: Tricks, at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www.furgetmenot.com.

8:30 PM—Dog Training Workshop: Leash Manners, at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S Four Mile Run Drive, Arlington, VA. Cost $35. For more info: www.furgetmenot. com.

March 24 5-9PM—PetTech 4-Hour CPR Pet FIRST AID Class by Safety Furst, A Division of Loyalty Pet Care. Class is held at Animal Welfare League of Arlington Education Room, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206. Cost $69.00. To register: www.loyaltypet.com/safetyfurst. html

March 28 6:30 - 8:30PM—Low-Cost Rabies and Microchip Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. $10 Rabies shot, $30 microchip. Bring prior rabies certificate (not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www. awla.org. ND

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

SAVE MONEY! Look for the companies highlighted in RED for

special offers. Turn to the page number listed for full discount details and exclusions. Agility Frying Pan Farm Park 703.437.9101.....................................p. 6

Boarding Olde Towne Pet Resort www.oldetownepetresort.com .............back cover The Dog Eaze Inn www.dogeazeinn.com................................p. 13

Cremation Services Sunset Pet Services, Inc www.sunsetpetservices.com...........p. 20

10% off

10% off $25 off 10% off 15% off

Pet Therapy/Volunteerism

Dog Bakery/Treats Bistro Bites www.bistro-bites.com..........................................p. 2 Dogma Dog Bakery www.dogmabakery.com...........................p. 9

free shipping

Fairfax Pets On Wheels, Inc. www.fpow.org...........................p. 11

Pet Waste Removal

Dog Day Care

Poop Rescues, LLC www.pooprescues.com...........................p. 25

Dogtopia www.dogdaycare.com.............................................p. 5

$5 off

Photographers/Pet Portraits

Dog-Friendly Events

Bill Owen www.owendogphotography.com.............................p. 24 Paw Prints Photography www.pawprintsphotography.com......p. 21

Super Pet Expo www.superpetexpo.com................................p. 24

Rescue Organizations

Dog Food/Nutrition

Basset Rescue of Old Dominion www.brood-va.org................p. 18 Friends of Homeless Animals www.foha.org....................... p. 28 Washington Humane Society www.washhumane.org ............p. 28

Whole Pet Central www.wholepetcentral.com.........................p. 4

Dog Spa/Grooming Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique www.barkleysquarebakery.com...............................................p. 22 Bark ’N Bubbles www.barknbubblesdogwash.com........inside front. Pampered Pets Grooming www.pampered-pets.us.................p. 25 The Purrfect Grooming Company www.purrfectgrrooming.com...................................................p. 25

Retail Goods 20% off

Full Pet Services (dog walking/pet sitting/boarding/daycare/training)

Pet Safety Goods & Services Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

| Winter 2013

free item

KissAble Canine www.kissablecanine.com.............................p. 7 OffLeash K9 Training www.offleashk9training.com...................................inside back cover. $50 off Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com..........................................p. 19 $25 off Unleashed Abilities www.unleashedabilities.com...................p. 25 10% off

Veterinary Services

Loyalty Pet Care www.loyaltypet.com/workshops.html......... p. 25 All Friends Pet Care www.allfriendspetcare.com ............inside front. Amanda’s Pet Care www.amandaspetcare.com......................p. 14 Becky’s Pet Care www.beckyspetcare.com.............................p. 5 Dog Gone Walking & Pet Care www.dog-gone-walking-pets.com............................................p. 25 DogOn Fitness, LLC www.dogonfitness.com...........................p. 25

Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper www.Do-Rites.com................p. 25

Training/Behavioral Counseling/Advice

Always There Pet Care www.alwaystherepetcare.com.............p. 2 Fur-Get Me Not www.furgetmenot.com..................................p. 4

26 Northern Virginia Dog

K9 Nirvana www.k9nirvana.com............................................p. 20 KSR Pet Care www.KSRpetcare.com.....................................p. 19 Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network www.novapetsitters.com.........................p. 18 Raining Cats and Dogs www.rainingcatzanddogz.com............p. 9 Rover N Out! Pet Care www.rovernout.com............................p. 11 Time for a Walk www.timeforawalk.com.................................p. 6 Very Important Pets www.veryimportantpetsva.com...............p. 15

$25 off 10% off $20 off

Blue Ridge Veterinary Hospital www.blueridgevets.com.........p. 3 Deepwood Veterinary Clinic Deepwoodvet.net........................p. 25 NoVa Mobile Vet www.novamobilevet.com.............................p. 15 NOVA Pets Health Center www.VA-PETS.com........................p. 25 VCA Alexandria Animal Hospital www.vcaalexandria.com..........p. 14

20% off 10% off

HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

Peaceful Mason Neck State Park

March 9: 10AM—HIT THE TRAIL WITH NOVADOG Group Hike. Bring your friends—2- and 4legged! Meet up with other dogs and dog lovers to explore Mason Neck State Park and hopefully see some bald eagles. Meet at Mason Neck Park at the BAY VIEW TRAILHEAD at 10AM for a fun and furry hike. Dogs are permitted on a 6 ft flat leash. We’ll have prize drawings and everyone who attends will receive a free 1-year mailed subscription to NOVADog Magazine. ($19 value). See you there!!

By Carol B r ooks


ou and your dog will discover a winter

great views is the Bay View trail. If you want to

paradise in dog-friendly Mason Neck State

see bald eagles, go in the morning before 11:00

Park, located 20 miles from Washington,

when they are actively hunting; Ranger Ingramm

DC, in southern Fairfax County, VA. Once called Dogg’s Island after the Dogue Indians who inhab-

spotted 56 eagles the day I was visiting. On winter weekends, you and your well-

ited the area before English settlers discovered

behaved dog can warm up inside the visitor

it, this gem of a park offers options for every level

center and get information about the park. The

of hiker, including a wooded .9-mile gravel trail

visitor center is closed on weekdays November-

appropriate for accompanied wheelchair and

March, but you can learn much about the park

stroller users.

and trails at the electronic information station

Known best for its bald eagle sightings and

outside the front door. The park maintains more

Bill and Mary Burnham with Coco, Authors of Best Hikes Near Washington, DC and other trail guides.

After completing the short Wilson Spring trail,

magnificent water views, this 1,800+ acre state

than 5 miles of unpaved hiking trails with a kiosk

I turned onto the very easy and wide Dogue trail,

park, owned by the George Mason family in the

at some trailheads where you can pick up a park/

which is a loop hike appropriate for strollers and

18th century, was slated for development into

trail map. The trails are well marked and easy to

wheelchairs, then followed the adjacent multi-use

a high-density planned community in 1965.

follow, with colorful signposts directing you to

hard surface path back to my car near my starting

Thanks to a group of dedicated citizens, the

possible destinations.

point for a total of about 2.5 miles. The best way to

development was blocked, and the land is now

I parked near the visitor center, but you can

explore this park is to make your own hike. All of the

managed to protect and support the habitats

choose from two other parking areas to get closer

trails are fairly easy with few surprises, so figure the

of bald eagles, hawks, and over 200 species of

to the trails. With a trail guide in hand, I followed

distance you want to go and enjoy!


the park ranger’s suggestion and started my hike on the Bay View trail. This is an easy launch-

Getting There

this park, I jumped at the chance to move out of

ing point for anyone new to the park because

Use your favorite map system to go to 7301 High

my “park comfort-zone” and review a place I’d

it is close to the visitor center, bathrooms, and

Point Road, Lorton, VA 22079. ND

never seen before. This park has much to offer,

Belmont Bay, where you are most likely to see

including guided hikes and events you and your

eagles. To get to the Bay View trail, follow a

dog can attend together, yet it’s surprisingly quiet

gravel path along the bay and to the left of the

and low-key.

visitor center. It crosses a boardwalk and then

When a NOVADog reader suggested I review

Park Ranger Marc Ingramm said the best

goes left and uphill to an open grassy area and

time to visit Mason Neck State Park is in the

parking lot. The Bay View trailhead sign is on the

wintertime, and the best wintertime trail for

opposite side of this area and to the right. The Bay View trail follows the Belmont Bay

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, training reinforcement, and more. Headquartered in Reston, DogOn Fitness services Northern Virginia and Montgomery County, MD. Visit them on the Web at www.dogonfitness.com.

Don’t like to hike alone?

Join us for our monthly group trail hikes and F.I.T. Clinics. Find out more: www.facebook.com/DogOnFitness.

shoreline, and elevated boardwalks cross over quiet marshlands. Sounds of shorebirds break through the quiet, and your dog will likely alert to the scents of other residents: deer, foxes, bobcats, and many busy squirrels. Within a half mile, you’ll come to a signpost with multiple options for continuing your hike.


Park Hours: 8 a.m. to dusk. $2 (weekday) $3 (weekend) fee. Visitor center is open all week AprilOctober and on weekends and some holidays in November-March. Please check the website for more information:www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_parks/ mas.shtml. What To Bring: Wear comfortable waterproof shoes. Bring water for you and your dog, poop bags, binoculars, and a camera. Trail Specifics: Distance 1.0 – 5.0+ miles. You plan your own hike. Time: 30-minutes to several hours, depending on your choice of trails.

One option is to continue on the Bay View trail

Fido Friendly Features: Off-street parking, fun dog-safe trails, frequent trash bins, and water access.

to complete an easy 1-mile hike. I opted to

Use: Hikers, runners, birders, on-leash dogs.

follow the half-mile Wilson Spring trail to the

Best Time to Go: Wintertime mornings for best bald eagle viewing.

Dogue trail. The Wilson Spring trail is wooded, with low rolling terrain and abundant, large holly

Rated: 1 paw (very easy)

trees that offer a spring-like splash of green that stands out against the winter backdrop. I imagine it would be stunning with snow on the ground.

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert



WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories


is about 2-and-a-half years old, and is loved by Joe and Jessica in Arlington, VA.

Adopted from: Homeward Trails on March 6, 2012. How did he get his name? We had a hard time deciding on a name. With a list of possibilities, we tried one or two of them for a couple days each before getting to Wrigley. By the second day, neither of us had vetoed Wrigley, and he started to respond to it. So that was it—in a way, he chose his own name.

You picked him because... I wanted a dog I could run with, and my wife wanted a poodle. When we saw the pictures of Wrigley on Petfinder, he was a scraggly looking guy with bright eyes and a mess of a coat—so bad it was hard to see what he looked like. When we got to the adoption event, he came right over to us and immediately climbed on my lap. After we took him for a walk and sat on the floor petting him, he climbed in my lap and fell asleep. Then, moved to my wife’s lap, and curled up on her. That was it, we knew he was our boy!

26 thAnnual

Bark Ball June 8, 2013

Favorite activity together: We love to run. We run two to three miles at least four days a week, and earlier this summer we ran the Lost Dog 5k series. He loved the races so much, getting faster at each race. Besides running on the streets by our home, we also try to get out to some trails when we can—he loves hiking and running on the Billygoat trails at Great Falls. Favorite toy: Either his ball (ChuckIt Ultra Ball) or his Kong (Genius Mike). We’ve tried giving him rope toys, tennis balls, and stuffed animals, but he doesn’t want to play with them, he just wants to rip them apart.

Favorite treat: Wrigley will do anything for cheese. Sometimes I’ll bring a cheese stick on our runs, and, when he sees me put it in my pocket at the house, he won’t stop staring at me while he’s running next to me until I give him some.

You love him because he... He’s been the perfect addition to our family. He is high energy and loves to play outside, but when we get inside, he calms down and loves to snuggle in bed or on the couch. He’s so caring and sweet, I just can’t believe we were so lucky to find him. ND

www.washhumane.org 28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2013

Homeward Trails Animal Rescue seeks to find permanent adoptive homes in the Mid-Atlantic Region for dogs and cats from high-kill shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. Homeward Trails not only facilitates adoptions from local shelters, but also supports a large network of foster care providers. Visit them online at www.homewardtrails.org.

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