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novadog Summer 2018



Canines Come First

DC radio star Jen Richer dishes about her fourlegged family

Also Inside: Heat Stroke Affects Dogs Too How to Stand-up Paddle Board With Your Pup Hit the Water Trail: Roosevelt Island


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ummer is here, and I couldn’t be readier. Each year I look forward to the warm weather like a schoolkid waiting for that last day of class. I always savor the sunny days, the evenings filled with fireflies, and the more vacationoriented schedule. Speaking of sunny, we are so thrilled to have Jen Richer grace our cover this issue. Her bright style and positive outlook are just the right additions to a summer of fun. She is warm, quick-witted, and always smiling—her adorable boys, Grant and Bruce, are two lucky pups. She loves them and lavishes them with attention like the princes they are! This issue also pays homage to the area’s waterways. The water is where I feel at home; it’s everything from peaceful and restorative to energizing and fun. First, we highlight how to get your dog out on a paddle board, a.k.a. SUP. We provide some local resources for paddle boarding and give you a list of locations to start your water adventures. I urge you to get out on

the water to enjoy the world from a different perspective, but I also ask that you respect and care for our waterways: please take one step to help keep them clean during these warmer months. It can be as simple as picking up a bit of litter! We’re also including resources for heat stroke prevention, so you can enjoy the outdoors safely. With that in mind, I wish you and your furry friends a healthy and carefree summer. Take some time to wander off the beaten paths, splash in a cool stream, and scamper around a dog park. There are plenty of refreshing ways to cool off and appreciate the outdoors. We close things out with a stellar line-up of events for you to enjoy with your pooch. As you read through this issue, you’ll start feeling the summertime excitement sink into your skin. By the end, you’ll be ready to throw on some flipflops and head out for a peaceful paddle, explore the sights at a lively event, hike one of our awesome local trails, or take in a Nats game. Don’t forget! There are

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countless ways to make the most of the summer season. Please remember the sunscreen! Angela



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


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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.


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Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2018 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 for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, 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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contents Summer 2018

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


12 C  anines Come First

DC radio star Jen Richer dishes about her four-legged family By Joseph Grammer Photos by Georgette Tsongos

18 SWhat’s  tanda SUP? Up! (With Your Pup) And how to enjoy one in the DC Metro area By Angela Hazuda Meyers

12 D E PA RT M E N T S





News, information, and products


Jen Richer and her dog, Bruce. Photography by Georgette Tsongos of Lotus Photography. Visit online at



Advise and information on canine health issues

26 HIT THE (WATER) TRAIL SUP-ing with your dog



Barktoberfest + GlowDogGlow 5K

On the cover:

EJ’s Meats & Treats

Adoption success stories


A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs

Read Bagel’s adoption success story on page 28.



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H E A L T H  W I S E

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

How Heat Stroke Affects Dogs

By Dr. Er in R ockwell


t’s a beautiful June weekend. You coordinate with your friends and decide to enjoy some of the best that Virginia has to offer in the summertime: a hike along the C&O Canal, an afternoon of wine tasting at your favorite vineyard, strolling through the veggies at the farmer’s market, or maybe just grabbing a bite to eat on the patio of your favorite local eatery. Because we have some of the most dogfriendly businesses in this area, you decide to bring your best furry friend, Max, along for the fun, too. As the day goes on, the sun beats down and the humidity creeps up. A little after 1 PM, and the thermometer in your car reads 91°F. It’s hot. You’ve been outside, and now you could really go for an iced latte. You decide to run in and grab something quickly, but Max isn’t allowed inside. You park in the shade, crack the windows, and dash in. You’ll get him a Puppuccino to make up for leaving him behind. You’re only gone a second. Three minutes. Maybe ten. The line was long, your phone rang, the order got mixed up. You get back out to your car to find Max, your best friend, lying in the back seat, panting. But panting like you’ve never seen before, as if it’s the only thing he can do. You open the door and he lifts his head, his tongue lolling out the side of his mouth. Saliva soaks his front legs, chest, and neck. And he just keeps panting. You call his name, talk to him. He kind of responds, but barely. He doesn’t wag his tail, he doesn’t get up. He just pants, and pants, and pants. Max is displaying the classic signs and history of a dog suffering from heat stroke. In Max’s case, he was left in a car on a warm day. As the temperature in the car increased, Max’s body was no longer able to compensate, and his thermoregulation was inadequate. Max is at great risk for permanent damage to his organs, and even death.

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Inside his body, Max’s core temperature has spiked from a healthy 101.5°F to a dangerously high temperature over 105°F. The platelets circulating through his blood clump together, forming small blood clots throughout his body as the coagulation cascade is activated by the high body temperature. His heart is not beating regularly, as the muscles of his heart are damaged and bleeding. Because his heart is not able to do its job, Max’s other organs start to suffer damage from lack of blood flow. His brain, kidneys, and gastrointestinal tract are not receiving the oxygen-rich blood they need to function normally. Those tiny blood clots circulating clog up small blood vessels, further restricting blood flow. Somewhat paradoxically, as all of Max’s blood clotting ability is used up making those tiny clots, Max begins to bleed internally in his lungs, stomach, and intestines. As his intestinal tract weakens from the high temperature and inappropriate blood flow, bacteria from inside the intestines leak out into Max’s abdomen, which will ultimately result in systemic infection. All these changes have already started inside Max’s body. Despite your panic, you do the best thing possible for Max and call his veterinarian. They tell you to start cooling Max down with a towel soaked in cool water, get the AC cranked up in the car, and get Max into the veterinary hospital immediately. Heat stroke is a very real risk for dogs, cats, or any other animal (including people!). Most commonly, we see pets affected by exposure to high temperatures, lack of shade and water, extreme physical exertion, or a combination of these. A seizure can cause the body temperature to spike, even without these other risk factors in place. Very old or very young pets are a higher risk. Importantly, brachycephalic breeds (those animals with smushed faces and short noses),

are at a much higher risk because their natural ability to dissipate heat is compromised by their anatomy. These breeds include Boxers, Bulldogs, Shih Tzus, Persian cats, Himalayan cats, and others. If you are concerned that your pet may be displaying signs of heat stroke, seek veterinary care immediately. You can begin to cool your pet by applying towels or blankets soaked in cool water. You should NOT apply ice water or ice packs, as this will lead to local vasoconstriction, making heat dissipation less effective. You also want to get some air flowing, so get the AC going, point a fan at your pet, or keep the windows down in your car. The best protection against heat stroke is good common sense. If your pet is not acclimated to the heat and humidity, be very careful getting them outside during the summer. The hottest hours are typically between noon and 4 PM, but that classic Virginia humidity can make even a mid-morning walk stifling. Never leave your pet in a car unattended, even for a moment. It only takes a few minutes for a parked car to turn into an oven, slowly cooking anything inside of it. If you see a pet inside of an unattended car, call your local animal control or the police for instructions. We all love spending time outdoors when the weather is beautiful. When you include your pet, please do so safely, and you’ll get to enjoy many more summers with them. ND Dr. Erin Rockwell is an associate veterinarian at Leesburg Veterinary Hospital. Please visit to learn more about veterinary care for your dog or other pet.

Hot Car Test

Nick White, owner of Off Leash K9Training, conducted a test in the heat of summer to feel exactly how hot a car can get sitting in the sun with the windows rolled up. To view his video called “Please Share! What It’s Like Leaving Your Dog In A Hot Car! 40 Minutes and 138 Degrees,” visit

Safety First


ational Capital Area Professional Pet Sitters would like everyone to take these hazards into consideration before heading outside to play. As a leading resource of pet care professionals in the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC area, when we think of summer, we start thinking about how to protect your pet. In order to best care for and protect our animal friends, we need to be aware of potential hazards, including: • Hot pavement • Pesticides on grass meant for weed control • Food tossed out of car windows or near parks • Fleas and ticks • Hot cars • Thunderstorms or fireworks • The age of the pets in our care • The most dangerous times for a walk (i.e., midday)    Good Summer Tips • If you are headed for a picnic, choose a shaded location to enjoy lunch and bring water and snacks specifically for your dog. • On walks, try to let your pet walk on the grass instead of the asphalt. Grass is a little cooler, and black asphalt can burn and blister paw pads.

• Vacations with pets often mean more time in the car. Be sure your pup is a back-seat rider, and find a harness that can keep you safe as well as your pet.   • Depending on the temperatures, a potty break may be all that is safe for your dog’s breed and/or age. Remember that dogs and cats dissipate heat by panting. Stay safe (and happy) out there this summer!



D o g f r ie n d ly s p a c e s in N or t her n Vi r gi ni a and beyond

JOIN US FOR OUR ANNUAL BARKTOBERFEST AND GLOWDOGGLOW 5K, Saturday, Oct. 6, at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds. Bring your pup and be ready to run (or walk)! Visit for details and to register.

The GlowDogGlow 5K race. Photo by Anthony Moringello Photography

A Dog Race Database GlowDogGlow 5K wins the Editor’s Pick award By Angela H a z u d a M ey e rs


OVADog Magazine’s publisher spoke with Bethany Lavins-Merillat, a researcher who focuses on psychology and user behavior. However, she is also a dedicated dog parent who invested plenty of hours into compiling a huge database of dog races around the country. Please check out her helpful interactive map, as well as her methodology and research findings about dog races, dog-friendly events, and their connection to health:

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fido-fitness-and-fun. Angela Hazuda Meyers: Thanks for chatting with us Bethany. First and most important, tell me about your dogs! Bethany Lavins-Merillat: We have two Aussies, Boston and Indy. Indy is going on 10 years old, and he is a riot. I rescued him from an abusive situation with the help of an Aussie Rescue placement group. With a slight overbite, he looks like he’s always smiling. He loves to snatch food off the table and sneak out of

his cage (he has learned how to unlock the door). Boston is just over a year old, and he’s named after the Boston Marathon since he was born around the same time my husband ran the race. We recently ran our first 5K with him, and he proudly came in second place. The run was actually quite the adventure! My husband is slightly faster than I am, and we have never run together with Boston, so we were surprised by his behavior during the race. Boston did not want us to be apart, so when Brett tried to speed up, Boston would pull him back; and when I ran ahead, Boston would surge forward. To say the least, this resulted in Boston dictating the pace, and we all crossed the finish line together. AHM: Can you tell me why you decided to develop this database of dog-friendly events? BLM: Sure! Back in 2017 my husband (Brett) came across a dog-friendly event—something we had never heard of before. We love to run with our dogs (although Indy has recently decided to retire his running paws), but unfortunately the race was too far away. Undaunted, I dove into research, but had a hard time finding anything near us. At the time, there was no repository of dog-friendly races. As a health researcher, I pitched the research project to my boss, who was skeptical, but gave me a chance. Six months and countless hours later, I had a huge database of over 3,000 potential dog-friendly events (the current database has over 1,400 confirmed events) and a lot of fascinating data and research statistics to share.

AHM: What is your motivation to help people and pets get outside together? BLM: I knew of studies suggesting a positive link between dog ownership, physical activity, and mental health. My work focuses on ways to help people lead happier, healthier, and more productive lives. And dogs also need to stay healthy too. So, while someone might not participate in a 5K alone, if they could do it with their dog, get fun “swag” for their furry friend, and participate in dog contests (e.g., peanut butter eating, fastest and slowest dog, best dressed dog, best singer, etc.) perhaps they would be more willing to get out and get active. A race also provides positive social and psychological benefits that come with interacting and connecting with other dog owners, all while supporting a great cause. I wanted to help people become aware of these events to encourage them to participate. There are mud runs, warrior dashes, and thousands of other fun, unique, dog-centric walks and festivals like GlowDogGlow, centered around pets and their people. My hope is that the database will help everyone find a local event where they can get active with their furry friends, have fun, and help a good cause. AHM: As of today, how many events are profiled in your database? BLM: I have over 3,000 events, but many are still under review. I have a very strict protocol. I contact every race director and confirm that the race is dog-friendly, and ask about special

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D o g f r ie n d ly s p a c e s in N or t her n Vi r gi ni a and beyond

canine perks and important information (e.g., dogs can only run in the 5K or 2-mile walk, or need to line up at the back of the pack for safety). The task is ongoing but incredibly rewarding. Everyone I have spoken with has been incredibly helpful and supportive of my work. This project has been a joy and honor to be a part of. AHM: And personally, how often do you and your dogs attend events? BLM: The Paws n’ Run in Fort Wayne, Indiana, was actually our first, which is funny as Ohio, our home state, has the second largest number of events in the country! Since the database has been published, we have been invited to many events, but don’t have the time (or money) to travel to them all—although I am still trying to convince my boss that a dog-friendly run in Hawaii should be considered a work trip! On the weekend, you will find us taking the dogs for a leisurely run in the morning or hanging out at the dog park. Boston loves people and events. He has marched in a Labor Day parade and accompanies us to festivals and on trips, as long as the venue is dog-friendly. AHM: And of course, I have to bring it up. You recently awarded the GlowDogGlow 5K the Editor’s Pick award, which we are more than thrilled about. Can you tell us why we were selected? BLM: Yes, absolutely. We decided we wanted to do something more to support some of the events that went above and beyond just letting dogs attend. Many go out of their way to provide

amazing dog perks, such as lining the walking/running paths with dog water bowls and dog treats, having huge pools for dogs to jump into at the end, or providing dog chip times, bib tags, and awards at the end. Many even have veterinary staff on hand to evaluate dogs prior to the run, and deal with any injuries that might occur along the way. We developed a rigorous protocol, evaluating each race on a number of critical dog-friendly criteria, and gave the “Editor’s Pick” Award out to a few events in each state which were truly outstanding. We designate these events with a ribbon icon in our database to help people identify them when looking for an event. Please check out the database, grab a furry friend or two, and have a blast at a fun event like GlowDogGlow. Remember, not only are you helping Fido stay fit (and yourself as well), but you’re also supporting a great cause! AHM: Bethany, thank you so much for talking with us today! It was a pleasure. ND Angela Meyers is the owner of both NOVADog Magazine and a lovely pup named Maggie.

Bethany Lavins-Merillat, M.S., M.Ed., is an experimental psychologist with a passion for changing lives through research. She specializes in survey design, online data collection, and interventions to increase health and wellness, and has published number of journal articles in these areas.

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Canines Come First DC radio star Jen Richer dishes about her four-legged family


OVADog Magazine sat down with Jen Richer, who is co-host and executive producer for “The Tommy Show” on 94.7 Fresh FM. Her constant companions on the airwaves are the inimitable Tommy McFly and Kelly Collis. In 2018, Washingtonian Magazine named their team “Best Local Radio Personality,” but these three friends have been having fun on their early-morning program since 2011. Please learn more at, or tune in to 94.7 from 6-10 AM. Joining us were Jen’s best friend Lindsey and their two beautiful rescue dogs, Bruce and Grant. B y Jo s e p h G ra m m e r P h o to s b y G e o rg e t t e Ts o n g o s Jen and her dog Bruce.


Jen Richer is an exceedingly nice person. When she invited our photographer Georgette and me into the Fresh FM studio to talk about her pups (and how much she loves them), she showed us nothing but generosity. Before she came downstairs to let us in, however, she put Bruce and Grant in one of the studio’s windowed rooms for a quick second: just for the time it took to ride the elevator down, welcome our intrepid team, and bring us upstairs. Unfortunately, we discovered that the dogs’ room wouldn’t open. Bruce and Grant were locked inside, and while we could see them jumping around excitedly, we couldn’t get them free. Jen made a few phone calls to Tommy McFly, her dazzling co-host and namesake for “The Tommy Show,” but it was his birthday, so he was a bit indisposed. In fact, Jen was planning on joining the party right after she spoke to me. To complicate matters further, it was Sunday, so there was minimal security and staff in the building. Basically, it was up to Jen, Lindsey, Georgette, and me to free the dogs. (Luckily, they seemed to be having a good time in there.) Now, you might’ve seen movies where people slip in through locked doors with nothing more than a bobby pin or credit card. Personally, I had never seen the trick work, but I suggested it to Jen as a last-ditch effort, and with all the hope and energy she brings to her show, she jammed one of her cards in the crack between the door and the wall and started fiddling with it. In about ten seconds, the lock clicked, and the door popped open. Grant and Bruce, who had been building up to a wild level of excitement as they watched their mom on the other side, immediately sprinted out and began jumping for joy. It was a great moment for teamwork and ingenuity, which was a nice place to start our conversation. Seated in the studio proper, with

audio equipment all around, we broke down the stories behind Jen and Lindsey’s fabulous dogs and explored why they love canines so much.

How did you adopt your dogs? I met my best friend in the whole world, Lindsey Randall, in college. We were roomies 12 years ago, and now we’re doggie co-parents who still share an apartment. (It’s awesome.) Everyone said it was a terrible idea to adopt a dog with your roommate, because what if you stopped living together? But we both said “phooey!” and just went for it. We’d been roommates for about six years at this point. We knew we wanted a dog, and we’d moved into a building that was dog-friendly, but we were waiting for the right one. Lindsey found Home for the Holidays in Reston, and we were looking around, hoping to find our perfect pup, but there just wasn’t that connection yet. You know how you always hear that the dog finds you? So we had lunch, which was more like a pity party since we hadn’t had any luck finding a match. But as we’re walking back to the car, Lindsey spots this beautiful, black, 7-month-old mix who’d just gotten to the event. It was love at first sight. In maybe 3 ½ minutes we decided Grant was coming home with us. To make a perfect match even more perfect, it turned out he was a Lost Dog—we’d been volunteers there already, so we didn’t have to do any of the background. When we got back to our apartment, Grant just sat down and curled up like he’d known us forever. We were expecting a puppy to climb all over everything, but he was so gentle. He has this old, mellow vibe—his eyes look right into your soul. Grant is co-dependent, though, so we knew we were going to get a second dog. We weren’t actively searching, but I knew someone in our building was fostering a Homeward Trails dog named Bruce. Grant, who doesn’t play with a lot of dogs, saw Bruce in the lobby and actually

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got along with him. That was a big deal, so I put my name in to adopt him, not really thinking much of it. I texted Lindsey (who was away) and said, “Have you seen the new puppy Bruce in our building?” And she’s like, “Yeah, he’s cute.” So I left it at that, although I didn’t exactly tell Lindsey I’d put our names in to get Bruce. Cut to that huge snowstorm of January 2016: the Snowpocalypse. Lindsey is away again for work, and now she gets another text from me: “How do you feel about getting another dog?” She says, “Yeah, I guess.” Meanwhile, Bruce was already in our apartment, crated and everything. I was really happy she said yes, because otherwise, I don’t know what I would’ve done. He was 15 weeks old, and snow was just pouring down outside. It’s nighttime, there’s a blizzard, CostCo is shut down—the universe is going into chaos. The way it went down was that Megan, who fostered Bruce, had texted me, “Hey, are you home right now?” She didn’t tell me that we’d been qualified or approved, but she showed up at my door and went, “Here’s Bruce!” At the time, I had zero puppy supplies, since Grant was older by then: no pee pads, no crate, nothing. Luckily, everyone in the building chipped in to help, which was amazing. Bruce wasn’t potty trained yet, so I was like, “Oh, this is going to be great.” The roads were closed, snow was everywhere, and I had to take him out every hour for a bathroom trip. That was a bonding experience.

What are their personalities like? Grant is a diva. He spends ninety percent of the day just chilling, and he will cuddle you forever if you let him. Socially, Grant is like the super-smart gentle child who goes over to the other kids playing and then everyone just disperses immediately. He has a Shih Tzu brain and Golden Retriever body, and he’s perfection, even if he isn’t always popular with other dogs. He also totally has a death-wish. If he doesn’t want to do something, he’s really passive aggressive about it. When we first got him, Lindsey and I thought we were going to walk every day and lose all this weight. But we found out that Grant would only make it about a block before lying down. People would come up to us all concerned and say, “He needs water! You should carry him!” And we would say, “No, he’s just sitting and looking at this squirrel over there, and we’re not going in the squirrel’s direction.” One day I see this woman on the street, and her kid is throwing a temper tantrum. I was like, “So glad I don’t have to deal with that!” Then I realize Grant is lying down in the middle of the street at the end of the leash, totally oblivious to the danger of cars. He does whatever he wants, which is mostly relaxing. Bruce, on the other hand, is all about adventure. He should’ve been a search and rescue dog because he has so much energy, and he’s really good at finding stuff. But his favorite thing is just catching a ball. Bruce is hesitant with other dogs at first, and he’s a bit shaky around little boys or wheels. He can be aggressive on the barking, but then he chills out. He and his brother were picked up at 10 weeks old, on my birthday actually—the universe aligned on that one. But it was hard for him early on, I know. The best compliment we get is, “Oh, are they brothers?” Most of the time they get along great, but they do antagonize each other some-

Bruce, Jen, and Grant. When you’re a dog parent, you spend a lot of time nuzzling and cuddling.

times. Bruce demands that Grant play with him, which means he’ll stuck his butt in Grant’s face. That doesn’t always go over well.

What are their backstories? Grant’s foster mom, Cathy Grimes, is amazing. Her husband is a dentist, and she runs his office. They have this huge property out in Leesburg, and at any given time they have like 15 dogs on the property. A few are theirs, but many are fosters. The house is a basecamp when they do a shelter pickup. Grant originally came from a puppy mill in West Virginia. It was an absolute mess: the owner wasn’t giving the dogs the de-worming meds or anti-diarrheals they needed. An Animal Control agent found the mill on Craigslist and went undercover specifically to adopt Grant. She’s like, “I want the Golden Retriever,” and they brought out Grant, who’s black. The puppy mill owner told the officer he would “turn gold” later, which was ridiculous. [He’s just a “black Golden.”] Luckily, the officer shut the puppy mill down, and Grant went over to Cathy. He was three months old at the time. Cathy took care of him, puppy trained him, everything. He had a lot of stomach issues, so she was nervous about showing him to us, but we adopted him right away. We bring him back every year to see her and her family at Home for the Holidays. This will be our sixth one, and Grant remembers her completely—he loses his mind when he sees her. Bruce and his brother Samson are also from West Virginia. They were found walking the streets at 10 weeks old, and then Animal Control picked them up and took them to Leesburg, where Bruce was fostered out to Megan. We did the DNA thing with Bruce, but we honestly don’t know if it’s true. He came back Chihuahua, Husky, and some terrier. Grant’s was 100% accurate, though: half Shih Tzu and half Golden Retriever.


part isn’t a problem. I asked MoCo [Montgomery County] Humane Society, “If you could have money for anything, what would it be?” They said, “We’re dying for a new van to collect the animals from other areas and drive them here. We have lots of volunteers, lots of spaces at the shelters, lots of adoptive families, but transportation is what we struggle with.” Dylan, the woman I work with over at MoCo, just mentioned this casually. I was like, “Tell me which van you want and we’ll set up a GoFundMe!” Our neighborhood dog expert Chuck is tight with Arlington Rescue League, and apparently they have the same problem: transportation. Imagine the person going down to that kill shelter and saying, “I only have room for eight.” That shouldn’t be an issue.

Any dog stories you want to share?

What do you like to do with Grant and Bruce? They’re not good summer dogs, so we can only take them outside really early or really late in the day. I haven’t tried bringing to them the beach yet. Bruce and Grant are definitely fall and spring dogs—not so much hot weather. They do love the NOVADog GlowDogGlow Run in September. Don’t leave dogs in back seat with glow sticks, by the way. Luckily, they’re non-toxic, which we found out after a panic attack or two and some intense Googling. Bruce was literally glowing for a while. We do a lot of road trips with them. We’ll visit a friend in Connecticut, or maybe Lindsey’s parents in Long Island. But usually they go to “fat camp” in Olde Towne Pet Resort, where they’re treated like kings. There’s this girl Rachel there who sees that Grant and Bruce are coming, and she goes nuts, makes announcements over the PA system—it’s great. If we could get Grant to move regularly, that would be great. We tried swimming, but Grant only does it begrudgingly. Bruce freaked out about it, which was strange. I thought he’d be Michael Phelps with all his energy, but he was not feeling it. I grew up right near the beach in San Diego, so our dogs would be in the water all the time. I’d love it if these guys were into swimming, but it’s not really happening!

Can you tell us about your rescue work? We were a big rescue family. When I was born, my parents had two rescues named Little Bit and Mitzi, and I was almost like the third dog who came along. My aunt was a firefighter, so if people left their pets or she rescued them, she’d be like, “Can I bring this cat over to you?” and they’d end up at our house. So it’s always been a part of my life. In terms of local rescues, we still help out with Lost Dog. The thing that blows my mind is that this area is so dog-friendly, but it’s so hard to transport the dogs here from different places. A lot of them come from the kill shelters in South Carolina and West Virginia, and the big issue is literally just moving them here. NOVA has a high demand for rescue dogs—there are plenty of homes willing to take them in. That

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There was one Thanksgiving when Lindsey’s parents came down. Her mom brings these New York clamshell cookies, which are delicious. Now, our dogs are generally well-behaved when we’re around, but when we leave, even for a little while, they become evil. So I come out of the shower, and there are clamshell sprinkles everywhere. Grant is there looking at me like, “I’m busted.” He ate the entire plate. Food is definitely a theme in our stories. There’s this natural powdered dry dog food where you add water to maybe half a cup, and it expands into a full meal. So I put the food on the counter one time, and I didn’t think twice about it because it was boxed and sealed. I left for an hour, and of course Grant gets into it. He ate probably two cups of powder, and he is not a big dog. When I got home, he looked miserable, just lying on his back. He was like a king who’d eaten four whole chickens. You could literally see it expanding in his body. (He ended up being OK, though.) Grant has chewed a few shoes in his day, too. It was extra-sad when he’d get into Lindsey’s designer shoes, but you know you’re a dog mom when you’re like, “It was my fault for leaving it out, not his. We should know better.”

What would you tell someone who’s thinking of getting a dog for the first time? Don’t overthink it. Both of us grew up with dogs, and we knew what we were getting into. A lot of people might try to dissuade you, but don’t worry. If you’ve thought about it, get a dog and you will make your life fit around him or her. The dog’s still going to love you in 10 years! ND Joseph Grammer is Managing Editor for NOVADog Magazine. He lives in Alexandria, VA, but grew up in New Jersey with a bunch of adopted dogs, including a mutt (Blizzard) who he found on the street. You can find Jen on Twitter @jenricher and Instagram at jenthericher. (Grant and Bruce make appearances, too.) And of course, tune into 94.7 Fresh FM at 6 AM for “The Tommy Show,” where Tommy, Jen, and Kelly keep DC’s mornings moving along with plenty of laughter, songs, culture, and conversation. Check out Georgette Tsongos’ marvelous pet (and human) photography at, or call 703-915-1858.

Getting Social With

novadog Follow us on social media for event updates, and of course lots of pictures.

Twitter: @novadogmag Instagram: novadogmagazine

We asked you to show us your VACATION DOGS playing or relaxing by the water!

Nevaeh enjoying the wind when the boat is going fast! King George, VA. Bobo enjoying his favorite week of the summer in Manteo, NC. He lives in Arlington and this is his favorite place in the world!! (From left to right) Kasper, Marley, and Rue on vacation in Mathews, VA!

Jilly on Lake Charlevoix, in Northern Michigan

Buford loves going to Rehoboth Beach and digging in the sand!



Stand Up! (With Your Pup) What’s a SUP? And how to enjoy one in the DC Metro Area By A ngel a Haz ud a Me ye rs


he trendy sport known as stand-up paddle boarding (SUP) has been rowing into humans’ hearts for several years, but it’s also a way to spend a summer day with your dog. Not only can you get some quality outdoor time with your pooch, but you also get a solid workout (even if it looks a little passive at first glance). Here’s what this watery phenomenon has to offer: Balance: Regular SUP-ing will give you and your dog better balance. It makes sense: the water under your feet will likely be moving in some direction, forcing you to make major or micro adjustments to stay upright. In general, the sport works key muscle groups like your abdominals and latissimus dorsi (mid-back muscles), which help you stabilize and maintain your center of gravity. Keep in mind that when

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you’re on the board, you’ll need to compensate for your dog’s movements, too. She won’t always stay perfectly still! Stronger Core: You can get a real ab workout from SUP, especially if you focus on contracting your belly muscles as you paddle. Again, SUP-ing might look calm and easy from afar, but you’d surprised how sore your abs are after an afternoon on a board. Arm and Leg Workout: When you’re using a paddle, it’s pretty obvious that your arms will be putting in work, biceps and triceps included. However, your legs are instrumental in paddling, too—not to mention keeping you stable. And when you add a slight bend in your knees, you’ll sneak in even more legwork. Cardio: The amount of calories burned per hour can vary with

lakes or rivers, as there might be submerged rocks, branches, and other objects. Lastly, always be mindful of currents.

The Basics:

Large Photo: Make sure your SUP can comfortably accommodate all your passengers! Inset: In a pinch, a wet towel can help give your dog some traction on the board.

SUP, given the body of water, the weather, your speed, and the dimensions of your board, but in general you might burn 400 an hour with light, consistent paddling. More intense styles, such as racing or touring, can push you past the 600 mark, with up to 1,000 calories per hour at a real racing pace. As always, keep an eye on your heart rate and don’t be afraid to take breaks if you get dizzy or dehydrated! Swim Time: When you’ve had your fill of working the paddle, you can take a swim break and cool off in the water. You can learn more in the next section, but please don’t let your board float around freely in the water! You can easily lose it in running water, or it could potentially hurt you or someone else. If you’re going to swim, make sure you take your board ashore first. Also, please be careful if you’re swimming in

Safety: SUP-ing is really fun, but it pays to be safe. After all, you’re dealing with Mother Nature and her whims! Start by getting a leash for your SUP—one that’s meant for you, not your dog. A SUP leash should be roughly a foot longer than your board; some attach to the ankle, others to the area below the knee, and others to the waist; some are straight, and others coil up. They all generally use a Velcro cuff. Wear the leash while you’re out SUP-ing, because it can save your life. (They may be legally required in a surf zone.) In the event of a crisis, you always want your board nearby, and the leash is the way to keep it with you. Not to mention, a loose board could fly off and hurt someone else. It’s better to keep your board and lose your paddle if it comes down to one or the other. Repeat after me: KEEP YOUR BOARD! Also, if you’re going to be river SUP-ing, get a quick-release or breakaway leash; otherwise, the leash might catch on something and tangle you up if you fall overboard, which can be dangerous. River leashes should also be worn around the waist. (Some recommend using no leash at all on the river, but if you do go with a leash, get a quick-release one.) Another smart safety move is to SUP with a human buddy, or at least tell someone else you’re going out to SUP. You can even leave a note on your vehicle’s dashboard with the time you left, a description of yourself and your boards, and how long you planned on being out. This might sound like paranoia, but it can come in handy if you find yourself in a tight spot all alone on the water! Remember to wear life jackets (personal floatation devices, PFDs) and follow all relevant laws. Pick a Board: A SUP board’s length, width, material, shape, and thickness all impact how stable it will feel to you. In general, you have planing hulls and displacement hulls. Planing ones are good for beginners, as they’re flat and wide. Displacements might be better for fitness and racing. If you find a board with a rounded nose, it might give your dog some more space when she lies down, compared to the pointier styles. A board also needs to displace the right amount of water to offset the weight of you, your pooch, and any food or gear you’re bringing with you. The higher a paddle board’s “volume,” (measured in liters) the more weight the board can support. If you want to head out with your dog, it might be good to look at longer boards (11’+), which usually allow you to carry more on board. This is especially important if you have a medium- or large-sized dog like a German Shepherd or Newfoundland. Check to make sure your board’s maximum load can support you and your furry friend! Another rule of thumb is that a wider board is more stable than a skinnier one. (A wider board also gives you more storage space.) Most boards range from 2-3 feet in width. However, keep in mind that if you and your pooch lean more petite, a narrower or shorter board may be the way to go. If you’re too light for your board, you might not sink it into the water enough,


HIT THE [WATER]TRAIL! which can make it harder to paddle or control. Smaller individuals might also want a thinner board (~4”) as well, while larger people may benefit from a thicker board (~6”) that can support more weight. Of course, materials also impact stability: solid SUPs are generally more stable than inflatable ones, and the most common are made of foam and fiberglass. Plastic ones are cheaper, but they can also be pretty heavy. Most boards come with one detachable fin on the bottom, and the same rule applies here: larger fins mean more stability. Hard core racers or surfers might want different configurations (like three fins). If you have any doubts, don’t hesitate to ask an expert! Pick a Paddle: There are tons of different paddles out there, but try to think about length, material, and blade when you’re hunting for one. A well-sized paddle should be about 9-10 inches longer than your height. A solid beginner paddle is one with an aluminum shaft and plastic blades—they also tend to be cheaper. If you want to go fancy, you can look at fiberglass or carbon fiber models. In general, the larger you are, the larger your paddle’s blade can be. (Larger blades also = more power.) Swimming Capability: Even if your dog is a confident swimmer, using a doggie life jacket (PFD) is a great option—especially the first few times out. It’s not only a great safety precaution, but the handle on the PFD can be essential to getting your dog back on board if he jumps off, or if you decide to swim in deeper waters. While we’re on the topic, do stay alert in case your furry friend decides to take a flying leap—be ready to react to your dog’s movements, since you’re both sharing a limited space! Canine Leash-Free Zone: Even though you’ll likely be leashing up, don’t leash your dog on a SUP. Dangling leashes can be hazardous to you and your dog, because they might catch on submerged objects like rocks and branches, especially in rivers and lakes. If your leashed dog leaps in the water, she can get tangled up, too, which is potentially fatal. This is sometimes a contentious topic, but the consensus seems to lean towards no leash for a pooch, and a leash for you! Hydration: You might be paddling in plenty of water, but bring some fresh H2O for you and your canine. If your pup is hydrated, he’ll be less likely to want to try drinking from an ocean or lake! Even if you’ve heard it from your mom a million times, it bears repeating: stay hydrated while exercising. Sun and Salt: Keep an eye on your dog when it comes to water (especially saltwater) exposure and sunlight. Use sunscreen liberally on your own skin, and potentially give your dogs a little dab on the ears, nose, or even belly. Consider Doggles, or doggie goggles, to protect your pup’s eyes. It also might be helpful to wash your dog down after they’ve been splashing around in the Potomac or Chesapeake.

Getting your Pup SUP-Ready: If you have a SUP, you can do these activities at home and repeat them as needed. If you’re renting a SUP instead, just modify these exercises and try them on the dock or shore before you get in the water. Introduce the SUP: First, keep your SUP in the house or on the front porch: someplace accessible so your dog can get familiar. Give your dog a treat on the SUP or place some of his favorite toys on it. If he’s still shy, you can sit on the SUP and have him come to you. Size permitting, have him sit on your lap so he can increase his comfort level and get used to being on the board. Handle your Commands: Ensure your dog is comfortable with

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See “Hit the Water Trail” on page 26 for details on paddling the Potomac around Roosevelt Island

SUP in a Nutshell • Longer (11’+), wider, thicker boards = more stable (but if you’re small, go smaller). • Humans should use a leash that’s one foot longer than their board—and river SUP-ers need a quick-release leash around the waist. No leashes for dogs! • Make sure you and your canine wear life jackets. • Tell a buddy where you’re going SUP-ing! (Or have them come with you.) • Practice “Sit,” “Stay,” “On,” “Off,” “Jump,” and “Come” with your pup. •Start off in calm, slow water, and keep it to 30 minutes until you’re comfortable.

basic commands, such as “Sit” and “Stay.” It’s easy to see how these can come in handy when you’re in the middle of a river or lake and your dog starts getting antsy. You should also develop basic commands for SUP use only. “On,” “Off,” and “Jump” are great options for getting on the board, off the board, and jumping into the water to swim. Teach these commands with positive reinforcement like any other training. (You probably also want to practice a “Come” command, too, in case they head out too far!) Get Comfy with the PFD: Let your dog practice wearing a life jacket on land for a little while, just for comfort purposes. Make sure it has a handle, so you can grab your pooch if you need to! Give Her Some Traction: Give your pup better board traction by trimming her nails and the hair between her paw pads. Ideally, it helps to use a SUP with a built-in cushion mat, which makes standing a bit easier. Feel free to supplement with other non-slip traction appliques, available online and at marine stores—but in a pinch, spreading out a wet towel can do the job.

Tips for Your First Human-and-Dog Trip: Practice Solo: Ideally, take a SUP out without your dog first, just to establish some basic comfort with it. That way, when you add in the additional (potentially rowdy) factor of your dog, you already have some confidence on the water. To increase balance and control, con-

sider kneeling on your first adventure with your pooch. Only One Pup: Some people feel comfortable bringing multiple dogs on their board, but keep it simple with one for now! Keep it Short: Plan your first trip to be 30 minutes on the water so your dog can get a good first taste, but not get too tired or bored. Easy On/Off: Choose a location that has easy water access such as a shoreline, ramp, or dock that is very close to the water. Easy access will make the best first experience for you and your dog. Low-Key: Practice in calm, shallow waters with no rocks or hazards. Take your first trip on a low-wind day on a lake, or maybe a slowmoving, wide river or bay in shallow (3-4 feet deep) water. The calm waters are easiest for a dog to adjust to, and easiest for you to balance, paddle, and monitor. The shallowness will let you easily get on and off the board as needed to help your pup. Gear: Don’t overpack. For your maiden voyage, just bring along the basics: sunscreen (for you and your dog—especially short-haired dogs), dry bag for your essentials, water, and water bowl. Don’t forget to bungee your gear to your board and bring along a few first aid supplies such as Band-Aids, an Ace bandage, antibacterial ointment for cuts, etc. End with a Treat: Use treats throughout the trip to reinforce training, and always reward your pooch at the end with a treat so they look forward to their next adventure!

Where to SUP: If you need to rent a board, try out Boating in DC. As one of the only rental providers in the area that permits dogs and offers doggie life

vests, it’s a solid choice for beginning paddlers. They have 8 locations throughout the DC metro, but only the ones below actually rent out SUPs. •T  he Wharf Boathouse •F  letcher’s Boathouse •K  ey Bridge Boathouse •N  ational Harbor Thompson Boat Center

If you already have a board, take a look at these possible SUP spots: Pohick Bay: 10 miles South of Old Town Alexandria, off Rt. 1, easily accessible with parking, $5 Launch Fee, Park Entrance fee if not within jurisdiction: Belle Haven Marina: 1 mile south of Old Town Alexandria off the GW Parkway, $5 Launch Fee, easy access with parking. www.saildc. com/ Riverbend Park: Great Falls, 15 miles north of Old Town off the GW Parkway, $5 Launch Fee, easy access with parking. https://www. ND Editor’s Note: Angela is not a professional SUP boarder—she’s a casual SUP enthusiast and dog lover. Always consult with an expert or experts if you have safety questions about SUP-ing, and please use caution when you’re on the water! It’s also good to check out the U.S. Coast Guard regulations for SUP-ing outside of a swimming or bathing area: https://www.



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

Treat Yourself (And Your Dog) By Bri an n a M a ssey


n this issue, we talk with Eric Parkhurst, co-owner of EJ’s Meats and Treats alongside his wife Julie. The Parkhursts created EJ’s 4 ½ years ago to supply the Virginia area with wholesome, all-natural, and safe dog and cat treats. With six kids and three dogs in the family, Eric refers to his crew as “the real-life Brady Bunch!” The Parkhursts reside in Fairfax. How did EJ’s get started? It goes back about six years. We had four kids in the house, so we would often buy half a cow to feed the whole family. The butcher asked if I wanted the parts that people typically don’t want like the heart and liver, etc. I said “sure,” and then put the organs away in the freezer. Around that same time, pet treats from overseas were being recalled, so we quit buying dog treats from stores. We did not feel safe feeding just any treats to our dogs. I thought, “We have the cow organs in the freezer, so why don’t we start making dog treats with those?” Our treats made their debut when we decided to donate a basket of them to Mutt Love Rescue for a silent auction. Everyone was like, “Where can we buy this stuff? It’s awesome!” After that, we decided to make a business out of it. I spent around eight months researching the legal aspects of the business and finding out what foods have the most nutrients and protein for dogs and cats. At first we sold to friends, but shortly after we expanded online, and now we’re in four stores in Virginia. What is one word or phrase that you would use to describe EJ’s, and why? “Treats that are good for your dogs and good for your conscience.” When making the products, we eliminate waste by using the entire animal, including the parts that humans don’t eat (but dogs love). And when you purchase the treats, not only are you supporting small businesses, but you’re also supporting American family farmers who pride themselves on all-natural and organic products. We work hard to keep our treats free from artificial preservatives and unnecessary additives. Who are your designated treat “taste testers?”

The Parkhurst pups and EJ’s official taste testers. From left to right: Katarina, Charlie, Marley.

Our taste testers are our three rescue dogs: Marley (7), Charlie (9), and Katarina (12). If we’re developing a new product, they always test it out, getting first dibs on every batch. They help us make sure that the consistency of the treats is correct, but most importantly that the taste is great! We couldn’t run EJ’s without them. Where can people find your treats? We’re currently selling our products in four retail stores in Virginia, and we will soon be expanding to a fifth. We have items in Commonwealth Dry Goods (a locally-owned small grocery store), Felix & Oscar (a family-owned independent pet food store), Great Country Farms (a pick-your-own-fruit farm), and Coco Clips (dog grooming). Our products are available online, and we even ship for free! Where do you hope to see EJ’s in the future? We hope to keep selling our treats in all-natural and organic boutiquelike pet stores and grow out that way. We have no interest in big box stores—it gets hard to support local farms that way. We also do everything in the process of creating the treats by hand, meaning that we have complete quality control from the time we get the meat until it gets into the hands of our customers. I worry that expanding to big box stores would eliminate this. Right now, the processing facility is in the basement of our house, but by the end of the year we’re hoping to buy additional land so we can build a barn for a bit more space! Visit to learn more about EJ’s and to purchase their products. ND Brianna is a Junior at the George Washington University studying Journalism and Political Science. She spends her free time professionally walking dogs in the DC area to fill the puppy void she gets from being away from her 110-lb Cane Corso, Sampson. Visit to learn more about Brianna.

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SATURDAY, OCTOBER 13 11am – 4pm FREE Pet & Family Friendly Activities:  Pet Parade & Petting Zoo  Pet Oriented Exhibitors  Pet Rescues  Children’s Entertainment  Prizes & Store Discounts



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

at The Village at Shirlington with their pets. The 11th Annual Wags n’ Whiskers event will feature 65+ onsite exhibitors ranging from pet services and accessories to onsite adoptions. In addition to the onsite exhibitors, Wags n’ Whiskers hosts pet photos ($5), live music, and children’s activities such as face painting, balloon art, strolling entertainment and more!

Sep 4


Yappy Hour, 5 pm – 7 pm Salamander Resort, Middleburg, VA

August 19 The Puppy Plunge by SPCA of Anne Arundel County, 12 pm - 3 pm Make room in your schedule to visit Camp Letts in Edgewater. Every member of your family, including the four-legged ones will have a blast! From the moon bounce, vendors, and dog bikini contest to the famous Plunge (where the beaches open up to welcome your dog), a good time will be had by all. More details to follow at

Aug 23 Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206  Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. Waiting is outdoors, so please dress for the weather. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers. Waiting is outside so dress appropriately for the weather. Rabies shot: $10.00 24PetWatch MiniChip: $35.00

Aug 25 WAGS N’ WHISKERS 2018, Saturday, 10 am – 4 pm wags-n-whiskers-2018/ Wags n’ Whiskers is a community-oriented event for animal-loving shoppers of all ages to spend an afternoon

Sept 25 Pups in the Park – Tues @ 7:05 PM. Marlins at Nationals. Proceeds from your ticket benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Purchase your tickets at nationals/tickets/promotions/themes/pups-park. $32 owner, $10 dog.

Sept 25

Sep 7


games, and pet-friendly activities. Registration fees are $35 per person. This donation helps the Humane Rescue Alliance (HRA). Canine companions are welcome.

Pups in the Park - Friday, Sep 7 @ 7:05 PM. Cubs at Nationals. Proceeds from your ticket benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Purchase your tickets at com/nationals/tickets/promotions/themes/pups-park. $32 owner, $10 dog.

Sept 16 Bichon Bash, Sunday, 11 am – 3:30 pm Bull Run Regional Park Bull Run Barn Pavilion 7700 Bull Run Drive Centreville, VA 20121 Phone: 703-631-0550 Please join us on for a fun-filled day to celebrate Bichons Frises! Rain or Shine. Volunteers are needed!! Any questions, contact Cindy Roll at

Sept 22 Walk for the Animals, 11 am – 5 pm (walk begins at 12:10 pm) TR?fr_id=1420&pg=entry Yards Park - Capitol Riverfront 355 Water St SE Washington, DC 20003 The walk route is approximately 0.7 miles and will last about 30 minutes. Also features ON TAP MAGAZINE’s Wiener 500 Dachshund Dash, with live music, exhibitor booths, local food and beer vendors, Oktoberfest

Yappy Hour, 5 pm – 7 pm Salamander Resort, Middleburg, VA

Sept 27 Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206  Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. Waiting is outdoors, so please dress for the weather. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers. Waiting is outside so dress appropriately for the weather. Rabies shot: $10.00 24PetWatch MiniChip: $35.00

OCTOBER Oct 6 Barktoberfest and GlowDogGlow 5K, Saturday The Festival: 10:30am-5:00pm Yappy Hour: 5:00pm-7:00pm GlowDOGGlow: 7-10:30pm Loudoun County Fairgrounds 17558 Dry Mill Road Leesburg VA Barktoberfest is home to the Award-Winning GlowDogGlow 5K. Join the pet-loving fun! Bring the whole family, including your beloved fur kids. We’ll be gathering for a full day’s worth of activities with NOVADog Magazine and Friends of Homeless Animals, including live music, food trucks, dog (and human) games, face painting, adoptable pets, and

Tools and Knowledge for Exceptional Pet Parents

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– PetPREP Dental Care – Emergency PET PREParedness – And More!



Courses Offered at Becky’s Pet Care SPRINGFIELD • 7200 Fullerton Rd • # B-200 HERNDON • 33-B Carlisle Drive

AUGUST 25TH • 10AM-4PM 24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2018


the only GlowDog 5K in the US! Help FOHA place more pets in new Furever Homes.

Oct 13 DogFest Walk ‘n Roll, 11:30 am – 3 pm id=1581 Reston Town Center 11900 Market Street Reston, VA 20190 DogFest DC includes a 1-mile route (fully accessible) around the shops at Reston Town Center followed by a celebration and family-friendly activities (raffles, vendors, music, dog agility course, and a costume contest). Registration is free!

Oct 13 PetOberfest, 11 am – 4 pm Stonebridge at Potomac Town Center 15201 Potomac Town Place Woodbridge, VA 22191 All are welcome to attend and enjoy free family and pet friendly activities including: a pet parade/costume contest, pet-friendly exhibitors, pet photos, children’s entertainment, store discounts, prizes, and much more.  Pet photo booth donations will benefit the Prince William SPCA. All pets in attendance must be leashed. FREE.

Oct 25 Low-Cost Rabies & Microchip Clinic, 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206  Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. Waiting is outdoors, so please dress for the weather. All dogs must be on leash and cats must be in carriers. Waiting is outside so dress appropriately for the weather. Rabies shot: $10.00 24PetWatch MiniChip: $35.00 Visit the NOVADog calendar online at ND

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HIT THE TRAIL L o c a l wa l k s t o e n j o y

You’ll see nice views of the Georgetown waterfront on your SUP adventure.

Hit the Water Trail Paddle the Potomac: Around Roosevelt Island By Angela Hazuda Meyers


or our inaugural “Hit the Water Trail” article, I chose to paddle around Roosevelt Island because it’s great for beginners and experienced paddlers. You can circle the entire island if you like, or just a small section, and it’s very easy to add additional mileage. The best features are the many put-in and take-out locations, the proximity to Georgetown (for a drink or lunch), the nice hiking trails on the island, and the incredible nature views along this part of

About Your Guide Angela Meyers is the owner of both NOVADog Magazine and a lovely pup named Maggie.

26 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2018

the river. First off, let’s choose where to put in. If you have a stand-up paddle board (SUP), you can put in from the parking lot along the GW Parkway. There isn’t a ramp, but you can find good access to the water if you’re experienced. If you need to rent or prefer a ramp, you can choose from Thompson’s Boathouse to the south or Key Bridge Boathouse to the north. There is a $5 fee for ramp usage (See “Stand Up! (With Your Pup” article on page 18 for details). For this article, I’ll describe the route starting at Thompson’s Boathouse. From Thompson’s, you will head due west towards Roosevelt Island. Take your time (if you want) and enjoy what the river has to offer! You might see a turtle or two along the way, or some other pleasant SUP-ers. Then paddle around the north side of Roo-

sevelt, towards Virginia, while keeping the island to your south side. (Basically, you’re going over the north hump.) Along this route you can look upriver, where you will get a great view of the Key Bridge and the area beyond it, called Three Sisters. In the summer, many boaters dock and hang out for the day by this peaceful trio of miniislands. Looking over towards Roosevelt Island, you’ll see mainly greenery on the north side, and if you’re lucky, you may catch a blue heron or a crane fishing along the shore. After passing along the north side of the island, start paddling south. Virginia will be on your right (or starboard side, if you want to be nautical), and the island will be on your left. You will notice a few places to head ashore, should you choose. As you paddle south, you will first pass

When you’re hitting the water trail, bring your pup along if she’s comfortable.

the Roosevelt Island parking lot on your right (the tall buildings you see beyond the parking area are Crystal City) and then head under the pedestrian bridge that leads to the island. After this, you’ll paddle under the Theodore Roosevelt (Rt. 66) Bridge. As you reach the end of the island, start paddling to your left to head around the bottom of the island and back north. This very southern tip of the island, after the Rt. 66 Bridge, does not have any easily accessible trail systems from the water. However, from this vantage you’ll get great views of the Lincoln Memorial and Washington Monument, as well as the Arlington Memorial Bridge. Not bad for a photo op! As you start heading north again, you will pass under the other side of the 66 Bridge and find an area where you can pull ashore on the island. In most locations, the hiking trail sticks close to the island’s

Next stop: Roosevelt Island!

edge, just in case you feel like being on terra firma. Off to your right, towards DC, you will see the Kennedy Center, The Watergate Hotel, and then the Georgetown waterfront and new waterfront park. Still paddling north, you’ll pass a second area to pull ashore—which I prefer. It’s located along the rocks, closer to Georgetown. You can sit on the rocks here, relax, or have a picnic, and as a bonus this area provides easy access to the hiking trails. Accessing the Roosevelt Monument is easiest from the pedestrian bridge area and this rocky area. When you’re ready, continue north and then back east across the river, over to the DC shore to return to Thompson’s Boat Center. You should find it soon after passing The Watergate. Once you’re ashore, you can congratulate yourself on a good paddling trip—and maybe find something to eat on the waterfront! ND

Did you paddle it? Please send us pictures of you with your dogs! (Include your name, your dog’s name, and your dog’s breed/age.) Or share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@ NOVADogMag), or Instagram (novadogmagazine).


Distance: 3 mile loop. Fido Friendly Features: Shaded, hiking available, gravel trails, water access. Best time to go: Early morning to hit a sunrise and beat the crowds. Otherwise morning or evening to avoid the midday sun. Check the hours of the facility you are using. Access: Parking available at Roosevelt Island Parking Lot, accessible only from the northbound lanes of the GW Parkway. Additional parking near the boat Centers; fees may apply. Note: Check out the American Canoe Association’s “rules of the road” for paddling, just to brush up on proper safety and procedure: http:// of_the_road.pdf. After all, SUPs are classified as vessels by the U.S. Coast Guard:

Rated: 1 Paw. This water trail is very easy, no swift water, generally little wake, and you can choose your distance. You are along the ferry route however, so always remain aware of other boaters—and especially the ferry.

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert


WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Rescued Dogs Are Waiting for Their Forever Homes Looking to add a family member? A Forever Home Rescue has big dogs, little dogs, gentle dogs and playful dogs ready to be adopted!

Bagel Loved by Debbie Ewald

Can't adopt? Save a life by fostering, volunteering or donating.

Adopted in: February 2016 Adopted from: A Forever Home, Chantilly, VA

How did he get his name? That was his name when I met him! Background info:

Bagel came into my life unexpectedly. I was already fostering two dogs for AFH, Buddy and Olive. I had to take both to the vet, and that is where I first met Bagel. At that time he was being fostered by another family who was moving out of the area, and Bagel was there for a checkup. When the call came out for a new foster, I did not hesitate since Bagel had already won me over.

I picked him because: After Bagel stayed with me for about 6



SEPT. 22, 2018 | 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM | CAPITOL RIVERFRONT



months, a family came forward and fell in love with him. I was extremely happy for them both, but when Bagel left I realized there was a hole in my heart. The family reached out to me when they needed a sitter, and I was more than happy to do so, relishing our time together. Then in October 2016 tragedy hit Bagel’s family, so I helped take care of Bagel with food, vet bills, and lots of love. October became February, and the family returned Bagel to the Rescue because they had a lot on their plate. When AFH asked me if I wanted to adopt Bagel, I did not hesitate.  

Favorite activity together: Bagel loves giving me kisses and taking walks

Favorite treat or snack: He loves my homemade treats that I

bake for him—his favorite is the Peanut Butter/Bacon Honey Bites.

Favorite toy: His teddy bear that has lavender sewn into its heart to help Bagel keep calm with his heart condition.

I love him because: He is a goof! (And he’s smart, too.)



| Summer 2018

A Forever-Home Rescue Foundation is a non-profit dog rescue group that operates in the Northern Virginia / Washington Metropolitan area., @aforeverhome.



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