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novadog

Spring 2009

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

magazine

a p rty

animal Festive occasions and parties to enjoy with your pooch

special

directory of

party services

Also Inside: Discover the Bluebells at Bull Run Therapy Dogs Offer Healing Paws Online Edition Sponsored By: www.housepaws.com


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contents Spring 2009

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

COVER STORY

12

Party Animal Our top tips for hosting your own doggie special occasions By Lisa Woody

18

Sharing Smiles Article one in a three-part series on working dogs By Taylor Ham

D E PA RT M E N T S

26

3 THE SOURCE

21 IN REVIEW

5 HEALTH WISE

22 THE SCENE

8 EXPERT ADVICE

23 CANINE CALENDAR

News, information and products

Advice and information on canine health issues

Answers to your behavior and training questions

9 ECO DOG Celtic Canines: The Fun Dog Show event raised funds for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Tips, products, and insights for greener living

10 DESTINATIONS

Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond

Literature, arts and new media

A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

24 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

26 COMMUNITY 27 MARKETPLACE 28 WAGS TO RICHES

On the Cover: Joe, owned by Sarah Marcell of Lovettsville, VA, is all dressed up with someplace to go! Our party dogs were captured on camera by Bev Hollis of Bev Hollis Photography, in her Leesburg, VA, studio. To view more of her work please visit www.bevhollisphoto.com.

Adoption success stories www.novadogmagazine.com

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

magazine

PUBLISHER Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com

NEXT ISSUE....

busting the myth: Fighting Like Cats and Dogs

Insight on how dogs and cats are living peacefully under the same roof. ALSO: ■ The second in our series of Working Dogs: Geese Police of Virginia ■ Destinations:

Take your dog to yappy hour at one of Northern Virginia’s dog-friendly wineries.

■ Bath

CONTRIBUTORS Carol Brooks, Robin Burkett, Lisa Colón Tudor, Juliet Farmer, Taylor Ham, Bev Hollis, Ingrid King, Sandy Mejias, Kelly Pike, Tammy Rosen, Veronica Sanchez, Gina Spadafori, Alana Stevenson, Lisa Woody ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387 f: 858.400.6812 ahazuda@yahoo.com SUBMISSIONS janelle@2houndsproductions.com For writer’s guidelines, visit www.novadogmagazine.com DISTRIBUTION H.D. Services, Inc. 540.659.4331

time: tips for success WE’RE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Sustainability and the future of this planet are important to us. The pages of Northern Virginia Dog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. To further reduce our eco-footprint, our business cards and most promotions are printed on recycled paper, with presses that use wind-generated power. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy of Northern Virginia Dog Magazine.

win free stuff!

Take our short, online, reader survey and you could WIN one of TWO pet first aid kits from WAG’N Enterprises (www.wagn 4u.com). June is disaster preparedness month for animals!

Participate now at: www.novadogmagazine.com (Click the reader survey banner on the right side of your screen.)

Retail value: $46.95 75 piece-kit includes: • • • • • • •

Insect Bite Applicator Antibiotic Ointment Cold Pack Thermal Blanket Plastic Tweezers Digital Thermometer Pet First Aid Book

Congratulations to our FIRST ROUND WINNERS who will each get a $25 PETCO gift card: Lisa Joyner of Sterling, VA, Joelle Wiese of Washington, DC, Lori Markowitz of Herndon, VA, and David Hotz of Arlington, VA

| Spring 2009

www.novadogmagazine.com

AND MORE!

Winners will be drawn at random from survey participants. No purchase necessary

2 Northern Virginia Dog

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, LLC. Complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area, and are available in select locations. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a distributor or to find a distributor near you. P.O. Box 30072 Alexandria, VA 22310 703.850.6963

Subscribe to NOVADog Complimentary issues disappear quickly—don’t miss an issue! Have NOVADog delivered directly to your mailbox for only $17 per year. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com to pay with your MasterCard, Visa or Discover. (Domestic U.S. delivery only. No foreign or international.) Take $1 off your subscription when you enter coupon code NOVAD2 at checkout


THE SOURCE

N e w s , i n f o r m a t i o n a n d products

If you think dogs “can’t count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then

giving Fido only two of them. —Phil Pastoret Photo courtesy of premier.com

product spotlight: dog-tested review

Kibble Nibble™

Make Mealtime Interactive for Your Pup It’s all about the stimulation! Of course I am paraphrasing what Premier states about its latest product on the market, the Kibble Nibble™. It is constructed from a hard outer shell with a ribbing of purple rubber on the outside (smart move for hardwood floor owners!). Similar to its Twist and Treat™ sister product, the Kibble Nibble™ twists open so you can place up to 2 cups of dry dog food inside. Once closed it has an egg shape with two holes. One hole is on the top and the other on the bottom. The holes have carefully placed rubber prongs that allow for bits of kibble to roll-out. The packaging instructions encourage the owner to ‘adjust’ the rubber prongs by snipping them to the appropriate size of the dry dog food. Test Subject: Jack, All-American dog mix, 26 lbs, male Results: Filled with his dry dog food, Jack sniffed around and tried to stick his tongue inside to reach the food. Once I realized that I needed to adjust the holes, he was able to shove it around with his nose and eat his meal. Jack tired easily and disengaged from his meal after a few minutes.

Tails Are for Wagging Kids seem naturally attracted to dogs, but

by Lisa Colón Tudor

Comments: I really love this thing even if Jack does not (note: Jack is not motivated by dry dog food). As trainers and dog guardians, any time we can stimulate our dogs during everyday activities it improves their quality of life. Meal time is no exception—here is our opportunity to make meals interactive and require a little bit of work. Rating: 5 out of 6 paws (how about one small enough for the terriers?)

Where to Buy: Online at www.premier. com, or we purchased ours at the Pet Marketplace and Adoption Center (PetMAC) at 822 N. Kenmore St., Arlington, VA 22201. Price: $20–$25. Lisa Colón Tudor, CPDT, is a certified professional dog trainer and owner of KissAble Canine, LLC. Lisa specializes in behavior modification and in-home family pet training. She works hard to find the most useful products on the market for her clients and for her own two rescue pups, Jack and Betty. Reach her at 571.312.1940 or visit www. KissAbleCanine.com.

World’s Oldest Dog Turns 21 in May

Chanel, a 20-year-old dachshund (that’s 140 in dog years) was adopted in 1989 from a humane society shelter here in Virginia. She now resides in Port Jefferson Station, NY, with her family and owner Denice Shaughnessy. The next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, due out in September, will feature Chanel as the world’s oldest dog. She takes the place of Butch, a beagle from Virginia that died in 2003 at age 20.

adults must teach them the basics of being kind to animals and how to show their love for pets in an appropriate and gentle way. A children’s book available from the ASPCA store can help. Tails are Not for Pulling, by Elizabeth Verdick, shows kids how to interact with pets by teaching careful handling, awareness and respect. Since toddlers don’t always realize when their play is too rough, pages like “Pets are for cuddling, not squeezing,” will attempt to educate your child to interact with pets gently. Several tips at the back of the book include spending time with your child practicing on a stuffed animal, and instituting a rule to “ask first” before approaching a stranger’s pet. Local dog trainer, author and teacher Anne Davis, of Rudy’s Friends Dog Training enjoys working with children and teaching them how to be safe and have fun with their dogs. She suggests starting with something simple such as giving children an appropriate activity to share with their dog. “Teach them how to say the dog’s name and reward when the dog responds by looking at them,” Anne advises. Adults should supervise all interaction between children and pets. Even a well-known family pet when spooked is more likely to scratch or bite. Price: $7.95 FIND it: www.aspcaonlinestore.com

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THE SOURCE

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JUNE Is National Disaster Preparedness Month for Animals

Preparing our families and pets, homes and businesses for unexpected disasters has become a sign of the times. After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, people began to realize the importance of having a disaster preparedness and evacuation plan that includes family pets.

Take The Test

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ginia’s hern Vir rt o N r r fo ppy Hou Join us rking Ya o w t’ e ‘p best it up! and bark

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where dogs rule and cats meow!

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4 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

The Humane Society of the United States offers a few plausible scenarios and a series of questions designed to help pet owners assess their level of disaster preparedness. An officer arrives at your door. A truck has overturned down the road and is leaking toxic chemicals. You have thirty minutes to evacuate. You may not be allowed home for several days. 1. You run to find the dog and cat carriers and try to get the dog and cat into the car. Do you have carriers for all your pets? Are leashes easily accessible? 2. You decide to evacuate to a motel. Do you know which hotels take pets or where the local emergency shelter is for pets? Do you have a plan for where you will go and the route to take? 3. As you arrive at the emergency shelter, your cat somehow slips out of the carrier and jumps out the car window. Do you have photos and descriptions of your pets in your emergency kit so you can show them to emergency workers? 4. You need to tell the shelter workers what to feed your dog and when to give his medications. Did you remember to bring your dog’s medication and written directions for feeding and giving the medication? 5. You are at work when the evacuation order is given for your neighborhood. Have you made prior arrangements with any of your neighbors to evacuate your pet or to notify emergency workers that your home has pets inside? If you answered “no” to one or more of these questions, you are not prepared to care for your pet in a disaster. For help with developing a disaster plan that includes all your pets and animals, visit www.hsus.org/hsus_field/hsus_disaster_center. ND

Local Company Offers Pet Owners Peace of Mind The unfortunate truth is accidents do happen. Rover Respond’R is a vital link between first responders, you and your designated pet guardians. First responders/good samaritans will contact the National Rover Respond’R emergency phone number upon seeing the prominently displayed key tag, dog tag, window sticker or your license plate alerting them that there are pets in your life that need immediate attention. Annual membership in the service, for as little as $1 a day, provides pet parents the ability to create an action plan centered around the care of their pet in the event of an emergency.

FIND it: www.roverrespondr.com


H E A LT H W I S E

I n f o r m a t i o n a n d a d v i ce on canine health issues

Is Your Dog Depressed? By Alan a S t e v e n s o n

D

id you know that dogs suffer from depression just as we humans do? Usually, it is environmentally caused, and based on their social interactions—or lack thereof— with other animals, including people. The most common causes of depression in dogs are lack of physical exercise, lack of mental stimulation, loneliness, and being scolded or punished too frequently. Dogs that are reprimanded or corrected inconsistently for behaviors that are often reinforced, albeit unintentionally, by humans, make a dog’s world unpredictable. This may cause your pet to be anxious and depressed. Depression is when an animal gives up hope, has succumbed to despair and assumes that no positive change will take place or occur.

Animals live very much in the moment. They express how they are feeling, what they are taught, and what they know, through their behaviors. You can learn a lot about your dog by observing how he behaves. If you suspect your dog is unhappy, lonely or depressed, here are some questions to ask yourself. Is your dog exercised? Do you mentally stimulate your dog? Do you give your dog attention and affection? If so, how often? Dogs are pack animals. They are incredibly social. It is unnerving and very isolating for a dog to be left alone. Because dogs are inherently communal, they are very dependent on,

and sensitive to, the behaviors of others. If a dog is under-stimulated, physically or mentally on an ongoing basis, chances are the dog is unhappy.

Do you keep your dog in a crate over four hours a day? If your dog remains in

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H E A LT H W I S E

a crate or cage for hours on end, he will be under-simulated and under-exercised. The pent up energy a dog accumulates by overcrating is simply too much to bear. As a result, the dog responds to any little trigger with overexcitement or over-stimulation. This causes people to react and become upset. Usually, they reprimand the dog or yell at the dog for misbehaving, which results in more crate time and confinement. This causes a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Dogs who are overly crated often end up depressed.

Does your dog self-lick or chew at himself incessantly? If your dog obsessively licks or chews at himself—providing there is not any underlying medical problem—your dog may be stressed, anxious or bored. Self-chewing and licking are displacement behaviors when the dog does not have a positive outlet or alternative way to relieve his anxiety or boredom. Too little structure or too many corrections or reprimands, along with too little exercise, and lack of mental stimulation, will cause a dog to exhibit such behaviors.

Does your dog jump on you constantly or bark at you and other people in the family? If so, your dog is probably getting mixed signals from you. Barking at you is a way to get your attention. Jumping is a submissive, attention-seeking behavior. It is not a confident gesture. If your dog is behaving this way around you, your dog is trying to appease you or seek your attention in the only ways he knows how. More than likely you are not leading the interactions or guiding your dog, but reacting to him. Your dog is anxious around you and does not know how to get what he wants without barking at you or jumping on you. These behaviors can be precursors to depression, especially if these behaviors result in punishments or too much crate time. Dogs who are happy tend to have positive influences in their lives. They tend to engage in social play with other animals, including people. They usually are taught with rewards and praise. They get a lot of physical exercise and/or mental stimulation through activities, such as playing with other dogs, jogging, hiking, swim-

www.bevhollisphoto.com www.bevhollisphoto.com/blog Specializing in stylistic, timeless pet por traits.

For detailed information call or email us at: 615.414.2903 bev@bevhollisphoto.com Serving Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

6 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

ming, agility, or “go find” games. They are given friendly, gentle attention and are touched in a kind way through gentle stroking and/or massage. They do not spend much time alone and are not overly crated. When their owners go to work, they have a social companion such as another dog, or they have other animals in the family to be with. By being aware of what causes depression and paying attention to your dog’s behaviors, you can make your dog happy and encourage him to enjoy life. By playing with your dog, teaching your dog how to play, exercising your dog, and giving your dog positive attention and feedback, through praise and other rewards, you can pave the way for a happy, healthy relationship with your canine companion. ND Alana Stevenson, M.S., CDBC, is a professional dog and cat behavior specialist, dog trainer, and dog and cat massage therapist. She is the author of The Right Way the First Time: Teaching Your Dog Kindly and Humanely. Reach her at pethelp@k9kitty.com


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INTERNET SCARES:

Where to go for the facts By Gina S p a d a f o r i

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very pet lover with an e-mail address has at one time or another—or time and time again—received warnings on potentially deadly pet hazards. Warnings have ranged from produce (grapes and raisins) to garden products (mulch made of cocoa hulls) to name-brand household cleaning products (Swiffer WetJet and Febreze). Problem is, not all warnings are what they seem to be. Some may be well-intentioned but wrong, while others may be possibly motivated by a campaign against a particular company and also wrong. And then there are those that are legitimate concerns.

Legit or bogus? The first stop for any pet lover investigating an Internet warning should be the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ poison information site (www. aspca.org/APCC). The APCC veterinarians respond quickly to Internet warnings, providing information on which reports are a real concern and which should not be. Internet scares covered by the APCC include grapes and raisins (potentially toxic), cocoa-hull mulch (potentially toxic), and Swiffer WetJet and Febreze (safe when used as directed). If you don’t find what you’re looking for at the APCC Web site, check out Snopes.com, arguably the best resource for checking out urban legends and e-mail hoaxes of all varieties. The site offers an extensive collection of information on common animal-related myths. In the name of fairness to your friends, don’t forward any kind of e-mail warning without checking it out on the APCC and Snopes.com web sites first. If you cannot verify the claims in any e-mail, the only proper thing to do is hit “delete.” ND

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Award-winning journalist Gina Spadafori has authored several bestselling pet care books. © 2009. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.

My dog rulz!

Tell us why your dog rules! Selected entries will be published in the next issue, plus you will receive a NOVADog “My dog rulz!” T-shirt.

You know why your dog rulz, now tell us!

Go to: www.novadogmagazine.com/dogrulz.html www.novadogmagazine.com

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EXPERT ADVICE

A n s w e r s t o y o u r behavior and training questions

The Perfect Plan for a Social Puppy B y Ve r o n i c a S a n c h e z

I just brought my new Labrador puppy home and QUESTION I want to be sure that he grows up to be friendly with people and other dogs. I am introducing him to my friends and family and we have another dog at home. Is there anything else I need to be doing?

Veronica Sanchez, M.Ed. CPDT, CABC, is a dog trainer and behavior consultant in Northern Virginia. Visit www. cooperativepaws.com for more information.

8 Northern Virginia Dog

“Aww, how cute!” ANSWER Taking your adorable puppy out for a walk is a fun way to get to know your neighbors. Moreover, the opportunity to meet new people is important for your puppy’s behavioral development. Dogs have a brief period of time where they can easily learn to accept and adapt to new experiences. This time period before the age of 14 weeks is often referred to as the “socialization window.” Although socialization later on is important, it does not have the same impact. Puppies that are inadequately socialized early in life are at risk for developing problems like fearful or aggressive behavior in adulthood. Time flies with a new puppy so hit the ground running! Make sure your pup has lots of positive experiences with different people and has the opportunity to explore different environments. Introduce him to people of various ages, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. Keep it fun for your puppy by having people he meets give him healthy treats. If your pup is very mouthy, you can feed him yourself while people pet him. Be careful and always supervise your puppy’s in-

teractions with children closely. Puppies also need an opportunity to play and interact with friendly dogs. Dog parks are risky because you do not know anything about the other dogs. Play dates coordinated with dogs and puppies current on vaccinations and known to be friendly are a safer bet. Do not forget to expose your puppy to different environments and surfaces too. Your puppy needs to learn to be comfortable walking on slippery floors as well as grass, carpet and cement. “One size fits all” does not apply to puppy socialization. Take your puppy’s unique temperament into account because scary experiences may have a long lasting impact. An outgoing puppy may enjoy a visit to Old Town Alexandria. A more reserved pup, on the other hand, may do better given the opportunity to build confidence in quieter locations first. Getting qualified professional help when raising a new puppy is always a great idea, but it is a must-do for pups that are shy, aggressive or demonstrating other behavioral problems. Pet owners used to be told to wait until their pup had all his

ASK THE EXPERT...

E-mail your dog behavior questions to Veronica Sanchez at askdogexpert@cooperativepaws.com. We regret that we can’t answer each e-mail personally. The most interesting and timely topics will be chosen for review in this column. Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

| Spring 2009

vaccinations before letting him play with other dogs. While some vaccines and precautions are necessary, the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior recommends socialization experiences and puppy classes before the puppy is fully vaccinated. For details on their vaccination and socialization recommendations, check out their position statements online at www. avsabonline.org Socialization is fun for both puppies and owners. Remember to bring your puppy toys, treats and clean-up supplies on your socialization field trips. And, of course, don’t forget to bring your camera! ND


ECO DOG

Ti p s , p r o d u c t s & i n s i g h t s f o r g r eener living

Kiss Carpet Stains Goodbye Stain & Odor Removers Get Eco-Friendly By Julie t F a r m e r

L

et’s face it—accidents happen. And when dogs are involved, those accidents can be messy, stinky, and, unfortunately, lingering, which can also lead to “marking” problems. Luckily, there are several eco-friendly, natural solutions that offer an all natural, eco-sensitive alternative to harsh chemicals found in traditional household stain removers. Simple Solution (www.simplesolution.com) offers Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover, which is made with renewable corn-based ethanol and plant-based mild cleaners, as well as beneficial bio-cultures and enzymes that activate on contact with stains and odors. According to the company, this combination digests organic waste and continues to multiply until the problem is

Green Carpet Tiles From Flor Short of replacing your entire carpet, Flor (flor.com) offers carpet squares made out of renewable and recycled raw materials. The tiles also feature some of the lowest VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the industry. Flor’s carpet tiles can be used to create area rugs both large and small, as well as carpet rooms wall to wall, and are available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. They even have tiles suitable for garage use. Whether they are used to carpet large areas, or as individual squares, the tiles can be lifted up, cleaned and then left in a ventilated area to dry before replacing. The tiles are priced per 19.5-inch by 19.5-inch square, starting at $7.99 each, so they are inexpensive enough that if a stain just won’t come out, you can replace a tile (or two) and not break the bank. Flor will send samples for a nominal fee, so you can be sure you choose just the right color and texture to compliment your home.

eliminated. The product is scented with a ginger eucalyptus fragrance oil blend that works with the cleaning agents to advance pet odor removal. It’s also non-toxic and safe to use around children and, of course, pets. (32 oz., $14.99 at www. petco.com)

Buster’s Secret Odor & Stain Eliminator, created by Bark Busters (www.barkbustersboutique.com), features natural bio-enzymatic technology to eliminate odors and stains. The product is made with a unique proprietary blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down and turn organic stains and odor-causing substances into liquid that can be wiped away. This product is non toxic, non flammable, 100-percent biodegradable and assigned Environmental Protection Agency’s Design for Environmental Approval, and is also safe to use around children and pets. (32 oz., $14.99 at www. barkbustersboutique.com) Bi-O-Kleen™ (www.bi-o-kleen.com) offers BacOut™ Stain & Odor Eliminator, which contains strains of live enzyme-producing cultures that remove organic waste and odors, as well as food-grade lime extracts to eliminate stains and odors on contact. In addition to carpets, the product can be used on upholstery, pet runs and kennels, and, according to the manufacturer, is even gentle enough for use on cloth diapers. (32 oz., $8.99 at www.drugstore.com) Cesar Millan (yes, that Cesar Millan) created the non-toxic Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Natural Odor & Stain Remover exclusively for Petco. The product does not contain harsh chemicals. Instead, it features botanical extracts that neutralize odors and stains, as well as essential oil of lemongrass for a fresh smell. The product also bears the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. (32 oz., $12.99 at www.petco.com) So the next time your pooch makes a mess of your carpet, reach for an all-natural, non-toxic stain and odor remover, and soon, pet stains will be a thing of the past. ND

Juliet Farmer has contributed pet-related stories to numerous publications and web sites. She and her husband live in Sacramento, Calif., with their retired racing greyhound and two cats.

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DESTINATIONS

D o g - f r i e n d l y s p a ces in Northern Virginia and beyond

Spring Rolls Out the Blue Carpet By Kelly Pike

F Janice Fang Yi and her daughter Camryn, stroll with their dog Snowyi among the Virginia Bluebells. Photo by Robin Burkett of Pawprints Photography. To see more of Robin’s work visit www. pawprintsphotography.com.

10 Northern Virginia Dog

orget about the cherry blossoms. When it comes to welcoming spring with your pack, those famous pink blossoms have nothing on northern Virginia’s own secret spring treasure, the Virginia bluebell. And nowhere boasts more bluebells than Bull Run Regional Park’s Bluebell Trail. Bluebells are small, low-growing plants known for their bell-shaped blue or violet blooms. While modest when alone, each April 150 acres of Bull Run Regional Park erupt into a stupendous display of blue and green that covers the forest with a carpet of wildflowers. Believed to be the largest stand of bluebells on the East coast, it is not only visually stunning, it’s also easily accessible and welcoming to canine companions. The park’s Bluebell trail is a 1.5-mile loop offering a glimpse at 25 varieties of wildflowers, including the bluebells and 300 acres of spring beauties, small white flowers that also cover the forest grounds. Both people and leashed dogs are able to enjoy the trail any time the | Spring 2009

park is open, but for those really looking to get their bluebell fix, there is the annual Bull Run Bluebell Walk. This year it will be held Easter Sunday, April 12. Led by naturalists with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the 30-minute walk includes folklore, plant identification and trivia about the plants. For instance, you’ll learn why another name for bluebells is Oysterleaf. (Hint: You could taste it to find out.) The walks are typically informal, says Jeff Randolph, park assistant manager, and attract a wide range of visitors from children (recommended for those age 6 and up) to the physically challenged to families and their dogs. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions. Chief Naturalist Martin Ogle has been leading bluebell walks at the park for the past 24 years and is still wowed by the naturally occurring wonder. He especially enjoys watching the faces of newcomers when they first see the display. “The reaction is pretty universal,” Ogle says.” If someone is seeing it for first time, there is a look of


surprise and a little awe. It really is a pretty spectacular show.”

Happy Tails Freelance writer Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt of Bristow and her 12-year-old Shiba Inu Shiba agree. The pair has been enjoying the smooth, flat trail for years. Not only is the short path easy on Gotthardt’s bad knees and her aging pup, it also makes her feel closer to nature. “The flowers literally blanket the forest floor with their blue and purple hues, the color heightened by leaves and stems,” Gotthardt says. “The sight of the flowers, the smell of finally thawed air and the joy a pup gets from exploring can bring you away to a more peaceful place even if only for a brief time.” One of the most delightful aspects of the trail, visitors agree, is the way it curves through the forest of wildflowers. Each turn offers a new vista and yet more flowers. Add to that the fact that there are no thorny bushes, pits or other hazards for curious dogs, and you have a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Those with more energetic dogs can

IF YOU GO: The Bluebell Trail blooms for about two weeks in mid-April. The naturalist-led Bull Run Bluebell Walk will be held Easter Sunday, April 12 at 2 p.m. The walk covers 1.5 miles and lasts about 30 minutes. Participants should meet at the pool parking lot. The event is included with park admission, and no reservations are required, though you should call ahead in the event of bad weather in case it is cancelled. Nature-lovers can also walk the tour without a guide any time the park is open. Admission is free for residents of Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Loudoun County. Others pay $7 per vehicle. Hours vary. Bull Run Regional Park is located in Centreville, off exit 52 on I-66, and is about 29 miles west of Washington, D.C. Call 703.631.0550 for updates on the blooming status of the bluebells. For more information visit www. nvrpa.org/parks/bullrun.

continue on the 17-mile Bull-Run Occoquan Trail, a moderately strenuous hike which winds through steep hillsides and deep ravines. Hikers should know, though, that unlike the Bluebell Trail, the Bull-Run Occoquan Trail doesn’t lead back to Bull Run Park. One warning for bluebell lovers with a dog in tow: Virginia Bluebells grow best in stream banks and moist woods. Combined with frequent spring rains, it often makes for a muddy trail so be sure to bring towels to clean off your pup for the car ride home. But a little bit of mud is surely worth it, especially if you and your dog have grown tired of cold weather and bare branches. The vibrant blue flowers, nestled in purplish-green foliage, are a beautiful reminder that spring — and with it, longer days for more walks together — are really just around the corner. ND

Kelly Pike is a freelance writer in Annandale, VA. When she’s not busy writing about business and finance, she and her husband enjoy jaunty walks with their Puggle Lola.

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COVER STORY

a

ANIMAL Our top tips for hosting your own doggie special occasions B y Lisa Woody

Bev Hollis, of Bev Hollis Photography, caught our two adorable party dogs on camera, in her Leesburg, VA, studio. Bev can be reached at 615.414.2903, or visit her web site www.bevhollisphoto.com.

12 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

P

et parties have become the newest trend. More and more people are hosting them, and nearly everyone attends. Why? Pet parties are much more fun than most other kinds of parties! And everyone has something in common with the other guests, so it’s a great way to meet people. Here are our top tips for hosting your own dog birthday party. Location. Choose a place where there’s

Themes. Dog parties can have as many

plenty of room, and where the occasional “accident” won’t be a big problem. Some doggie daycare and boarding facilities will let you have a party at their place. Even doggie boutiques and bakeries now offer dog party packages that include refreshments and location for one price. Dog parks are another great party location; some even have a party area that’s fenced off from other runs. If you hold the party at your home, choose several areas where guests can mingle, such as the back yard and the living room. This allows your guests to separate dogs who might not get along, without making them leave early.

themes as other types of parties. Consider having a costume party, an Easter egg hunt (with kibble or small treats hidden in small plastic eggs), a learning party with special guest trainers or groomers, a portrait party, or other fun themes. Spaw parties can be loads of fun, and with all the great canine spa products on the market today, you can assure a fun time for every dog, from the most masculine Rottie to the most feminine Bichon. Pam Ahart and Dani Weng, local owners of Bark ’N Bubbles Dog Wash agree. “Parties are becoming increasingly popular among our four-legged family members. Birthdays were created to celebrate another year. As dog owners we are so thankful for another year with our pets so


Ivan, owned by Cecelia Spitznas of Purcellville, VA, is dressed in his party best. Party collar and hat courtesy of The Reign of Cats and Dogs, www. thereignofcatsanddogs.com.

13 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

www.novadogmagazine.com

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why not celebrate their birthday, too? It’s a great time to come together with your dog and his doggie friends for pupcakes, gifts, games and socializing. Pet parties have become one of the newest party trends—your dog should be able to join the fun,” says Ahart.

Games. It’s always fun to have a few games to keep the fun times going. Try a relay race (a friend of mine had a sock relay where the owners had to put socks on their dogs, then cross the finish line). You can have a sit/stay contest or a “talent show” in which each dog shows off his or her trick repertoire. You may be able to get prizes from local pet shops in exchange for putting their card or coupon on the prize as you give it away.

Refreshments. A lot of what makes a dog party successful is preventing natural squabbles between dogs (and, to a lesser extent, between dogs and people). Food will initiate a territorial incident more than any

Keeping the Peace The trend towards dog “get-togethers” has increased significantly over the last twenty years. In the 70’s and 80’ the Olde Towne School for Dogs students lived with their people, walking in town or playing in their fenced yards but they did not socialize extensively with each other. Now many of our student’s principle source of exercise is a visit to the dog park, a play date or a party with their dog friends. When planning a party for the dogs think through how each of your canine guests will react to the stimulation of other dogs, treats and activities.

other thing, so how you serve canine refreshments at a party is even more important than what you serve. Dog treats should be served in bite-sized pieces. Owners should feed their own dogs, and no more than can be chomped in one bite should be offered. If a dog snatches a large bone or cookie and runs off to eat it, he’ll almost certainly be followed by a crowd of other dogs who’d like to have it, too. Your doggie special occasion would not be complete without a cake. They’re a little less sweet than what you would eat, but they look the same as any other cake. You can either make one from a recipe (there are plenty online), or buy a mix, or purchase a decorated cake from a bakery. It’s still hard to find a pet bakery that will ship a cake, so look for a local bakery that you can pick up from. You can make your own beautiful snacks by taking inexpensive dog biscuits and dipping or drizzling them in white chocolate. Melt the candy on low heat, add food coloring if you wish, then place cookies on a wire

By Sandy Mejias

Plan the Guest List Wisely The first thing to consider in achieving a “peaceful” party is to plan a compatible guest list. Obviously females in heat should stay home as should intact males who have been involved in skirmishes before. Some intact males do play well with others so it is not necessary to exclude them. It is important to insure that any toy breeds or pop eyed dogs like Shih Tzus and Pugs are not involved in rough activities with bigger dogs. Accidental injuries of small breeds participating in play that becomes to rough can occur even with a friendly, compatible group. Any dog with a previous history of aggression that has caused injury towards another dog and or human should never be included in a dog get together.

On Leash or Off? Decide ahead of time according to your guest list if this will be an on or off leash party. If there are active or large impulsive dogs combined with small tentative ones it should be the responsibility of the owners to insure each dog stays in his comfort zone. However, too much

14 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

interaction and interference by the human guests can sometimes cause a fight to occur so it is best to have a chaperone at your party who understands and speaks “dog”. A knowledgeable dog person will usually know when it is appropriate to intervene and when it is not. Make sure that all the guests are wearing appropriate fitting flat collars or harnesses and remove all training collars or equipment that could cause injury while wrestling and playing.. Dogs are notorious for not wanting to share with each other. Unless you have a group who knows each other well and has enjoyed food treats together before it is best to offer food, chew bones and exciting treats individually. Favor bags to be taken home and enjoyed can be a solution to avoiding confrontations. Another trigger for fights and bites is retrieving games as some dogs just can’t handle anyone else “getting the ball”. If a dog is known to become aggressive when others reach the ball or frisbee first he should probably not participate in free for all retrieving game. Planning your party with a compatible guest list, a knowledgeable chaperone and appropriate activities for the group will insure a great time for dogs and their people. Sandy Mejias and her husband Carlos have owned and operated The Olde Towne School for Dogs in Alexandria, VA since 1975.


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rack after dipping or drizzling them. These can make a gorgeous party tray for just pennies per treat.

Gifts. You can have a traditional birthday party, but if your dog has everything she needs and your real purpose is to visit with friends, why not make it a shelter benefit party? Ask guests to bring toys, treats and blankets for dogs at a local shelter, then donate them in your dog’s name. It makes the party even more fun, and people enjoy knowing they’re giving comfort to dogs in need. Tip: take a picture when you deliver the gifts, and e-mail it to your party guests. They’ll love it. If you do have gifts for the birthday girl or boy, plan ahead. If you open the gift in front of everyone, be aware that other dogs may want to play with and

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1. Be sure to supply pickup bags and point guests to the receptacle for disposal. Photo by Robin Burkett, www.pawprintsphotography.com.

2. Because so many doggie treats look good enough for us to eat, it’s polite to tell

guests verbally and/or with table signage which buffet is for people and which is for pups. Photo by Robin Burkett, www.pawprintsphotography.com.

3. These personalized collars from The Reign of Cats and Dogs in Leesburg, VA,

are sure to make your dog feel noteworthy on his special day. Photo by Bev Hollis, www.bevhollisphoto.com.

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Denise Hansen, of Manassas, VA, planned this fancy affair to celebrate her soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Bubis’ 7th birthday. His custom cake was created by Natalie Marquardt, of My Best Friend Specialty Pet Bakery. Natalie handpaints all her cakes from a supplied photo. (www.mybestfriend pettreats.com).

16 Northern Virginia Dog

sample the gifts at the party. So be prepared to share, or have a place set aside to put gifts out of reach.

Etiquette. Invitations should be sent out three weeks before the

| Spring 2009

party. If you request an RSVP, remember that fewer people actually do respond these days than did in the past, so have enough room and refreshments (and gift bags) for a few extra guests. Tell your guests which areas are off-leash, and ask them to kindly keep their dogs leashed in other areas. Supply pickup bags and point guests to the receptacle for disposing of them. Because so many doggie treats look good enough for us to eat, it’s polite to tell guests verbally and/ or with table signage which buffet is for people and which is for pups. If you’re giving gift bags to your guests, hand them out as guests leave. This prevents guests from squabbling over treats or toys during the party. Think about the kind of guests you’re having for the party when planning gift bag contents. If you’re expecting a mix of small and large dogs, you may need

to purchase treats and toys in two sizes. Mark the gift bags for large and small dogs so guests can take an appropriate bag as they leave. Remember that the main purpose is to have a great time with your human and canine friends, so once people arrive, don’t be uptight. If someone forgets to pick up after her dog, just pick up the pile yourself with a smile. If dogs track mud or grass into the house, or if there’s an “accident” on the carpet, just take a breath and worry about it later. It’s often worth a little cleaning up to have a party that your friends remember and talk about for years to come. ND Lisa Woody is co-owner of www. FunStuffForDogs.com, a quirky retail site she launched in 2005. She hosts “The Lucky Dog Show,” a weekly online podcast with 14,000 listeners, and is a frequent writer for pet publications.


Party Animal Products and Services directory

Whether you’re throwing a full scale bash, or planning a quiet family get-together, celebrate in style with the products and services listed in the Northern Virginia Dog Magazine resource guide to dog parties and celebrations.

CHASE YOUR TAIL BAKERY

PAWS AND CLAWS PHOTOGRAPHY

TAIL WAGGIN’ CELEBRATIONS

The best value in pet photography: professional results, unbeatable prices and a complete satisfaction guarantee. Join our growing list of satisfied clients. Serving the entire Washington, D.C. Metro area since 2005.

Tail Waggin’ Celebrations has all the party hats, cakes, treats, birthday banners and decorations you need for your pet’s special day. Come visit us at www.tailwagging.com.

305-A East Market Street Leesburg, VA 20176 703/771-3019 www.chaseyourtailbakery.com

Why give a good dog a bad treat? Come visit us at Chase Your Tail Bakery in Leesburg or at the Farmer’s Markets in Leesburg, Cascades and Falls Church (May-Dec.) Try our handmade, fresh baked treats in many popular varieties!

DOGMA BAKERY

2445 N. Harrison St. Arlington, VA 22207 703/237-5070 www.dogmabakery.com

571/641-1044 www.pawsandclawsphotography.com

THE PUPPY PARTY PLACE 847/507-7722 www.puppypartyplace.com

1700 7th Ave. #116 PMB 282 Seattle, WA 98101 877/381-6924 www.tailwagging.com

ERRAND PARTNERS

703/328-0185 info@errandpartners.com www.errandpartners.com

Introducing Northern Virginia’s Exciting New Errand & Personal Concierge Service! Errands • Shopping • Decorating • Organizing • Personal Assistance • And more!

One Stop Doggie Party Shopping. Find amazing treats (made fresh daily!) and gifts. Select a unique, personalized cake to celebrate your dog’s special day. We also have ice cream, pet supplies and more.

BARK ’N BUBBLES

info@barknbubblesdogwash.com www.barknbubblesdogwash.com

The perfect doggie celebration! Birthday package includes: Invitations, thank yous, Decorated party room, streamers, balloons, birthday banner and games. Each doggy guest will enjoy a pupcake and goodie bag. Spaw baths can also be included.

Party Animals Wanted! This is your one stop puppy party shop! Sign up for Rocket’s Barkday Club and receive free birthday greetings! Enter NOVA for 20% off your next purchase.

FUNSTUFFFORDOGS.COM (972) 712-2812 lisa@funstufffordogs.com www.funstufffordogs.com

Unique dog toys, treats, dog birthdays, dog beds, gifts, dog party supplies, and pet apparel. Shop our frisky, friendly store today. Check out our money-saving coupon codes and see what’s new this week!

Whether it’s planning your dog’s birthday party, your daughter’s wedding, or day-today tasks, if it will save you time, we’ll do it!

RED DOG SPA & BOUTIQUE 12158 Fairfax Towne Center Fairfax, VA 22033 703/865-6644 www.reddogspa.com

Red Dog Spa pet boutique, eatery and grooming spa offering nutritious food and treats, apparel, gifts and cage-free grooming services for dogs and cats.

www.novadogmagazine.com

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Dogs have a way of finding the people

sharing smiles

who need them, filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.

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working dogs

Article number one in a three-part series

(from left to right) Fairfax Pets on Wheels volunteers Cara Schantz and Sabine Arndt, and their dogs Jacob and Tessa, stroll through the hallways of Powhatan Nursing Home with resident dog-lover Marie Mobley. Photos by Robin Burkett (www.pawprintsphotography.com)

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| Spring 2009

—Thom Jones

By Taylor Ham

A

s dog owners, most of us would agree that the connection we have with our pets makes us happier people. Just one wag of a tail can make us smile; it can make us laugh; and it can turn a bad day around. Some dog owners would even go so far as to describe the time spent with their dogs as therapeutic—and it is! Although dogs have been a source of comfort for people throughout history, it wasn’t until relatively recently that the therapeutic qualities of the human-ca-

nine bond began to be seriously studied by health care disciplines concerned with people’s emotional well being and quality of life. Out of these studies was born a new field—“animal-assisted therapy”—and a completely new way of looking at the human-animal connection. While the benefits of animal-assisted therapy were not widely recognized until the last half of the twentieth century, they now cannot be ignored. Studies have shown that interactions with pets offer both psychological and physical benefits.


Pets can contribute to enhanced feelings of emotional connectedness and reduced feelings of loneliness and depression. Research shows that pet owners reap physical benefits as well, including lowered blood pressure and decreases in the stress hormone cortisol. “The results of research on the humananimal connection have been more conclusive than we could have imagined, and yet I think we still don’t fully understand how deeply it affects people,” says Denice Ekey, program coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth University’s Center for Human-Animal Interaction. “The unconditional love a dog offers is a very powerful thing—it’s hard to put into words.”

Giving Back In light of these findings, non-profit organizations that train, evaluate and register dogs for therapy visitation have been cropping up across the country, and more and more pet owners are signing up to share their best friends with others. Thousands of “therapy dogs” and their owners volunteer to visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other special needs facilities in their communities, bringing joy and comfort to the people who need it the most. Tracy Van Duston first learned about animal-assisted therapy shortly after September 11, 2001, when she began to search for meaningful volunteer opportunities in the area. She came across an advertisement for Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc., an all-volunteer non-profit organization that connects people and their pets to residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Fairfax County, VA. “I thought: How great is it to be able to volunteer with your dog?!” Tracy remembers. “My grandmother was in a nursing home, and there were never any animals there. The minute I saw the ad I knew it was a perfect match for me.” Tracy now serves as President of Fairfax Pets on Wheels, managing a network of more than 300 canine and human volunteers who provide over 8,000 hours of pet visitation to residents in 10 Fairfax County facilities. I was recently invited to tag along during one of the group’s Tuesday evening visits to Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, VA. Though I had never visited one before, I had always imagined nursing homes to be very austere and gloomy places. What I witnessed, however, changed

Making the Grade

By Tammy Rosen

Not all dogs are cut out to be therapy dogs. If you are interested in exploring your dog’s readiness for therapy work, you’ll want to focus on these main areas:

Socialize your dog. Introduce your dog to a variety of people including men, women, and kids. It is very important that the dog be comfortable and enjoy greeting people. Each experience should be positive; the dog should not show any signs of fear or aggression. Practice having strangers wear hats, coats, gloves, masks, and strange clothing that your dog may not witness every day.

Practice grooming and handling. Your dog should enjoy being touched and held. Make sure you can pet your dog without fear or hesitation, including the head, ears, mouth, belly, front paws, back paws, and tail. Patients may want to hug your dog, so it important to ensure your dog enjoys these types of interactions not just from you, but more importantly, from strangers.

Simulate the therapy environment. Expose your dog to a variety of environments particularly loud and crowded areas. Help your dog gain confidence in cramped quarters and near equipment that may be sparse in daily life, but will be predominant in a hospital setting such as crutches, wheelchairs, beeping machines, and elevators.

Establish strong obedience skills. It is important that you and your dog have a good working relationship, your dog listens to you, and can follow directions well. This is where it is crucial that your dog have a solid foundation in basic obedience. Your dog should have good attention skills, be able to sit and down on command, not jump on people, walk nicely on leash, stay, and come when called. The better trained your dog is in these basic skills the easier he will be to manage in a therapy-type setting.

Evaluate your dog’s personality. Relaxed dogs are best suited for therapy work. If your dog is easily aroused, he may not be the best fit for this line of work. Dogs should be able to control their excitement and be calm around a child or someone in a fragile state. To really ensure that your dog is comfortable and would enjoy therapy work, I recommend daily exposure and practice of these tips. The therapy organization you choose to work with will evaluate your dog for temperament using many of the examples outlined above. If you have a puppy, understand that they need time to grow and develop. Puppies begin their adolescence stage around 5 months of age and it ends once they are behaviorally, sexually, and physically mature at around the age of 2 in small breeds and 2 1/2 in larger breeds. Training a puppy that is eager to please is far different from training an adolescent dog that is now eager to test your patience. It takes time to develop and hone obedience skills. Some therapy programs do have a minimum age requirement of at least 1 year. Another excellent way to prepare your dog for therapy work is to become a Canine Good Citizen (CGC). Some therapy groups use the CGC test as part of their evaluation, but not all therapy organizations require it. For more information on CGC testing go to www.akc. org/events/cgc

Tammy Rosen is a Certified Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), CGC Evaluator, and owner of Fur-Get Me Not, a full service pet business that provides dog daycare, boarding, training, dog walking, pet sitting, a DIY pet bath, and boutique. For more information on their Levels Training Program or CGC testing go to www.furgetmenot.com www.novadogmagazine.com

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my perspective and warmed my heart. As the dogs and their owners entered the facility, the rooms and hallways filled with life and laughter as residents, staff, family members and volunteers interacted with the dogs, watched them perform tricks and shared stories of their own pets.

Partners in Healing Tracy first began visiting Powhatan with her Cairn Terrier mix, Princess. Her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Precious, joined her just this past year. “Princess was a typical terrier,” Tracy says. “She was full of energy and life and vitality. Precious on the other hand, is very Zen. I’ve had visits where she will fall asleep in a resident’s lap and stay there for hours.” Good therapy dogs come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. Some have double lives as pedigreed show dogs or faithful family companions, and some, like volunteer Cara Schantz’s Rottweiler mix, Jacob, were rescued from a shelter. When Cara first met Jacob in the Richmond City Animal Shelter, she immediately knew that he would make a perfect therapy dog. “He loves people so much, that it would almost be a waste not to let others share that.” Cara says. “He gives Rottweilers a bad name,” she adds with a laugh as she watches him cuddling up to a resident at Powhatan. Despite their diverse backgrounds and personalities, the best therapy dogs have one thing in common: a love of people. Most therapy dog organizations require that dogs pass a temperament test as well as an evaluation of behavior in situations they would encounter during a visitation, including maneuvering wheelchairs, walkers and slick hospital floors. Although there are no strict obedience guidelines to qualify as a therapy dog, basic obedience and control is required for a safe and enjoyable visit. Some people prefer small lap dogs, while others like the larger breeds. Big dogs are easier to pet from a wheelchair or seated position, while the small dogs, like Precious, are often happy to snuggle in someone’s lap. Marie Mobley, a resident at Powhatan Nursing Home, makes no distinction. “I love all dogs,” she tells me with a grin. “In fact, I have a motto: I love dogs, horses, cats…and some people.”

20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

Precious, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, shares a quiet moment with Marie Mobley, a resident of Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, VA.

Therapy dog groups in the DC Metro region are always looking for human and canine volunteers. Get involved today by contacting one of the organizations listed below, or visit Therapy Dogs International (www.tdi-dog.org) or the Delta Society (www.deltasociety.org) to learn more about therapy dog registration and visitation programs nationwide. ■ Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc.

703.324.5406 www.fpow.org A therapy dog visitation program that connects pets with people living in assisted living and nursing homes in Fairfax County, VA. ■ PAL (People Animals Love)

202.966.2171 www.peopleanimalslove.org An organization that brings people and animals together to brighten the lives of the lonely, ease the pain of the sick and enrich the world of at-risk children. ■ National Capital Therapy Dogs, Inc.

301.585.NCTD (585-6283) www.nctdinc.org A volunteer organization that provides animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities to healthcare facilities in the DC Metro area.

The dogs and their human companions from Fairfax Pets on Wheels have been visiting Marie at Powhatan for three years now. Her favorites are displayed in framed portraits scattered amongst countless dog figurines on her shelves, just behind the

life-sized plush hound that stands guard on her nightstand. Like many residents, Marie had to give up her own beloved pet when she entered the nursing home and looks forward to weekly visits with the volunteer’s dogs. Sabine Arndt, Vice President of Fairfax Pets on Wheels and a volunteer who has been involved in the program for more than ten years, tells me about the special bond that formed between her late Great Dane, Daytona, and Mrs. Mobley. “Daytona loved her, and she loved him.” Sabine says. “As soon as we walked into the building he would practically drag me to Marie’s room to find her.” It is the many touching stories like these that keep volunteers coming back, week after week. “I come for the happiness that I can bring to others,” says Dan Pearl, a volunteer who has visited Powhatan with his dogs since 1998. “I love seeing the smiles on people’s faces. People who are normally bored and depressed will come alive when they see the dogs.”

Get Involved The benefits of animal-assisted therapy are certainly not one-sided. The presence of pets in a nursing home or hospital provides a break from routine, lightens the mood and increases communication and socialization between staff and patients. Dog owners find volunteering to be a great stress reliever, and as everyone gets involved in the visits, a kind of extended family is formed. “We are family” is a sentiment I heard from every staff member, volunteer and resident I spoke with, and saw echoed in every happy, wagging tail. We already reap the physical, social and psychological benefits of our dog’s love. Most therapy dog owners will tell you that there is no better feeling in the world than to share that love with others. Therapy dog visitation programs are not only a great way to spend some quality time with your best friend, but also a chance to give back to the community. ND Taylor Ham is a freelance writer from Ithaca, NY. She currently lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband, two cats and a Basenji mix, Samson, who was born in a small village in West Africa.


IN REVIEW

L i t e r a t u r e , a r t s a n d n e w m edia

literature

Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me by Jon Katz By Ingrid King

I

n his previous books, bestselling author Jon Katz first introduces the reader to the dogs of Bedlam Farms. You do not have to have read these books, though, to become engrossed in this moving story about the depth of the connection between humans and animals. In the author’s own words, “this book is about small things, like getting a new dog that changes your outlook. And about big things, like having a dog lead you places you never imagined going.” The story begins with Katz rescuing Izzy, an abandoned Border Collie who had been turned down by others because he was too dirty, too hyper, and had never lived with people. Katz saw something special in this dog. Little did he know that taking Izzy home was going to be the beginning of an amazing journey, which was later complemented by the arrival of a bright-eyed black Labrador Retriever puppy named Lenore, also dubbed “The Hound of Love”. Izzy and Jon train to be hospice volunteers. Izzy’s intuitive and affectionate nature makes him a natural at bringing comfort and canine companionship to dying patients in private homes and nursing facilities in upstate New York. What transpires between Izzy and these patients is pure love that defies explanation. An Alzheimer’s patient smiles for the first time in months when she is able to feel Izzy’s

soft head under her hands. A terminal cancer patient joyfully remembers his own beloved dog from long ago each time Izzy comes to visit. As Izzy ministers to the patients and Katz gets to know their families, the author also starts to confront his own past and descends into depression. Enter Lenore, she of the exuberant personality and endless capacity for affection. Not only does her loving presence help move Katz out of the valley of the shadows and reignite his passion for working with the dogs, it also restores his connection with the farm and the people and animals around him. The book is a beautifully written celebration of the connection between dogs and humans, and the ability of a special dog (or two) to transform lives. And if you didn’t get enough of Izzy and Lenore after reading this wonderful book, you can follow their lives on Jon Katz’ Bedlam Farm Journal blog where he shares his thoughts along with moving photographs. Ingrid King is a Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Healing Hands also publishes free periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit www. pethealing.net .

art Sterling Silver pet charms make a unique piece of wearable art for you or your dog. Sandi Bahr of Tiny Tokens Designs is a stay-at-home mom with three children, and says she has been creating jewelry since she was a child. “About three years ago, I decided to get serious about my jewelry and began selling it online. Designing jewelry has been a way for me to express my creativity,” she adds. Sandi’s custom charms are hand stamped using individual letter stamping tools, therefore no two are exactly alike. Lettering may not be perfectly straight and spacing may vary, which adds to the appeal. Prices start at $12 and charms are shipped from Brentwood, CA. Contact Sandi at 925.550.9059 or visit www.tinytokensdesigns.etsy.com.

new media: web

Search With Your Heart We all have the best of intentions and most of us try to make donations to our favorite pet-related charities from time to time. These dedicated foundations and organizations are hurting now more than ever for funding to help the many animals that touch their lives daily. What if you could help these organizations simply by searching the Internet? GoodSearch.com was founded in 2005 for just this purpose. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine, but the big difference is that 50 percent of the revenue it generates is donated to charities and schools designated by you—the user. Goodsearch is powered by Yahoo!, so you can rest assured that you are getting back high-quality results every time. Its very easy to get started. On the GoodSearch.com homepage, choose from thousands of existing organizations or add your favorite cause to the list. Search the Internet just like you normally would—and fifty percent of the revenue generated from advertisers is shared with the charity, school or nonprofit organization of your choosing. Each time you perform a search on GoodSearch.com, your designated charity earns money. The more searches you perform, the more your charity makes. Add up the thousands of others who have selected the same charity and you can see that it begins to make a real difference. Make sure to bookmark the search engine in your web browser, to use it every day and to tell family members and friends so they can use this tool to support their favorite causes, too. ND

www.novadogmagazine.com

21


THE SCENE

A g l i m p s e i n t o t h e l i f e o f Northern Virginia dogs

1

1. MARLEY

2

Loved by Melissa in Leesburg

2. DELA 3

Loved by Suzanne and Josh in Alexandria

3. CHARLOTTE

Loved by Karen in Ashburn

4. AXEL FOLEY

5

Loved by Alana in Chantilly

5. JOSIE

4 6

Loved by Doug in Rockville

6. MIZZEN

Loved by Staci in Washington, DC

9

7. DEACON

Loved by Rob & Marlene in Alexandria

8. RIPLEY

8

Loved by Amy in Gainesville

9. MOLLY

Loved by Joanne in Hamilton

13

10. KOBE & ACE

Loved by Jennifer in Gainesville

11. BENTLEY

7

Loved by Jamie in Arlington

10

11

12. HULLA BALOO & OSCAR Loved by Mike & Jacquie in Woodbridge

12

13. RORY

Loved by Viviana

14. BENTLEY

Loved by Bracy & Bridget in Ashburn

Hey, where’s my dog?

15 14 22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

If you submitted a photo, and don’t see it here, check out the NOVADog home page for the slide show of NOVADogs! Submit your photos at www. novadogmagazine.com/ submissions.html

16

15. MAYDAY

Loved by Ines in Reston

16. ADDIE & PINOT

Loved by Mark & Cindy in Fairfax Station


CALENDAR

E v e n t s y o u w o n ’ t w a n t t o miss

APRIL Saturday, April 11 NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club—10:00 AM-12:30 PM, Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA. Mid-April is the best time to visit Bull Run for spectacular, blanketed fields of bluebells! RSVP required, www.K9Hiking.com

Saturday, April 18 9:00 AM–NOON—Dog Wash to benefit Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. FurGet Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. $15 suggested donation. www.furgetmenot.com. 10:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com

Sunday, April 19 12:00 noon—Dog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register: Dog Paws University, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com. Please do not bring pets to class.

Monday, April 20 6:30-8:30 PM—BABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of a new baby. Reservations are required. Contact Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation per couple is $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

Saturday, April 25 10:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com 1:00 PM–4:00 PM—TAVERN DOG CONTEST Gadsby’s Tavern Museum Society in Alexandria, VA, is holding its 2nd annual competition to select a Tavern Dog. The Society is searching for the right dog to represent them at special events. Contest held at Market Square, 301 King Street, in Old Town, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Advance registration and fee are required. For more information, please visit www.gadsbys tavernmuseum.us or call 703.836.2407. 9:00 AM–6:00 PM—PetTech® PetSaver™ program provides pet owners and pet industry professionals with the necessary skills to help save pets. Eight hour course covers restraining and muzzling, primary assessment, rescue breathing, canine and feline CPR, choking management, snout-to-tail assessment for injury and more. Classes provided by WAG’N Enterprises, LLC

and are held at Bark ’N Bubbles, 795 Center St., Ste 1B, Herndon, VA. Cost: $105. Reservations and pre-registry required. Call 888.WAGN4U2.

Sunday, April 26 BowWowPowWow 2009!—11:00 am– 5:00pm, Marie Reed School Plaza (2200 block of 18th St NW at Wyoming Ave.) A day of fun and festivities for you and your dog, meet new friends & neighbors, soak up the Adams Morgan experience, show off your pooch and network with other pet owners. Contests & Prizes (best kisser, owner/dog lookalike, & more!), Vendor booths, pet adoptions. www.bowwowpowwow.com.

M AY Saturday, May 2

ALWAYS THERE PET CARE LLC Serving The Area Since 1994 Licensed • Bonded • Insured

Over 6,000 Square Feet Cage-Free Boarding & Day Care 24 Hr. Supervision 5 Indoor Play Rooms Outdoor PottyYard Spacious Outdoor Play Area Separate Puppy & Geriatric Areas “Kitty Condo” Cat Boarding

Obedience & Behavioral Training Pet Transportation In Home Pet Care In Home Pet Exercising Open 7 Days/Week

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10:00 AM–4:00 PM—Reston Pet Fiesta! Reston Town Center, Reston, VA. A fun-filled day for the entire family. Leashed dogs are welcomed. • Tails on Trails Dog Walk: Bring your family pet and walk for a cause— benefits GoodDogz.org. • Face Painting, $5 & Caricature Artists $10 Proceeds benefit GoodDogz.org. • Vendors and retailers for great petrelated shopping. To register for the walk and get info about the Fiesta, visit www.petfiesta.org.

Advertiser Index:

Thursday, May 7

All Friends Pet Care ........................ 27 www.allfriendspetcare.com

Happy Woof, LLC ............................ 7 www.happywoof.net

Always There Pet Care ..................... 23 www.alwaystherepetcare.com

Happy Yaps .................................... C4 www.happyyaps.com

Animal Welfare League of Alexandria .................................. 25 www.alexandriaanimals.org

Help Lost Pet ................................. 27 www.helplostpet.com

7:15-8PM—FREE Puppy playdates for dogs less than 1 year of age. Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. www.furgetmenot.com.

Saturday, May 9 8:30 AM RAIN OR SHINE—14th Annual Walk for the Animals. Bluemont Park, 329 N. Manchester Street Arlington, Virginia. Check-in and on-site registration 8:30 AM, the Walk kicks off at 9:30 AM. Participating dogs will receive their very own bandana. Exciting demonstrations, entertainment, and vendor booths. Contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, www.awla.org. 10:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club— 8:00AM-12:00PM at US National Arboretum, Washington DC. Stroll through Spring Flowers at the National Arboretum! Optional picnic following the hike. RSVP required, for more info visit www.K9Hiking.com

Thursday, May 14 6:30–8:30 PM—BABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival Continued on page 25

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Bark N Bubbles.........................17, C2 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com Becky’s Pet Care ............................. 27 www.877doggywalk.com Bev Hollis Photography ................... 6 www.bevhollisphoto.com Cascades Photography..................... 16 www.cascadesphoto.com Chase Your Tail Bakery .................... 17 www.chaseyourtailbakery.com Cooperative Paws, LLC .................... 27 www.cooperativepaws.com Cutie Paws ..................................... 27 www.cutiepieskeepsakes.com Dogma Dog Bakery.......................... 17 www.dogmabakery.com DogOn Fitness, LLC ........................ 27 www.dogonfitness.com Doody Calls .................................... 27 www.doodycalls.com Errand Partners .............................. 17 www.errandpartners.com Extra Hours Pet Care ....................... 27 703.541.2129 Fun Stuff for Dogs.....................25, 17 www.funstufffordogs.com

Karing By Kristina .......................... 16 www.karingbykristina.com Marchten Interiors .......................... 27 703.533.7670 Olde Towne School For Dogs ............ 5 www.otsfd.com PawPrints Photography .................... 11 www.pawprintsphotography.com Paws and Claws Photography ........... 17 www.pawsandclawsphotography.com Pet Nursing, LLC ............................ 27 www.petnurses.com Puppy Party Place .......................... 17 www.puppypartyplace.com Red Dog Spa & Boutique..............4, 17 www.reddogspa.com Reston Pet Fiesta ........................... 27 www.petfiesta.org Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. ..... 7 www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com Susan Makara Pet Portraits .............. C3 703.548.4611 Tail Waggin’ Celebrations ................. 17 www.tailwagging.com Virginia Greyhound Adoption ............ 27 www.virginiagreyhounds.org

Fur-Get Me Not .............................. 4 www.furgetmenot.com

www.novadogmagazine.com

23


HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l w alks to enjoy

Potomac Overlook Park Bill Russell with his daughter Faye and their Labradoodle Penny, out for an all-day hike following the trail.

By Caro l B r o o k s , c o - o w n e r, D o g O n F i t n e s s Ah spring…season of hope, newly budding

these extended trips will take 4-5 hours so

flora, and longer days. What better way to

pack a lunch and plenty of fresh water, and

experience the season than to view its wonders

wear sturdy hiking shoes.

on a hike with your dog. My mixed-hound,

Getting There

Polly-Bunches, and I are always up for a new

Two-mile Hike Suggestion

adventure, and so we were delighted to dis-

Before heading to the park, visit its website

of Marcey Road off of Military Road in North

cover Potomac Overlook Regional Park, a 70-

(www.nvrpa.org/parks/potomacoverlook) to

Arlington. Follow directions available on the

acre wooded refuge only two miles from Routes

download a map. Keep in mind this park is a

park’s website to get to Military Road (varies

66 and 29 in Arlington, VA. This sumptuous

popular destination for dog-owners, children,

depending on your starting location). Once on

native hardwood park, sandwiched between

and runners. Keep your dog on a leash and

Military Road, continue to Marcey Road and go

Donaldson Run and the George Washington

step aside for others on the move.

right (you will see park signs along the road).

Parkway, offers exceptional scenic views, mature trees, and well-marked trails.

Our suggested 2-mile hike is a loop around Marcey Road. This hike takes us past the Don-

Potomac Overlook Regional Park is at the end

Go to the end of Marcey Road (past the tennis courts) to the Potomac Overlook parking lot.

On a recent visit, Polly and I scrambled

aldson Cemetery, an Indian Camp dating back

around the park for over three hours. Polly en-

to 500 BC, an abandoned spring, an orchard,

Park Hours

joyed balancing on fallen trees, climbing rocks,

and several well-placed park benches inviting

The park is open year-round during daylight

and splashing through several water crossings

us to pause for the view. The trails are dotted

hours, but the comfort station is only available

along the way. We both enjoyed exercising over

with interpretive signs offering insight to the

when the Nature Center is open. The Nature

hilly terrain—from gentle to challenging—and

parkland’s history and habitat.

Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday

passed several like-minded people and dogs.

To get to the trailhead from the upper park-

through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on

Potomac Overlook Regional Park has over

ing lot and comfort station, follow Marcy Road

Sunday. IMPORTANT: The Nature Center is

two miles of trails to discover, and you can

toward the Nature Center. Take an immediate

closed for renovations from March 1, 2009

easily extend your outing beyond the park

right as you pass through the gate onto the

through late spring. ND

using the Donaldson Run Trail, leading to the

well-marked Overlook Trail (black trail signs).

Potomac River and Potomac Heritage Trail. If

Follow the Overlook Trail downhill to the inter-

you’re really adventurous, you can use the park

section of the Red Maple Trail (red trail signs).

Distance: 2 miles

as a starting point for longer hikes, following

Turn left on the Red Maple Trail and go about

Time: 60 minutes or more

the Potomac Heritage Trail downstream to

1/4 mile to the Donaldson Cemetery.

Roosevelt Island or upstream to Chain Bridge where you cross to the C&O Towpath. Both of

Continue downhill to the Heritage Loop Trail (green trail markers) and look for the Indian Spring on your left. You can either take a short

About Your Guide

side trip across a wooden bridge to view the

Carol Brooks is co-owner of

spring or continue on the trail. The trail leads

DogOn Fitness, LLC. She

uphill to an open field and the Indian Camp,

specializes in high-energy dogs,

an excellent spot for a picnic on a nice day.

providing them with working

Cross the field and look for white trail markers

walks, running, adventure

leading you to White Oak Way, a winding and

hikes, socialization and training

hilly trail. This eventually leads you back to the

reinforcement. Located in Reston, DogOn Fitness has served the Northern Virginia area since 2003. Visit them on the Web at www.dogonfitness.com. GOT A HIKE you’d like to see profiled? Send suggestions to cabrooks@dogonfitness.com

tennis courts at the bottom of Marcy Road, or

| Spring 2009

Location: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, two miles from Route 66 and Route 29 in Arlington, VA. Fido-Friendly Features: No bikes, offstreet parking, dog-safe trails, trash receptacles at trailheads, comfort station with drinking fountain. Close to dog-friendly Clarendon (for an afterhike meal) Use: hikers, runners, on-leash dogs (also running clubs and schools)

to the Nature Center if you venture off on one

Best time to go: Morning

of the feeder trails to the left of the path. To

Rated:

return to your car from the tennis courts, go left on Marcy road to the top of the hill.

24 Northern Virginia Dog

TRAIL SPECIFICS:

(moderately hilly) 1 paw = easy; 5 = expert


CALENDAR

(Continued)

of a new baby. Reservations are required. Contact Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation per couple is $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

Saturday, May 23 Viva Vienna! Hours vary—Food, artisans, retail vendors, professional groups, and community organizations gather on Church Street for a Memorial Day festival. Visit Rudy’s Friends Dog Training booth for help with your pup. Festival info: www.vivaviennava.org

Saturday, May 30 K-9 2K and the 2009 Herndon Festival, Bready Park, Herndon Community Center. Registration 8:30-9AM. 2K Walk 9-10AM, Doggie Expo 10AM-Noon Call 703.787.7300 for more info. Interested vendors contact pam@allfriendspetcare.com. www.herndonfestival.net. 10:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com 9:00 AM–6:00 PM—PetTech® PetSaver™ program provides pet owners and pet industry professionals with the necessary skills to help save pets. Eight hour course covers restraining and muzzling, primary assessment, rescue breathing, canine and feline CPR, choking management, snout-to-tail

Saturday, June 13

assessment for injury and more. Classes provided by WAG’N Enterprises, LLC and are held at Bark ’N Bubbles, 795 Center St., Ste 1B, Herndon, VA. Cost: $105. Reservations and pre-registry required. Call 888.WAGN4U2.

tions required. Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

Sunday, May 31

Submit your event to: janelle@2houndsproductions.com

NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club—8:30AM3:00PM at Hawksbill Summit, Shenandoah National Park. Visit the tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park, take in views of a waterfall and hike along the famed Appalachian Trail. RSVP required, for more info visit www. K9Hiking.com

JUNE Thursday, June 4 7:15-8PM—FREE Puppy playdates for dogs less than 1 year of age. Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. www.furgetmenot.com.

Saturday, June 6 10:00 AM—Dog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register: Dog Paws University, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com. Please do not bring pets to class.

Thursday, June 11 6:30–8:30 PM—BABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Reserva-

10:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com ND

Yappy Hours Pooches on the Patio, Capitol Hill Union Pub, 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE—12pm-4pm Saturdays, Spring and Summer Only. Plenty of dog treats and water bowls. Humans get happy hour food and drink specials too. www.unionpubdc.com

Hotel Monaco, World Famous Doggie Happy Hour 480 King Street, Alexandria, VA—Tuesday and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm, weather permitting, April through October. Held in the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco. Complimentary doggie snacks with plenty of fresh water bowls. Humans can feast on menu items from the adjacent restaurant Jackson 20. www.doggiehappyhour.com.

Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own 111 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VA—Daily yappy hour on the patio from 4 to 7pm with half-off special on appetizers and drinks (for humans). Your dog can dine from his own menu. May we suggest the lamb or beef stew! www. pattroysirishpub.com/doggy.php

Jay’s Saloon & Grille 3114 N. 10th St., Arlington—Sundays, weather permitting, from 1 to 4 pm. Dog-friendly Clarendon is the perfect setting for happy hour fun on the covered patio. Water, treats, and games for your dog. 703.527.3093

Shop our frisky, friendly store today.

Find Your New Friend At

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria A non-profit organization with over 60 years of caring, concern and commitment to the animals in our community. Operating the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, where we offer adoptions, counseling, and a variety of animal care programs.

Check out our money-saving coupon codes and see what’s new this week!

4101 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria VA 22304 703/838-4774 www.alexandriaanimals.org www.novadogmagazine.com

25


COMMUNITY

H a p p e n i n g s w e ’ v e s n i f fed out

Celtic Canines: Fun Dog Show Raises Funds for AWLA

March 7th marked the 28th annual Ballyshaners Saint Patrick’s Day Parade in Old Town Alexandria. The parade festivities began with the Fun Dog Show, which was co-sponsored again this year by Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery and Karing by Kristina, Pet Care Professionals. Unseasonably warm temperatures attracted a throng of parade-goers, lining King Street for the festivities. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine was proud to be the official media sponsor of the Fun Dog Show event that drew dogs and their owners in record numbers. This event has quickly grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated dog events in the area. This year’s Dog Show judge, the Honorable Daniel O’Flaherty, joined the Master of Ceremonies, newscaster John Harter, in evaluating the dogs in categories ranging from Best Tail Wag to Best Irish Costume. Proceeds from the event were donated to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA). ND

WINNER: Disproportionate Body

WINNER: Best Tail Wag

Fun Dog participants lead the St. Patrick’s Day parade down King Street.

WINNER: Hair Most Like Owner

WINNER: Most Unusual Tail

Photos of the festivities were taken by Kristina Meacham of Cascades Photography. To see more of her work, please visit www.cascadesphoto.com.

WINNER: Best Costume

26 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

WINNER: Biggest Paws

WINNER: Most Unique Markings


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27


WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Suka:

On the fast-track to a loving home

Adopted from: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA)

How did he get his name? Suka was abandoned in his crate in front of the AWLA early one rainy morning. His former owners left a note taped to the crate explaining that they were losing their home and needed to move out of state. They could not take their dog with them. Since he is a Siberian Husky, we researched some names and picked Suka which is Inuit for “fast.” Like most Huskies, Suka loves to run, and this name seemed appropriate!

Yo u p i c k e d h i m b e c a u s e . . . We are the previous owners of two Siberians and appreciate their energy and intelligence. They can be mischievous escape artists with incredible drive—and unprepared owners can be overwhelmed by this—which lands them in shelters. We knew we wanted another Husky because we had come to love the breed, and preferred to adopt rather than go to a breeder. We visited with Suka at the AWLA and saw that he was all Husky in mind and spirit, with a very soft side. We knew he was the one!

Favorite treat or snack: Our two previous Huskies were not especially food-driven, and Suka is no exception. We usually stay away from table food for him because we do not want him to beg or become bothersome with guests. He seems just as happy with his kibble and dog biscuits. Praise and attention seem to be his preferred rewards, and we can provide plenty.

Favorite toy: Right now, his tail seems to be very entertaining to him...but he really loves chasing tennis balls. Our other Huskies would chase balls but never bring them back. Suka actually returns the ball, and if you don’t throw it again, he amuses himself by tossing it in the air on his own.

Yo u l o v e h i m b e c a u s e h e . . . We love the breed as a whole, but Suka knows how to charm people. He will tuck his ears, cock his head sideways and lure you in with an outstretched paw. Then he gives you tons of kisses. He greets strangers like he has known them all his life! What we enjoy most though, is the reception we get when we return home. His “Welcome Home!” is unlike any other—it makes you laugh every time. ND The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is an animal sheltering and welfare organization whose mission is, “To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in our community.” Approximately 1,200 animals are adopted from the shelter each year. The AWLA also provides behavior and training advice, humane education programs, wildlife rescue, reduced cost spay and neuter certificates as well as rabies and microchipping clinics. Visit www.alexandriaanimals.org to donate or learn more.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

Suka

Approximately 1 year old owned by Rachelle and Steve Oliver of Dumfries, VA


Pet Portraits by

������������ Masterfully painted in oil on a gold leaf background.

Roxie

Cookie

Val

from Marguerite in California … Call, Email or Visit the Studio Studio #339 Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street Alexandria,Virginia 22314 703-548-4611 • susanmakara@gmail.com

“When I unwrapped Cookie’s portrait tears welled up in my eyes… I am so grateful to Susan for bringing my dear dachshund back to me.”


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NOVADog Spring 2009  

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