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novadog Spring 2012



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contents Spring 2012

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



 Have a Ball With Treibball What started as a “side game” for some under-stimulated working dogs has become the latest canine sport. By Lisa Tudor


Grooming 101 Learn what to look for in a good groomer and what red flags to avoid.


By Juliet Farmer



News, information, and products


On the cover:

Jack, is almost 8-years-old and is loved by Lisa Tudor, of KissAble Canine, LLC. Photography by Robin Burkett of PawPrints Photography. To schedule your own canine photo session, visit www.pawprints photography.com.

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


Advice and information on canine health issues




Dos and Don’ts of Nail Trimming


Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond



groomer page 21

Happenings we’ve sniffed out

25 CANINE CALENDAR 27 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories

A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

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


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 Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com


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OFF* your first Month of Dog Walking Service or $10 OFF your first Pet Sitting Service

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—Training and canine health-care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Helping local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals.

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2012 is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, 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 janelle@2houndsproductions.com or P.O. Box 30072, Alexandria, VA 22310, 703.850.6963. NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.

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2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012


It certainly feels as if spring has sprung in the DC Metro. What better way to get out and enjoy it than a new adventure for both you and your dog? If you have never heard of Treibball (pronounced try-ball), you are not alone. A quick poll of my colleagues and fellow dog lovers found that few knew of this exciting new activity. What started as a “side game” for some under-stimulated working dogs has become the latest canine sport. (Think urban “herding” for your dog.) Trainer Lisa Tudor takes us through the paces in her article on page 14.

Grooming Guidelines Everyone loves the touch and smell of a fresh, fluffy, and clean puppy. But did you know that regular grooming can even save

your dog’s life? Groomers are often the first to notice growths, lumps, and bumps that need to be checked out further by your veterinarian. The profession has come a long way, and many groomers now offer pamper packages including such items as a blueberry facials, special scented finish sprays, dental treatments, and ear cleaning. Juliet Farmer writes about some of our local groomers and how you can choose which grooming option is right for you and your pup. (See page 21 to find a groomer near you.) As a companion piece to our grooming special section, Jenn Guerriero, a certified canine training and behavior specialist and owner of Big City Dogs, gives us a few tips on how to safely trim your dog’s nails in between grooming appointments.


Time to Get Social If you find yourself being pulled by your pooch to the smells of doggie sliders and sweet potato fries and the barks of doggies mixing and mingling, it must mean one thing: doggie yappy hours are upon us. Our destinations article features some hot spots for you to chill in the coming summer months and bring your dog along for the fun. Do you have a special doggiefriendly spot we haven’t heard about? Email me the info at janelle@2houndsproductions. com. As always, thanks for reading, contributing, and making NOVADog Magazine a great community of dog lovers.

Janelle Welch, Publisher janelle@2houndsproductions.com

Bev Hollis Photography

Having a Ball

connect with us 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 above.


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| Spring 2012

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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 on o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s

Glaucoma: Not an Adoption Deal Breaker By Laur el P or t er f ield


he health needs of a senior pet did not scare me off when I selected Bear, a black Miniature Poodle, from the shelter. I thought he was between 7 and 12 years old. But it wasn’t until I’d had him for several weeks that I understood how he might have ended up in the shelter. Bear was going blind. He bumped into walls and was afraid to go outside. It turned out that Bear had glaucoma, pressure on the eye, which resulted in inadequate fluid drainage.

A Disease of the Optic Nerve My primary vet at Lake Forest Animal Hospital, (www.LakeforestAnimalHospital.com) said Bear’s condition was chronic and had been untreated, and this had damaged his optic nerve, resulting in blindness. Further, he said that glaucoma is common in certain breeds, such as Samoyeds, Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Chow Chows, and Siberians. Many dogs affected by glaucoma will become blind in the affected eye within the first year, regardless of intervention. He referred me to Dr. Smith, a veterinary ophthalmologist, at Animal Eye Care (www.animaleyecare.com) in Gaithersburg, where I learned more about the disease and possible interventions, and Bear got a full evaluation. It appeared Bear was blind in both eyes.

6 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

He underwent an examination to see if he was a candidate for surgery. Dr. Smith performed electroretinography to determine if the eye would remain blind despite treatment. And he looked for abnormalities within the eye using X-rays and ultrasound. Clearly, Bear had a hard life. His eye problems probably stemmed from old injuries. The doctor understood that I couldn’t provide much background about Bear’s health history, and that I was guessing at the onset of his symptoms and about the events that might have caused the blindness. Had Bear been one of those dogs that liked to hang his head out the car window? The vet tested Bear’s eyes using a tonometer to test the pressure on the surface of the eye. He evaluated the filtration angles and took some other measurements and concluded that with proper treatment, Bear could regain sight in at least one eye.

Symptoms and Types of Glaucoma Dr. Smith explained that there are two main types of glaucoma: primary and secondary. Some of the symptoms a vet looks for with primary or rapid onset include the following: n high pressure within the eye n blinking of the eye n redness of the blood vessels in the whites of eyes n cloudy appearance at front of the eye n dilated pupil – or pupil does not respond to light n vision loss. Bear’s glaucoma was secondary, which included these symptoms: n vision loss n high pressure within the eye n cloudy appearance at front of the eye. Bear also liked to rub his head on the carpet and walls. It was odd behavior for a dog. He likely had headaches and pain.

Outcome After surgery, Bear was put on a prescription of artificial tears. At follow-up, Dr. Smith observed that Bear was having a second puppyhood. He wanted to play, he wanted to eat, and he was finally pain free. The vets at Animal Eye Care do amazing work. Thinking ahead to my next planned doggie rescue, I told the vet it would probably be a Basset Hound. “Well then, we will likely see you in here again because Bassets are also notorious for glaucoma,” said Smith. But at least, when I comb the shelters, I will know that glaucoma is not a deal breaker when it comes to finding a wonderful pet. ND Laurel’s pack lives in Bristow and includes her husband, three boys, and dogs Nellie and Sirloin. She enjoys visiting Merrifield Garden Center’s dog park to hear the latest in dog names and the stories behind them.


Join the pack. Stay informed.




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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

Dos and Don’ts of Nail Trimming B y Je nn G u e rri e ro

nail), follow these important steps:

My dog Bailee will not let us cut her toenails. She is petrified of the nail clippers and freaks out every time we even go near her with them. How can we do this? She is a therapy dog for elderly people and needs her nails cut on a regular basis. Our vet suggested drugging her, but there has to be a better way! QUESTION

Jenn Guerriero is a certified canine training and behavior specialist and owner of Big City Dogs based in Old Town Alexandria. The effectiveness of Jenn’s training techniques and ability to communicate, led to her appointment as the dog training specialist at Macys Herald Square in NYC where she was brought in to work and continues to work with the iconic retail outlet’s security team. After a successful stint training dogs in Manhattan, Jenn relocated to Alexandria in the winter of 2009. There she resides with her husband, two boys, and her dog, Facci. To schedule a consultation, visit www. bigcitydogs.net.

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Somehow the words ANSWER mani/pedi seem to get a girl—and sometimes a boy—excited, but for some in the dog world, the idea of getting nails done can be an absolute nightmare. Some dogs don’t like to have their feet touched at all, let alone their nails clipped. There are lots of restraining techniques that professionals use, but how does one go about this grooming ritual if wrestling a dog just isn’t your thing? For one, you can send him to a professional groomer and let him

or her deal with it, or you can learn how to do it at home and teach your pet to overcome his anxiety. It’s a process, and it will take time, but if you have patience, persistence, and a sense of humor you can reach your ultimate goal. It’s always best to start this process when your dog is young so it becomes a way of life. However, if you already have an adult dog who just will not tolerate you coming close to his feet, keep reading. Before you even get the clippers out (or dremel if you plan to file the

2. Pick up your dog’s paws. Every time you touch his paw give him a small treat. Go slow and don’t ask for anything more yet. It’s a process that needs to be built upon. Show him that it’s no big deal when

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1. Put your dog on a leash. This will allow you to keep him close by, once he realizes you are up to something he perceives as uncomfortable. If your dog is trained, put him in a “down” position next to you. Have some high-value treats with you (something yummy like cheese, chicken, steak, or hotdogs) and do this exercise right around his actual feeding time, so he is good and hungry. If you can’t work around his actual feeding schedules, skip a meal leading up to the time you can start working with him. That way, he will be good and hungry and really looking forward to what you have to offer.

| Spring 2012

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you handle his feet. Repeat the act a number of times. Change the focus to something else by walking to a new location and then repeating the exercise again. Do it enough times so that it becomes boring for both you and your dog. Go back to the exercise at different times of the day. Repeat it for a number of days so the dog sees this as part of his life now. It’s just something you do and it’s nothing to trigger alarm.

3. Start handling the individual nails. Use the same approach as in Step 2. Touch the nail, let go, and then give him a treat. If you can keep him calm while you are doing this, apply pressure to each individual nail by lightly squeezing. He may flinch, so start with gentle pressure and work your way up to a stronger pressure. Deliver the reward as you approach and keep delivering as you apply the pressure. Do this for a few days until you can calmly handle the nails without upsetting him. Once he gets comfortable with this, you can show him the clippers or dremel (do not turn on the motor). Continue to touch his feet while bringing the clippers close to his feet—but no clipping yet. You may need to distract him while doing this by presenting a jackpot of treats. Timing is important here; if he starts to pull away and you mistakenly give him food, you will be inadvertently rewarding him for that behavior. So, make sure you can pull the treats away fast. If you are working alone, this stage gets tricky because it can be difficult to hold a paw with one hand, the clipper in another hand, and reward the dog—there’s just not enough hands. I would recommend stuffing a Kong toy with treats or freezing one with peanut butter the night before. This way, it takes a little longer to get through the treat. Eventually, you will touch his paws with the clippers and move it slowly up and down while

you reward him with the treat. Remember, you’re not going to try to clip anything just yet. Practice moving away from paws and approaching paws, adding pressure and releasing pressure with your fingers. Get him comfortable with this. If you will be using a dremel to file the nail instead of clipping the nail, you will need to add a step. The noise the machine makes will most certainly make him nervous, so you must work on getting the dog comfortable when the motor is turned on. Start a good distance away from the dog. Then work on getting closer and closer. Each time you turn the dremel on, reward the dog. The ultimate goal is to be able to sit next to the dog with the motor on and then proceed to touch the paw with the dremel before you actually start to file. 4. Clip the nail. If you‘ve been able to get this far, then you are ready to get to work on the actual nail. Make sure you have a good cutting tool with a sharp blade. The one that’s been in your garage since the 80s should find its way to the garbage, and you should purchase a newer model. You should be aware that there is a section of the nail called the quick that carries blood to the nail. The quick is extremely sensitive. So if you accidentally cut into it, you will cause your dog an extraordinary amount of pain. That may set the dog back to square one, undoing all the work you just put in. Always focus the cut above the quick and have some styptic powder readily available just in case you accidentally cut the nail too low, and it starts to bleed. It’s best to play it safe starting out, and only trim small portions off the end, staying clear of the quick altogether. Less is more in this case. Always cut the nail at a 45-degree angle. As you finish each paw make sure to praise your dog for being such a model patient. Then reward yourself with a fun treat too! ND

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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

It’s Time to Get Yappy!

Spring and Summer is Prime Time to Get Out and Socialize With a Doggie “Yappy” Hour pooch. Barkley Square also puts out its famous “Bark Bar” and “Hydrant Bar.” Kristina Robertson, owner of Barkley Square Pets says, “You can’t have your pooch indulge in doggie sliders and fries and not be able to wash it down with one of the seven designer waters from the Hydrant Bar—flavors like doggie beer, Perrier and ‘toilet’ water.” While your dog is chowing down on sliders, the staff at Artfully Gifts and Chocolate will serve up grilled kielbasa and frankfurters, Gifford’s Ice-cream, and a great selection of beers and wines for the humans. Attendees of doggie yappy hours have nothing but good things to say about past experiences. Sharone Belt, owner of Jubilee Balloon Twisting, puts it best: “It’s a great opportunity to mingle with other pet-lovers and socialize your dogs. Plus, you can learn about the benefits of adopting a shelter pet, and about our volunteer and foster care programs.” Joyce Frank, of Joyce Frank Designs agrees: “Yappy Hours are a great way to get out and meet new people/dogs while hanging out after work on a warm night.” Although the establishments will have their own rules for doggie bar-room etiquette, it’s a safe bet that if you follow a few general rules of common sense, everyone will enjoy themselves: n Make sure your dog is monitored and on-leash at all times. n Keep doggie paws off tables and chairs. n Have your dog’s current rabies tag on him/her. n Make sure to clean up any accidents promptly.


ou heard me right: “Yappy” Hours for you and your canine companions—one of the DC Metro’s favorite past times— have returned! After-work drinks aren’t just for people anymore. When you and your pooch are in need of some liquid refreshment, you can stroll down the historic streets of Old Town, Alexandria and stop for libations at the Hotel Monaco’s Yappy Hour from 5-8pm every Tuesday and Thursday evening. Fido will enjoy sniffing out who is on the scene and socializing with favorite pup pals; you’ll enjoy the comfy courtyard furniture while sipping summer cocktails and brews from Jackson 20, the hotel’s in-house modern American tavern. According to Shelly Gaide, who manages a local professional pet-care company, her clients often call during the spring and summer months to cancel their evening walks because they are headed to one of the Yappy Hours in Old Town. “I manage a very large company, and, once the weather breaks, my Friday night walks die out,” says Gaide. If you are in Alexandria, you could also find yourself pulled by your pooch to the smells of Barkley Square’s Yappy Hours. Barkley Square hosts its Yappy Hours on the patio of Alexandria’s Artfully Gifts and Chocolate. Yappy Hour at this venue is outrageously fun, offering hotoff-the-grill doggie sliders, sweet potato fries, and a gourmet treat to each

10 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

Yappy Hours Around the DC Metro: n Arthur’s Court Pet Bakery & Boutique 14891 Washington Street, Haymarket, Virginia Yappy hour Tuesday and Thursday from 5-7 pm (reservations not required). www.arthurscourtpetbakery.com n Pooches on the Patio at Art and Soul 415 New Jersey Ave. NW Washington, DC Doggie Happy Hour daily www.artandsouldc.com Dogs can happily eat from their special Pooch Patio menu (available every day that the patio is open), and humans can enjoy happy hour specials Monday - Friday from 4-7 pm. n Barkley Square (on the patio of Artfully Gifts and Chocolate) 506 John Carlyle St., Alexandria Doggie Happy Hour every Thursday 6-8 pm www.barkleysquarebakery.com Pooches enjoy a “bark” and “hydrant” bar, while humans sip a great selection of wine and beer.

n Hotel Monaco 480 King St., Old Town Alexandria Doggie Happy Hour in the courtyard on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5-8 pm (April through October) www.monaco-alexandria.com Dogs enjoy complimentary gourmet doggie snacks with plenty of fresh water bowls, and humans can order from the Jackson 20 menu. n Jay’s Saloon & Grille 3114 N. 10th St., Arlington Doggie Happy Hour Sundays, weather permitting, from 1-4 pm. www.jayssaloon.com Happy hour prices on human beverages, under a covered patio with water, treats, and games for your pup.

Additional Resources What if you can’t make it to one of the scheduled happy hours? Check out this handy resource for dog-friendly dining every day. n Virginia

Dog-Friendly Outdoor Restaurant Guide http://tinyurl.com/dog-dining-VA

on nd nti a ff Me ADog % o V 0 NO 1



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| Spring 2012

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

A Company of Real Animal People By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s


ecky O’Neil grew up on a farm in Pennsylvania, surrounded by animals—cats, dogs, and horses. She started riding almost as early as she started walking—her first horse was actually a painted pony named Prince—and in her teens she rode her champion show hunter Poetry in Motion. “I understood early on that you can communicate with animals much as you do with other humans—just without the words,” says O’Neil. After high school she started off working in restaurants, got a degree in radiography, and went to work in women’s health. “When I became pregnant with my son, I realized that I had to come up with a career path that would allow me to be a stay-athome mom and still earn an income. I spent most of my pregnancy reading about working at home, visiting franchise trade shows, and teaching myself how to run a business. One day, my sister-in-law in San Francisco told me that she was using a dog walker to care for her dog while she worked. “I read somewhere that to start your own successful business, look back to your childhood and the things you loved to do, then start a business that relates to what you love. When I heard about dog walkers, something clicked,”says O’Neil. She started studying the pet care business, and, on November 1, 1998, opened Becky’s Pet Care. “I had my first client within days—a family that was traveling for Thanksgiving,” says O’Neil “At first the business was me and my son Patrick—I’d put him in a back pack and the two of us would walk the dogs. “There’s a popular image of a slick New York dog-walker walking down Fifth Avenue with a dozen dogs in tow. It’s a cute image, but I realized early on that I wanted something different—every dog deserves some individual, undivided attention,” says O’Neil. Today the business is split—about half of it is dog walking and half is pet sitting when owners are away on vacation or business travel.

“Another thing that distinguishes our company,” says O’Neil, “is that all of our dog walkers and pet sitters are employees. A lot of our competitors successfully work with independent contractors, but we decided that we can ensure a consistency of experience for our clients by creating a full and supportive employee relationship with our team.” She says the hard part is hiring the right people. You can’t train the thing inside that makes someone really care about animals—and when you find one, you know he or she is going to provide a great experience for the animals on Becky’s client list. When a new hire passes the in-office interview, she’s sent out with a Becky’s senior pet care professional to do a “field interview.” “Once,” says O’Neil, “a woman showed up for her field interview in expensive-looking boots. She was nervous when a dog put his paw on her boot and backed up looking horrified when he licked it. Lots of people think they like animals, but you can spot an animal person in a minute,” she says. “We are not dog trainers,” she stresses. “If we encounter a pet with a behavior problem, we suggest a trainer to the owner. Becky is currently the president of the Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network (www. novapetsitters.com), a group of 40 member companies that meet once a month. It should be said that Becky’s Pet Care is no longer a “stay-at-home mom business.” The company covers most of Northern Virginia and has 85 employees. Some of the benefits of using Becky’s Pet Care include coverage if your regular pet care provider gets sick or is on vacation, written emergency procedures and back up plans, and employee training that includes Pet First Aid and CPR. 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.

novadog can help you

save money.

Becky and Teddy Bea r Favorite dog book? Beautiful Joe, an autobiography written by Marshall “Margaret” Saunders, narrated by a wonderful Airedale who was abused as a puppy and rescued. Dog of her own? Teddy Bear, a four-year old English Labrador Retriever, who spends his days at Becky’s office. Advice on pet sitting? “Most animals are better off in their own home when you are traveling— and every cat owner should know that cats always do better at home. Do your research and hire a company that you are comfortable with. And if you absolutely can’t hire a pet sitter for whatever reason, find a neighbor or swap ‘pet care’ with another owner.” Most Unusual Client Request: “One of our pets would only eat if you put his food bowl on a table and then sat at the table with him. Another would only eat if we fed him with a teaspoon.” Advice on starting your own business? Two observations. First, “Create a plan and know where you are going—before you start.” And second, “Understand the value of a complaint and use that feedback to improve your business.” (Becky’s quote was featured in the 2011 Woman’s Advantage Calendar.)

See our guide to savings in this issue on

page 26.




Have a

Ball with Treibball

By Lisa Tudor Photography by Robin Burkett of PawPrints Photography. To schedule your own canine photo session, visit www.pawprintsphotography.com.

14 Northern Virginia Dog


he game Treibball (pronounced try-ball) started in Germany several years ago and has just come to the United States in the last five years. Its literal translation is: Trei comes from the german word treiben meaning driving or drifting towards; ball is the same in English. Some trainers call it push ball, drive ball, or even urban herding. What started as a “side game” for some under-stimulated working dogs has become the latest canine sport. It’s not just canine friendly but also a wonderful, playful interaction between the dogs and their handlers.

| Spring 2012

Trainer Gwen Podulka works with her dog Lemon. She likes the fact that no special equipment is needed to start playing.


Imagine a few bored Collies and their shepherd looking to pass the time out in the field. They start a game that looks similar to our American soccer. One by one, each Collie gets a turn pushing a large exercise ball into a goal as cued by their handler. A neighboring shepherd sees this and a friendly competition begins to see whose dog does it the fastest. The game of Treibball is born!

Why play? As a trainer with a background in studying canine behavior and enrichment, I have worked with sled dogs in Vermont and traveled cross-country to study dogs in dog parks. I am always looking for accessible ways to enhance the interaction between people and their dogs. Treibball fits every angle that I look for in a canine activity: n Can practice in many locations (such as living room, backyard or training center). n Dogs of all ages and retired performance dogs can play. n No breed has a significant advantage. n Build on basic cues: sit, down, stay, and targeting. n Equipment is affordable, and you may already have a dusty, unused (deflated?) yoga ball laying around. n Can be a huge confidence builder for fearful dogs. n No special skills needed by owners; no need to run through obstacle courses. The best part of this game is that it’s not just for herding breeds or dogs that are ball-crazy. The sport utilizes trained skills such as targeting, sending dogs away from you, directing them left/right, and targeting their nose to the ball to push it back to the handler. And like any good dog sport, the dog thinks it’s all fun and games! How to play? A game of Treibball is ideally played in a large field with a goal. The game begins when the dog and handler are in the goal, and the dog is sent out to fetch a ball (think yoga ball) and push it back to the goal with his head, nose, and shoulders. Once that ball is in the goal, the dog is sent out to fetch another one. At a novice level, a dog may be asked to push one to three balls back to the goal. At a master level, the number of balls increases to eight. The event is timed, with the best performances resulting in the fastest times and the least amount of errors. The competition standards for Treibball vary depending on which rules your instructor is following. There are three published standards from the following organizations: n American Treibball Association—www.americantreibballassociation. org n Dog Scouts of America—www.dogscouts.org/Treibball_Competition. html n Living with Dogs—www.livingwithdogs.us/classes/treibball.html. All organizations have the fundamental requirements that the dog drives the ball back into the goal. Standards that may vary include the distance of the field, distance of the starting ball to the goal line, location of handler on the goal line, and error types. Organized, sanctioned trials are also popping up this year, and we should see more in 2012.

How do I train my dog to play? Using positive reinforcement, of course! This sport requires the dog to have a lot of fun and focus on his handler. Let’s look at the skill of pushing or driving the ball. Positive reinforce-

ment methods are used to introduce the concept of the dog using its nose or head to touch objects. Small and systematic steps teach the dog that good things happen when he targets the ball. In our Treibball class, we start with smaller balls or objects the dogs may really enjoy touching. Because yoga balls can bounce and roll around easily, it’s critical in this step that they are not afraid or overly exuberant in targeting the ball. Dogs can build up their targeting skills on things like doors and closing dresser drawers. Treibball student Tracy says, “I like Treibball because it gives me and my dog a new avenue to have fun... Even though she is focused and attentive to the drill, she gives a big smile and wriggles with pleasure when she works Treibball with me. She thinks it is a fun game to play.” Trainer Gwen Podulka and her dog Lemon (in photos) says, “I like the fact that I didn’t really need any special equipment to start playing. I just used doors, mats, and chairs in the house. And I love that it uses obedience, but you don’t feel like you are working hard because the dogs are having a lot of fun!” ND Lisa Tudor is a the owner of KissAble Canine, LLC and a certified professional dog trainer. KissAble Canine offers training, enrichment, and behavior services for the family dog. KissAble Canine has been listed Best Trainers by Northern Virginia Magazine for the past two years. Go to www.kissablecanine.com for more information on KissAble Canine trainers.

Play Ball!


Arlington, VA 703.574.3383 www.kissablecanine.com/treibball.html

Fur-Get Me Not

Arlington, VA 703.933.1935 www.furgetmenot.com

Peaceable Paws

Fairplay, MD (near Hagerstown) 301.582.9420 www.peaceablepaws.com





groomer page 21

101 G

Learn what to look for in a good groomer and what red flags to avoid By Juliet Farmer

16 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

rooming a dog has come a long way from the days of a backyard dousing with the hose and a quick rubdown with a bar of soap. Selfserve and professional grooming chain Bark ’N Bubbles offers such niceties as blueberry facial treatments, as well as such not-so-niceties as de-skunking, and pooches at Olde Towne Pet Resort in Springfield can get hot oil hair treatments and polish for their nails. According to the American Pet Products Association’s (APPA) 2011-2012 National Pet Owners Survey, 2011 was a year that also saw pet owners turning to such advances as doggie mouthwash and electric toothbrushes. There are 78.2 million dogs in 46.3 million homes, according to the APPA survey, and an estimated 60-80,000 professional groomers work in the United States, according to mobile workforce management software company uDispatch. In other words—chances are you or someone you know has used a pet groomer. With the good comes the bad. A national pet store chain that offers in-house grooming is currently under fire for several instances of injury and one instance of death. Among the casualties are Lhasa Apso Sadie, who died of what a veterinarian described as “severe heatstroke” after a grooming session and time in a cage dryer; Hurley, who left the groomer with bloody testicles; Dodo, whose ear was

cut off and subsequently glued back on by the groomer, unbeknownst to Dodo’s owner; a dog whose tail tip was cut off and nails were cut past the quick and still bleeding; and two dogs who suffered facial cuts. Then there are the grooming issues that don’t attract headlines. (Think botched hair cuts or elderly dogs left standing too long.) Luckily, there’s no need to throw in the professional dog grooming towel. Instead, learn what to look for in a good groomer (and what red flags to avoid), what questions to ask the groomer, and what credentials to seek out, and your dog can still enjoy a pampered grooming session that will leave you both jumping for joy.

Why Groom? Worst case scenarios aside, experts agree that grooming is important for your dog’s overall health. “Proper grooming helps keep the fur from being matted; matted fur can be uncomfortable and increase the incidence of skin problems,” says Catherine Arthur, DVM, a practicing veterinarian in Clearwater, FL, who is employed by a national chain veterinary hospital where she performs routine (and occasionally, advanced) surgical procedures and provides wellness checkups and emergency care. Regular professional grooming also ensures someone is paying careful attention to your dog on a regular basis. “The skin is the body’s largest organ, and many systemic problems can be detected by their effect on the skin or coat,” notes Eden Myers, DVM, president and CEO of Myers Veterinary Services Company in Sterling, KY, who provides professional consulting and clinical services to veterinary practices. “If the dog is getting attentively groomed on a regular basis, then those abnormalities are more likely to get noticed and the dog brought to the vet to get checked out.” Professional groomer Sue Zecco, National Certified Master Groomer (NCMG), Certified Master Groomer-International Professional Groomers, and owner of The Pampered Pet Dog Grooming Salon in Paxton, MA, agrees. “As a professional groomer, we generally see pets more than any other pet-care professional,” she notes. “We always keep good records on the pets each time they are groomed. We are many times the first to notice growths, lumps, bumps, skin issues, ear problems, arthritis, etc.” Lest you think your shorthair breed is out of the grooming woods, think again. “Dog’s hairs grows in cycles and have up to 27 hairs per common opening,” observes Judy D. Hud-

son, NCMG, owner/groomer of Groomingtails Mobile Grooming in Nashville TN. “Assisting dead hair out of the follicles is crucial to the health and skin of the coat. Also, the skin goes from the bottom layer to the top layer in about six weeks, so most dogs need to at least have a good cleansing bath to remove all the dead skin cells.” Whether you visit a groomer at his or her store, opt for the convenience of a mobile groomer in your driveway, or visit a professional bather, another benefit to outsourcing your dog’s grooming to the pros is that your drains don’t get clogged with hair, your house doesn’t get doused by a vigorous dog shake, and you don’t have to wash a bunch of sopping towels.

What to Look For (and Avoid) Much like choosing a veterinarian, pet sitter, or dog walker, there are important qualities you want to see in a professional groomer (and, conversely, some to steer clear of). Beyond asking your friends and veterinarian for groomer referrals, as well as checking with the Better Business Bureau to ensure the groomer is in good standing, there are a few other things you should check out. In the event of an accident or injury, it’s important to ask the groomer how such scenarios are handled. While the real-life worstcase scenarios we’ve already covered are the exception to the rule, Dr. Arthur acknowledges, “Sometimes, even at the best groomers, cuts or scrapes can happen.” Another important issue is the requirement that all dog clients be vaccinated for rabies, DHPP, and bordetella. “If your groomer does not ask for vaccination records that is a huge red flag,” explains Dr. Arthur. “You don’t want to bring your pet there because if your pet can go there unvaccinated, so can other pets.” Professional groomers should also be professionally trained. At Bark ’N Bubbles of Leesburg, Sandra Cox and her staff offer a combined 25-plus years of experience and one is NDGAA certified, while the other has a vet tech background. At the Bark ’N Bubbles in Ashburn, staff members are even certified in pet CPR. Dawn O’Day Foster, owner and groomer at Pampered Pets Curbside Grooming Salon & Spa LLC, a mobile groomer, is an honors graduate of the Canine Clippers School of Pet Grooming in Dumfries, VA, and participates in continuing education classes to keep up with industry standards. Dogma Bakery’s Cassandra Reed not only attends grooming seminars but is also in the process of becoming a Certified Master

Dog Training & Behavior Modification

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


Spring into

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According to the American Kennel Club, routine grooming should include brushing, bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, eye cleaning, and anal gland expression. Groomer. Barkley Square Pets, which offers mobile services and onsite groomers in Alexandria has a groomer who trained under a seasoned groomer. And at Olde Towne Pet Resort in Springfield, Fernando Lobo’s staff of groomers passed a rigorous apprenticeship trial.

What to Expect


According to the American Kennel Club, routine grooming should include brushing, bathing, nail trimming, ear cleaning, eye cleaning, and anal gland expression. Don’t assume these things will all be done—ask what is included in a grooming session. (Regarding the controversial use of cage dryers, ask how dogs are dried, how often they are checked, and ask to see the cages in action.) If your dog has any medical issues, share them with the groomer. “For example, older pets that may be blind, deaf, or have problems standing need special attention,” says mobile groomer Foster. “At the

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18 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

beginning of every grooming session, I consult with the owner to see if there are any changes to health or behavior that need to be taken into consideration before proceeding with the grooming.” On that note, groomer Reed adds,” If you can’t speak personally with the groomer, you just won’t get what you and your dog wants and needs.” “We get many older [dogs] that require special handling and techniques on a daily basis, and we take our time to do a good job without placing stress on the client,” notes Olde Town Pet Resort’s Lobo. “In turn, you end up with a happy dog going home, versus a stressed out or scared dog that is exhausted from a trying day at the hair salon.” Nervous Nellies should also be discussed. “If your dog becomes stressed when in a new place or has sensitivities to being touched, look for a groomer with experience and one who will take the time to help make grooming a positive experience for your dog,” advises Steve Rosen of Fur-Get Me Not self-service dog wash, with locations in both DC and Arlington. Professional groomers agree that a happy client is the goal, and they want both you and your pooch to be happy. That often requires owner education and managing expectations. “We always do our best to follow our customers’ requests and explain to them what the proper regimen would be if they like their dogs to be longer and/or fluffier,” explains Mandi Perry of Bark ’N Bubbles Dog Wash in Ashburn. “However, with busy lives, sometimes they don’t realize that the dog is actually matted underneath and not just long and fluffy. Some coats can be difficult to regularly maintain, and, without realizing it, the dog can get some painful mats that can tug on the skin and, if you try to work them out, it can be painful for the dog during the grooming process…Unfortunately, the best solution in those cases is to shave the dog and let the coat start fresh, and that can be hard for the owner to take sometimes.”


How Can I Minimize My Dog’s Shedding?

While you cannot stop a healthy dog from normal shedding, you can reduce the amount of hair in your home by brushing your dog regularly. Your groomer should be able to recommend a specific type of brush or comb that will work best for your dog’s hair type. — Cassandra Reed, Dogma Bakery & Boutique


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How often do the nails need trimming on my dog?

Generally speaking, a dog’s nails need trimming every six weeks. If you walk your dog on the pavement, less trimming may be needed. — Luke Gethins, The Purrfect Grooming Co. “Communication regarding haircut lengths can be rather challenging,” agrees Cox. She notes that at Bark ’N Bubbles of Leesburg they educate customers about the grooming process and share steps they can take at home to upkeep between grooming appointments. It’s also important to get your dog used to being groomed. “Not all dogs enjoy being washed,” observes Rosen of Fur-Get Me Not. “It is important to introduce your dog to new environments often and as early as possible in their life. We have treats on hand to try to build positive associations with receiving a bath.” Or consider visiting a place like The Dog Eaze Inn in Woodbridge, VA, where bathing is the relaxing end to a day filled with playtimes and outside activities. “We don’t compete with professional groomers, but offer a simple service for clients to get their dog bathed,” says Melissa Monaghan, who also offers doggie day care, overnight lodging, and training programs. Whichever professional grooming route you take, with a little due diligence, your dog will come out smelling and looking great. ND Juliet Farmer has contributed pet-related stories to numerous publications and websites. She and her husband live in Sacramento, CA, with their retired racing Greyhound and two cats.

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20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012


locally owned and operated


Turn the page for our special section directory.



groomer >>>>

What does it mean to groom to “breed” standards?

When a grooming shop advertises that it grooms to the breed standard they are telling their clientele that they are knowledgeable in how each breed should look when it enters the show ring. While we don’t necessarily need our pets to be as meticulously groomed as a show dog, many people would like their dog to look like a good representative of their breed. In our shop for example we don’t hand strip but by working with clippers in the areas that would normally be stripped and trimming the furnishings or feathers correctly we can replicate the appropriate look for breeds like terriers and spaniels. Also the ability to hand scissor gives the groomer the ability to sculpt a dog to any length or look that might be appropriate for the breed. All AKC breeds have a standard that specifies how the dog should look. For example, the breed standard calls for the Portuguese Water Dog to be shown in the lion clip or the working retriever clip. One of these clips is done with clipper and scissors while the other

is all scissor work. A good groomer should be able to work with both scissors and clippers. Even rare breeds and combination breeds have guides to follow which have been put together by their breeders. Of course this doesn’t mean that people can’t vary the look if they choose­—if you have a cross like a labradoodle, cockapoo or goldendoodle you can be creative—as long as you choose a cut that is reasonable for your dog’s coat type. On occasion someone will come into our shop with a picture of a breed and ask us to make their dog “look like this” unfortunately the picture will be of an entirely different breed and coat type then their dog. This usually results in the explanation that a good groomer can really change your dog’s look and create a whole new dog but never a whole new breed or coat type! — Sandra Mejias, Olde Towne School for Dogs

Welcome to Olde Towne Pet Resort • 30,000 sq-ft state-of-the-art facility for dogs and cats • Affordable day/overnight suites, spa, day camp, and grooming • High-tech indoor pool and pro-style outdoor agility course • Live, 24/7 PetCams for online viewing

Come in for a tour. Make a reservation. Learn more. Call or click today! OldeTownePetResort.com | 1.888.475.3580 OLDE TOWNE PET RESORT, DULLES 21460 SQUIRE COURT | STERLING, VA 20166



703.455.9000 www.novadogmagazine.com



Region served

Do-it-yourself bathing tubs available

Professional groomer on-site

mobile grooming (they come to you)

Background, experience/ credentials

Extras offered (In some cases, an additional fee is charged. Please check with each individual groomer.)

Bark ‘N Bubbles Dog Wash

Ashburn Contact: Mandi Perry 703.729.3161, 20604 Gordon Park Sq. #170, Ashburn, VA 20147 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com/ashburn

Loudoun County & surrounding areas

Groomers have a combined experience of over 15 years in the industry.

Nail trimming, ear cleaning, tooth brushing, blueberry facial, pad balm, shed less package, all-natural treats, host charity dog washes, birthday parties, pet educational classes.

Fairfax Contact: Vicky Pittman 703.352.9274, 11725 Lee Hwy. #a-17A Fairfax, VA 22030 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com/fairfax

Fairfax County & surrounding areas

Professional groomers have 6-8 years experience.

see above

Leesburg Contact: Sandra Cox 703.777.6269, 545-F E. Market St., Leesburg, VA 20176 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com/ashburn

Loudoun County & Town of Leesburg

Professional see above groomers have 25+ years experience and NDGAA certified.

Barkley Square Pets

VA, MD, DC pet taxi service available

Contact: Kristina Robertson 703.329.1043, 133 N Washington St., Ste. 200R, Alexandria, VA 22314 www.barkleysquarepets.com

Dogma Bakery & Boutique Contact: Cassandra Reed 571.422.0370, 2772 Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington, VA 22206 www.dogmabakery.com

Fur-Get Me Not Dog Wash Contact: Steve Rosen 202.319.7387, 703.933.1935, DC & Arlington locations www.furgetmenot.com

Shirlington and surrounding areas

Main wash located in DC (plus one DIY tub at Arlington dog daycare)

Trained by a master groomer through apprenticeship.

By appointments only, each appointment has a two-hour window. Pet taxi service picks up your pet and delivers him or her home again. Each dog gets a paw massage with shay butter balm.

Professional groomer has 9 years industry experience.

Personalized one-on-one grooming at no additional charge. Great for new puppies, dogs that are nervous about grooming, or older dogs who need a peaceful, quiet grooming experience.


A five-tub, DIY dog wash in a fun, clean environment where you can bond with your dog as you wash him. Standard washes are $20 for 30 mins., includes high-quality Earthbath shampoos. Also offering dog walking, pet sitting, and training services throughout DC and VA.

With its staff of premier groomers who have worked with the school since the early 1990’s. Olde Towne School for Dogs offers quality grooming to breed standards. We use state of the art equipment and each dog is individually blown dry by hand. These techniques enable our groomers to produce a professional finish. 529 Oronoco Street, Alexandria, VA 22314 | 703.836.7643 | www.otsfd.com

Region served

Olde Towne Pet Resort

Two locations

Springfield Contact: Fernando Lobo, serving Dulles Contact: Kim Roman VA, DC, MD Springfield 703.455.9000, 8101 Alban Rd., Springfield, VA 22150 Dulles 703.455.9000, 21460 Squire Ct., Sterling, VA 20166 www.OldeTownePetResort.com

Olde Towne School For Dogs Contact: Sandra Mejias 703.836.7643, 529 Oronoco Street Alexandria, VA 22314 www.otsfd.com

Pampered Pets Curbside Grooming Salon & Spa Contact: Dawn O’Day Foster 703.503.0629 www.pampered-pets.us

The Purrfect Grrooming Co. Contact: Luke Gethins 703.237.0595, 7183 Lee Hwy., Falls Church, VA 22046 www.purrfectgrrooming.com

The Dog Eaze Inn Contact: Melissa Monaghan 703.491.1564, 13907 Telegraph Rd., Woodbridge, VA 22192 www.dogeazeinn.com

Northern VA and Washington, D.C., metropolitan area

Annandale, Alexandria, Burke, Fairfax, Fairfax Station, McLean, Oakton, Springfield, Vienna Northern VA, DC

Woodbridge and Northern VA

Do-it-yourself bathing tubs available

Professional groomer on-site

mobile grooming (they come to you)

Background, experience/ credentials

Each groomer is trained, then goes through a rigorous apprenticeship.

Laura Tate (with OTSFD 22 yrs.) and Jesus Gonzales (with OTSFD 17 yrs.) trained by Carlos Mejias a professional groomer since the 1970s.

Extras offered (In some cases, an additional fee is charged. Please check with each individual groomer.)

Full-service facility, teeth brushing, hot oil conditioning treatment, medicated and hypoallergenic shampoos, aromatherapy, brush outs, soft paws treatments, nail polish, ear cleaning, anal gland expression, nail grinding and trimming, straight through service, de-skunking.

Full service grooming to the breed standard. Comb out, bathing, blow drying, clipping, hand scissoring, nail trimming and grinding, anal gland expression, and ear cleaning. Also numerous medicated and specialty shampoos/ conditioners. Walk-in, while-you-wait nail service is available 9am-2pm Monday – Saturday.

Professionallytrained and 6-years experience as groomer/owner.

Full-service grooming for dogs and cats (pets must be under 50 lbs.): bathing, fluff-dry, ear cleaning, pad shave, sanitary clip, nail trim, haircuts, shave downs, lion cut.

10 years industry experience, trained through apprenticeship.

Teeth scraping/cleaning, express grooming services, experienced with nervous dogs that have not had a good grooming experience.

Staff trained to complete bathing services.

We don’t compete with professional groomers, but offer a simple service for dog bathing, ear cleaning, nail clipping, teeth brushing, furminator service, lite clipping only for matted fur, doggie daycare services, overnight lodging, Lodge and Learn training program.

In Review

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

book reviews

Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story

Catching Up With Cat (and Athena)

By Cat L. Needham, reviewed by Juliet Farmer

Recently, Juliet chatted with Cat and Athena.


eing a Greyhound “mom,” I read a lot of dog-related books. No matter what breed(s) the books might be about, I almost always find something to relate to. Cat L. Needham’s Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story (Feb. 2012) is no exception. A childhood fascination with wolves and numerous interactions with her aunt’s German Shepherd lead to Needham’s breed of choice, the German Shepherd. From her decision to adopt a purebred GSD puppy she names Athena, to complications arising from adding a puppy to a home already “owned” by an older cat, to exercises in training and discipline, to various sports and activities, Needham shares all the highs and lows unabashedly—the good and the bad, without any sugar coating. Needham endured a few frenzied moments, including a mortifying trip to the dog park in which she was indecently exposed thanks to her ball-crazed dog. In another instance, Needham came very close to being abducted and/or carjacked, a scenario that was narrowly averted thanks to Needham’s spur of the moment decision to bring Athena along on some evening errands. Willing to do whatever it takes to ensure Athena’s health and happiness, Needham chronicles her trials with the BARF diet, Schutzhund training (a sport combining bite work, tracking and obedience), agility work, and much more. She also learns some things the hard way, like the fact that dog parks are great in theory, but can easily become dangerous in reality. Shepherd Girl is the best of dog stories, following Athena from puppyhood to adulthood with plenty of humor, tenderness, and excitement along the way. ND

Juliet Farmer has contributed pet-related stories to numerous publications and websites. She and her husband live in Sacramento, CA, with their retired racing Greyhound and two cats.

How’s Athena these days? Athena is good! She has a happy zest for life and goofy puppy-like temperament for a nine year old. She has had a recent health scare whereby she needs to have her spleen looked at, but apparently enlarged spleens are not uncommon in older Shepherds… German Shepherds seem to get everything. She [also] has a new kitty companion: a mischievous, naughty, fearless Somali named Alistair.

Any new Athena anecdotes since you sent the book to press? Let’s see...here are two, one funny, one serious: She won a jersey contest at my office! We had a contest one Friday during football season for things like “best throwback,” “fan favorite,” etc., and I snuck her into my high-rise building while she was wearing her Washington Redskins Chris Cooley jersey. She trotted around the office like she owned the joint and was quite a hit with everyone. She won “fan favorite” and was very excited about her win. On a more serious note, she had a stand-off with two lascivious drunk guys in my development one night who were stumbling up to me kissing at me despite my warning to keep their distance. She did another one of her magic switches where one minute she was obliviously sniffing the ground, and the next she was on her hind legs, straining at the end of her leash, teeth bared, barking. I hadn’t told her to do any of this; she sensed my fear and reacted on her own. She also used her own judgment when the men split up and one circled around so he was behind me. Although at that point I think they got the message not to harass the lady with the German Shepherd anymore, she didn’t like that one of them was moving to my blind spot, and she positioned herself accordingly to protect me. Once we got home, she became silly again, prancing around the living room with her grizzly bear.

WIN  it: Copies of Cat’s book will be given away on Facebook. Make sure you are a fan and stay tuned! (facebook.com/novadog)

Dieting With My Dog: One Busy Life, Two Full Figures and Unconditional Love By Peggy Frezon, reviewed by Ingrid King


staggering 54 percent of America’s dogs are considered overweight or obese. This trend has been on a disturbing increase, and mirrors the equally alarming increase in human obesity. According to the Centers for Disease Control, one-third of adults in the United States are obese. Peggy Frezon and her dog Kelly are two of the human and canine faces behind the statistics. And they decided to do something about it. Dieting With My Dog is not just another

22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

diet book, nor is it just another dog book. This heartwarming story of one overweight woman and her equally overweight dog chronicles the struggles both of them faced as they tried to get fit. Together. Frezon received a wake up call when her physician told her that she was at risk for a heart attack, diabetes, arthritis, stroke, and other frightening diseases if she didn’t make some significant lifestyle changes. But it was not until she took her Spaniel mix Kelly for her regular check up and heard almost the exact same words from Kelly’s vet that she began to implement real changes toward a healthier life for both of them.

As with many dieters, food had long been more than just fuel for Frezon. She had come to rely on food to provide stress relief, comfort, and even love. Family celebrations centered around rich, heavy foods. And like the humans in the household, Kelly also got too much food, and too little exercise. Frezon was determined to change all that. In a warm, conversational style, the author is honest about the challenges of implementing a total lifestyle makeover for both herself and her dog. By giving us a glimpse into her family, she makes her struggle immensely personal for the reader. Faced with empty nest syndrome, the temptation was

always there to reach to food for comfort. The couch always beckoned when it was time to go for a walk. But Peggy persisted. She replaced fatty foods with healthier choices. She learned about portion control. This became especially important for Kelly. Dogs don’t make their own food choices; they rely on what their humans put in their bowls—and most humans are shocked at how little it takes for a dog to gain too much weight too fast. Anyone who has ever struggled with weight, and anyone who has ever had an overweight pet, will be able to relate to this book. Beautifully illustrated with photos of Kelly and the author’s human family, reading this book feels like sitting down with a good friend who wants to help you change your life for the better. Peggy’s and Kelly’s journey will provide inspiration, along with a realistic and workable program, for humans and canines who want to get on the road to better health together. ND 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, has been called “educational cat nip for the cat lover” and is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health, and happiness for cats and their humans. Ingrid 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 Ingrid, please visit www.ingridking.com.


Ha p p e n i n g s we ’ v e s n i ffe d o u t

Mardi Growl Gala


he Animal Welfare League of Alexandria’s second annual Mardi Growl Gala was another howling success. Hundreds of guests adorning beads, boas, and masks filled the historic lobby of Terminal A at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport on the evening of March 2, 2012. With the “Purr-i-canes” flowing and delicious food in abundance, friends and supporters of the League enjoyed a night full of music, dancing, and plenty of must-have items worth bidding on in the

silent auction and raffle. When all was said and done, $93,000 had been raised for the homeless animals of the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter. The League sincerely thanks all of the guests, sponsors, donors, and restaurants that participated in the Mardi Growl Gala. Your continued support and dedication to animal welfare allows us to maintain a top-notch animal shelter and provide the best care possible for all animals that pass through our doors. Thank you, and we’ll see you next year! ND




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Join the pack. Stay informed.



[hurry!] 24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe BARK BUCKS! $5 off! Enter coupon code NOVAD8 at checkout


E v e n ts y ou w on ’ t w a n t to mi s s

APRIL April 16 5-9PM—Four-Hour PetTech Pet CPR, First Aid & Care Class designed to teach you the core skills required in a pet emergency. Please do not bring pets to class. To register visit www.loyaltypet.com/ workshops.html.

May 5 10AM - 4PM—Pet Fiesta and Tails on Trails dog walk, at Reston Town Center. Start the day off with a scenic walk to raise money for homeless dogs. Bring your leashed pet to do some shopping, meet new friends, or maybe even adopt a new family member. Event details: www. petfiesta.org.


May 12

April 21 1:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals. Bring your dog to the game! The Nats play the Miami Marlins and there is also a pregame pup parade—arrive early to participate. You must reserve human and dog tickets in advance. Get more info and buy tickets here: www.nationals.com/pups.

April 28 9AM—1st Annual Paws4people Puppy Prance Fun Walk and Canine Carnival at Lake Fairfax Park in Reston, VA (rain or shine). Bring your family and your leashed pet for a fun-filled walk, and demonstrations, contests, vendors, food, and games. More info www.puppyprance.com.

M AY May 3 7:30-8:30PM—Pet Bereavement Group at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, Alexandria VA. No appointment necessary. More information, www.alexandria animals.org.

8:30AM —2012 Walk for the Animals to benefit the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Walk begins at 9:30 AM. Bluemont Park, 329 N. Manchester St., Arlington, VA. To register online or for more information, visit www.awla.org. 10:45AM-2:45PM— Four-Hour PetTech Pet CPR, First Aid & Care Class designed to teach you the core skills required in a pet emergency. Please do not bring pets to class. To register visit www.loyaltypet. com/workshops.html. 10AM- 6PM—Eight-Hour Pettech Pet First Aid Class offered by WAG’N ENTERPRISES, LLC. Be sure you have the skills needed in an emergency that can help save your pet’s life with this hands-on class that certifies you in Pet First Aid. Please leave dogs at home. More info: www.wagnpetsafety.com.

Individual Pet Cremations Urns Available • Pickup Available

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May 14 5-9PM—Four-Hour PetTech Pet CPR, First Aid & Care Class designed to teach you the core skills required in a pet emergency. Please do not bring pets to

Frying Pan Farm Park’s

Where every dog is an A student

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Agility-non-competitive To register or for information, call Frying Pan Farm Park Fly Ball-introduction 703-437-9101 Dog Obedience-all levels www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fpp Registration starts May 15


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Find more events online at www.novadogmagazine.com. class. To register visit www.loyaltypet.com/ workshops.html.

May 21 6:30-8:30PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Free preparation to help expectant families prepare their dog for a new baby. (Dogs not invited to class.) Reservations required, space limited. To register: 703.931.9241. Repeats on June 11.

May 24 6:30 - 8:30PM—Low-Cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. $10. 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.

JUNE June 2 4:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals vs. Atlanta Braves. Bring your dog to the game! You must reserve human and dog tickets in advance. Get more info and buy tickets here: www. nationals.com/pups.

10AM - 4PM—PetFest and Paws on Parade at South Run Rec Center, Springfield, VA. Part of the larger Springfield Days celebration, with exhibits on pet care, nutrition, training, rescue groups and the annual “paws on parade.” More info: www.springfielddays.com.

June 3 1PM—C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills) Testing for achieving the canine B.A., M.A., or Ph.D CLASS degrees. Fur-Get Me Not, 4120 Four Mile Run, Arlington, VA 22206. Register for the test: www.furgetmenot.com.

June 9 & 10 9AM -5PM—TAGteach 2-Day Certification Seminar at Fur-Get Me Not, Arlington, VA. The seminar uses interactive video, lecture, games, and lots of hands on practice to ensure attendees gain the foundation skills needed to bring TAGteach back to their individual fields and begin using it. To register for this class or find out more information, visit www.furgetmenot.com.

June 9 10AM- 6PM—Eight-Hour Pettech Pet First Aid Class offered by WAG’N ENTER-

PRISES, LLC. Be sure you have the skills needed in an emergency that can help save your pet’s life with this hands-on class that certifies you in Pet First Aid. Please leave dogs at home. More info: www.wagnpetsafety.com. 10:45AM-2:45PM—Four-Hour PetTech Pet CPR, First Aid & Care Class designed to teach you the core skills required in a pet emergency. Please do not bring pets to class. To register visit www.loyaltypet. com/workshops.html.

June 11 5-9PM—Four-Hour PetTech Pet CPR, First Aid & Care Class designed to teach you the core skills required in a pet emergency. Please do not bring pets to class. To register visit www.loyaltypet.com/ workshops.html.

June 15 1PM—C.L.A.S.S. (Canine Life and Social Skills) Testing for achieving the canine B.A., M.A., or Ph.D CLASS degrees. Fur-Get Me Not, 4120 Four Mile Run, Arlington, VA 22206. Register for the test: www.furgetmenot.com.

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

July 1 1PM—AKC Canine Good Citizen Testing. Fur-Get Me Not, Arlington, VA. Test fees are $20 per dog. Pre-registration is preferred but walk-ins are welcome. To register: www.furgetmenot.com.

July 7 4:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals vs. Colorado Rockies. ) Bring your dog to the game! You must reserve human and dog tickets in advance. Get more info and buy tickets here: www.nationals.com/pups. ND

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

SAVE MONEY! Look for the companies highlighted in yellow for special offers.

Turn to the page number listed for full discount details and exclusions. Agility

Dog Bakery/Treats

DogOn Fitness, LLC www.dogonfitness.com...........................p. 24 K9 Nirvana www.k9nirvana.com............................................p. 2 Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network www.novapetsitters.com.........................p. 20 Passionately Pets www.passionatelypets.com.........................p. 9 Time for a Walk www.timeforawalk.com.................................p. 5 Tickled Paws www.tickledpaws.com.......................................p. 2 Your Dog Smiles www.yourdogsmiles.com.............................p. 5

Dog Day Care

Fairfax Pets On Wheels, Inc. www.fpow.org...........................p. 12

Dog-Friendly Events

Bill Owen www.owendogphotography.com.............................p. 24 PawPrints Photography www.pawprintsphotography.com.......p. 23

Frying Pan Farm Park www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/fpp..........p. 25


Olde Towne Pet Resort www.oldetownepetresort.com.............p. 21 The Dog Eaze Inn www.dogeazeinn.com................................p. 8

Cremation Services

Sunset Pet Services, Inc www.sunsetpetservices.com...........p. 25

10% off

Reston Pet Fiesta www.petfiesta.org......................................p. 25 Washington Nationals Pups in the Park www.nationals.com/pups........................................................inside back

Dog Food/Nutrition Dog Spa/Grooming

10% off

Rescue Organizations

Friends of Homeless Animals www.foha.org....................... p. 28 Washington Humane Society www.washhumane.org ............p. 28 Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper www.Do-Rites.com................p. 24 Doodlebug Quilts www.doodlebugquilts.com..........................p. 24 Shepherd Girl: A Dog Story www.tinyurl.com/shepgirl............p. 4 Uptown Pet Bistro & Boutique www.uptownpetboutique.com....p. 4

free item

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Full Pet Services (dog walking/pet sitting/boarding/daycare/training) Always There Pet Care www.alwaystherepetcare.com.............p. 3 Fur-Get Me Not www.furgetmenot.com..................................p. 19

Pet Safety Goods & Services

Loyalty Pet Care www.loyaltypet.com/workshops................. p. 19 free item Wag ’N Enterprises www.wagnpetsafety.com ..........................back cover

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

| Spring 2012

$20 off

Retail Goods

Whole Pet Central www.wholepetcentral.com.........................p. 20

26 Northern Virginia Dog

$20 off

Photographers/Pet Portraits

Dogtopia www.dogdaycare.com.............................................p. 18

All Friends Pet Care www.allfriendspetcare.com ............inside front. Amanda’s Pet Care www.amandaspetcare.com......................p. 24 Becky’s Pet Care www.beckyspetcare.com.............................p. 4 Biscuit Break www.biscuitbreak.com.....................................p. 12

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Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique www.barkleysquarebakery.com...............................................p. 11 Bark ’N Bubbles www.barknbubblesdogwash.com........inside front. Pampered Pets Grooming www.pampered-pets.us.................p. 24 The Purrfect Grooming Company www.purrfectgrrooming.com...................................................p. 24

10% off

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Big City Dogs www.bigcitydogs.net.........................................p. 6 Good Dog Workshop www.gooddogworkshop.com..................p. 24 KissAble Canine www.kissablecanine.com.............................p. 17 Olde Towne School For Dogs www.otsfd.com.........................p. 20 Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com..........................................p. 9 Unleashed Abilities www.unleashedabilities.com...................p. 24

$25 off 10% off

Veterinary Services

Blue Ridge Veterinary Hospital www.blueridgevets.com.........p. 7 NoVa Mobile Vet www.novamobilevet.com.............................p. 11 NOVA Pets Health Center www.VA-PETS.com........................p. 24 Veterinary Surgical Center www.veterinarysurgicalcenters.com...p. 18

10% off

Don’t like to hike alone?

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

HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

Virginia Bluebell Trail: Bull Run Regional Park By Carol B r ooks


rom April to mid-May, Bull Run Regional

Exit the lot and walk left less than a quarter mile

Park springs to life with one of the most

along Bull Run Road to the Bull Run - Occoquan

impressive displays of Virginia Bluebells

Trail sign and trailhead. This is Mile Marker 0 for

around. Located in Centreville, VA, just 2 miles

the 17.5-mile trail and the start of the Bluebell

south of I-66, this park, along with the connect-

Trail. Follow the blue blazes along the trail that

ed 17.5-mile Bull Run-Occoquan Trail, offers

leads you over boardwalks and bridges to the

more than 4,000 acres of scenic woodland to

meandering Cub Run. The trail follows Cub Run

hike or run with your active dog.

for another .25 miles to the intersection of Bull

The Virginia bluebells are concentrated along

Run. At this point, you have two options: either

Bull Run and Cub Run, a bucolic setting even

continue on the Bluebell Trail to your right or

without the sea of blue. The park established

follow the Bull Run-Occoquan Trail to your left.

the “Bluebell Walk,” an easy 1.5-mile loop hike

If you go left, you can have an out-and-back hike

to showcase its featured flower and has placed

for as many miles as you want. The mileage is

park benches strategically to take in the views.

posted along the trail. I recommend extending

This well-maintained flat path consists of packed

your hike to the first mile marker. If you go right,

dirt, with boardwalks and bridges over muddy

continuing along the Bluebell Trail, you’ll eventu-

stretches. The varied walking surfaces, downed

ally return to Bull Run Road. To return to your

trees, and water access (take a retractable leash

car, go right and follow the road to the Atlantis

along for water fun) offer chances for urban paws

parking lot. If you continue down the road a

to enjoy woodland agility and fun while their

short distance, you’ll reach the camp office, rest

humans take in the view.

rooms, and dump station for cleanup.

After your hike, you can wash off muddy paws

Expect the Bluebell Trail to be crowded on

with potable water at the campground’s dumping

weekends at the height of spring. On nice week-

station across from the camp office and near the

ends from early spring to fall, you’ll see hundreds

trail’s starting point.

of people enjoying the many park amenities. For

To get to the Bluebell Trail, leave your car in

a more leisurely and less-crowded experience,

the Atlantis Water Park parking lot located about

go to the park on weekdays or before or after

a mile from the park entrance on Bull Run Road.

the bluebell season. Check with the park office (http://www.nvrpa.org/park/bull_run) before head-

Heather Handlos, David Smith and Ellie the puppy

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.


Hours: Park and trails are open during daylight hours year-round. The gatehouse operates March 17-October 14 (no set hours). Admission is free if you live in Alexandria, Arlington, City of Fairfax, Falls Church, Fairfax County, and Loudoun County; all others: $7 per car when gatehouse is open. The Camp Center and bathrooms are open year-round.

this is the perfect opportunity to dust off your

What To Bring: Be sure your dog has adequate tick protection. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes—the trail is muddy in areas. Bring water for you and your dog, poop bags, mosquito protection, blankets and towels for post-hike clean-up.

hiking boots or trail running shoes, grab the leash

Distance: 1.5 miles

ing out after heavy rainfall because the trail can be muddy or flooded at times. If you and your dog enjoy new experiences,

(and your dog), and head out to the park before the waves of bluebells disappear for another year. Bikes are forbidden on the trails. Dogs, people, and horses are welcome.

Getting There To get to Bull Run Regional Park, take I-66 to Exit 52 (Route 29) at Centreville. Drive 2 miles south,

Time: 60 minutes or more Fido Friendly Features: Off-street parking, fun dogsafe trails, water access, wide trails, trash cans. Use: Hikers, runners, horses, on-leash dogs Best Time to Go: To view bluebells, go from midApril to May. Weekdays are always less crowded. Rated: 1 paws (easy)

then turn left onto Bull Run Post Office Road and follow the signs to the park entrance. ND

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert



WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Chanel: Full of Life and Spirit

Adopted from: The Lucky Dog Animal Rescue on January 16, 2011. Chanel (above, right) is about 4 years old and loved by Joanne and Stella in Germantown, MD.

How did she get her name? Our first dog’s name was “Cookie” for her cookie dough hair color, and the second is “Coco” short for coconut for his generally white hair color. We decided to call her “Chanel” because we already have “Coco”—as in Coco Chanel. We think it’s the perfect name!

You picked her because... She looks like a complete combination of our beloved Cookie and our current Coco—she can even pass as Coco’s little sister. When we found out she had fractured left hind leg from a car accident, we remembered Cookie who had to have her leg amputated due to cancer. It was the same leg and Coco really missed having Cookie around. We believe Cookie sent Chanel to us—for Coco.

The Washington Humane Society


presents the



Bark Ball

Favorite treat or snack: She’s a hardcore meat-lover. She goes crazy with any meat, but she has been gradually showing an interest in vegetables.

Favorite toy: Chanel would rather wrestle with others than toys.

Favorite activity together: She is an absolute lap dog and loves to glue herself to us. She enjoys watching TV, especially basketball games or western movies with our dad.

You love her because... Saturday, June 2, 2012 Wa shin g ton H ilton Washington’s Only Black-tie Gala for the Four-on-the-Floor Crowd


For more information please contact Emily Miller at 202.683.1822 or by email at emiller@washhumane.org

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2012

We’ve had Pomeranians for the past 16 years and thought we knew their traits well, until Chanel came to us. She’s so unique and different, and totally enjoying the life she has. Our parents had been against getting another dog after Cookie passed away, but Chanel gives us so much in life and spirit; they love her so much they smile every time they mention her name. We love every minute we have with Chanel! ND

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is an all-volunteer, nonprofit animal rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals and educating the community on responsible pet ownership. To see adoptable dogs and to learn more, visit www.luckydoganimalrescue.org.

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NOVADog Magazine Spring 2012  

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

NOVADog Magazine Spring 2012  

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

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