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Summer 2009


magazine Also Inside: Take a Doggie Dip at in Area Pools After Labor Day

wine & dine

at some of Virginia’s dog-friendly wineries

summer spirits Online Edition Sponsored By: www.housepaws.com

Meet the Border Collies of Virginia’s Geese Police Wags to Riches: Adoption Success


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contents Summer 2009

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


Busting the Myth:

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs Can they peacefully coexist? By Alana Stevenson


The Art of Persuasion The Border Collies of Virginia’s Geese Police help convince flocks to nest elsewhere. By Taylor Ham D E PA RT M E N T S







News, information and products

Advice and information on canine health issues

On the Cover: Dexter, age five, owned by Ann Jachim of Reston, VA, stops for a photo on the grounds of Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, VA. Photo by Bev Hollis of Bev Hollis Photography. To view more of her work, or to schedule an appointment, please visit www.bevhollisphoto.com.

Answers to your behavior and training questions


Tips, products, and insights for greener living


Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond

Literature, arts and new media



A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

24 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories www.novadogmagazine.com



Holiday Gift Guide: Cool products for your dog and the animal lovers in your life.

The third in our series of Working Dogs: The service dogs of Guiding Eyes for the Blind.

■ Destinations:

Dog-friendly pick-your-own fruit


win free stuff! Just follow us on Facebook and Twitter!

Facebook: http://tinyurl.com/novadogFB Twitter: twitter.com/2_hounds July prizes on Facebook include: $100 cash, a weekend of free pet sitting, Zippity-Poo-Da leashes and NOVADog subscriptions! Just become a fan of our page and post a comment to enter, that’s it!

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


PUBLISHER Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com twitter.com/2_hounds CONTRIBUTORS Lee Anderson, Carol Brooks, Robin Burkett, Juliet Farmer, Michele Fisher, Taylor Ham, Bev Hollis, Ingrid King, Amanda Long, Kate LoStracco, Diana Montane, Kelly Pike, Veronica Sanchez, Alana Stevenson ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387 f: 858.400.6812 ahazuda@yahoo.com SUBMISSIONS janelle@2houndsproductions.com For writer’s guidelines, visit www.novadogmagazine.com DISTRIBUTION H.D. Services, Inc. 540.659.4331

WE’RE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Sustainability and the future of this planet are important to us. The pages of Northern Virginia Dog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. To further reduce our eco-footprint, our business cards and most promotions are printed on recycled paper, with presses that use wind-generated power. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy of Northern Virginia Dog Magazine. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, LLC. Complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area, and are available in select locations. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a distributor or to find a distributor near you. P.O. Box 30072 Alexandria, VA 22310 703.850.6963

www.novadogmagazine.co m


You won!

Congratulations to our SECOND ROUND WINNERS who will each get a pet first-aid kit from WAG’N Enterprises: Pegah Raj of Herndon, VA, and David Hotz of Arlington, VA. Thanks to everyone who answered our reader survey questions. Look for our next reader survey coming soon.

2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009

Complimentary issues disappear quickly—don’t miss an issue! Have NOVADog delivered directly to your mailbox for only $17 per year. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com to pay with your MasterCard, Visa or Discover. (Domestic U.S. delivery only.) $1 off when you enter coupon code NOVAD2 at checkout


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

Kindness Counts Herndon Youth Named ‘Be Kind to Animals Week’ Winner When Rylie Sullivan of Herndon, VA, saw a poster at the vet’s office asking for pet food donations to help families in need, he felt compelled to help. “I don’t know what it feels like to lose your pet,” says Rylie, “but I know it wouldn’t feel good.” He used his own money to make fliers and posted them on doors and mailboxes around his neighborhood. He also put out letters to family and friends, asking for pet food donations. At age 10, he and the other five kids that were named “humaneitarians” have gone above and beyond to help animals and have dedicated much of their free time to helping animals in any way they can. Rylie even wrote personal thank-you notes to each donor. Through his efforts, he was able to donate almost 1,000 pounds of food to the Humane Society of Fairfax County. Their program, AniMeals, acts as a food pantry and gives generously and without

chow hound


restriction to families with pets. The shelter, like plenty of other shelters around the country, has been inundated with pets given up by people who can no longer afford to take care of them. “We are proud to recognize their accomplishments with a prize and we hope that they will be viewed as role models for other children and adults about the importance of treating animals with compassion and respect,” says Marie Belew Wheatley, president and CEO of American Humane.

Brand new Bow Wow Breakfast, from California-based All American Pet Brands has a premium blend of natural ingredients to promote your dog’s nutrition, health and vitality. A variety of flavors and textures are sure to please even the most discriminating palate. Veterinarians now recommend more frequent meals with smaller portions, so feeding a small breakfast is the perfect way to start your dog’s day. Barkfast Squares, Chewa-Bunga, Fido Flakes, Pooch-Cheeze and Grr-nola will be hitting the local markets by early Fall, so watch for them in your neighborhood pet store. We gave out samples of Grr-nola on our Facebook page and all the doggies gave it two paws up! All products are made in the USA, are 100 percent wheat gluten free, and have not been affected by any pet food recall. To order, call 310.424.1600.

FIND it: www.bowwowbreakfast.com

Advanced Care, 24/7 Compassion, 365 When Merlin needed his trachea repaired, Anne knew where to take him. The same place that enucleated his eye and pinned his broken leg. The Hope Center’s surgical department provides life-saving and life-enriching surgical procedures for your pet.

Now Anne just has to worry about what Merlin might get into next, and not what her plan is if he does. If you ever encounter an emergency or need specialist veterinary care, do what Anne did and put your pets’ paws in our hands.

24/7 Emergency • Internal Medicine • Ophthalmology Oncology • CT Scanning • Cardiology • Surgery


703-281-5121 140 Park Street SE Vienna, VA www.novadogmagazine.com




What weighs 400 pounds, uses 300 pounds of flour, 50 pounds of peanut butter and 20 pounds of eggs? Why, the world’s largest dog biscuit of course! Dogs and their humans assembled in Libertyville, IL in June, to sample the colossal cookie at Woofstock 2009. Lambs Farm’s Woofstock is a full day festival devoted to man’s best friend. Proceeds from the event help to fund Lambs Farm’s programs dedicated to empowering adults with developmental disabilities to lead more fulfilling lives.

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Tremendous Treat

Tune in to The Animal House

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A new radio program for Metro DC area animal lovers debuted in June on WAMU 88.5 FM American University Radio. The Animal House features the latest in animal science, pet behavior and wildlife conservation. The show airs at 7 a.m. Saturdays. Host Sam Litzinger welcomes Dr. Gary Weitzman, veterinarian and executive director of the Washington Animal Rescue League, each week for a segment featuring on-air questions from area pet owners. “Washingtonians are crazy about their pets,” says Mark McDonald, WAMU 88.5’s program director. “We want to examine the intersections between human and animal behavior, but, more than that, we also want to look at the lives of animals in the wider world and hopefully increase our understanding of our planet.” Listeners may suggest topics for the show or pose questions about animal behavior by calling 202.885.8827, e-mailing animalhouse@wamu.org, or posting ideas on The Conversation at http://conversation.wamu.org/group/theanimalhouse. The Animal House, will be rebroadcast on WAMU 88.5’s HD channel 3 at 7 p.m. on Saturdays.

where dogs rule and cats meow!

cage-free grooming

no metal cages, no metal tubs, no cage dryers

eatery & boutique Hypo-allergenic, botanical, & good-for-your-dog spa products Over 40 kinds of organic and healthful baked goods, treats, kibble and canned food

Red Dog Spa: dig the difference. www.reddogspa.com | info@reddogspa.com 12158 Fairfax Towne Center - Fairfax, VA 22033 703.865.6644 Conveniently located at the intersection of Rte. 50 and Rte. 606 (West Ox Road) by Regal Cinema & TJ Maxx.

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| Summer 2009

The Port-A-Poo: picks up where your dog left off! A new product from Mind, Body & Paw, LLC solves the problem of carrying a messy bag of dog waste. You connect it to your leash, flip the latch, lay your used bag across the teeth and snap it shut. It’s a snap to use, and owner Nicole Vogle should know—she lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband and their eight dogs. “We have had such a great response that we are in the process of adding the MiniPoo (best with retractable leashes) and Port-A-Poo with Rhinestones,” says Nicole. It easily and securely attaches to any leash and is available in 5 colors; black, royal blue, red, hot pink and purple. The Port-A-Poo is available locally at Olde Towne School for Dogs (Alexandria), Dominion Pet Center (Arlington), and Bark ’N Bubbles Premier Self Service Dog Wash (Ashburn).

FIND it: www.portapoo.com


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

Unconditional Love? Priceless


here’s an ongoing question in the pet-owner world: Are you a dog person or a cat person? But which is easier on the wallet? According to industry research firm IBISWorld, the total cost to raise a dog for the full duration of their lives (an estimated 13 years) is $13,330. And in the first year, a dog owner can expect to shell out $1,966 for significant, pet related expenses.

Average cost breakdown of dog ownership Dog food


Vet bills


Pet Care/Boarding




Heartworm preventative




Source: IBISWorld.com


“Although one might think the initial outlay cost for a dog can be high, it really only represents a mere 2.6 percent per pet for the total cost over the animal’s lifetime,” explains Toon van Beeck, senior analyst with IBISWorld. “People need to realize that owning a dog is a significant expense, and in the end, the original purchase price of the animal really doesn’t factor.” In 2009, there will be about 169 million pets in the U.S.—this represents an increase of 2.4 percent from 2008. Of these pets, 39 percent of households own a dog.

Deadly and Dangerous When humans get overheated, we begin to sweat, which evaporates and cools the skin. Dogs get rid of excess body heat by panting, an inefficient means of keeping cool, that actually generates more heat from the muscle activity involved. Because their bodies are inept at cooling, watch for heat stroke while out enjoying a summer day. Signs of heat stroke are intense, rapid panting, wide eyes, salivating, staggering and weakness. Advanced heat stroke causes unconsciousness. If your pet seems to be highly agitated, wide-eyed and panting uncontrollably—start for the nearest emergency animal hospital right away with the air conditioning at full blast. Your dog’s pads can suffer heat trauma from contact with hot asphalt or other summer-scorched surfaces. And please, it’s NEVER safe to leave your dog in a parked car, even in the shade with temperatures in the 70s. You’d be shocked to find out just how fast heat stroke can occur. There are times when you need to consider if the wisest decision might be to leave the dog at home if you won’t be able to provide him frequent relief from the heat and humidity.



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6 Northern Virginia Dog

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| Summer 2009

Deciphering Your Dog’s Diet


he pet store—it’s bright with glossy, colorful pictures. You find yourself walking up and down every aisle, reading every label, sniffing every bag (well your fur ball does anyway.) So many choices, special ingredients, sizes, prices and promises! This one says it’s scientific, that one says it has exclusive “Joint Super Power Complex” with “Brain Enhancing, Mega Smarty-Pants Serum.” Wow! What in the world is Mega Smarty-Pants Serum? All those adorable pictures and rows of promises can make choosing a great dog food bewildering. So how do you sift through all the clever marketing and get to the truth? Here are some basics—Forget all the jingles, coin phrasing and exclusive claims. Read the ingredients and follow some simple rules. Keep in mind that ingredients must be listed in descending order according to weight.

❶ Avoid possible allergy-causing ingredients. The three most common potential allergens in many dog foods are corn, wheat and soy. Foods containing these ingredients are sometimes to blame for those “hot spots” (small area of irritation where the skin is open and the area beneath is oozing and sore,) red eyes or paws, itchy scratchy skin, licking and chewing of the paws or legs and big mushy stools (Yuck!) Keep in mind that dogs can be allergic to just about anything—so if a change in diet doesn’t help, you should consult your Vet. ➋ Steer clear of the potentially dangerous. Chicken and “other animal by-products” can include the neck, feet, brain, blood, intestines, ligaments, lungs, and under-developed eggs. By products are not for human consumption and are usually considered an inferior source of protein. The three most common synthetic preservatives are ethoxyquin, butylated hydroxytoluene (BHT) and butylated hydroxyanisole (BHA). You might also find propyl gallate or propylene glycol (banned in cat food and also used as a less toxic version of antifreeze.) Although the FDA deems them generally safe, some studies have identified them as possible cancer-causing agents. Look for natural preservatives like Vitamin E (mixed tocopherols), Vitamin C (ascorbate) and oils such as clove or rosemary. ➌ Specialty diets. Biologically Appropriate Raw Food (BARF, aka raw) is likely the most similar adaptation of a natural Canidae (biological family includes dogs, wolves, foxes, coyotes and jackals) diet. However, it can be cost prohibitive and time consuming to recreate at home. Make sure to properly handle the raw ingredients and clean up thoroughly. Wash water bowls daily. Some low/no grain diets use potato, peas and other starchy vegetables to replace grains like rice and wheat. These diets may be higher in fat, protein, sugar and calories, so be sure to pay attention to the guaranteed analysis percentages on the label.

➍ Marketing mania. There are basic standards for nutritional levels set forth by the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) for all pet foods based on life stages. The rest, as long as it fits into their guidelines, is a result of marketing and demand. Breed specific formulas do not contain special ingredients that are specific to the color and size of a dog. They are actually comprised of varying amounts of the same ingredients found in regular dog foods. Typically, the “special” ingredient is a combination of several regular ingredients with a fancy name and a fancier price. As it turns out, Smarty-Pants Serum is simply a combination of Niacin (B3,) Riboflavin (B2) and fish oil. All of which are common in premium foods. ➎ Where do your ingredients come from? With global corporations come global ingredients. Familiarize yourself with the dog foods that have been recalled and why. Incredibly, the list is too long to include here, but the FDA maintains a data base at www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/petfoodrecall. Back at the pet store you’re staring at a picture of your favorite childhood puppy on a bag of dry dog food. You’re drifting off to another time, distracted by the happy memories. But instead of buying the bag because it makes you feel warm and fuzzy, you read the ingredients—confident that you are now an educated consumer. Kate LoStracco is Managing Partner of Canine Caterers a local familyowned and operated company delivering puper premium pet food—right to your d oor. Reach her at info@caninecaterers.com.


There she was, terrified of the world and huddled in the corner of the stall in the barn where the adoptions were being held. They said she was part of a home foreclosure, but she also had been bred and had a litter of puppies that were all twice her size at 6 months of age; she was still almost literally still a pup herself. I wanted a large dog, but knew in that magical instant that she was “the one.” We went home and for the next several weeks I realized her past had not been a pleasant one. “Maddie” as I renamed her, was frightened and uncertain of whom she could trust. She had no clue what to do with all the fun toys I provided her with, and numerous times reacted to things as if she’d felt the sting of a hand on her back. My Maddie will turn 5 years old this June...she absolutely rulz because she has blossomed and is the best friend a girl could want. It amazes me that even with her sordid past she is still capable of SO MUCH love! She is a joy to hike with, play with and just to watch...with her Aussie/Border Collie genes she flies with reckless abandon; running is her passion. She is such a GOOD girl, and I tell her so often. I ADORE her!! So I suppose I can summarize by simply stating: “My dog rulz simply because of her sheer joy in living and being alive.” Jackie Phillips lives in Bluemont, VA, with her dog Maddie and is the winner of the first official “My Dog Rulz” contest.

Sick care • Injury care • Routine Exams • Vaccines • Anything BUT Surgery or X-rays Can Be Done In Your Home

House Paws In-Home Veterinary Care We Bring The Vet to the Pet Perfect for: multiple pets pet that doesn’t like a trip to the vet

busy households and anyone who values convenience and personal service.

We come into your home to perform all services so that your pets are relaxed and comfortable. We often find that pets that are difficult at the vet find an in-home veterinary visit a non-event, especially cats. Dr. Knode emphasizes preventative care to detect and manage health issues before they become a crisis, usually resulting in lower cost care over the life of your pets and a healthier pet.

Toll Free: 1-888-345-7879 In Virginia: 703-264-7879

www.housepaws.com www.novadogmagazine.com



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

The Scoop on Destructive Chewing B y Ve r o n i c a S a n c h e z

supervision as young puppies and occasionally even more. Some dogs can be left unsupervised in the home at around a year and a half of age for brief time periods. However, many dogs need to be confined to a dog-proofed area when they are not directly supervised until they are two or even older. Unfortunately, if a young dog has an opportunity to practice destructive behavior repeatedly it can become a lifelong bad habit. This is why it is crucial to confine your young dog in a safe, dog-proofed area when you cannot watch him.

Help! My dog is a path of destruction! My ninemonth-old terrier mix is chewing everything in sight and is damaging my furniture. What do I do? QUESTION

Nothing is worse than coming home after a long day at work and finding that your dog chewed the leg off your coffee table. Unfortunately, dogs do not understand the value of our furniture and possessions; and they have no appreciation for beautiful home décor! Puppies and young dogs explore the world using their mouths. Chewing is a normal and natural behavior for them. Many owners allow their dogs to have unsupervised, free run of the house long before they are ready. Young dogs need to be directly supervised when they are not crated or in a dog-proofed location. Baby gates and exercise pens may be used to dog-proof an area in the home. Make sure to prevent your dog from accessing electrical wires or accidentally turning on appliances. Provide plenty of exercise opporANSWER

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

8 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009

tunities, playtime, and appropriate outlets for chewing behavior. Stocking up on dog toys and chews is an investment that pays off. After all, toys are cheaper than new furniture! Dog daycare is another possibility for busy owners with active, friendly dogs. Tired dogs with interesting lives are less likely to shred the couch.

Dog Proof Your Home Just because your four-month-old puppy has never chewed on furniture does not mean that you are out of the woods. It is not unusual for dogs to become more destructive when they reach adolescence. “Teenage” dogs need just as much

Separation Anxiety While immaturity and inadequate supervision are common reasons that dogs engage in destructive chewing, there are also more serious possibilities. Dogs that are only destructive when they are left alone might be showing signs of separation anxiety. Other indications of separation anxiety include barking when left alone and whining, panting or pacing when the owner is getting ready to leave the home. Dogs that frequently consume inedible objects may have a problem called “pica.” Medical conditions need to be ruled out by a veterinarian because they can impact behavior as well. Fortunately, with help from a qualified dog behavior professional, most behavior problems can be addressed successfully. Dogs that are stressed or destructive can hurt themselves, so it is important to get help quickly. ND


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


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

Doggie Spas Get Eco-Friendly Products good for the environment and your pooch get two paws up By Julie t F a r m e r


ext time your canine is in need of a bath, why not opt for some spa-like pampering? Add some eco-friendly products and services to the mix, and you’ll wind up with a wash that’s good for both the environment and your pooch. At Bark ’N Bubbles Dog Wash, LLC, located in both Ashburn and Herndon, canine owners can opt for self service or leave the pooch pampering to an expert. “A big issue that occurs in most dogs is having dry, itchy, sensitive skin,” explains Bark ’N Bubbles corporate manager Mandi Perry. “A great deal of the time, skin issues are caused by using too harsh of a product for your pet’s skin type. In order to provide the best washing experience, we always do a brief evaluation of the pet, before we make a suggestion as to what shampoo and conditioner would be best.” Bark ’N Bubbles uses products that are soap free, chemical free, or naturally or organically made (don’t miss the completely hypoallergenic oatmeal wash specifically for sensitive skin). Spa clients also receive a South Bark’s Blueberry Facial complimentary with each wash.

A Positive Impact “We believe in having a happy and healthy pet, and for us, green products are one of the best things we can do for our customers,” notes Perry. “We try our best to make a positive impact on our planet, as well as improve the well-being of our pets.” In addition to using and selling eco-friendly products, the Bark ’N Bubbles facility itself features energy-efficient lighting, daily recycling, and even uses eco-friendly cleaning products and biodegradable trash bags. Red Dog Spa, located in Fairfax, also uses ecofriendly products, such as Happy Tails Sparkle and Shine, an all-natural wash product that’s cruelty free. “Today’s pet parents are concerned about the ingredients in the products they use on their pets,” notes Red Dog Spa owner Terri Garretson, “and they are demanding that product quality be superior to ensure the safety of their pets. We’ve

translated these requests into finding products that are monitored by appropriate Federal agencies for product safety.”

Plenty of Choices Red Dog Spa uses and sells many eco-friendly products, such as Dry Dog Instant Clean; Dog Smog; Earthbath shampoos, grooming wipes, and ear and eye wipes; Aroma Paws products; Sexy BeastTM 100 percent vegan hypoallergenic fragrance and finishing products; and Biogroom, a pH-balanced waterless shampoo with no alcohol. Tear-stained dogs benefit from Eye Immunity, a dual-action program that clears tear stains and is allnatural and alcohol-free. For dry noses and paws, the spa uses Bow Wow Butter Balm, which contains shea butter and aloe. “We sell and use green products because they are kind to Mother Nature, they are good for our canine clients, and because we want to reduce our carbon paw print and be good stewards for our environment,” adds Garretson. Even the bottles on Red Dog Spa’s shelves are green—product containers are made from recycled post consumer resin, and labels are made with FiberStone, a paperless, all natural material that uses no trees. According to Garretson, Red Dog Spa’s entire store layout is also designed to minimize the stress of traditional grooming. The spa uses an appointment-only system, as opposed to lots of dogs showing up all at once and kept in cages until they can be groomed. (Red Dog Spa clients lounge in individual canine corrals with cots and access to water and potty breaks, if there is a wait to be had.) “Within five weeks of opening our spa, we already had clients telling us that our low-stress environment had a positive impact on their pooch,” adds Garretson. So the next time your pooch needs a bath, head to one of these spas, and know that the pampering will be as good for your four-legged friend as it is for the planet. ND

green grooming

Bark ’N Bubbles Dog Wash

barknbubblesdogwash.com 20604 Gordon Park Sq, #170 Ashburn, VA 703.729.3161 795 Center Street Suite 1A & B Herndon, VA 703.437.WASH (9274) Red Dog Spa

reddogspa.com 12158 Fairfax Towne Center Fairfax, VA 703.865.6644

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




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

Summer Spirits: Northern Virginia’s Dog-friendly Wine Country By Kelly Pike


arrel Oak Winery began with a dream. Sharon Roeder imagined waking to check the vines each morning with her dogs, a cup of coffee and the mist on the mountains. Roeder and her husband Brian didn’t know anything about making wine or operating a vineyard. They weren’t independently wealthy. But that didn’t stop them from opening their Delaplane, VA, winery in 2008, a sophisticated yet rustic space dedicated to two of their great loves: wine and dogs. Today Barrel Oak Winery, or B.O.W. for short, is a dog- and people-friendly space where canine owners can sample the latest vintage with their best friends in tow. On any weekend afternoon, dogs are sunning on the patio, wagging their tails in the tasting room and sniffing through the vineyard. Framed photos of dogs decorate the walls. Specially installed barrel stays around the bar double as leash holders—ideal for preventing wine from spilling from your hand if Fido is the type to abruptly investigate the dog across the room.

More to Explore

Spot, owned by Lauren Smith and David Cowern of Charlottsville, enjoyed a frolic on the grounds of Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville, VA. Photographed by Bev Hollis. To see more of Bev’s work visit www.bevhollisphoto.com.

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Best of all: It’s not the only winery in northern Virginia that welcomes dogs. Northern Virginia has more than 30 wineries, many of which allow dogs in the tasting room or on the grounds. Whether you are looking to drink a glass of wine or buy a bottle or two, there is a winery for you and your dog. At Breaux Vineyards in Purcellville dogs aren’t just welcome, they are openly pampered with custom doggie treats shaped like wine bottles, water bowls and, at times, even kiddie pools where they can cool off. It’s all part of the Breaux family’s tradition of incorporating a dog-friendly aspect to their business whenever possible. “So many dog lovers consider their pets part of their family, and they shouldn’t be exiled from entering public places,” says Jennifer Breaux Blosser, hospitality & events manager at the family-run winery. “We embrace the dogs who visit just like we would any regular customer.” That means dogs get a special night of their own during Friday night “Yappy Hours” from 5 to 7 p.m. during the months of June, July and September. Canines enjoy socialization while their owners can sample Breax’s 13 different wines, including its award winning

IF YOU GO: Many Virginia wineries welcome leashed, wellbehaved dogs. It’s best to call ahead to find out if your dog will be welcome in the tasting room or on the vineyard grounds, especially on busy days. Barrel Oak Winery, 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane, VA—It’s no coincidence the initials for this winery are B.O.W. Pups are welcome in the tasting room and can run free in a fenced area outside. $7-$10 per tasting. Closed Tuesdays. www.barreloak.com. 540.364.6402 Breaux Vineyards, 36888 Breaux Vineyards Lane, Purcellville, VA—Dogs always welcome inside and around the winery, especially

Giving Back Another benefit of dog-friendly wineries is that many of them host fundraisers and adoption events for dog rescue groups as well as human charities. Breaux has hosted events for Blue Ridge Greyhound Adoption and groups dedicated to Great Danes and Boxers, among others. At B.O.W. ten cents of every bottle currently goes to Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training, adding up to about $3,000 in the first year. The winery has also raised nearly $13,000 by hosting events for Middleburg Humane and Lost Dog & Cat Rescue Foundation, while helping raise funds for events such as the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. But ultimately, a winery is a farm. And what’s a farm without a dog? “The dogs come in, look around and do a double take,” says Roder of his dream-come-true winery and vineyard. “So often we have to leave our dogs behind. Here the dogs are scrambling to get inside.” ND Lee Anderson

Bev Hollis

Viognier, which has a tropical aroma and a crisp, acidic finish. Dog vendors are on hand to offer wares, and water stations are sponsored by the family’s North Carolina realty firm, which offers pet-friendly rentals. Lost Creek Winery and Vineyards in Leesburg has welcomed leashed dogs into its tasting room for the past seven years, according to co-owner Carol Hauck. On a typical day, 9 to 10 wines are available for tasting, including a semi-sweet yet crisp Vidal Blanc. In addition to two gazebos and many tables for relaxing or enjoying a picnic lunch, the winery also has miles of roads winding through the vineyards that are ideal for walking off a glass of Lost Creek’s finest with your canine companion. “It’s a nice area for the dogs to be outside,” says Hauck. “You can walk your dog along the countryside and take in the views of horse country.” The three generations of Bogaty’s that operate Veramar Vineyard in Berryville have long been dog lovers. Once upon a time, a dog they owned named Pebbles was featured in a book about dogs and wine. Today visitors to the vineyard can expect an enthusiastic greeting from winery pugs Genghis Khan and Ming Dynasty. While dogs aren’t allowed in the tasting room, on Saturday, July 18, the 100-acre private estate and winery will play host to the Dog Days of Summer from 1 to 3 p.m. It’s an opportunity for dogs and their owners to meet and greet one another while enjoying a glass of 2007 Chardonnay or Cabernet Franc, both bronze medal winners at the 2009 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Dog treats will be on hand. Taking your dog to a winery involves common sense, says Vermar’s owner, Jim Bogaty. “Dogs should be on a leash, under control and owners should clean up after their pets,” he says. Brian Roeder of B.O.W. also suggests calling ahead to make sure dogs are welcome and to find out whether

picnics are permitted on site. Roeder’s winery encourages visitors to bring food and enjoy the winery’s expansive patio and perhaps a glass of Chocolate Lab, a red wine infused with essences drawn from coco beans. It’s one of 11 wines the winery produces. And if a dog needs to burn off energy before the ride home, dogs are allowed to run off leash in a fenced vineyard 200 feet from the patio. (B.O.W. also welcomes children and has a vast lawn area where they can play.)

MODEL CANINE—Golden Retrievers Barley and Justice share the duties of spokesdog at Barrel Oak Winery by modeling for the winery’s labels. Barley appears on the BowHaus Red while Justice mugs on the BowHaus White. The special bottles were released in May to celebrate B.O.W’s first year in business. Local photographer Lee Anderson (www.photolee. com) photographed the dogs for owners Brian and Sharon Roeder. Lee Anderson’s black and white photography exhibit entitled “Porties and Their Running Mates” runs through July 19 at Barrel Oak Winery.

More wine? Visit the Virginia Wine Dogs Blog: The adventures of two wine-loving dogs— Munchkin the Yorkie and Pomeroy the Pom—as they travel Virginia’s wineries and vineyards. (http://vawinedogs.blogspot.com)

during Friday night “Yappy Hours.” $5-$10 per tasting. www.breauxvineyards.com 800.492.9961 Lost Creek Winery and Vineyards, 43277 Spinks Ferry Road, Leesburg, VA—Those with dogs in tow are welcome inside the tasting room and on the many walking trails. $3 per tasting. Closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. www.lostcreekwinery.com 703.443.9836 Veramar Vineyard, 905 Quarry Road Berryville, VA—Hosts the Dog Days of Summer on Saturday, July 18 from 1 to 3 p.m. Dogs allowed on the grounds, but not in the tasting room since food is prepared inside. $5 per tasting. www.veramar.com 540.955.5510

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




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

Paws for Refreshment: Take the Pooch to the Pool By Ama n d a L o n g

Dogs come far and wide to enjoy the Northern Virginia Parks and Recreation Authority’s Doggie Swim Day, which has grown bigger each year. Photos by Robin Burkett of Paw Prints Photography. To see more of her work, please visit www. pawprintsphotography.com.

12 Northern Virginia Dog


nce a year, at public pools across the D.C. metro region, not a single lifeguard whistle blows even as the “no running” rule is widely ignored. No fun-loving youngster is forced to stop, mid-frolic, to get out of the pool and let the grown-ups do their laps during the dreaded adult swim. And most of this day’s bathing beauties don’t even own a swimsuit. Is this anarchy in Arlington? A bachelor party gone bad in Bethesda? Nope, it’s just the local park authorities letting their facilities go undeniably to the dogs. It seems only fair that the namesake of such a popular stroke would get their very own day to doggie paddle in public, and that’s exactly what the city of Rockville, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties, and Northern Virginia Parks Authority do when they hold their annual dog swims at the end of the summer swim season. “They have such a blast—you would not believe it, dogs of all sizes, everywhere,” says Trish Gill, aquatics supervisor for Montgomery County. For the past three years, Gill and her staff have run through the doggie drill to get the Wheaton/Glenmont facility ready for the annual Pooch Party. They empty the pool, hose it down and fill it with chlorine-free water to levels just below the filters (to avoid a flotilla of fur clogging the drains). The first year, 75 dogs showed up. Last year, 300 had the full run of the three pools—and plenty of free treats. The baby pool is reserved for pint-size pooches (under | Summer 2009

15 pounds,) while Labradors rule the deep end. A beach entry pool allows cautious canines to gradually get their paws wet. Even those keeping their fur dry got in on the action last year, with a talent show and a “Doggie Survivor” game. The Pooch Party has become popular enough to require that hallmark of ballet classes and elite preschools: a waiting list. Registration begins a month in advance on the county’s web site; those on the waiting list are called on the day of the event if registered swimmers don’t show. Gill isn’t surprised to see so many drooling to dive in. “Dogs are a big part of people’s lives around here, so they want to share traditions like going to the pool with them,” she said. Montgomery County was inspired by the success of Rockville’s Doggie Dip Day. Held annually since 2003, Doggie Dip Day has become a canine summertime tradition. Last year, in addition to 440 dogs, there were five vendors, including a trainer and doggie optometrist, onsite rabies vaccinations, a vet, dog licensing and a food drive for humans, says Deborah Bouwkamp, the city’s aquatics supervisor. Across the Potomac, dogs have their choice of five pools, scattered throughout Arlington and Fairfax counties. The Northern Virginia Parks and Recreation Authority began hosting its Dog Days agency-wide three years ago. Many of the sites also offer sprinklers, slides,

gradual entries and water parks for those who don’t just want to jump right in. Though traditional pool rules (no running, no eating) are suspended, organizers do have some guidelines for keeping the party from becoming one big, hot hairy mess: ■ Do not cut your dog’s toenails before the event because they’ll need all the extra nails they can get running on the concrete (Bleeding nails are the most common injury treated by the on-site vet, Bouwkamp says). ■ Know how well your dog likes the water. Like any pool party, there are bullies who want to push the unwilling into the water. Those bullies are you and me. “People often just assume their dog knows how to swim and wants to—but you know, they just may not be in the mood or may not like the crowd,” Gill says. “Do not force them.” Not only will Rover freak out, but you’ll likely be the one jumping in to pull out a heavy, wet, flailing-about dog. Remember, this is about the dog having fun, not getting a great picture for your Facebook page or holiday card. Let your puppy get acclimated to water without the pressure or distraction of 300 other scents. ■ Oh, and don’t be ashamed to put your swimmer in a pair of custom-dog water wings; Gill assures us that plenty of dogs need a little help in the ruff waters. ND

IF YOU GO: Virginia NOVA Parks Authority Dog Days at Downpour Water Park/Algonkian Regional Park (Sterling), Bull Run Water Park (Centreville), Great Waves at Cameron Run Regional Park (Alexandria), Pirate’s Cove at Pohick Bay Regional Park (Lorton) and Upton Hill Regional Park (Arlington). When: TBD, usually Sunday after Labor Day, last year’s was from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. Rules: No preregistration required. Dogs must have a current license and rabies vaccination. Owners must fill out a liability form, available before the event. Fee: $5 per dog; www.nvrpa.org Maryland Montgomery County Pooch Party at Wheaton/Glenmont Pool When: TBD, usually Sunday after Labor Day Rules: Online registration required (opens a month before the event) Written proof of a current rabies vaccination is required, Montgomery County residents must show proof of a current dog license. Fee: $5 per dog; www.montgomerycountymd.gov/rec Rockville Doggie Dip Day at Rockville Municipal Swim Center When: TBD, usually, first Sunday after Labor Day Rules: Current rabies certificate or letter from vet stating that they’ve received the shots. Fee: $5 per dog; www.rockvillemd.gov/swimcenter/dogdip.htm Prince George’s County Doggie Dive-In at Ellen Linson Swimming Pool, College Park When: TBD, usually the first Saturday in October. Rules: Dogs must be friendly, social, and curbed before entering pool. Maximum 2 dogs per person. Fee: $2 per dog; (301) 277-3719; www.pgparks.com/places/sports fac/swim.html

Amanda Long is the managing editor of a trade magazine and a freelance writer in Falls Church, who’s counting the days until her beagle Bailey reports for swim duty this summer.




Fighting Like CAtS And DOgS Can cats and dogs peacefully coexist or are they destined to fight like... well, cats and dogs? B y A l a n a Stevenson

Photo by Robin Burkett of Paw Prints Photography. To see more of her work or to schedule an appointment, visit www.pawprints photography.com.

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ntroducing your new dog to your existing pets can take time, but they can coexist happily together. Many dogs are quite gentle with cats, while some need training and guidance— others need management. Unfortunately, when owners introduce dogs to cats, and vice versa, the usual scenario is the dog chases the cat, and the poor kitty ends up hiding, and subsequently living, in the bedroom, spare room or basement. This is unnecessary and not fair to either animal. Your cat should not be, and does not have to be, relegated to a basement. Below are some helpful tips to follow when introducing a dog and a cat to each other. If you have a dog who is shy, fearful, or timid, and a kitty who is aggressive, territorial or confident, reverse some of these suggestions.

A Restful Place Designate a room or location in the house that is quiet and entirely your cat’s territory. Teach your dog that he is not allowed in this area. Use a gate or install a cat door to keep this area off limits to your dog. Your dog should not have access to litter boxes or to your cat’s food. In addition, your cat should not be forced to dodge your dog or pass your dog to get to his or her food bowl or litter pan. Make sure your cat has extra hiding spots and places to climb to escape from your dog. Invest in a few good cat trees

or cat condos. Use Feliway (a synthetic pheromone) plug-ins to calm and soothe your kitty while she is adjusting to the new addition. Let your dog and cat get used to each others’ smells and sounds through a closed door. Reward your dog for showing calm behavior. Treat and feed your kitty when your dog is nearby. When your dog is calmer and more mild-mannered around your cat, your cat will relax around your dog.

Successful Introductions Your kitty should be in rooms first whenever possible. At least initially, your cat should get more attention from you. Exercise your dog before introducing your dog to your cat. If your dog has just run four or five miles or has been on a long hike, he will likely be less energetic, and hopefully a bit calmer when meeting your cat. Use a front-clip body harness when introducing your dog to your cat for the first time and make sure to have your dog on a leash. You may even consider having him on a leash for the first couple of weeks because it will give you more control. It will also prevent your dog from chasing your cat and will allow you to reward him for ignoring your kitty. Reward your dog for behaving gently around your cat. Most importantly, reward your dog anytime he looks away from your cat. Feed your cat and dog together. If your cat is afraid of your dog, feed them in

separate rooms, but so they can visually see each other. This way, you can begin to establish a positive association between them. Always place your kitty on higher surfaces than your dog. This not only protects your cat, but makes your kitty feel more confident. If your kitty is less likely to run, your dog will be less likely to chase.

Good Manners Go a Long Way Teach your dog polite manners. Train your dog using positive reinforcement when your cat is in the room. This will teach your dog how to behave when the cat is present and teach him to listen to you. Engage your dog in play when your kitty is in the room. If your dog does not chase or pursue your cat, he should be given a fantastic reward. Give your dog and cat reasons to like each other. Feed them extra good food and treats when they see each other. Prevent any negative interactions or altercations from occurring, and manage the environment so that your dog can be rewarded for exhibiting friendly, non-threatening behaviors. Prevent your dog from chasing your cat by immediately interrupting your dog and redirecting your dog to a more appropriate behavior, such as his favorite chew toy. When you are not there to supervise, your dog and cat should be separated until you know they will behave well with each other. With a little common sense, patience and perseverance it’s possible for your pets to coexist peacefully. If after trying all of these tips your pets still do not get along, consult an expert animal trainer or behaviorist for help. ND Alana Stevenson, M.S., CDBC, is a professional dog and cat behavior specialist, dog trainer, and dog and cat massage therapist. She is the author of The Right Way the First Time: Teaching Your Dog Kindly and Humanely. Reach her at pethelp@k9kitty.com

FAST FRIENDS: 13-year-old Louis the cat lives with owners Tina and Alyssa in Arlington, VA, along with their laid-back pup Boudreaux—whom they adopted in September 2008 from A Forever Home. “Tina purchased a very nice bed for Boudreaux and had his name embroidered on it,” explains Alyssa. “Louis sleeps with Boudreaux on that bed so often that she keeps saying we should have Louis’ name put on it, too.”



Getting Along Famously By Diana Montane


Lee Anderson

fine art black & white pet portraiture


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16 Northern Virginia Dog

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ctress Barbara Niven, of Los Angeles, CA, works tirelessly on behalf of those who have no voice. Niven, and animal activist friend Phyllis Botti, host an internet radio show called Animal Rescue: Where to Go, What to Do, How to Help (www.bigmediausa.com). To get their message out, they profile rescues across the country, so people can learn to make a difference in their own corner of the world. “We have a big family now, because I keep rescuing more and more kids!” Niven laughs. “I have my Lucy, the Yorkie. I named her that because I love the show I Love Lucy!” she laughs again, adding that she thinks she and Lucy are “starting to look alike.” But Barbara Niven doesn’t love only Lucy the Yorkie. “We have two Chihuahuas named Lola and Pepper, and one big, handsome black cat named Bammer,” says Niven. “I took Lucy with me to Helen Woodward’s Animal Center in San Diego to pick out a cat. Most of them were scared of my active Yorkie, but Bammer let her run right up to him! And he’s three times Lucy’s size!” says Niven. “He put his paws around Lucy, started licking her head and they fell in love,” says the proud pet mom. “Now Bammer grooms Lucy every morning when she wakes up!” Barbara explains. “It’s so funny because her fur stands straight up with the cat-spit pomade, but she thinks she looks really cool!” Niven takes her tribe out together for walks. “Yes, we even take Bammer! I got him a cat stroller, and everyone stares at us. I’d like to think that they’re thinking what a nice pack we have! But they probably think I’m a little crazy! And we all sleep together on my bed, even Bammer—good thing it’s a big bed. It’s also a great boyfriend test!” she says with a wicked laugh. Wicked is how film and television audiences might think of Latin bombshell Maria Conchita Alonso, who starred recently as two spicy moms: Lucia, Eva Longoria’s mother in Desperate Housewives, and Alejandra, the eccentric mother of Sarah Chalke in the Lifetime miniseries, Maneater. But make no mistake, this actress is a softie when it comes to animals, although she can also be a most aggressive, eloquent activist. Alonso received congratulatory letters, one from the president of the Humane Society for her massive campaign against Michael Vick, the Atlanta Falcons’ quarterback who was charged with

Welcome to Your New Home Adding a new dog to the family takes patience and pet owners can have problems if it’s not handled properly. Younger dogs adapt pretty easily, while older animals might show discomfort with the new family member. Intact (unneutered) animals tend to have more difficulties than neutered pets, but remember that it can take several weeks to recover from a spay/neuter surgery. Allow plenty of time for recovery

before the stress of the transition to a new home. When selecting your new dog, make your other pets part of the process. Have your dog meet the new “potential” dog while you are still searching. Hold the meeting in a neutral setting, such as a friend’s fenced back yard. The new dog should be limited to an area or crate until everyone is acclimated. Always praise the existing dog first, so the new dog sees

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Actresses Maria Conchita Alonso (left) and Barbara Niven.

orchestrating dog fights. “We have to be very harsh with people who bring suffering to our fellow creatures,” says Alonso. This accomplished actress even declined numerous invitations to attend Oscar parties last year, because her Bichon, Chabocha, had knee surgery and she wanted to stay home with the pooch. The actress also had three cats, Sabana, Bebe and Chiqui, and tells us she was heartbroken when she had to put Sabana to sleep last year. “They were such good friends, Chabocha and Sabana,” she laments. “They used to play hide-and-seek together!” But Chabocha, to whom Alonso refers as “my little lamb” because she follows the actress everywhere—even while learning lines—gets along with everyone. “Bebe is like a little panther,” she describes one of her feline companions. “She thinks she runs the household, but of course Chabocha does!” she laughs. “Chiqui is a Siamese and very playful.” Our Springer Spaniel is called Rainbow because she really was—we got her after the unexpected passing of a Rottweiler we loved. We had a cat who had also passed whom Rainbow doted on. I adopted a beautiful and fluffy Turkish Angora. “You are getting a kitty!” we told Rainbow. We’d already decided to name the cat Lilith. But when Lilith first arrived, because of all the fanfare from Rainbow, the poor thing jumped on top of the fridge, and stayed there for two days. After that, Lilith slowly started to realize that Rainbow wouldn’t hurt her, and gradually, they became used to one another! Now Lilith plays with Rainbow’s tail and pats her face, and Rainbow has a best friend forever! Whatever your technique, here’s the deal, and Barbara Niven had the right idea: Let them meet first, and see how that intro goes; make certain there are no jealousy issues and that each pet has his or her own space; and do use the reward system for affectionate and friendly behavior. It will rain cats and dogs! ND

you praising the pack order. It’s best to ignore some situations and let the dogs work it out themselves. Dogs will play hard, which is normal, but pay attention to their body posture and verbal sounds to see if this is a time to intervene. When you have a cat that rules the roost, handle the situation in similar manner. It’s best not to change anything with the cat’s routine. Let the cat investigate the dog while the dog is in a confined

area or crate. This should happen for a couple of weeks and make sure to keep their visits supervised. Do your research, be patient and consult a trainer about integrating new pets. Remember, you’re a hero for adopting a pet in need and having one big happy family. Michele Fisher is an Obedience Dog Trainer and President of Always There Pet Care LLC (www. alwaystherepetcare.com).

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When called to task, the Border Collies of Virginia’s Geese Police help convince flocks to nest elsewhere By Taylor Ham

Ace, one of Cathy Fiddler’s Border Collies, is suited up and ready for a day’s work.


working dogs

Article number two in a three-part series

18 Northern Virginia Dog

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n a typical summer morning, my Basset Hound puppy lazily rolls over in bed and practically begs me though droopy eyelids to let him sleep just a bit longer. Over in Leesburg, Virginia, however, Cathy Fiddler’s Border Collies Ace, Bet and Scat are up at dawn, tails wagging, eager to begin a hard day of work. Early summer is prime nesting season for Canada geese, and this dynamic trio has an important job to do—goose patrol.

The Trouble with Geese The Canada geese’s signature “V” flight makes them one of the most widely recognized waterfowl species in North America. What was once a bird whose distinctive migration symbolized the changing seasons, has now become something else entirely—a nuisance. In the past few decades, Canada geese have drastically altered their lifestyles in response to changing landscapes that favor manicured lawns, parklands and artificial ponds where they find plenty of food and protection from predators. Wildlife biologists estimate that the resident Canada goose population is increasing by 15 percent annually and say their sheer numbers are quickly overwhelming habitats. According to Charles Smith, Senior Natural Resource Specialist for the Fairfax County Park Authority, the geese cause a great deal of localized environmental damage by ripping up native plants along shorelines and producing huge amounts of feces that pollute water bodies. “It’s an economic issue as well,” Smith says. “Local golf courses devote up to two full-time staff members and spend about $30,000 a year just cleaning up goose droppings.” As it is a federally protected migratory species, options for controlling the population of Canada geese are limited. Strategies such as noise makers, balloons and decoys often fail as geese adapt to them. Smith and his colleagues recommend an integrated approach that includes landscape management and harassment techniques to make potential nesting areas less goose-friendly. “One of the most effective methods we’ve found,” Smith says, “has been the use of trained Border Collies.”

An Idea Is Hatched This is where Ace, Bet and Scat come in. These three beautiful Border Collies are the hard working employ-

ees of Geese Police of Virginia, a company Alexandria native Cathy Fiddler started in 1999 in response to the increasing demand for goose control services in Northern Virginia. The idea for this unique business came to Cathy quite unexpectedly, when she acquired “Tippy,” a Border Collie mix puppy who proved to be too energetic for her father-in-law’s quiet lifestyle. “Tippy got into an unbelievable amount of trouble,” Cathy says. “She would knock over trash cans, take off chasing deer across the fields and create a whole host of other problems.” Determined not to give up on such an affectionate and intelligent dog, Cathy searched the internet for information about Border Collies and soon became involved in Frisbee and sheep herding competitions in an effort to give Tippy something to do that would “tire her out.” It was at a Frisbee event that she met a fellow competitor who was using his Border Collie to remove geese from golf courses in Pennsylvania. This was enough to fuel Cathy’s entrepreneurial spirit, and before long she and Tippy became the co-founders of a fledgling company dedicated to the humane removal of geese from commercial properties in Northern Virginia. Although her partner, Tippy, passed away in May of 2004, Cathy still honors her as the matriarch of Geese Police of Virginia. Geese Police of Virginia now employs four full-time (two-legged) employees and three working Border Collies as a franchise of New Jersey-based Geese Police, Inc. From late February to early June, Cathy and her team go out every day to look for Canada geese on their clients’ properties. The goal is for the dogs to harass the geese enough to make them leave the area. Although the geese are never hurt, they perceive the dogs as natural predators like wolves or coyotes. The presence of these faux predators a few times each day is usually enough to

Action shots of Ace were taken by Bev Hollis for NOVADog Magazine. To see more of her work or to schedule an appointment, visit www. bevhollisphoto.com.

Border Collies have a unique wolf-like glance called the “eye,” which, along with their predator-like stalking movements, influences the stock (geese in this instance) to move along.

convince the geese to find a “safer” place to nest. The process is not harmful to the geese and is recommended by both the Humane Society and People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) as part of an integrated management plan. Before Rob Dickey, area operations manager of Extended Stay Hotels, became a client of Cathy’s he thought he had tried everything to rid the Chantilly, VA, resort property of geese. Now he recommends the Geese Police to everyone. “These dogs are absolutely amazing,” he says. “They know exactly what their job is and don’t stop until it is done.” There are currently eight Geese Police franchises in the United States, and each uses only purebred Border Collies from approved breeders. In the goose control business, it is of utmost importance that the dogs are specially trained to herd and harass but never to touch the geese or goslings. Each dog attends a Geese Police “boot camp,” where they

are required to pass a series of tests before embarking on a career in goose control. This intensive training may take up to a year to complete, and a highly trained Border Collie can cost between $2,000 and $6,000 dollars. Cathy attributes the success of her business to the Border Collie’s unique qualities and capacity for work. The breed originated in the 19th century on the border of England and Scotland and quickly became known for the incredible endurance, intelligence and herding instinct that made them highly valuable for working sheep. The Border Collie is the only breed of dog that has the “eye,” a menacing stalking movement and intense wolf-like stare that allows them to direct livestock with just a glance. Unlike some breeds of hunting dogs, the Border Collie does not have the instinct to kill, grab or retrieve. “Their reward is only to make you happy,” Cathy says, “which makes them an absolute pleasure to work with.” These characteristics also make them perfect for goose control.

All in a Day’s Work When Cathy pulls into her client’s site and opens the door to Ace’s crate, he is already

fixated on the job at hand. He is looking for the geese before his paws even hit the ground, and as he works the area it is easy to see why eight-year-old Ace was voted Geese Police of Virginia’s “Employee of the Year.” After spotting geese in a nearby pond, Cathy directs him to “come by,” and Ace shoots off like a rocket clockwise around the pond until he is directly opposite Cathy, where he crouches menacingly and stares down his adversaries. Ace’s speed and intensity is impressive, and yet with a spoken command or sound from her whistle Cathy can send him in the opposite direction or call him back to her side. Ace works diligently, never losing focus until the last goose takes to the air. “That’ll do,” Cathy says, and Ace leaps out of the water, looking positively proud of the great job he has done. After giving a good shake, he gets a loving pat from his boss and leaps back into the truck, ready for another wild goose chase. 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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20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009


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


The Daily Coyote by Shreve Stockton By Ingrid King


hile not technically a book about a dog, but rather about the domestic dog’s wild cousin the coyote, this book will touch the heart of any dog lover. It is the story of a young city woman who trades the streets of New York City for the wilds of Wyoming, where she adopts a ten-day-old coyote pup whose parents had been shot for killing sheep. Writer and photographer Shreve Stockton develops a friendship that eventually turns to romance with a Wildlife Services employee whose job it is to protect livestock by killing coyotes. When he finds an orphaned coyote pup, he brings it to Stockton, who now has to make a decision. She can either have the death of this pup on her conscience, or she can raise the wild animal in her 12-foot-by-12-foot cabin, where she lives with her cat Eli. With no experience raising and training a domestic dog, this fiercely independent city woman and the coyote she names Charlie forge an incredible bond, which is tested by Charlie’s sometimes unpredictable and even frightening behavior and his inherent wildness. Despite some setbacks, the relationship between Shreve and Charlie deepens and evolves through mutual respect and becomes a testament to the strength of the bond between human and animal. The author turned her diary of the daily challenges of raising Charlie, along with her breathtaking photographs illustrating the account of Charlie’s first year, into a successful blog, which became the basis for this book. The book is a combination frontier adventure, love story, and a unique celebration of the bond between human and animal. It is also a reflection on the nature of wildness versus domestication, as the author teaches the coyote to live with humans (and a cat) while Charlie settles Shreve’s wandering spirit. And if you can’t get enough of Shreve and Charlie after reading this wonderful book, you can find daily photos of Charlie on the author’s wildly popular blog at www.dailycoyote.net. Ingrid King is a writer, Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Ingrid publishes the e-zine News for You and Your Pet and hosts a popular blog covering topics ranging from conscious living for you and your pets to holistic and alternative health topics. Ingrid is the author of Buckley’s Story— Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. For more information about Ingrid, visit www.consciouscat.net. art & craft Your dog needs a “My Squeaky Ball!” There is something about these colorful, hand-knit squeakies that grabs the attention of owners and dogs alike! Made of 100 percent wool and then felted, they come in small, medium and large. Choose your dog’s favorite color or order custom colors to show support for your favorite team or school. MSB!s can be thrown into the washing machine and dryer, which makes small holes magically disappear. Repair kits are available for larger problems. Owner Phoebe Heideman donates five percent of each purchase to the petfinder.com foundation.


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FIND it: www.mysqueakyball.com www.novadogmagazine.com



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




Loved by Rick & Paige in Falls Church


Loved by Bobak in Herndon




Loved by Marty & Cindy in Springfield





Loved by Sarah in Lansdowne


Loved by Matthew & Melanie in Fairfax



Loved by Katherin in Burke

9 10


Loved by Leslie & Emma in Bethesda


Loved by Cathy in Alexandria


Loved by Stacey in Alexandria



Loved by Meghan in Purcellville


11. HANNA & VAFA 13

Loved by Pegah in Herndon


Loved by Brad in Fairfax



Loved by Lacy in Ashburn


Loved by Jennifer in Fairfax

15. SCOUT 15

Loved by Ellen in Arlington

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

22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009

16. ROXY & FERGIE Loved by Alicia



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

J U LY Saturday, July 4– July 5 9:00 AM—NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club–Join us for a 4th of July Celebration. Visit Virginia’s rolling Blue Ridge hills. Hiking, camping, BBQ, wine tastings and more! RSVP required, for more info visit www.K9Hiking.com.

Thursday, July 9 Potomac Riverboat Company’s Admiral Tilp Canine Cruise. 40 minute Cruise on the Potomac, dogs welcome, must be on a 6 foot leash. $11 per person, dogs free. Boats depart at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM from the Alexandria City Marina, 0 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703.838.4265. One dog per person allowed.

Saturday, July 11 11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com.

Saturday, July 18

4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. $15 suggested donation. www. furgetmenot.com.

Sunday, July 19 “Porties and Their Running Mates” black & white photography exhibit by local photographer Lee Anderson. Barrel Oak Winery through Sunday, July 19. 3623 Grove Ln, Delaplane, VA 20144, 540.364.6402, www.barreloak.com 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM—5th Annual K-9 Support Dog Wash at all Northern Virginia Dogtopia locations. Proceeds benefit local K9 units. $10 suggested donation. www.k9support.org.

Tuesday, July 21 7:00 PM–8:00 PM—Pet loss support group. Ashburn Psychological Services, Ashburn, VA. Info: 571.278.9162.

Saturday, July 25 11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com.

11:00 AM—Dog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register. Dog Paws University in Arlington, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com Dogs are not invited to this class.

Sunday, July 26

9:00 AM–NOON—Dog Wash to benefit Lost Dog & Cat Rescue. Fur-Get Me Not,

Wednesday, July 29

9:00 AM– 12:30 PM—NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club at Rock Creek Park, Washington DC. It’s an urban hike! Visit historic military sights in Upper NW. RSVP required, for more info visit www. K9Hiking.com.

6:30 PM –11:45 PM—2nd annual Rock

4 Rescue fund raiser at Jammin’ Java Music Club and Cafe, 227 Maple Ave Vienna, VA 22180. It’s a rockin’ good time and proceeds go to support GoodDogz.org. Tickets $15 in advance, $20 at the door. Info: www.gooddogz.org.

AUGUST Sunday, August 2 12:00 –4:00 PM—Dog Daze at The Point, brought to you by The Dog Eaze Inn and Potomac Point Winery, 275 Decatur Road, Stafford, VA 22554. Enjoy wine tasting, bring your dog to stroll the grounds of this beautiful vineyard. Info: 703.491.1564.

Thursday, August 6 7:15-8PM—FREE Puppy playdates for dogs less than 1 year of age. Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. www.furgetmenot.com.

Saturday, August 8 11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com. 5:00 PM–8:30 PM—NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club at Virginia State Arboretum, Boyce VA. Start with a vineyard tour and follow with an off leash walk into the sunset at VA’s State Arboretum. RSVP required, for more info visit www. K9Hiking.com.

Thursday, August 13 Potomac Riverboat Company’s Admiral Tilp Canine Cruise. 40 minute Cruise on the Potomac, dogs welcome, must be on a 6 foot leash. $11 per person, dogs free. Boats depart at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM from the Alexandria City Marina, 0 Cameron Street, Alexandria, VA 22314, 703.838.4265. One dog per person allowed.

Saturday, August 15 11:00 AM—Dog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register. Dog Paws University in Arlington, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com Dogs are not invited to this class. Dog Days Peach and Sunflower Fest at Great Country Farms, 18780 Foggy Bottom Rd., Bluemont, VA 20135. The Dog Days at Great Country are all about fun with your family and canine companions! Pick-your-own peaches, rally and agility courses, live music, peach slushies and peach pies. Bring your retriever’s favorite item to enjoy a dip in the pond. $8.00/person. Info: 540.554.2073 or www.great countryfarms.com.

Sunday, August 16 9:00 AM—Canine Good Citizen Test at Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. $15 suggested donation. www.furgetmenot.com. $20 fee Continued on page 26

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

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





Distance: 3 miles (actually, 2.8)

L o c a l wa l ks t o enj oy

Time: 60 minutes or more Location: C&O Canal at Old Angler’s Inn, MacArthur Blvd., Potomac, MD

Berma Road Trail Hike By Caro l B r o o k s , c o - o w n e r, D o g O n F i t n e s s Looking for a solution to exercising your dog on

C&O Canal towpath and other exposed areas.

a hot, muggy, Washington summer day? One of

What’s not to like about this hike? Dogs stay

the best ways to beat the heat is to find shady,

mentally alert to the variety of sights, sounds,

cool trails and exercise your dog in the morn-

and smells. The gravel Berma Road is flat and

ing. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of wooded

wide—perfect for dogs and people of all ages

trails in our area. When I’m looking for a really

and fitness levels to walk, hike, or run.

cool trail to take my dog clients, I know just

Before you set out, be sure your dog is

Fido-Friendly Features: Off-street parking (if you arrive early in the morning), cooler than average temperatures, wide dog-friendly trails Use: hikers, bikers, on-leash dogs, runners Best time to go: Weekends before 10 A.M., Weekdays any time. Rated:

(flat and easy) 1 paw = easy; 5 = expert

abandoned gatehouse and you’ll arrive at a

the spot—“The Berma Road Trail Loop” across

protected against ticks and take plenty of bug

from Old Angler’s Inn on MacArthur Boulevard

spray for yourself. Wear sturdy hiking shoes if

in Potomac, MD.

you plan to venture off the suggested route.

turn around and retrace your steps (cooler); or

Natural Wonders

IMPORTANT: The C&O Canal is a National His-

you can cross the bridge and go left along the

torical Park. Park regulations require your dog

canal towpath to your starting point (potentially

If you’ve never been to the C&O Canal in Mary-

to be on a leash at all times. Bikes are allowed

more crowded). Both of these options will give

land, or haven’t been for while, you and your

on Berma Road and the C&O Canal. If your dog

you a total of 3 miles.

dog are in for a treat. By following our sug-

is skittish around bikes, take to the hills on

gested 3-mile loop, you’ll see some of the most

one of the many well-marked trails where bikes

taking the towpath back to the starting point.

interesting and diverse landscapes in the DC

are not allowed.

The towpath passes through wetlands where

area. You and your dog will also have a good

To get to our hike, park in the lot directly

wooden footbridge on your left. At the bridge you have two choices: you can

On cool, uncrowded days, I recommend

you’re likely to see turtles casually sunning on

chance of spotting native fauna including: blue

across from Old Angler’s Inn (10801 MacAr-

logs. My dog clients enjoy running on the flat

herons, bald eagles, vultures, deer, beavers,

thur Blvd Potomac, MD 20854). Weekday

towpath surface, and I enjoy the otherworldly

and colorful butterflies.

mornings offer the least crowded experience. If

sense I get on this section of trail.

The hike my dog clients and I like is a

you can’t make it during the week, be sure to

To complete this hike, follow the towpath

shady section along the old Washington Aque-

arrive at the parking lot before 10:00 a.m. on

back to a wooden bridge. Cross over it to the

duct conduit known officially as Berma Road

weekends as the parking lot fills up quickly.

other side of the canal. The parking lot is

but called “The High Trail” by locals. With its

Our hike starts in the lower parking lot

moist rocky outcroppings and towering trees,

near the canal. Check the bulletin board to

the Berma Road, which parallels the C&O

the left rear of the lower parking area for a

Canal, is dramatically cooler than the

straight ahead.

Getting There

detailed map (or view one online at www.

From Virginia take 495 over the Potomac to

nps.gov/choh). To get to our Berma Road

the first exit in Maryland and bear left on the

starting point, look for the porta-potties and

Clara Barton Pkwy. Continue west on Clara Bar-

go up the wooden stairs to Berma Road.

ton until it ends. Go left on MacArthur Blvd.

Go left at Berma Road where you’ll see a

Old Angler’s Inn is 1 mile on the right, and the

fenced-off Washington Aqueduct pumping

C&O Canal parking lots are on the left. ND

station. NOTE: If you want to escape bikes or crowds, follow the blazed hill trails directly behind and to the right of the

DogOn Fitness, LLC. She

as it passes the fenced area. Continue

specializes in high-energy dogs,

through the dense tree covering and enjoy

providing them with working

the occasional sound of trickling streams.

walks, running, adventure

a magnificent view of a section of the C&O Canal known as “Widewater,” and an

24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009

Carol Brooks is co-owner of

fenced area. For our hike, stay on the path

About 1⁄2 mile into your hike, you’ll reach

Robert Honig and his dogs Jedi and Skye run this loop together three times a week.

About Your Guide

almost certain Blue Heron sighting to your left. Continue along Berma Road past an

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


Advertiser Index

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

All Friends Pet Care ........................ C2 www.allfriendspetcare.com

Pet Fiesta

Always There Pet Care ..................... 17 www.alwaystherepetcare.com Bark N Bubbles......................... ..... C2 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com

NOVADog Magazine was proud to be the official Media Sponsor of the 2009 Reston Pet Fiesta (www.petfiesta.org) Held on May 2, it brought together local businesses, animal rescue groups, and pet owners for an exciting day of interactive activities, demonstrations, and exhibitions. Many participants kicked off the day with the Tails on Trails Dog Walk, to benefit GoodDogz.org. ND

Becky’s Pet Care ............................. 27 www.877doggywalk.com Bev Hollis Photography ................... 23 www.bevhollisphoto.com BREW Beagle Rescue ..................... 27 www.brewbeagles.org Kathy Ketrick of Oakton shows off her caricature of Chloè.

Canine Caterers .............................. C3 www.caninecaterers.com Chase Your Tail Bakery .................... 27 www.chaseyourtailbakery.com Cooperative Paws, LLC .................... 27 www.cooperativepaws.com DogOn Fitness, LLC ........................ 27 www.dogonfitness.com Doody Calls .................................... 27 www.doodycalls.com Errand Partners .............................. 27 www.errandpartners.com Extra Hours Pet Care ....................... 27 703.541.2129

Cynthia and Tatyana Cooper with their dog Ruby.

First Command Financial Services, Inc. ................................. 17 703.418.9360 Fur-Get Me Not .............................. 4 www.furgetmenot.com Happy Yaps .................................... C4 www.happyyaps.com House Paws ................................... 3 www.housepaws.com

Michele Melius, Pegah Raj, and Bobby Chiniforoushan with their dogs Madeline, Moose, and Huckleberry.

Lee Anderson Photography .............. 16 www.photolee.com Lost Dog and Cat Rescue ................. 27 www.lostdogrescue.org Elizabeth Herman’s dog Cody, sports a bright orange Pet Fiesta bandana.

Marchten Interiors .......................... 27 703.533.7670 Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network ......................... 27 www.novapetsitters.com Olde Towne School For Dogs ............ 5 www.otsfd.com PawPrints Photography .................... 26 www.pawprintsphotography.com Paws and Claws Photography ........... 27 www.pawsandclawsphotography.com Pet Nursing, LLC ............................ 27 www.petnurses.com

Jeanne Loveland, Julie Bauer, and Michele Bahler pose with their dogs Andy, Lucy, and Lily.

Officers Jessica McLemore and Desiree Pitts of the Fairfax County Animal Services Division educate the public on their services.

Prince William SPCA ....................... 21 www.pwspca.org Red Dog Spa & Boutique.............. ... 4 www.reddogspa.com Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. ..... 6 www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com Sunset Pet Services, Inc.................. 3 www.sunsetpetservices.com The Animals’ House ........................ 16 www.theanimalshouse.com The Dog Eaze Inn ........................... 6 www.dogeazeinn.com The Hope Center for Advanced Veterinary Medicine ........................ 25 www.hopecenter.com Virginia Greyhound Adoption ............ 20 www.virginiagreyhounds.org World of Woofs, LLC ........................ 13 www.worldofwoofs.com

Julie and Billy Tran brought the whole gang. Their dogs Ko Ko, Jack, Kai-Lee and Zeus were very interested in the biscuits at the NOVADog booth.

Dona Shaw, Ina Eaves, and Jane Lantz with their doxies named Stuey, Sammy, Katie, and Benjamin.





per dog. Pre-registration is preferred, but walk-ins welcome.

VA 22314, 703.838.4265. One dog per person allowed.

Tuesday, August 18

Saturday, September 12

7:00 PM–8:00 PM—Pet loss support group. Ashburn Psychological Services, Ashburn, VA. Info: 571.278.9162.

11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com.

Friday, August 21-August 23 NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club—Adventure Weekend 2009 at Spruce Knob, WV. Jam packed weekend to include waterfalls, swim holes, sunrises, sunsets, hiking, biking, caving, camping, cookouts and more! RSVP required, for more info visit www.K9Hiking.com.

Tuesday, September 15

on 3 stages, games, food, silent auction. The event is FREE. A $5 suggested donation. All proceeds go to Friends of Homeless Animals (www.foha.org). Info: (703) 450-4667. ND

Submit your event to: janelle@ 2houndsproductions.com

Yappy Hours Pooches on the Patio, Capitol Hill

7:00 PM–8:00 PM—Pet loss support group. Ashburn Psychological Services, Ashburn, VA. Info: 571.278.9162.

Union Pub, 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE—12 PM–4 PM Saturdays, Spring and Summer only. Plenty of dog treats and water bowls. Humans get happy hour food and drink specials too. www.unionpubdc.com

Saturday, September 19

Hotel Monaco, World Famous Doggie Happy Hour

11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com.

11:00 AM—Dog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register. Dog Paws University in Arlington, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com Dogs are not invited to this class.

Pat Troy’s Ireland’s Own

Sunday, August 23

Saturday, September 26

Dog Days of Summer open house at Caring Hands Animal Hospital, Centreville, VA. www.caringhandsvet.com.

11:00 AM—FREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington. Please make a reservation. 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com.

Saturday, August 22



Thursday, September 10 Potomac Riverboat Company’s Admiral Tilp Canine Cruise. 40 minute Cruise on the Potomac, dogs welcome, must be on a 6 foot leash. $11 per person, dogs free. Boats depart at 6:00, 7:00, 8:00 and 9:00 PM from the Alexandria City Marina, 0 Cameron Street, Alexandria,

26 Northern Virginia Dog

Saturday, October 24 7th Annual Barktoberfest Music & Pet Lovers Festival at Melodee Music, 46077 Lake Center Plaza, Sterling, VA 20165. Bring the entire family, friendly leashed pets included. Nine live bands

| Summer 2009

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

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

SoBe Bar and Bistro 3100 Clarendon Blvd. Arlington—Bring your dog for Barks N Brews yappy hour to benefit Homeward Trails. Last Thursday of each Month. 6-9 PM. Drink and food specials. $10 suggested donation.

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


P r o d u cts and Services directory


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■ We

bring our studio quality lighting/ backdrops to virtually any location— a professional portrait without the hassle. ■ Best value in pet photography: professional results, unbeatable prices, and satisfaction guarantee.


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WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Speaker: Fierce determination and a remarkable recovery Adopted from: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA)

How did he get his name? All of our pets have names that begin with the letter “S”. He could have been named “Scavenger” because on our walks, EVERYTHING went into his mouth. He could have been named “Spirit” because in spite of the trauma he had experienced in his young life, he shows so much courage. (Previous abuse necessitated the amputation of his rear leg). However, he soon assumed the name “Speaker” because of his very talkative nature. We recently lost our older Schnauzer, another AWLA graduate, named Senator. We had a “Senator,” and it seemed fitting to have a “Speaker” of the house.

Yo u p i c k e d h i m b e c a u s e . . . He captured our hearts when we looked in his face and saw so much love in spite of the abuse he had suffered. We believe in communicating with our pets. We told our current pet family (3 dogs and 2 cats—all adopted!) that we would be bringing a new member into the household. We told them about Speaker’s journey and his tough times. We asked them to open their hearts and their home to him. They all accepted him unconditionally.


Approximately 7 months old owned by Susan and Francis Mardula of Alexandria, VA PHOTO BY LOCAL PHOTOGRAPHER LEE ANDERSON. Anderson has

been a professional photographer for almost 30 years, but in 2006 he began to specialize in black and white, square format pet portraiture. To view more of his work or to set up an appointment visit www. photolee.com.

Favorite treat or snack: He loves it all, but his selections are limited. He receives only natural or holistic dog treats. He even enjoys his chicken flavored dog toothpaste. As he is the youngest of our dogs, he is last in the pecking order and must wait his turn.

Favorite toy: Other than our hands (he’s still teething), he has several favorites, all squeak toys. One of his favorites is a stuffed Zebra which a dedicated AWLA volunteer gave him while healing from his amputation surgery. Another is an over-sized stuffed cloth bone which he uses in tug-ofwar games with his brother Simon.

Yo u l o v e h i m b e c a u s e . . . He is just plain enjoyable. He is a very loving Airedale who tries very hard to please (when he’s not cavorting, as all puppies do). He gets along with ALL the other pets, including the cats, Spamoni and Smooch. Even when he’s counter surfing (a new experience for us—he’s much larger than our other pets), if we tell him to get down, he just cocks his head and shows a playfulness that brings a smile. When you see him run and romp with no impediment to his movements, you’d have no idea he was a three-legged dog! He teaches a great life lesson. When dealt a blow, make the most of each day with spirit, fun, and love. ND

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is an animal sheltering and welfare organization whose mission is, “To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in our community.” Approximately 1,200 animals are adopted from the shelter each year. The AWLA also provides behavior and training advice, humane education programs, wildlife rescue, reduced cost spay and neuter certificates as well as rabies and microchipping clinics. Visit www.alexandriaanimals.org to donate or learn more.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Summer 2009

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NOVADog Magazine Summer 2009  

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

NOVADog Magazine Summer 2009  

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

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