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novadog Summer 2013



Burned and abandoned on the C&O Canal Towpath, this rescued pup reminds us that goodness does prevail

hope& healing Also Inside: Protect Your Dog From Heartworm Fostering From the Heart Digital Edition Sponsored by: Becky’s Pet Care Inc.


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contents Summer 2013

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


16 F  ostering from the Heart A Rewarding Experience That Can Change a Life. By Lindsay Tilton COVER STORY

19 HBurned  opeand and Healing abandoned on the

C&O Canal Towpath, this rescued pup reminds us that goodness does prevail.

20 KEncouraging  ids andSafety, Pets Responsibility and Love. By Taylor Ham



News, information, and products


Heartworm and Your Pet

On the cover:

Towpath, age 15 months, of Reston, VA, and Shepherdstown, WV. Photos (cover, and above) by Robin Burkett. To view more of Burkett’s work or to schedule an appointment for pet photos, visit www. pawprintsphotography.com.


Safety First When Helping Injured Animals


National Sheepdog Finals

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


A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

National Sheepdog Finals



Adoption success stories


Read Charity’s Wags to Riches adoption success story on page 28. www.novadogmagazine.com


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PUBLISHER Angela Meyers | ahazuda@yahoo.com MANAGING EDITOR Claiborne Linvill | claiborne@novadogmagazine.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR Janelle Welch | janelle@2houndsproductions.com CONTRIBUTORS Carol Brooks; Robin Burkett; Christy Bell, LVT; Taylor Ham; Elissa Matulis Myers; Marci Streck; Lindsay Tilton; Autumn Vigil

ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Gennifer Davis: (p) 703.780.4400 (f) 853.753.0064 advertising@novadogmagazine.com

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We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover. NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Provide training and canine health-care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Publish insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Help local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2013 is published quarterly by 343 Media, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area and are available in select locations. One- and two-year subscriptions are available. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, 703.887.8387. NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.

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For more info visit dpncc.com Visit us on the Web at www.novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR Code.

2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2013

Winner: 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2013 Award of Distinction


Three years ago this month, my dog Maggie and I started walking every day at 5 a.m. It began when my regular walking group’s schedule was interrupted, but after a while, it was clear that Maggie loved it so much we couldn’t quit. I’m still shocked that I enjoy these early outings—I have never been a morning person. Now Maggie and I are both ready to bound out into the early morning darkness, and I couldn’t imagine it any other way. It’s a change in my routine that I wouldn’t have initiated, but it’s become a treasured tradition. Summer is a great time for you and your dogs to try some new adventures and break out of your traditional routine—you might just find something new that you love. From a weekend at the Dog Days Peach Festival to Mount Vernon dog tours to evening Yappy Hours to kick off the warm summer nights, the next few months are packed with dogfriendly events in the DC Metro. Be sure to check out page 24, and visit www. novadogmagazine.com/mydogrules/events for a complete list of fun adventures to take with

your dogs. And don’t forget to Friend us on Facebook too—as Mags and I hit the trail this summer, we will post a note about where we’ll be so you all can join us! We love the adventurous spirit of our latest cover dog, Towpath. His inspirational story of overcoming abuse to become a happy, healthy dog clearly won our readers’ hearts. This amazing pup also taught us about the Baltimore-based anti-cruelty campaign Show Your Soft Side. Once again, our cover dog is more than just a pretty face: he’s a dog teaching us how to be better people. Finally, I have to take a minute to share how proud I am of our Creative Director Janelle Welch. Thanks to her exceptional talent, we have won ANOTHER Communicator Award for Overall Design. Thank you, Janelle, for being an amazing part of the team that produces our excellent magazine. I hope you and your dogs have a fun and adventurous summer.

Ask about our NEW GPS Tracking Reports so you know exactly how much exercise your dog is getting with Amanda’s Pet Care!

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Visit us on the Web at www.novadogmagazine.com or scan the QR code above.

Angela Hazuda Meyers ahazuda@yahoo.com

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Ne ws , i n fo rmat ion, and pr oduct s

Calorie-Counting for Canines The latest survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention revealed that 55% of dogs and cats in the U.S. are overweight, which equals around 80 million pets. And just like people, overweight pets are at a higher risk for health issues and have a decreased life expectancy—up to 2.5 years! With numbers like that, it’s important that pet parents take action: n If you can’t easily feel your dog’s ribs, he or she may be overweight. n Measure out your pet’s food to avoid over serving. n Keep in mind the nutrients and calories received from daily treats and rewards and subtract them from daily caloric needs. n Substitute low-calorie treats like raw carrots or canned green beans instead or calorie-laden treats.


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The future of plush dog toys is here! Dog lovers can now order a customized dog toy for their furry best friends. Put your mug on the toy, or a picture of your dog. The process is easy—choose a shape, upload a picture, adjust the colors and outfit and you’re done!  The toys are lightweight, interactive, and crafted with two layers of soft DURABITE™ fleece with a rip-stop technology sewn between the layers, two encased squeakers, and an inner stuffing made of soft foam. This cute toy is great for both indoor and outdoor playtime because it floats in water and is machine washable.  FIND  it: www.pridebites.com

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Sterling’s Newest Dog Day Care Facility Opens Healthy Hound Playground, a full-service dog kennel, day care and boarding facility, is dedicated to providing your four-legged family member with a fun, safe, healthy home away from home, and serves the Sterling, Ashburn, Dulles, Herndon, and Reston, Virginia areas. Services include: cage-free environment, regular outdoor potty breaks, playing fetch, and going on walks or runs with trained pet professionals. FIND  it: ww.HealthyHoundPlayground.com

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

IES DOGGIE COOK en 3-inch cookies

yield: about 3 doz everyone— have a cookie, we meant When we said everyone can they’re made : one of d hol s ry if a kid get even your pups. Don’t wor with real food. baby food rice and vegetable puréed One 6-ounce jar turkey, perature, beaten 1 large egg, at room tem oil ble eta veg oon lesp 1 tab r, plus more for rolling 1¼ cups brown rice flou quick-cooking oats ½ cup old-fashioned or with parchment ˚F. Line 2 cookie sheets Preheat the oven to 325 paper. t with a fork oil in a large bowl and bea Place baby food, egg, and ether. tog mix and in flour and oats until well combined. Stir -inch thickness. o a floured surface to 1∕8 Roll half the dough out ont kie cutter, cut coo a ng add more flour. Usi If the dough is too sticky, Repeat with ets. she kie coo ed par to the pre out shapes and transfer remaining dough. oven off and bake 30 minutes. Turn the Transfer to the oven and Transfer the s. ute to crisp up for 15 min leave cookies in the oven . tely ple cool com cookies to a wire rack and small g a heaping can easily be made by usin apart on the Baker’s note: These cookies the dough about 1 inch drop to p scoo kie coo ) en. (2-teaspoon size flatt to tula spa Press down with a prepared cookie sheets. ze for up to 3 months. er for up to 3 days, or free Store in an airtight contain

6 Northern Virginia Dog

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Doggie Cookies for Cancer A new book, Cookies for Kids’ Cancer: All the Good Cookies, funds the research of pediatric cancer through bake sales—where the cookbook benefits its namesake charity. The book includes a wide range of recipes, one of which is the “Doggie Cookie.” If you and your dogs like this easyto-follow recipe, buy the complete book for more yummy cookies and to support cancer research. FIND  it: on Amazon.com for $13.98

Getting Social With


Barks heard round the water dish

Volunteer with your dog!

Some photo entries from our Pups in the Park Baseball game tickets give-away. Kim P:

Emily L:


Rebecca W:

NOVADog Asks, “What’s the worst/biggest/most amusing thing your dog has destroyed?” Suzanne M Leo ate a box of Crayola crayons (the big box with 64 colors). His feces was rainbow colored for at least a week!

Carla B When our Ace was a pup (about 6 months), in one week he chewed a huge hole in our queen size mattress (springs showing and all!), and he also devoured a long TV remote control. Only one button & a few shreds of hard plastic remained.

June P Maybe the carpet in my son’s room when she decided to get into the diaper pail. Your imagination can fill in the rest of the story. 

PICTURED ABOVE: A PAL dog visits a patient at MedStar NRH. Photo courtesy of www.pawprintsphotography.com.

NOVADog Asks, “What kind of contest would your dog win?” Dominick F. Both of my boxers are lovable because when I come home they act like they haven’t seen me in ages, regardless if I’ve been gone for 10 minutes or just returned from a year deployment overseas. And my oldest dog Baxter gets jealous at public displays of affection between my wife and I.

Julia G Most velcro dog, she almost never leaves my side. Jennifer M My dog would win “Tidiest Dog” because she cleans up her toys.  You either tell her “clean up” and she will go all over picking up her toys and putting them in her basket, or she’ll just decide she has too many toys out and clean them up.

It’s fun. It’s easy.

Lalaine E My dog Momo could win a Most Polite Dog contest. He won’t eat until we start eating; he ‘asks’ permission to get on the couch; and he doesn’t bark to get my attention, he’ll gently tap me with his paw.

Join the conversation at www.facebook.com/novadog.

Pet Visiting Program Find out how at:

www.peopleanimalslove.org 202-966-2172 www.novadogmagazine.com


H E A L T H  W I S E

Ad v i ce an d i n fo rm ati o n o n c a n i n e h e a l th i s s u e s

Heartworm and Your Pet Learn how to reduce your dog’s risk of developing this deadly disease by Marci S t r eck


eartworms are one of the most deadly parasites of dogs and cats. Is your pet at risk? The answer is a resounding YES. It doesn’t matter whether you own an allindoor cat or a dog who likes to romp in the woods. All dogs and cats in the mid-Atlantic region are at risk for heartworm disease. Heartworms are carried by several species of mosquitos and are transmitted when the mosquito feeds. When a bite occurs, the larval heartworms migrate through the soft tissue to the blood vessels, and then they travel to the heart and lungs. Once there, they mature into adult worms, sometimes reaching several inches in length. The adult worms then reproduce, sending offspring into the bloodstream. The next mosquito that bites ingests the larva, becoming infected and carrying the parasite to its next host. The classic form of heartworm disease occurs in dogs. Dogs with the disease often have large numbers of adult worms living in the blood vessels of the lungs and in the heart. These worms partially

8 Northern Virginia Dog

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block the flow of blood, acting like a dam in the vessels. When the dog is active, he may have trouble moving enough blood to bring oxygen to the tissues. The heart must work much harder than normal to move the same amount of blood, and over time this leads to heart disease. Additionally, when adult heartworms are a few years old, they die of old age. Dead worms cause significant inflammation in the surrounding lung tissue, leading to coughing and shortness of breath. As the disease progresses, poor oxygenation and advancing heart failure can lead to the death of the dog.

Your Cat is At Risk Too Cats are not the normal hosts for heartworms, but recent studies show that they are infected at nearly the same rate as dogs. Cats also contract the disease through the bite of an infected mosquito. The heartworms start their migration through the tissue and blood vessels to the lungs, but often die in the lungs before reaching full maturity. If adult heartworms develop in a cat, it is usually in low num-

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Heartworms are carried by several species of mosquitos and are transmitted when the mosquito feeds.

bers. Despite this fact, the migration of larval worms through the lungs can cause severe and permanent damage. Studies have shown that infected cats, even those in which the worms die before reaching maturity, develop long-term inflammation and narrowing of the airways. These cats may cough, show shortness of breath, or die suddenly due to their disease. Feline heartworm disease mimics, and is often misdiagnosed, as asthma. This is because the clinical signs and radiographic findings are identical, and heartworm tests do not consistently identify infected cats.

We believe in the bond between you and your pet. rough our veterinary services, we are able to help strengthen that bond. Our hospitals are staffed with compassionate team members who treat each patient we see as if he/she was one of our own. We believe in an open and transparent environment where you are a part of your pet’s care each step of the way. Please stop by any of our 5 locations for a tour of the hospital.

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Prevention is Preferred Over Painful Treatment Dogs who contract heartworm disease can be treated with injectable medications. The treatment is expensive and painful, and even when the worms are gone, the lungs may be permanently scarred. To date, a safe treatment has not been developed for cats. The best “treatment” for both dogs and cats is to prevent the disease all together. Monthly heartworm prevention medications are available for both dogs and cats through your veterinarian. These preventatives are inexpensive, effective, and safe. All dogs and cats should receive monthly preventatives, even those who never go outside. This is because mosquitos commonly invade houses. Studies have shown that all indoor cats are at nearly equal risk for heartworm infection as cats that spend time outdoors. Additionally, monthly preventatives should be continued year-round because some species of mosquitos that transmit heartworm disease are hardy even in the middle of winter in sub-freezing temperatures. In the Northern Virginia area, heartworm infection rates (as measured in dogs, where the test can accurately detect infection) are higher than they have been in the last 10 years. Your pet doesn’t have to be one of those infected. Protect your pet yearround with a heartworm preventative every 30 days. For more information on heartworm disease, visit The American Heartworm Society at www.heartwormsociety.org. ND Marci Streck, DVM, is an Associate Veterinarian at Caring Hands Animal Hospital. Visit them on the web at caringhandsvet.com. www.novadogmagazine.com



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

Safety First When Helping Injured Animals By Christ y B ell, LV T

As I saw an injured dog on the side of the road the other day that QUESTION I wanted to help, I realized I don’t really know how best to handle injured dogs— even my own. Can you provide some best practices to help animals who are hurt or sick?

who are nearby. Do not move the pet. First assess the situation ONLY with your eyes. Try to identify: What happened, Where is the animal hurt, and How badly is the animal hurt? Perform any “hands on” examination slowly and gently, and Stop if the animal becomes more agitated.

Use Your Best Judgment As dog lovers, we want to help dogs in need, as well as ensure our own pets are properly cared for. But handling an injured animal can be quite challenging, so it’s important to take precautions. Injured pets are often scared, confused, unpredictable or even dangerous, to themselves and others. You must be careful to avoid getting hurt, bitten or scratched. Even the gentlest pet may react unconventionally if injured, as pain or shock may interfere ANSWER

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with any pet’s normal demeanor. Although it may be your first instinct to provide comfort, do not attempt to hug an injured pet, and always keep your face away from its mouth. First, protect yourself from hazards; do not risk your own well-being in caring for an animal. If the dog is along the road, first look for cars before dashing into the street. Ask someone to control traffic so you can access and move the animal to a safer place. If the accident or injury is outside, assess the environment, and seek help from others

Try to ascertain: Is the dog breathing? heart beating? conscious? bleeding? Remember the ABC’s of first aid: Airway/Breathing, Beating heart, Bleeding/Circulation. Perform Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) as necessary, apply direct pressure to help stop bleeding, and seek immediate assistance from others. (Local Red Cross branches offer classes in pet first aid, and other clinics offer Pet CPR certification. All dog owners should consider taking these two important and potentially life-saving courses.)

Before you transport the animal, call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency veterinary clinic so they can be ready when you arrive. Explain briefly what happened and the current medical status of your pet. Always obey all traffic laws, speed limits, stop signs and signals when transporting an injured pet. Keep your pet’s medical or vaccination records in a safe, easily accessible place. Present these records at the facility for emergency treatment. Many modern veterinary clinics allow online access to your pet’s basic medical records. Some pet owners store a copy in the glove box of their car, so if traveling or in an emergency they are always prepared. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but fast thinking may provide necessary emergency stabilization, allowing for the time to reach the veterinary facility. It is always best to follow up on any injury immediately with your veterinarian. Finally, the best way to care for accidents is to prevent them in the first place. Keep your dog on a leash or under control at all times. When unattended, dogs should be inside or in a secure, escape-proof outdoor enclosure. Never let a dog ride hanging out of a car window or in the back of a pickup truck. Often an injured pet will run off following an incident, so it may be confused and scared. Registered microchips and personal tracking devices are of great help in the safe return of lost pets. Most local animal wardens carry microchip scanners to help identify lost pets on their network. Remember to register your chip with your most current information. ND Christy Bell is a licensed veterinary technician at Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates.



irgiNia M NV a




Alert the Nearest Emergency Facility



If necessary to move the pet, and if it is not vomiting, fasten a makeshift muzzle to reduce the chances you’ll be bitten. Dogs may be muzzled with towels, stockings or gauze rolls, or a leash wrapped around the mouth (muzzle). NEVER muzzle or occlude the pet’s mouth if it is vomiting or bleeding profusely from the mouth. Cats and other small animals may be wrapped in a towel or blanket to provide restraint or placed in a pet carrier, small box or clothes basket. Be certain not to wrap too tightly, and keep the pet’s nose uncovered so it can breathe. If possible, before moving an injured animal, try to “stabilize” broken or exposed areas by splinting or bandaging. While transporting an injured pet, keep it confined in a small space, like a pet carrier, to reduce the risk of additional injury. For larger dogs, you can use a board, sled, throw rug, blanket or something similar to act as a stretcher.






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National Sheepdog Finals Bringing art and elegance to the practical work of farming


very three or four years, the National Sheepdog Finals is held east of the Mississippi. This year’s event will be held at the Belle Grove Plantation in Middletown, VA, on October 8-13. The National Sheepdog Finals are held to crown the best working sheepdog and handler in the US and Canada. The dogs and handlers that will compete come from farms and ranches far and wide. They have earned the right to step on the finals field through their successes at local sheepdog trials throughout the year. Managing livestock is an art, and watching a gifted dog usher sheep through a trial course, hearing the handlers communicate with their canine partners using both voice and whistle, and sensing the silent communication between them that comes from untold hours working together can take your breath away. The skill of these teams brings elegance to the practical work of farming. This Sheepdog Finals showcase this partnership at its highest levels. The event

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will be attended by the top 150 handler teams, their families and friends, and sheepdog and dog enthusiasts from throughout the area. In 2010, the last time the event was in Virginia, approximately 10,000 spectators attended throughout the week of competition. The entire nonprofit event is organized and operated by a crew of handlers and volunteers. The National Sheepdog Finals are very spectator friendly. There will be pet-related demos, like duck herding, agility, drug-sniffing dogs, and more, as well as a professional announcer and vendor fair. ND

IF YOU GO: National Sheepdog Finals October 8–13 Belle Grove Plantation, Middletown, VA. (www.bellegrove.org) Admission Price: Buy your tickets in advance online at www.nationalsheep dogfinals.org. One day pass $9 (children and seniors $5), six day pass $30— best value if you are going multiple days (children and seniors $15) You may also purchase admission tickets on-site, but prices are more at the door. Bring the whole family! Leashed, well-behaved dogs are invited to attend.


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

Training problem dogs—one human at a time By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s


isa Colón Tudor began her career working for Deloitte and later for Blackboard. “Shockingly, I didn’t find it too satisfying…they were great people, but I wanted something that matched my personality better,” says Tudor. “I had a drive to do something on my own.” “I had been doing more and more rescue work on a volunteer basis. I’d bring dogs home for the weekend, or go to visit shelter dogs. During one adoption event, another volunteer asked me to handle a dog that he considered aggressive. He said ‘Whatever you do, don’t pick her up— she’ll bite.’ I couldn’t resist the challenge, and I did pick her up—and the dog did not bite me. “That was my wake-up call. How was it that could I handle this dog better than someone else? I started shadowing dog trainers, attending every class, taking every opportunity to work with difficult dogs. I attended the Animal Behavior College, and it was a lovely start for book knowledge, but I wanted hands-on experience. I began to offer free help for problem dogs, I got the worst of the worst, and despite that, I was still interested. I wanted to know ‘what is this dog thinking,’ and ‘why did this dog come around?’ “In 2006 I started KissAble Canine informally—not really charging for my services, helping fostered dogs for free. But in 2007 I quit my corporate job. With my business degree and passion for dogs, the business just took off. Our company offers training, enrichment and behavior

counseling for the family dog—basic dog training—but what gets me head first into a client is a behavior problem—a dog with a phobia or anxiety. We have developed a reputation for dealing effectively with difficult dogs. “Dogs learn exactly what you teach them, and sometimes people teach things they don’t mean to. For example, if your dog starts barking, and you are yelling and running at your dog to be quiet, you teach your dog that when the doorbell rings everyone is supposed to get excited and start barking. “The training philosophy we use is based on positive reinforcement,” Tudor says. “Most of all we believe in praise and play as positive reinforcers.” KissAble Canine offers a wide range of workshops and seminars. There are basic and intermediate versions of “Dog Manners,” where owners and their dogs master basic behavioral commands like sit, stay, and down, but that’s truly just the beginning. From there, owners and pets can branch out to learn lots of fun and fulfilling skills. Classes include: n Splashtime—where dogs explore their natural swimming abilities. “Whether your dog is water savvy, shy about dipping a paw in, or has never been exposed to a swim, we explore what it means to motivate and train your dog to look like a dock-diving pro,” says Tudor. n Artful Dog-rrr—which guides your dog to create an original


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KissAble Canine owner, Lisa Colón Tudor, with dogs Jack and Betty. Photo by Robin Burkett of PawPrints Photography

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Dog of her own? “Two, adopted—Jack, a Corgie Dachsund, and Betty, a Feist.” First pet? “Samuel G, a golden retriever. He was a big, perfect family dog—everything you would want in a family dog.” Advice for dog owners? “Walking your dog is much more important than most people realize. It’s critical that you get out and exercise the dog and keep his mind busy with you. It tires the dog out—but more importantly it creates a bond between you and the dog.” Why did you name the company KISS-Able Canines? “Well, I do want to help people develop that love of their dogs, but the A in KissAble is capitalized because of our emphasis on what we are able to get dogs and the guardians to do.…most problem dogs are saying ‘why don’t you understand me?’” Advice for someone thinking about going into the dog business? “You need to read the literature, but then you need to work hands-on with shelter and rescue dogs. The hands-on work helps you to understand the forces that motivate a dog’s behavior, without the benefit of a history with the dog.” Funny experience? “Sometimes the funniest things aren’t about the dog, they are about the people. I had one rugged male client who wanted a dog but didn’t like the slimey drool. He wore latex gloves in training class. Another client had a lovely Doberman that kept eating socks from the floor of the laundry room. ‘What can I do?’ asked his owner. ‘Close the laundry room door,’ I said.” Most fulfilling experience? “One client was wheelchair bound. To see her wheel down the street with her Collie next to her brought tears to my eyes. Or when I meet a family who just isn’t enjoying the dog experience, and I can help them relax and show them a few tricks that turns their life around.”

painting with pet-friendly paint. “We help you bring out your dog’s inner Picasso,” Tudor says playfully. n The Nose Knows—focusing on your dog’s keenest sense: smell! “Seeking is a natural part of dog behavior, so we harness that ability and turn it into a brain-busting game of hunt!” describes Tudor. n Treibball (or Push Ball)—where dogs are taught ball-handling skills that have them pushing a ball down a field similar to the way soccer is played. A life-long learner, Tudor is always on the prowl for new lectures or opportunities to intern with animal behaviorists, so that she can keep expanding the training opportunities she can offer. Her latest learning experience was with behavior counselor and noted author Sue Sternberg. She particularly enjoys working with complex canine behavior problems. Tudor’s own commitment to learning is evident in the wide array of credentials she’s earned. She’s a Certified Pet Dog Trainer, and Certified in Pet First Aid through the American Red Cross. She’s qualified to serve as an approved Canine Good Citizen (CGC) Evaluator with the American Kennel Club (AKC), and serves on the Board of Directors of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. ND

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Elissa Myers is a writer in Northern Virginia. She lives in Springfield with her tireless black Lab Indi and writes a daily column for the on-line Examiner. www.novadogmagazine.com


GIDGET and her 12 puppies are looking for forever homes. Contact FOHA for more information.

FLORA has found her forever home.

heart TEDDY, a Bichon mix, was transferred from a county shelter. Contact FOHA for more information.

fostering from the A Rewarding Experience that Can Change a Life

By Lindsay Tilton

16 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2013

Flora’s Story

Flora, a two-year old Bassett Hound, came to the care of Peter Roebuck from Points of Rock, MD in April. Like most Bassett Hounds, she is a social pup who loves to be in the presence of people and other animals, and is a low-energy dog who will sit quietly by your side with a smile on her face. Flora came to the Basset Hound Rescue of Old Dominion (BROOD) from West Virginia, where she was diagnosed with Cherry Eye, a congenital disorder where the eye gland protrudes from the eyelid. After three eye surgeries along with vaccinations and getting spayed, Flora was ready to be taken in by a foster family to recuperate from multiple surgeries. Roebuck, a BROOD board member

and active fosterer for three years now, took Flora in to help her recover and ready her for her dream family to come find her.

What is fostering?

Fostering is when animals are taken out of adoption centers and temporarily housed and taken care of by a volunteering family until they are adopted. Fostering an animal lasts as long as a couple of weeks to a few months, depending on the animal and its needs. The reason dogs are taken out of the animal shelters and put into fostering is to give all animals a chance at getting adopted. Fostering is not only an important service provided by all animal rescue organizations, but it is the most in-demand service. There

are thousands of animals in the DC metropolitan area alone that are in need of adopted families and permanent homes, so local animal groups do their best to support these homeless creatures. Most rescue organizations promote their dogs through social media and adoption events, and also hold many fundraisers to raise money for their animals. However, these organizations still struggle to provide the essential resources to all of their animals. One of the biggest struggles rescue groups deal with are providing housing for their animals— sometimes there is simply not enough space to shelter every animal, which is why fostering is an important program to these groups. Lack of space is not the sole reason dogs are put into foster programs. Shelters like to give their animals a break from being cooped-up in the kennel environment and the chance to experience living in a household setting, allowing them to get ready for the pet life. Dogs who have medical or behavioral problems are also put into foster care in order to get the necessary attention they need, whether it’s healing from a broken paw or overcoming social anxiety. “We like to make foster dogs feel more relaxed and allow them to be in a stress-free environment,” said Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) foster program coordinator Autumn Vigil.

The Decision to Foster To some families, deciding to foster an animal is a way of having another dog around, even if they are not permanently part of the family. DC residents Jon and Kristin Killoran already own two dogs but wanted to add another pup to the mix, so the couple decided to foster with the Washington Humane Society (WHS). One and a half years later, the Killorans have fostered 11 dogs and counting. One of their favorite fosters was their eleventh dog, Carter, who was brought to them as a literally broken dog. In February 2013, the small boxer mix was picked up by animal control highly malnourished and with a broken back leg. He received orthopedic surgery and physical therapy from WHS, who then took him to the Killorans to recover. After staying at the couples’ home for four months, Carter fully recovered and now loves to run and play outside. Although the Killorans were tempted to adopt Carter themselves, he was adopted by a new family in May and is doing very well. “My favorite moments during our time fostering are just seeing the dogs happy and seeing them become more confident as you care for them,” said Kristin Killoran. “It’s a great feeling

Can’t Be A Foster Parent? You Can Still Help!


any animal lovers who would like to become foster parents already have a home full of pets or other barriers to fostering. If you are unable to foster a dog in need, there are still ways you can help your local shelter’s foster care program. Donate items for foster care. Many animal shelters with foster care programs also have “wish lists” of much-needed items. Items like puppy food and milk replacer/ formula are particularly helpful, but ask your shelter what specific items their foster care program needs most. Donate funds to assist foster care programs. Most shelters and welfare groups that accept monetary donations allow donors to designate their funds for a specific program or department. The next time you make a financial donation to your local animal shelter, consider designating it specifically for the shelter’s foster care program. You’ll be helping some of the most vulnerable animals receive a fresh start in a home environment. Spread the word. You can help save dogs by spreading the word about your local shelter’s foster care program and recruiting potential foster parents. If you have friends considering pet ownership, perhaps they’d like to get their feet wet by fostering. Families that travel or move on a regular basis may not be able to have a permanent pet, but they might make excellent foster caregivers. Keep foster care programs in mind the next time someone tells you, “I wish I could have a dog but . . ..” Adopt and promote animals currently in foster care. Many adoptable animals in foster care don’t receive the same amount of attention from adopters as animals in the shelter. Take to social media and help give these animals the extra exposure and publicity they need. Autumn Vigil is the Foster Program and Transfer Coordinator at the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. To learn more about the AWLA’s foster program, visit www.AlexandriaAnimals.org/foster.

knowing you had a hand in helping an animal become healthy again and find a home.” Deciding to foster animals is not an easy choice, but to some people it is what they feel they are meant to do. Kathy Callahan from Alexandria, for example, has always been an animal lover. She owns two dogs and two cats, but feels fostering is her natural calling. Recently, Callahan took in four-year-old Nala, a German Shepard mix, and her seven four-week-old puppies. Callahan saw a picture of the mother dog and pups on AWLA’s Facebook page and decided to take them in. Callahan admits there were a lot of challenges in learning how to care for young puppies and a protective mother dog, but adds that her journey with these dogs has been nothing but fun and interesting. “I won’t lie, it’s been a full-time job. But this is the honest truth: I have never had more fun. Nala is a spectacular mother, and she has melded into our pack seamlessly—somehow immediately knowing that she could trust us and our dogs,” says Callahan.

The Fostering Process There are many homeless animals waiting to be adopted, but only a few dozen families actively fostering dogs throughout Northern Virginia, DC and Maryland. Local shelters are always in need of foster families and encourage every

animal-lover to give it a try. “It’s hard to get families to open up their homes to a strange dog because you just don’t know how the dogs will behave,” said Roebuck. “However, most families continue to foster because they enjoy seeing the dogs come out of their shells and become more comfortable with the family.” When a family decides to get involved with fostering, they first have to navigate the fostering application. Although these applications look long and tedious, the rescue groups mainly want to see if potential fosterers have prior experience with pets, a dog-friendly home environment and the time and dedication to help a foster dog. After reviewing the application, foster coordinators will contact their potential fosterers and schedule a time to meet with the whole family and visit the home. Foster program coordinators research potential fosterers’ criminal history, particularly animal cruelty charges, and meet with all the family members who will be in daily contact with the foster dog at the home. Whether a foster family lives in a pet-friendly apartment or a suburban house with a fenced-in yard, foster programs require the home to be a clean and safe environment. Some shelters, like AWLA, even require their fosterers to take training classes on how to care for foster dogs and how to teach foster www.novadogmagazine.com


puppies using positive reinforcement. Although this seems like a long process with many meetings and interviews, fosterers are able to take an animal home within one or two weeks after they initially apply, depending on how fast the process moves. Rescue shelters also look to see if a potential foster family owns a pet, and if their pet will interact well with fosters. “I’ve found that dogs adjust well with their foster families when they have their own dogs in the home,” said Callahan. “I also think it makes the foster dogs more adoptable if they can experience living with other pets.” Another important point that foster programs want potential fosterers to know is that all expenses, like medication, surgery, training, vaccinations, spay and neutering are all covered by the rescue organizations. Foster programs only ask for foster families to provide food, shelter and love for their foster dogs. All in all, shelters are looking for families who will simply open their homes and hearts to an animal in need. “If a person is willing to put the work into a foster dog, then that is exactly the type of fosterer we are looking for,” said BROOD Foster Coordinator Tracy Yee.

Letting Go One of the more difficult parts of fostering dogs is when it is time to say goodbye to your foster dogs, sending them off to live with their newly adopted families. Fosterers take care of their foster dogs every minute of every day, and watch them grow from nervous dogs into confident ones. Thus, the farewell process can be emotional. “I confess that the night before each puppy left, I was sleepless, tossing and turning wondering how this dog could possibly cope with another transition,” said Callahan. “But then a day passes, a week passes, and I get emails and pictures showing just how beautifully my pups have

become a part of a new pack. And I learn that it can feel just fine, in fact quite right, to let go. Not a bad lesson at all.” Some owners have trouble letting go of their fosters and end up adopting them—this is referred to by local rescue shelters as “Foster Failure.” Although the phrase sounds negative, it is not an undesirable expression by any means. “We’re happy the dog gets adopted, and we don’t look down on the fosterers. Sometimes foster families and their foster dogs really connect and work well together. In the end, we’re happy for the family and the dog,” said WHS Foster Coordinator Jenny Wright. Rescue shelters hope families will continue to foster dogs, even if they decide to adopt their foster. Because there are so few foster families in the area, organizations get concerned that their foster families will no longer continue fostering after they’ve adopted a dog. However, this is usually not the case. Foster families love the fostering experience so much that they continue to foster animals, despite adopting one of their fosters. No matter what kind of help a family can provide, fostering is essential to helping rescue organizations meet their missions to save homeless pets. “Whether a family provides a home for a week when a shelter is short on space, fosters puppies or kittens who are too young for the shelter environment, provides medical care and respite for a special needs animal or welcomes a senior dog or cat for long-term care, Friends of Homeless Animals [FOHA] is extremely grateful for the role each of our foster parents fills. Their selfless love and care has a strong impact on the lives of the dogs and cats in foster care, from increasing an animal’s chance for adoption through socialization to providing hospice care for an ailing pet,” said Laura L. Dove, president of FOHA.

Happy Endings Most dogs, like Flora from BROOD, are timid when first joining a foster family. They are in a strange environment surrounded by people and possibly animals that they do not know. But as time progresses and as their foster family gives the dogs an encouraging hand and loving home, foster dogs are able to flourish and become stronger animals. Flora has found a home in Lancaster, PA, where she has a loving family whom she can keep company. Foster dogs like Flora almost always find a permanent home and adopted family—it just takes time, patience, compassion and dedication from their foster families before they find their forever home. ND Lindsay Tilton is a freelance writer and recent graduate from Christopher Newport University. She is passionate about writing and adores animals of all kind—especially dogs. To get in contact with Lindsay, email her at lindsay. tilton.08@cnu.edu.

Local shelters are always in need of foster families and encourage every animal-lover to give it a try. For more information contact:

18 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2013

• Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) 703.746.5589 avigil@AlexandriaAnimals.org www.alexandriaanimals.org

• Friends of Homeless Animals (FOHA) 703.385.0224 fosteradog@foha.org www.foha.org

• Basset Hound Rescue of Old Dominion (BROOD) 866.710.9476 www.brood-va.org

• Washington Humane Society (WHS) 202.723.5730 (ext 149) foster@washhumane.org www.washhumane.org


Burned and abandoned on the C&O Canal Towpath, this rescued pup reminds us that goodness does prevail

hope& healing T

Thanks to the Washington Humane Society (www.wash humane.org) for providing and supporting our annual cover dog contest. Thank you to our official 2013 WHS/ NOVADog Cover Contest photographer, Robin Burkett, of PawPrints Photography (www.pawprintsphotography. com).

his year’s WHS/NOVADog Magazine Cover Contest had a lot of great entries, but we were truly overwhelmed by the amount of support for our winner Towpath. Not only did he receive the most votes, but his fans sent us messages on Facebook and Twitter telling us why this dog meant so much to them. Towpath’s story is truly inspirational, and we’re proud to show him off as our latest cover dog. His parents, Will and Kathy Stolzenburg, shared with us a little more about Towpath’s life, and why people love him so much. ND: Describe the moment you first met Towpath. He was standing on the C&O towpath along the Potomac River when I came upon him during my morning run. He was a fawn-colored pit bull puppy, about 20 pounds, with big lonely eyes, no collar, and a stout little body that had been burned from chest to tail. He lay quietly cradled in my arms as I stumbled to the road and summoned a ride to the emergency room. His liver and kidneys were shutting down, and his flesh reeked of rotting meat. Doctors warned us he would be lucky to survive the night. He of course did survive that night, the first of his many miracles over the months to come. Towpath has since blossomed into a 60-pound, face-licking, butt-wiggling force of joy. ND: How has he changed since you first adopted him? Towpath can now walk and run and play. For weeks after we took him in, he lay bandaged and so weak he had to be carried. We prayed for the day he might rise and play like a real puppy. Those days are now hard to imagine as he sprints circles around us, and tugs at us to come join him in his orbit of bliss. ND: Towpath serves as a Goodwill Ambassador for the Show Your Soft Side campaign. Can you tell us about his duties?

Towpath, age 15 months, of Reston, VA, and Shepherdstown, WV Photo by Robin Burkett, PawPrints Photography

Towpath and his dad are official “Softies,” the poster guys of the acclaimed anti-abuse campaign, Show Your Soft Side. The Soft Side campaign—sparked by an especially heinous burning in Baltimore of a sweet pit bull named Phoenix (who, unlike Towpath, did not survive her ordeal) —has since become a national model of compassion to counter the plague of animal cruelty sweeping this country, especially among young men. We’re scheduling a photo shoot for one of their posters, First Runner Up: and looking forward to attending Bocephus, a 10-year-old Lab, won some of their upcoming events. second place in the cover contest. ND: I love him because he ... ND: Why do you think folks …is the antithesis of the cruelty voted for Bocephus? Because he’s suffered—an unbreakable he is adorable and because of the message he was trying to spirit of courage and kindness. convey: be open to welcomND: Why do you think folks ing a senior pet into your home. Seniors have so much voted for Towpath? to offer a potential adopter We like to think they voted for and provide you with as much joy and excitement as owning Towpath because he most visibly a puppy— without all those symbolizes the goodness inherent “puppy” behaviors. to every dog in the contest. He’s —Maureen C., Lorton, VA been through hell, with the scars to prove it, yet he harbors no grudges and greets every living creature with an invitation to play. Imagine a world of people like Towpath. ND Read more about Towpath at www.facebook.com/towpath.thewonderpup Read more about Show Your Soft Side at www.facebook.com/ShowYour SoftSide



kids and pets Encouraging Safety, Responsibility and Love

By Taylor Ham


ids and pets often form special bonds, the effects of which can last a lifetime. Having a pet can teach children responsibility and empathy for others, and pets provide the unconditional love and acceptance so crucial to a child’s development. Pets may also be beneficial for a child’s physical and mental wellbeing. A recent study published in the journal Pediatrics found that kids who grow up in houses with dogs have fewer respiratory and ear infections, and need fewer antibiotics. Other studies have shown that pets can boost self-esteem, relieve stress, enhance communication skills, ward off obesity and even protect against developing allergies.

20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2013

Dog Training & Behavior Modification

Save the Date!

Mutts n Munchkins Crafty Kids Fundra iser

The Mutts n Munchkins Crafty Kids Fund raiser celebrates the bond between children and dogs by encourag ing children to help animals in need. At the event, crafty children (registered in advance, and working with the help of family and frien ds) sell their handmade products, baked goods, crafts or gam es, which can be purchased by the public for low donation prices. All the children’s proceeds will support the non-profit Pets with Disa bilities. The day will also include a dog agility course, raffle, a mural made by kids (which will later be on display at the local library), craft and game tables, live music and several interactive and educ ational tables such as a CPR & Pet First Aid station, decorating pupand cupcakes, and more. There will be dogs up for adoption and dog rescue organizations. Attendance is free and everyone, inclu ding well-behaved dogs on a leash, are welcome to attend, volunteer, and enjoy. Kids (under 18) interested in crafting or volunteering can register online at www.muttsnmunchkins.com . Mutts n Munchkins Crafty Kids Fundraiser Cherry Hill Park, by the Pavilion, in Falls Churc h, VA Sunday, Sept 29, 2013 (rain date: Oct 6), 1-4 p.m. www.muttsnmunchkins.com www.facebook.com/MuttsNMunchkins

703-574-3383 n Puppy

and Dog Manners Class—at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington

n Dog

Park Play—learn what good dog park play looks like and how to avoid the drama

n Nose

Knows—teach your dog how to use his nose to hunt

n Treibball—play this fun game while

learning off-leash control and focus We also offer private, in-home training for dogs of all ages and needs To register for classes visit the KissAble Canine website:

All of these pet perks are not without risks, however. The CDC estimates that about 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year, and that children age 5-9 are at the most risk for being bitten. The risk increases even more for children who have dogs in their homes. Fortunately, the number of dog bites in children is currently on a downward trend – thanks to a growing number of pet owners and parents who are getting educated and taking the necessary steps to keep both their pets and their kids healthy and happy.

Infants and Toddlers Expecting a new baby? Fear not—you don’t need to make a choice between your twolegged and four-legged children. There are many things you can do before your baby arrives to ensure a happy household for all.

Addressing any of your dog’s behavior or training issues before the birth of a child, such as teaching your dog to keep all four feet on the ground and greet appropriately, as well as creating boundaries around areas in your house that will be off limits once the baby arrives, will go a long way toward ensuring order is maintained. Once at home, use treats and praise to ensure that every interaction your dog has with your newest family member is a positive one. Children are naturally attracted to animals, and as your children grow, so too will their interest in the family pet. This is a key time to establish mutual respect between your kid and his or her furry sibling. According to the ASPCA, children as young as three can begin to learn to respect a pet’s personal space and keep their own toys separate. They


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


may also be able to participate in feeding, watering and interacting with a pet with the help of an adult. However, children at this age are not able to control their impulses or understand dog behavior, and should never be left alone with even the most laid-back of pets. Play time with young children and pets should be structured and facilitated to ensure that it’s a positive experience for both parties.

Older Children Children should learn how to interact safely not only with their own pets, but with unfamiliar pets as well. Teaching children how to read an animal’s nonverbal body language not only helps keeps them safe, but is also a great way of encouraging respect and empathy for others. Children should understand subtle warning signs that a dog is not comfortable, including ears laid back,

tail stiff or low, and backing away from a touch. Children should also learn and practice the proper way to greet strange dogs: First, ask the dog’s handler for permission. If permission is granted, extend your hand palm down or closed into a fist to protect fingers and allow the dog to approach and sniff. A sniff, a tail wag and a lick or leaning in is the green light to pet the dog gently on the chest or back. A sniff and a turn away is a signal that the dog is not in the mood, which should always be respected. At home, children under the age of ten are generally too young to accept full responsibility for a pet’s care. Pre-teens and teenagers, however, can and should participate in care and training of the pets in the house. Getting older kids involved with at-home training, obedience or agility classes is a great way to solidify their bond and enhance confidence and self-esteem in the process. ND Taylor Ham is a freelance writer from Ithaca, NY. She currently lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband Stephen and two dogs, Samson and TJ.

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22 Northern Virginia Dog

M. Nico

| Summer 2013

Conveniently located at 2709 West Ox Road in Herndon, just off the Fairfax County Parkway and close to the Dulles Toll Road. M. Nicole


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Brought to you by Rover N Out! Pet Care. Professional doggie walks, pet sitting, overnight sitting and pet taxi services throughout the Northern Virginia area. Bringing the latest to pet care by integrating GPS tracking into their pet care services, you can track your service happening in real-time. rovernout.com. Winners receive a NOVADog Magazine limited-edition T-shirt and a gift certificate from Rover N Out! Pet Care.



1. BOOG loved by Vivian & David in Columbia, MD

2. MAL loved by Rosemarie & Manuel in Leesburg

3. RAIDEN MCBONES loved by Chantropo in Catharpin

4. ELI & PRETZEL loved by Laura in Fairfax Station




5. HOGAN & WOODY loved by


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6. WINNY loved by Luci in Herndon




Submit your dog’s photo on our home-page, and see the slide show of all submitted dog photos at www.novadog magazine.com

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Showering Your Pet With Love”





Tuesdays & Thursdays, April to October

August 10

5PM—Doggie Happy Hours at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria. Dogs enjoy complimentary dog treats while humans dine at Jackson 20’s bar. 480 King St, Alexandria, VA. www.monaco-alexandria. com/alexandria-hotel/doggie-happy-hour.

Thursdays through October 2013, weather permitting 5-8PM—Doggie Happy Hours at The Bench Restaurant in Gaithersburg Marriott Washingtonian Center. Two- and four-legged guests alike are invited to experience the Montgomery County hotel’s new outdoor patio overlooking the lake at the RIO Washingtonian Center shopping and entertainment complex. More info: 301-590-0044.

July 13 10 AM-12 PM— Doggie Craft Fair In Front of Manassas Park Community Center. More info: www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com.

July 21 Charity Dog Wash at Dogtopia locations all across the country—Some locations will have raffles, and other fun opportunities for participation. Donations will benefit service dogs for veterans. Come out to clean your “dirty dog” and donate to a good cause. For a list of participating locations and hours, visit: www.dogdaycare.com/k9support.

10 AM-12 PM— Dog Days of Summer at the Manassas Park Dog Park. Cost $5/dog. More info: www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com.

August 10-11 9AM-6PM—Dog Days Peach Festival at Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, VA. $10/child & $12/adult. Bring the whole family for a romp in the play area, u-pick peaches, an impressive agility course, Doggie Olympics, and demonstrations that will make you bark! Bring your retriever’s favorite item to enjoy a dip in the pond. The first 100 pups to visit the farm will receive a doggie bag of goodies. Leashed, well-behaved dogs welcome. Please have a rabies certification tag available. Canine drinking water and scooping bags provided. More info: www.greatcountryfarms.com.

August 12 5—8PM—Canine Cantina Yappy Hour at Cantina Marina, 600 Water St SW, Washington DC. Bring your dog out for summer fun on the Cantina Marina waterfront deck—where dogs are welcome and you can enjoy food and drinks for you, and a delicious complimentary doggy treat bar for your pup. 10% of all sales are donated to Lucky Dog Animal Rescue, and some adoptable dogs will be there seeking forever homes. More info: www.luckydoganimalrescue.org/ events.

August 24 11AM-4PM—Wags N Whiskers at the Village at Shirlington. Bring your dog along for a fun-filled day. Lots of exhibitors, pet adoptions, free pet photos, live music, and family fun. More info: www. villageatshirlington.com.

August 25 6:05PM—Bark in the Park with the Potomac Nationals vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks. Bring your dog to the game! Lots of additional fun and events on gameday. Get more info and buy tickets: www.milb.com/promotions/index. jsp?sid=t436.

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

SEPTEMBER September 7 10 AM-2 PM— Annual Doggie Paddle/ Dog Swim at Signal Bay Water Park, Manassas, VA. Dogs can enjoy splashing around in the water park! The cost is $5/dog with a two-dog-per-handler limit. More info: www.manassasparkcommunitycenter.com.

September 7 9AM-6PM—Dog swim at Pirate’s Cove Water Park, Pohick Bay Regional Park, 6501 Pohick Bay Drive, Lorton, VA.Your doggie can dive in the pool and splash around the water park.

September 7 12-3PM— 3rd Annual Fall Fair Animal House in the parking lot of the shelter (2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr., Arlington, VA, 22206). Everyone in the community

will be invited to enjoy games and to meet the adoptable animals we have here at the shelter. Local organizations will be on-hand with giveaways and AWLA staff will be here to go over the adoption process or answer other questions about the shelter. There is no entry fee for the fair.  Friendly dogs on flat leashes (not flexi leashes) are invited. More info: www.awla.org.

September 8 and 9 5—8PM—Canine Cantina Yappy Hour at Cantina Marina, 600 Water St SW, Washington DC. Bring your dog out for summer fun on the Cantina Marina waterfront deck—where dogs are welcome and you can enjoy food and drinks for you, and a delicious complimentary doggy treat bar for your pup. 10% of all sales are donated to Lucky Dog Animal

Are We na n o G R E V E Get To...

BARKTOBERFEST! Saturday, September 28, 2013

The Fest: 10am-5pm The Strut: 9:15-10:15am

at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds! FRIENDLY PETS WELCOME!

Live Music • Mutt Strut • Pet Contests & Prizes • Games for Dogs • Games for Kids • Kitty Corner • Animal Communicator, Diane Roadcap Canine Demonstrations • Vendors: Pet Related & Non-Pet Related • Silent Auction • Raffle Baskets • Fabulous Food Wine Tasting from Local Vineyards • FOHA Pets for Adoption • And MUCH MORE! Presented By

24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2013

Sponsored By

Register to Strut! at www.barktoberfest.org

MARKETPLACE Rescue, and some adoptable dogs will be there seeking forever homes. More info: www.luckydog animalrescue.org/events

September 14 7:05PM—Pups in the Park with the Washington Nationals vs. Philadelphia Phillies. Bring your dog to the game! You must reserve human and dog tickets in advance ($22 owner, $8 dog with all proceeds from dog tickets going to the Washington Humane Society.) Get more info and buy tickets: www.nationals.com/pups

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September 28

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10AM-5PM— Barktoberfest: A Purrfect Pet Celebration at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds. Hosted by Friends of Homeless Animals. Bring the whole family, including your leashed, well-behaved dogs. Live music, games for kids and dogs, vendor shopping, great food and beverages, canine demonstrations, participate in a Mutt Strut and much more—all to help raise much needed funds to allow FOHA to continue its mission of rescuing and finding “forever” homes for homeless animals. More info: www. barktoberfest.org.

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

September 28 10 AM-4 PM— The Washington Humane Society (WHS) DC Walk for the Animals and Pet-APlooza at Kingsbury Center, 5000 14th St. NW, Washington, DC. Bring your dog and walk to end pet homelessness in DC. Vendor booths, pet entertainment, contests for your dogs to enter and win prizes, music, pet adoptions, kids entertainment, and much more! More info: www. washhumane.org.

Pampered Pets Curbside Grooming Dogs under 50 lbs and groomer friendly cats


September 29 1-4 PM— Mutts n’ Munchkins second annual Crafty Kids Fundraiser at Cherry Hill Park, Falls Church, VA. A full program of live entertainment, crafting and playing for a reason, a huge mural, dancing dogs, a dog parade, dogs for adoption, and much more. Children, with the support of the community, will work and play to bring together funds for a very deserving non-profit animal organization: Pets With Disabilities. Hosted by KSR Pet Care and Unleashed Abilities. More info: www.muttsnmunchkins.com.

Website:  www.pampered-pets.us email: info@pampered-pets.us

Fun Dog Fitness Awesome daily small group adventures in fresh air & open spaces for puppies to seniors. Includes pick up and drop off.


Please call for free consult! Linda at (703) 650-5115 linda@fundogfitness.com www.fundogfitness.com

October 2 Noon— 16th Annual Paws for a Cause 3K Walk at Weber’s Pet Supermarket, 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA. This 3K walk through the shady streets of Fairfax benefits Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc. FPOW is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to providing pet visitation to residents of nursing homes and hospitals since 1987. All registered and walking participants will receive a T-shirt. Walk registration is $20 before September 15, $25 after. More info: www.fpow.org/dates.

For more events check out our Canine Calendar online at: www.novadogmagazine.com




Aug 10-11, 9am-6pm $10/child & $12/adult Bring the whole family, including your leashed dog!

Great Country Farms, Bluemont, VA www.greatcountryfarms.com

Fairfax ~ 11054 Lee Highway ~ 703.359.2659 Franconia ~ 7007 Manchester Blvd. ~ 703.924.7246

Always trust a pet lover.


The Farm Goes to the Dogs! • Romp in the play area • U-pick peaches • Agility course & Doggie Olympics • Bring your retriever’s favorite item to enjoy a dip in the pond • Canine drinking water and scooping bags provided

Centreville ~ 5629 Stone Road ~ 703.830.8261 Falls Church ~ 7502 Leesburg Pike ~ 703.356.6014

first 100 pups get a goodie bag!


For rates and information, please contact: Gennifer Davis: (p) 703.780.4400 (f) 853.753.0064 advertising@novadogmagazine.com



HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

house. Although there are trails along the river that offer scenic views, Cassie always enjoyed going into the woods on the White Trail. The White Trail loop is about a mile long; it intersects the Potomac Heritage Trail, which you can take to extend your hike. You will likely encounter deer, which is one reason Cassie found this trail interesting. Park near the entrance to Volcano Island Waterpark and look for the trailhead there.

47001 Fairway Drive, Sterling, VA 20165 www.nvrpa.org/park/algonkian

Cassie’s Favorite Trails By Carol B r ooks


y dog Cassie was a wonderful companion. She was my inspiration for past “Hit The Trail” articles and often accompanied me on exploratory hikes. Cassie died April 27, 2013, of hemangiosarcoma, an extremely aggressive cancer of the blood vessel cells. She lived just 23 days after her diagnosis. Cassie’s unusual journey into my life began when I fostered her for a local rescue group. After several months, and with no adoption pending, I reluctantly returned her to the rescue group because a sudden Amy and short-term change in Cassie my household made enjoy a hike continued fostering impossible. Months later and still sad from returning Cassie, I happened to make a rare trip to the Reston dog park. Incredibly, in walked Cassie on a leash with her new foster mom, Amy—whom I had never met. What a happy day for all of us! From that day forward, Amy and I cofostered and then co-adopted Cassie, an arrangement that enriched all of our lives. Cassie had the best of both worlds: two families that loved and cared for her. She went from being unwanted by one family to being loved by two. Thanks to the availability of regional and county parks in Northern Virginia, Cassie hit the trail all the time. If car keys jangled at “long walk” time, Cassie was at the door and ready for adventure. Local parks offer easily accessible and well maintained trails, water access, restrooms, ample parking and for Cassie, a number of favorite trail destinations. I hope you and your dog will enjoy exploring Cassie’s special places.

Claude Moore Park, Sterling, VA Cassie loved to visit Claude Moore Park. For Amy, these outings were good exercise and a welcome break from kid-taxiing and errands. With over 11 miles of hiking trails, and marked routes ranging from a quarter mile to 3 miles or more, this peaceful suburban park is a perfect destination for anyone wanting a quiet get-away. Cassie particularly liked the trails behind the Visitor’s Center on Vestal’s Gap Road. The varied terrain gave her many opportunities to hone her agility skills. The trails are generally not crowded, and mature trees provide shady relief from summer heat. Park in front of the Visitor’s Center for easy access to the trails.

21544 Old Vestal’s Gap Road, Sterling, VA 20164 www.loudoun.gov/index.aspx?nid=1285

Lake Fairfax Park, Reston, VA At my house, adventure time usually meant a hike in Lake Fairfax Park. This busy 475-acre park has a trail system that offers many options for short or long hikes, and Cassie probably covered most of them. She loved the cool solitude of the wooded trails as well as the activity-filled open areas closer to the lake and main parking lot. Cassie liked to get wet, so some of the park’s best features for her were the many streams and water-access points. When we only had time for a short walk, we would hike the wide trail along Lake Fairfax, and Cassie would take a dip in the shallow water. Park in the lot closest to the lake for the best access to all of this park’s trails.

1400 Lake Fairfax Drive, Reston, VA 20190 www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/lakefairfax

Algonkian Park Sterling, VA Located next to the Potomac River, Algonkian Park’s flat trails will appeal to any level of hiker. This park’s trails were often Cassie’s daily walk option since it was just a short drive from Amy’s

Visit one of Cassie’s favorite parks or investigate the regional and county parks in your area. Chances are there is one not too far from your home. It only takes a few extra minutes to reach special places that can spice up your dog’s exercise routine and give you a boost. Your dog will love you for it, and you’ll create memories that last a lifetime. We cherish the memories we have of Cassie in these special places.

What To Bring Be sure your dog has adequate tick protection. Always wear sturdy, waterproof shoes as trails are often muddy. Bring water for you and your dog, a long leash (for water fun), poop bags, and bug spray. Extend your stay by bringing a picnic. For more information on canine cancer, visit the National Canine Cancer Foundation’s website via Cassie’s page: www.wearethecure.org./friends/ cassie. Some estimates suggest one in four dogs die of cancer. While victims are often older dogs, cancer can strike at any time. Early detection can often save a life. ND TRAIL SPECIFICS

Fido-Friendly Features: off-street parking, fun dog-safe trails, water access, trash containers. Use: hikers, runners, bikers, on-leash dogs, horses (on some trails). Best Time to Go: weekdays any time; weekends: mornings. Rated: Regional and county parks offer trail options for all levels of hikers. Cassie’s favorite trails in this article are rated easy.

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert

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. www.novadogmagazine.com


WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Charity Charity, age 4, is finally at home with Jolynne Flores in Alexandria, VA

Adopted from: Homeward Trails Animal Rescue in January 2013

How did she get her name? She came with it. She’d been a Homeward Trails girl with that name for 2.5 years. Everyone knew and loved Charity. She knew her name. I had no need to change it.

You picked her because... I swear she fell in love with me from the moment we met. At a Homeward Trails adoption event I was assigned Charity, one of their dogs from boarding. When we arrived I was asked if I’d switch and handle an energetic hound instead. Our coordinator wanted the new volunteer to handle the easy-going Charity. Charity, however, had decided I was hers. For the next three hours she followed me everywhere. Many families inquired about adopting her, but when they heard she had severe separation anxiety, they walked away. I left the event knowing I wanted to try to help her overcome her anxiety, but I needed help. I was fortunate to team up with an experienced Homeward Trails volunteer who knew Charity well, and between the two of us and sometimes needing to use Homeward Trails’ boarding facility, we managed to work through the severity of the anxiety together. Charity has loved and lost in her lifetime and has spent every moment since her early days in a rural shelter trying to keep the people she loves most in her sight so that she doesn’t lose again. It worked. I adopted her three months later. She’s finally home.

Favorite activity together: We love being in the water. She goes berserk when she sees a body of water and is ecstatic for a chance to swim or just to splash around. Favorite toy: A tennis ball. Her entire face lights up when she sees a tennis ball, and she never tires of playing fetch. She’ll fetch anything, but a tennis ball is her favorite.

You love her because she... is friendly, loving and sweet. She’s fun; she’s calm around the house; she races to the door for a simple walk; she’s happy playing fetch; she enjoys car rides and is always ready for an adventure. Soon after I adopted her, a Homeward Trails staffer said, “She’s the perfect dog, isn’t she?” I started thinking about my chewed up back-door, how she’s still working through her separation anxiety, and how she sometimes digs in the yard, but stopped and replied, “Yeah. She’s perfect.” ND Homeward Trails Animal Rescue seeks to find permanent adoptive homes in the Mid-Atlantic Region for dogs and cats from high-kill shelters or whose owners can no longer care for them. Homeward Trails not only facilitates adoptions from local shelters, but also supports a large network of foster care providers. Visit them online at www.homewardtrails.org.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2013

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