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novadog Winter 2009


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Discover Mount Vernon Help for Canine Cabin Fever Wags to Riches: Adoption Success


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contents Winter 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



New Year, New You! 10 tips for a new leash on life for you and your pooch By Linda Hepler


Double Trouble The trials and triumphs of raising two puppies at once By Fiona Young-Brown









News, information and products

Advice and information on canine health issues

Answers to your behavior and training questions



Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond


Tips, products, and insights for greener living

Literature, arts and new media

A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs

Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories




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


party animal:

How to throw a pawsitivly perfect doggie bash! Tips and products to help you celebrate your dog’s special occasion in style

CONTRIBUTORS Robin Burkett, Jessica Blaszczak Carol Brooks, Fiona Young-Brown Juliet Farmer, Linda Hepler Ingrid King, Veronica Sanchez, Andrew Lewis Robert Loper, Daren M. Roa, DVM, DACVS

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

ALSO: ■ A special directory of pet party supplies. ■ Destinations:

Visit Bull Run Regional Park to see the Bluebells in bloom. ■ Is

your dog depressed?

tell us what you think.... win free stuff! In less time than it takes to walk your dog around the block, answer our short questionnaire and you could win a PETCO gift card! The first 100 respondents will get a chance to win one of four $25 gift cards, good at your local PETCO store. Help determine what topics you’ll see covered in future issues of the magazine. Participate now at:

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

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

2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

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 D.C. 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

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

Peculiar Pet Names VPI Pet Insurance, has released the the top 50 wackiest dog names from their database of more than 465,000 pets insured nationwide. Here are some of our favorites: Rush Limbark Sirius Lee Handsome Low Jack Peanut Wigglebutt Ed Sophie Touch & Pee Admiral Toot Hairy Putter Major Deposit Pickles Honeyheart Fannie Mae Lovechunk Stockingstuffer Porter House Taco Bella Tater Bug Drama Mama Chauncey Peppertooth Killer Van Damn Cowboy Von Dawg Gladys the Badest Sushi Barksdale Sonic Biscuits Scooby Poo Bitey

Caring for Your Dog on a Budget Most people consider a pet a member of the family—and for good reason. Pets offer companionship, amusement and unconditional love. Studies support that owning a pet offers a multitude of emotional and overall health rewards. However, with the plunging economy and the rising costs of food, fuel and housing, cash-strapped Americans are pinching their pennies. People are faced with having to make difficult decisions on cutting back, often giving up the things they love most. Unfortunately, some dog parents are faced with the dilemma of appropriately caring for their pet on a tight budget. For owners faced with this challenge, it’s important to remember how much your furry friend adds to your life. Dogs make us laugh, show us love in any circumstance and can even lower our overall stress levels. With a smart approach to affordable care, you can afford to keep your pet happy and healthy—and at home with you and your family.

No one appreciates the very special genius of your conversation as the dog does.

—Christopher Morley

4 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

Resist the toy temptation. Personalized accessories and elaborate toys have become trendy, but dogs won’t miss the extra bells and whistles. Pets are just as happy clad in a plain collar and playing with less expensive or even safer toys geared to improve overall pet health, including durable, reusable chew toys for puppies.

A healthy pet is a happy pet. It’s important to still provide your pet with routine veterinary care. But ask your vet to prescribe only the most vital vaccinations. You can also visit low-cost clinics for routine check-ups. Contact you local humane society to find low-cost vet clinics or events.

Food for thought. To ensure your pets’ health in the long run it is important to consistently feed them a healthy, well-balanced diet. Look for brands that offer essential nutrients that will keep your pet healthy and your wallet full. Find an affordable, quality product that your pet enjoys, and avoid the premium products—which do not necessarily deliver more nutrients. Some pet companies have stepped up to combat the current economic downturn. The 9Lives brand is committed to making lives better by donating a percentage of its sales to animal shelters, and by providing pets with affordable, healthy food. The mutual benefit that both pet and pet parents enjoy reaches far beyond companionship. Whether you are 8 or 88, studies have proven that owning a pet has substantial developmental and health benefits. Pets thrive on your attention. Basic pet care essentials such as walking, grooming and even petting can provide increased physical activity, and best of all, they are free! Courtesy of ARAcontent

ASPCA Suggests 10 Ways to Save Money on Vet Care

For great tips from ASPCA’s experts, visit their web site at http://tinyurl.com/5msrwp.

DC’s First Public Dog Park Opens Last November, the District’s first public dog park opened to cheers from dogloving residents. The new 15,000-squarefoot park has already made a big difference in the lives of DC dog owners. The fully enclosed, leash-free park is located at 11th Street and Rhode Island Avenue, NW. While use of the park is free, residents must obtain a dog park registration tag and have a valid DC dog license. (Visit http://dpr.dc.gov/dpr to download an application) Plenty of waste disposal stations, two dog enclosures and a community bulletin board provide dogs and their owners with added amenities for dog park enjoyment. Maintenance and upkeep of the park will be a joint partnerships between the

Department of Parks and Recreation and a local community organization called The Dog Owners of Greater Shaw (DOGS).

A Long Time Coming According to the Washington Examiner, the legislation to create dog parks was passed in 2005, but final rules and regulations weren’t issued right away, which caused a delay implementing the park. Many other groups have also submitted applications for off-leash dog parks throughout the District. Three applications have been approved, including one on S Street near Dupont Circle. Other locations include Kingsman Field in Northeast Washington and a park at Newark Street in Northwest.

Dining With Your Dog? Innovative Cookbook for Dogs and Their People A new take on what’s for dinner, The Dog Ate It: Cooking for Yourself and Your Four-Legged Friends, offers solutions for busy pet owners interested in better nutrition for their canine companions. Commercial pet foods are made with fillers and by-products that may contribute to health problems such as obesity and diabetes. And who can forget the recent pet food contamination scare? (Many Americans still question whether the commercial pet food supply is safe and reliable.) If you’ve thought about finding dog food alternatives, but never had the time, this cookbook is for you. Making delicious and healthy meals for the entire household— including the dog—is fast and easy with the help of award-winning author Linda West Eckhardt. With palette-pleasing dishes such as Chow Bella Burgers and Growly Good Granola, you and your dog are sure to agree on one thing: Dinner was fabulous! Price: $12

cool accessories for you and your dog

FASHION meets FUNCTION Be the talk of the dog park with a practical and stylish leash bag from California-based retailer, The Modern Pet. Made of 100 percent cotton, the bags are available in hip, modern colors. Each bag has an easy-release ring, which makes it a snap to attach this bag to a leash or your belt buckle. The large, elasticized main compartment allows quick and easy waste bag access when you’re on the go. The smaller Velcro closure pocket is just the perfect size for your keys, cash or cell phone. The bag, shown here with a matching Harlequin leash, is backed by durable nylon webbing for unmatched style and strength. Handcrafted in Northern California by The Modern Pet. Price: $16 FIND it: www.themodernpet.com

FIND it: www.amazon.com

Peanut Butter & Banana Bliss

Baked fresh to order, these cookies are made with real banana and sodium-free peanut butter. Vegetarian and 100 percent natural, the homemade treats contain human-grade, certified organic ingredients so you can rest assured that you are giving your dog the highest quality treats available. While your dog may go bonkers over these peanut butter and banana bites, keep in mind that a healthy, veterinarian-recommended diet suggests that treats and goodies should not exceed 10 percent of his regular diet. Note that because these treats do not have artificial preservatives, they should be consumed within three to four months. Handmade in Falls Church, VA, by Organic Doggy Kitchen. Price: $6.95 FIND it: www.organicdogs.com www.novadogmagazine.com



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

8 Simple Visual Indicators Your Dog Is Overweight By Andrew Lewis


here’s a very good chance your dog is overweight, and you don’t even know it. Statistics vary, but veterinarians report that as many as 25 to 44 percent of all dogs are overweight, and that obesity is the number-one canine health disorder. Obesity is defined as weighing over 15 percent more than the standard accepted weight for the dog’s height. With nearly half of our dogs weighing in on the heavy side, it’s no surprise, then, that obesity-related conditions are on the rise within the pet population. These conditions include diabetes mellitus and orthopedic, musculoskeletal, cardiovascular, gastrointestinal, endocrine, respiratory, immune and reproductive disorders. These can be devastating conditions for your dog to live with. Doctors ascribe the rise in obesity to a combination of the general lack of fussiness of dogs, their natural gorging behavior, and insufficient exercise. And since dogs don’t do their own grocery shopping or prepare their own meals, we must add to this

With nearly half of our dogs weighing in on the heavy side, it’s no surprise, then, that obesity-related conditions are on the rise within the pet population. a prevailing ignorance among their owners in providing a nutritious, well-balanced, calorie-controlled diet. Do you know if your dog is fat or fit? Do you know her daily caloric requirements? Do you know what factors may mitigate those daily caloric requirements? A healthy dog is ready to eat at any time. Some dogs quite literally can eat while flat on their side and more or less asleep. Therefore, it is pointless to use your dog’s begging behavior as any indicator of how much to feed him. Knowing how many calories he needs and how that translates into food will help keep him trim and healthy. Energy needs for the dog change throughout his life, increasing the more active he becomes, and, as you might surmise, decreasing as the dog reaches his senior years. Your vet will help you determine if your dog’s

6 Northern Virginia Dog

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weight is on target, or if she is headed for fat city, and all dietrelated considerations should definitely be discussed with your vet before introducing any major changes into your dog’s nutritional sphere. But, before your next office visit, you can do an assessment to determine (albeit imprecisely) your dog’s general body condition and weight. ■ Can the ribs be easily felt with slight fat cover, or are they difficult to feel under moderate or thick fat cover? ■ From the side view, do you see an abdominal tuck? ■ Is there thickening at the tail base? ■ From the overhead view, is there a well-proportioned waist? ■ Or, from the overhead view, does she have a marked hourglass shape? (an indicator of being underweight) ■ Or, from the overhead view, is the back slightly or markedly broadened at the waist? (indicators of being moderately to severely overweight) ■ Is your dog slow to rise or move around? ■ Is she reluctant to exercise, or does she tire easily with activity? Individual metabolism, exercise, age, environment and overall health will determine what your dog really needs to remain lean and healthy. Since your dog can only have so many calories every day, it is important to pack lots of nutrition, bulk and appeal into those calories. ND Andrew Lewis is author of Dog Food Secrets. For more information, visit www.thedogfoodconspiracy.com/dog-food-secrets.php.

Find Substitutes for Unhealthy Dog Treats If your dog seems to be constantly begging for a treat and you feel compelled to give in, at least try to make it a healthy one. In place of those high fat and processed biscuits and bones, try some slices of fresh carrot or apple. There are some people foods that should not be fed to dogs. Be sure to obtain a list of foods that dogs should not eat before doing this. For example, chocolate, grapes, garlic, and onions can be toxic to dogs. A complete listing of foods to stay away from is available from the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at www.aspca.org/apcc.



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

Canine Hip Dysplasia B y D a r e n M . R o a , D V M , D A C V S – C hesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists


ip dysplasia is an abnormality of the hip joint characterized by hip looseness, which eventually leads to progressive arthritis. It affects many pure and mixed breeds, with symptoms including decreased activity level, difficulty rising or lying down, pain, decreased range of motion, and varying degrees of lameness. Hip dysplasia should be discussed in two contexts—what hip dysplasia means to the breed, and what hip dysplasia means to the individual dog. There is a significant genetic contribution to hip dysplasia, and for that reason, it is recommended that dysplastic dogs not be bred.

Grading the Hip A well known organization for providing hip grading is the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA). Unfortunately, OFA-based breeding has not decreased hip dysplasia for many reasons including the lack of reliable detection in young dogs. The use of PennHIP (University of Pennsylvania Hip Improvement Program) to determine the degree of hip joint looseness in dogs, has addressed these shortcomings with an unbiased database, and a sensitive test that is reliable in very young dogs. A series of specially positioned X-rays produce a numerical score, called a Distraction Index (or DI). The DI tells the breeder how tight (desirable) or loose (undesirable) his particular dog’s hips are compared to other dogs of the same breed. This should decrease the incidence of hip dysplasia through more conscientious breeding. In discussing the individual dog, we focus on diagnosis, severity, and treatment. The diagnosis of hip dysplasia is made based on physical examination and X-rays. It is important to confirm the diagnosis with X-rays, to rule out similar conditions that may lead to a misdiagnosis. Because the severity of arthritis on Xrays does not always correspond to the severity of the dog’s symptoms, we must choose the best treatment for the patient, not the X-rays.

Medical Options Daren M. Roa, DVM, Diplomate ACVS, is co-owner of Chesapeake Veterinary Surgical Specialists. With two locations in Maryland, CVSS specializes in all areas of canine and feline surgery. For more information, please visit www.cvssvets.com.

Weight loss is arguably the single most important component, and has the most obvious benefit in overweight dogs. This is best achieved through dietary management and exercise. Medical management may also involve: ■ using pain medications ■ chondroprotectants (such as glucosamine) ■ neutraceuticals (substances found in food that have medicinal properties) ■ modifying exercise patterns.

8 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

Non-traditional therapies such as acupuncture and chiropractic may also play a role in the treatment. The use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs) is important to control pain. Other types of narcotic pain medications may be useful for short-term pain management. Adequan, a drug that is injected intramuscularly, has been shown to decrease the progression of arthritic changes in experimental models of arthritis. Neutraceutical therapies include a variety of glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate supplements as well as omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are key ingredients in normal cartilage, and some studies in both people and animals suggest a benefit. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been shown to decrease inflammation. Exercise modification includes restricting highimpact activities such as running, ball chasing or roughhousing with other dogs. Swimming is an excellent substitute, which burns calories and improves muscle mass, while not causing trauma to the affected hips.

Surgical Management Hip dysplasia surgery has two aspects to discuss: early intervention and salvage procedures. The most common procedure for early intervention is the triple pelvic osteotomy or TPO. With TPO, the pelvis on the affected side is cut in three places, and the hip socket is rotated to provide a tighter hip joint. With rare exceptions, most animals over 10 to 12 months are no longer candidates. Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) works to similarly treat loose hips. The surgeon fuses the physis or growth plate on the floor of the pelvis, which alters the growth and achieves a tighter hip joint similar to what is accomplished with TPO. Much less costly and invasive than TPO, JPS only needs to be done once. Unfortunately, the dog must be less than 5 months old for the procedure to be effective. The most common salvage procedures include total hip replacement (THR) and femoral head and neck ostectomy (FHO). In general, FHO is considerably less expensive than THR, and gives predictably good results in most dogs up to 50 lbs. In larger animals, the outcome is less predictable, and often requires more aggressive postoperative physical therapy. Total hip replacement can be done in almost any size animal, but most veterinary surgeons reserve this option for dogs above about 35 lbs. Ultimately the choice of which procedure is best for your dog will depend on assessment by your veterinarian, and may include consultation with a veterinary surgeon. ND


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

Help! My Canine Has Cabin Fever! B y Ve r o n i c a S a n c h e z

My dog has been destructive and getting into a lot QUESTION of mischief recently. I have to admit that I have not been walking her as I usually do, because it gets dark early in the evenings. I was told that I should find things for her to do and games to play but I can’t think of any. Do you have any ideas?

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

Chilly, short days ANSWER keep you cozy indoors. While an evening sipping hot cocoa in front of a fire may sound perfect to you, it spells “boring” to an active canine. Winter means shorter walks and unmet energy needs for a young dog. A dog that is bored is more than just a nuisance. Dogs that are bored often engage in destructive or noisy behavior and may be at risk of developing more serious behavior problems. Fortunately, with a little creativity, winter can be an enjoyable time for both you and your pooch. Dogs need daily opportunities to engage in a variety of activities that are natural for them. Con-

sider your dog’s breed, health, age and temperament as you develop a list of activities to enrich your dog’s life. Herding breeds may enjoy chasing after a ball or toy, while hounds may prefer sniffing to track down a hidden cookie. Balance energetic activities with quieter ones such as a short break in a crate with a chew toy while the radio plays relaxing music. In nature, dinner would not be served in a simple food bowl. There is a wide selection of toys that can be filled with kibble or canned dog food to make meals more interesting. My favorite is the classic, rubber KONG toy because it is

easily filled and dishwasher safe. Occasionally a pet owner will tell me that their dog does not care for this toy, and inevitably it turns out that they simply did not fill it with something that was appetizing for their dog. Worried about your pup’s weight? Use high quality dog food to fill the toy and mix in a few low calorie treats to motivate him. Be careful if you have more than one dog, and prevent a conflict by giving them their toys in separate rooms. While a walk is great, do not forget to set aside time for interactive play with your dog daily. Interrupt your play session with obedience. For example, say “sit” before you toss a toy. Many dogs have dozens of toys that they never play with. Put your dog’s toy basket out of reach and select a few toys to leave out before you go to work. Rotating toys you leave available helps save you money because you do not have to constantly purchase new toys to keep your dog interested. Be creative! A child’s play tunnel, an old hula hoop and a sturdy bench can become part of a small indoor agility course. Pick up some books on clicker training and teach a few tricks. Remember that engaging your dog’s mind as well as his body is a surefire way to beat the winter blues. 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.




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

A Winter’s Ramble in Mount Vernon By Robert Loper

S ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER: Robin Burkett of Pawprints Photography took these charming photos on location, of Autumn, a Golden Retriever owned by Katie Beery of Reston, VA.

10 Northern Virginia Dog

easonably mild weather (average monthly high temperatures are in the 40s) and fewer visitors make a winter trip to Mount Vernon a dog lover’s delight. Although the $15 admission fee (dogs get in free) might give you cold feet, an annual pass is only $25, which should appeal to bargain hounds everywhere. In addition to his more well-known accomplishments, George Washington also bred foxhounds, and his estate was home to dozens of dogs. This spirit remains alive at Mount Vernon to this day as well-behaved canines always receive a warm welcome. While you can’t take your best friend into George and Martha’s mansion on the hill, the pair of you are free to roam much of the estate’s 500 acres and relax on the east-facing porch while taking in the splendid view of the Potomac River. Dogs must be leashed at all times and, with only one exception, cannot enter any of the buildings. But these restrictions will not limit your enjoyment in visiting Mount Vernon because many of the attractions are outside. Visitors can peek into the outbuild-

| Winter 2009

ings, such as the kitchen, smokehouse and stables, and get a feel for country life in the 18th century. Within a short stroll from the main house, there are fruit and vegetable gardens and paddocks with sheep and cattle. On your way down the trail toward the wharf, you will pass both the original burial vault and the 1831 brick tomb where the Washingtons are now buried.

Beauty and Functionality Standing at the water’s edge offers a good reminder of how important river travel was for transporting people and goods. Although they do not run in the winter, there are sightseeing cruises that depart from the wharf for short voyages on the Potomac. Adjacent to the wharf, a five-acre demonstration farm illustrates many of the techniques and experiments Washington carried out as part of a continual effort to improve farming methods. The highlight of this area is a replica of the 16-sided treading barn Washington designed for threshing wheat. When the building is open for viewing, there is a recording that describes

its operation. Basically, horses threshed the wheat by walking in a circle over the grain on the second level of the building. Separated from the straw, the grain fell through slatted floorboards down to the level below. Before you leave the demonstration farm, stop to see the reconstruction of a slave cabin near the poultry pen. Though the cabin is closed in the winter, its humble appearance is a somber reminder of the unfree human labor that supported the estate. A memorial in the slave cemetery near Washington’s tomb also recognizes and honors the African Americans who were such a vital part of Mount Vernon’s history.

Tranquil Hiking Trail An easy quarter-mile trail leads up the hill and through the woods back to the main grounds. This short hike provides a tranquil change of pace that allows you and your dog to enjoy the quiet solitude of the forest before emerging near a paddock containing the estate’s Red Devon cattle. As an added inducement to take this trail, the smaller number of visitors during this time of year increases your chances of seeing some wildlife in the woods. Having taken in the highlights, let the weather and your fancy guide the decision about what to do next. Toward the end of Washington’s life, he became quite a successful distiller and produced some 11,000 gallons of whiskey in 1799, the year he died. Although the newly recreated distillery (located

on its original site three miles from the estate) is not open in the winter, the gift shop sells a commemorative selection of blended whiskey to celebrate this lesser-known aspect of Washington’s accomplishments. For those so inclined, a small nip of Mount Vernon’s finest might be just the thing to ward off the cold and toast the unique contributions of our country’s first president. Anyone familiar with the names of Washington’s dogs might not be surprised to learn of his interest in distilling. Among the many foxhounds Washington raised, there was a Tipsy, a Tipler and a Drunkard. For more insights into life at Mount Vernon, be sure to stop by and see Mrs. Washington if she is in. Presiding over a sitting parlor in the Little Theater, a re-enactor engages visitors in conversation and recounts events about life with “the General.” You will have to leave your dog outside (depending on the weather you may find a friendly docent to look after your pooch), but if you do go in and talk with Mrs. Washington you will find her to be an extremely knowledgeable and friendly raconteur. Make sure you ask about their dog Vulcan and the incident with the ham. ND Robert Loper is a freelance writer and editor and lives in Washington, DC. His article for Legal Times on lawyers who take improv won first place in the arts and entertainment category in the 2008 Maryland, Delaware, D.C. Press Association Awards. Most mornings he can be found roaming around Congressional Cemetery with his dog Toffee.

IF YOU GO: Mount Vernon is open 365 days a year. The hours of operation for November through February are 9 am to 4 pm (in March, Mt. Vernon closes at 5 pm). Admission for adults is $15 and an annual pass is $25. Children under 5 years of age are admitted free, and admission for visitors between the ages of 6 and 11 is $7 (children must be accompanied by an adult). Mount Vernon is located at the south end of the George Washington Memorial Parkway, 16 miles south of Washington, DC. Visitors with dogs enter and exit through the admission building where tickets are purchased. For more information, visit the website: http://visit. mountvernon.org.



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

Courtesy of Arlington Economic Development


Local resident Adriana Guevara and her dog Tobi (below), frequent the popular Clarendon dog park daily.

Clarendon: Best in Canine Couture by Jessica Blaszczak


Jessica Blaszczak lives in Arlington, Virginia with her husband and three beautiful children (one Border collie and two tabby cats!). She works as a professional freelance writer, and has written articles for both multi-million dollar corporations and small non-profits.

12 Northern Virginia Dog

kay, picture this: 1998. Rural New Jersey. A cute, curly-coated miniature poodle sporting a very ugly, very homemade red sweater. The neighbors are pointing, laughing and asking me, the walker, why the heck a dog needs a sweater to keep her warm in the middle of January. That’s what her fur is for! Meanwhile, I am silently smiling to myself because my sweet Poodle no longer is shivering on her brisk morning walks. Now, picture this: 2008. Clarendon, Virginia. The scene at the unofficial Clarendon dog park at 13th and Herndon is a sight to behold. Mixed breeds of all sizes, Pugs, Spaniels English Bulldogs and Labs of every color roughhouse with each other, each outfitted in their own colorful dog sweater. Nope, no cold, trembling dogs here. In fact, at closer inspection, take note of the people huddled together with their steaming Starbucks coffee cups in mittened hands. They look way chillier than their furry companions! Wow, have things changed. Unlike the home-knitted sweater I stitched for my poodle back in the day, the dogs at the Clarendon dog park are kept toasty-warm in threads so fashion forward, they look chic enough for the streets of Paris and Milan! Adorable? Yes. Necessary? Absolutely! Just ask Clarendon resident, Adriana Guevara. She and her Coton de Tulear, Tobi, are patrons of the park and agree with the majority of park-goers that jackets and sweaters are an absolute necessity. “I remember Tobi would shiver so much at the park I thought something was wrong with him. But now, with this cute little jacket I bought him at a.k.a. | Winter 2009

Spot, the only thing he shakes is his little tail because he’s so warm and happy,” she says. a.k.a. Spot, huh? Adriana’s comment made me wonder what else this upscale boutique has for the modern dog. So, I went straight to the source—top dog of canine couture, a.k.a. Spot owner and fellow dog-lover Lucy McCausland. “We have organic dog food, designer collars, practically indestructible dog toys and all sorts of green products to help us all become more eco-friendly. And, of course, dogs are always welcome!” Lucy says. And a.k.a. Spot isn’t the only dog-friendly boutique in Clarendon. If you take a quick, five-minute walk to the Market Commons area, you will notice water bowls outside the storefronts and the friendly staffers anxious to offer your dog treats. “I know that other shops, like Lululemon, Origins and Orvis all allow dogs to accompany their customers while they shop,” adds Lucy. “It’s great! What you have here is a highly educated group of dog people. They are very active and incorporate their dogs in their everyday lives. I think people around here are more surprised if a store doesn’t allow their dogs inside!” So, whether it’s the time or the place, Clarendon sure knows how to treat their doggy residents with style. Needless to say, I know what I’m doing this weekend. I’m off to do some holiday shopping in Clarendon, with Scout, my Border Collie, right by my side. And, instead of using that old hand-me-down sweater from my Poodle, I think I’ll pick up a nice, new sweater for Scouty while I’m there. ND


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

Dog Beds Go Green: Good for Pooches, Planet green solutions

by Julie t F a r m e r


s any dog owner can attest, all dog beds are not created equal. In fact, some barely make it through a season without fraying, fading and falling apart. What’s an eco-conscious dog owner to do? Try buying a bed that’s made from sustainable or recycled materials, or purchased from a company that puts its profits toward a greener planet. VICTORIA PEAK TRADING COMPANY (www.victoriapeak. com) offers beds made with 14 oz. cotton denim or 50/50 nylon/cotton covers. The cushions are 100 percent cotton muslin tick, overstuffed with hypoallergenic, silicone coated, hollow polyester fiber. The beds feature heavy-duty zippers, and the cushions also have zipper access. Beds are available in various rectangular and circular sizes, and guaranteed for two years against failure from normal wear and tear. Company owner Jack Fleming uses proceeds of sales to fund the planting of indigenous tropical hardwood trees in Belize. PRICE RANGE: $40-$125 BELLA CREATURE COMFORTS (www.bellacreature comforts.com) dog beds play on a dog’s desire for a recessed area in which to sleep, thus the beds are baffled in design and shaped like a cave or den. Their Bella Bed® is made from Eco2 recycled cotton fiber, with a filler of high loft fiberfill made from recycled PET. Each hypoallergenic, two-tone bed, available in a variety of color combinations and sizes, is washable and veterinarian endorsed. PRICE RANGE: $80-$206 BIG SHRIMPY (www.bigshrimpy.com) reduces their carbon footprint by, where possible, salvaging waste materials from other industries to use in their products. Over 70 percent of Big Shrimpy’s annual sales revenue is derived from products containing at least 50 percent recycled materials. Their Original bed combines water resistant 420 denier nylon pack cloth with a polyester fleece or faux suede sleeping surface. This cover encases an inner cushion

made of rip stop nylon and filled with SmartFill™, a 100 percent recycled fiber that provides odorand waterresistance. All components of the bed are washable, and each bed is available in a variety of colors and sizes. PRICE RANGE: $99-$179 WORLDWISE (www.worldwise.com), a leading manufacturer of environmentally responsible pet bedding, toys, accessories and treats, sells dog beds under the name PoochPlanet® at over 300,000 major retail stores nationwide. Worldwise turns bottles into beds, literally, with EcoRest®, a recycled fiberfill blend made from post-consumer recycled plastic bottles. The beds are available in a variety of styles and colors. Some are reversible, or have removable covers that can be washed, or feature BeneFoam™, a soy foam that replaces a percentage of oil-based chemicals with organic sustainable material. PRICE RANGE: $17-$60 The next time you’re in the market for a new dog bed, consider a purchase from one of these four companies working to help the planet, one eco-friendly dog bed at a time. ND

DIY Dog Bed Here’s an inexpensive way to make a bed using an old sheet or blanket, stuffing and some pillow cases.

➊ Cut two pillow cases open and re-sew the open cases together to create a larger case. Sew all sides closed, leaving one six-inch gap on one side open. Stuff the case with batting or filling and sew the six-inch gap closed. This is the inner cushion.

➋ To make a washable cover, measure enough sheet or blanket to cover one side of the cushion with an inch per side to spare, and cut a piece double in size. Sew two of the three edges closed, leaving one side open. Sew in Velcro strips on the open side, which will keep the cover on until it needs to be washed.

➌ Place the cushion in the cover, and you’ve got a DIY recycled dog bed.

Above: Stack of cozy beds by Big Shrimpy Left: The Bella Bed® made by Bella Creature Comforts.

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




14 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009



10 tips for

a new leash on life for you and your pooch B y L i n d a Hepler


t’s a new year, and you’re ready to get started on the new—and improved—you. But before you get too far in developing a plan, consider including your best friend in your makeover. Dogs can benefit from changes, too! Here are 10 ideas to help you and your dog get a new leash on life:


YOU: Make an appointment with

your health care provider According to the American Medical Association, routine annual physicals are unnecessary for healthy adults. But it’s important to receive specific age- and risk-related health screenings and tests that can help to detect medical conditions that are treatable when discovered early. Ask your health provider which tests she recommends for you.

YOUR DOG: Needs regular health care, too Dogs of all ages need a yearly exam with a veterinarian, says Susan Nelson, assistant professor at Kansas State University’s Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital. “This includes keeping its vaccination status up to date and checking for dental health, lumps and bumps, heart murmurs, and other things an owner may not notice at home,” she explains.


YOU: Take personal power over food

with mindful eating Have you ever absent-mindedly noshed on a bag of chips while watching reality TV? It’s easy to lose awareness of what—and how much—we’re eating. Mindful eating is the process of becoming aware of food—how it looks, smells and tastes, what goes into preparing and serving it—as well as paying attention to your own internal hunger and satiety cues. Learn more at www.mindfuleating.org.

YOUR DOG: Depends upon you to control his food intake Dogs are notorious for their lack of discrimination when it comes to food—after all, they’ll forage for tasty morsels in the garbage can! If you’re uncertain about the type or amount of food your dog needs—especially if she’s looking a bit chubby—see your veteri-



park—or if there are none, consider working to start one in your area. For ideas, check out www.dogpark.com.


YOU: Bust stress with play time

It’s important to have at least one activity that you do on a regular basis just for fun. Whether it’s playing with the kids, spending time on a hobby or an art, you’ll be able to express yourself and blow off steam at the same time.

YOUR DOG: Needs daily play time with you narian for advice. Dogs should also get a checkup if there is a sudden change in appetite or weight, whether a loss or a gain in either.

Find time each day to do something indulgent just for yourself.


YOU: Build character by learning something new

If you’re like most people, you know a lot about your job and maybe a hobby or two. But learning about many different things across a wide subject range can help to round out your character. It can also teach you to adapt to new situations and increase your confidence. So sign up for a cooking class, learn a new language, try a different sport — you’ll be happy you did.

YOUR DOG: Thrives on the challenge of learning Dogs are easily bored, says Deborah Rosen, Good Citizen Canine dog trainer (www.goodcitizencanine.com) and animal behavioral consultant. “And when dogs don’t have enough to do, they find things to do, such as chewing up your belongings or helping themselves to food on the table,” she adds. Rosen advises giving your dog constructive things to do so he is less inclined to be destructive. Look for treat dispensers or pull-apart puzzle toys that your dog has to work at—and change the toys from time to time to keep the challenge fresh. You can also play games with your dog to teach him new tricks. One of Rosen’s favorite is “The name game.” To play, give each of your dog’s favorite toys a name, such as “hedgie” or “mortie.” Then teach your dog the name of the toy by tossing it and saying, “Go get hedgie.” Over time, your dog will learn to distinguish between different toys.


YOU: Make exercise fun, not work

Getting started on an exercise habit is the hardest part, but it helps if you try to make exercise fun. Skip rope, play indoor golf, learn to rollerblade, or check out the latest Wii version of Dance, Dance Revolution. Find an exercise buddy to make the time pass. If you enjoy physical activity, you’re more likely to stick with it.

YOUR DOG: Loves to exercise Let’s face it, you don’t have to try too hard to make exercise fun for your dog. Just get out the leash, and she’s ecstatic about the idea of a romp. If you don’t have safe open spaces to let her off leash, look for a local dog

16 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

“Dogs thrive on play,” says Victoria Stilwell, British dog trainer and star of Animal Planet’s “It’s Me or the Dog.” “Play is important to stimulate both the body and the mind,“ she adds. Stillwell advises a rousing game of hide and seek, where you hide a favorite toy or treat and then help your dog to find it.


YOU: Indulge yourself

In addition to play time, you need to find time each day to do something indulgent just for yourself. This can be as simple as watching a funny movie or taking a relaxing bath. Or spring for a manicure, pedicure or massage.

YOUR DOG: Enjoys pet pampering Dogs love to be indulged! Spoil him with a special massage, or whip up a batch of healthy pet treats (find recipes on www.all-natural-dog-treat.com).


YOU: Assure job success by brushing up

on manners Recent studies by Harvard University, The Carnegie Foundation and The Stanford Research Institute have concluded that keeping and advancing in your job position has more to do with people skills than with technical knowledge and skills. Check out Jodi R. R. Smith’s From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Man and From Clueless to Class Act: Manners for the Modern Woman to brush up on skills that will help you to make a favorable impression in professional and social arenas.

YOUR DOG: Can wow others with good manners, too “There are 4 commandments that all dogs need to know,” says Steve Brooks, Certified Pet Dog Trainer and owner of Steve Brooks K9U in California. “These are to come when called, sit/stay, walk nicely by your side when on leash, and to stop whatever he’s doing when the owner says ‘no.’” If your dog has trouble with any of these pooch manners, says Brooks, consider a basic training class or consultation with a dog trainer.


YOU: Save the environment and go green If you haven’t already done so, now is the time to begin new habits that help to preserve the environ-

ment for generations to come. Recycle and compost rather than dumping garbage, walk, cycle or use mass transit instead of driving your car, eat local foods whenever possible. Get ideas from The ReGeneration, a global movement of people committed to sustaining the world’s natural environment at www.regeneration.org.

YOUR DOG: Contributes to environmental problems Dogs and their accessories and waste contribute to our environmental problems, too. Think about all that poop sitting inside of plastic bags in landfills! Help your dog go green by purchasing recycled toys and accessories and biodegradable dog waste bags. Find bags and other household supplies at www.ecoproducts.com.


YOU: Volunteer to help others

Nothing makes you feel better than giving back to others. Check out volunteer opportunities at your local hospital, school, or food pantry, or look for exciting volunteer opportunities all over the world at www.worldvolunteerweb.org.

YOUR DOG: Is a natural volunteer The wolf, a dog’s ancestor, works together with other members of the pack for survival. When humans bred the wolf into the dog, says Bonnie Bergin, President of Bergin University of Canine Studies, home of the Assistance Dog Institute, that trait was retained. “Dogs partner with

humans for the betterment of both. Humans and dogs are a great team,” she explains. According to Bergin, there are several programs that focus on training people to use their dogs in service to others. Two to check out are Therapy Dogs International (www.tdi-dog.org) and Delta Society’s People Pet Partners Program (www. deltasociety.org). Dogs can help others in hospitals, schools, rehabilitation institutes, and many other facilities.


YOU: Reinforce your efforts at learning

new habits When you’re on track toward your goals, make sure to give yourself rewards along the way. If you’re trying to lose weight, make those non-food rewards, such as a new item of clothing, a movie, or even splurging on a mini-vacation.

YOUR DOG: Responds to positive reinforcement, too Dogs need positive reinforcement for a job well done, says Stilwell. “There’s more chance of good behavior being repeated if you use reward-based training. This doesn’t have to be food, either; use whatever motivates your dog, whether that’s praise, playtime, a toy or a walk,” she adds. ND

When you’re on track make sure to give yourself rewards.

Linda Hepler is a freelance writer who lives with her three dachshunds—and her husband—in northern Michigan.



Raising two puppies at once is not easy and it’s certainly not for everyone. If you’re wondering whether to get two instead of one, there are a few things you should consider first.

double W

hat I’m about to describe is probably a familiar situation to some of you. You go along to the Humane Society, shelter, or breeder to choose your longed-for puppy. There are two left, both as cute as the other. How do you choose? It seems so cruel to split them up and leave one lonely puppy behind. Then it dawns on you—why not take them both? After all, you’ll be housebreaking one, so one more won’t make a difference. Right? That’s how my husband and I came home from the Scott County Humane Society one day in 2003 with not one, but two bouncy balls of puppy fluff. I admit that looking back it was

18 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

a naïve decision, but five years later, we have two much larger canine companions whom we wouldn’t change for all the money in the world. When I first started researching this article, I was taken aback by how many articles I came across by breeders, vehemently stating that under no circumstances would they allow anyone to buy more than one puppy. In fact, some suggested that if anyone ever considered buying two, they would not sell them a dog at all. Such people, they argued, were cruel to animals and had no idea what they were doing. Looking across at Sam and Lizzie as they lay curled up together, I wondered

B y F i o n a Yo u n g-Brown

trouble what I had done that was so terrible. Obviously I know that I am biased but we have two fabulous dogs. Everyone says so. That’s not to say that raising two puppies at once has been easy and it’s certainly not for everyone. If you are wondering whether to get two instead of one, there are a few things you should definitely consider first….

Cost A lot of people have the idea that buying two at once will be cheaper. One dog bed, one crate, etc. That won’t be the case. One puppy plus one puppy equals two puppies, which equals twice the cost. Vet bills, food bills, boarding bills—they’ll all be doubled. Dog trainer Dan O’Leary advises that even



Sam (left) and Lizzie are both a PomeranianSiberian Husky mix. As puppies, they were adopted from the Scott County Humane Society in Georgetown, KY.

if they spend most of the day together, the dogs should still each have their own separate crate. Even best friends fight and they need to know that they each have space of their own.

Sex If you’re going to bring two or more dogs into the same home, you need to consider the sex of each dog. Two un-neutered males can become very aggressive with each other as they vie for territory and alpha status. Likewise, two female dogs will not necessarily get along with each other. Spaying and neutering is highly recommended and, if you get a boy and girl as we did, it’s essential. I’m a big fan of spaying or neutering anyway, but in a home with multiple dogs, it is key to avoiding unwanted litters and unwanted aggression.

Little or Large Do you know how big each dog will be? It is a running joke in our household that we have the biggest Pomeranians in town. My husband wanted a Pomeranian and even though the puppies were a mix, we figured they would be so small that two would barely take up any space around the house. What we didn’t learn until later is that they are a Pomeranian-Siberian Husky mix. By the time Sam topped out at 55 pounds, we were the owners of a much larger crate and a large indoor run. Fortunately for us, size was not a problem, but it’s an all too common story of the owner who dumps the dog at the shelter because he’s no longer small and cute. I’ve known people buy Labrador puppies and then not want them as adults because they are “too big.” Be absolutely sure how much dog you want. If they grow

20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

to be bigger than expected, can you handle having two in the house?

Toilet Training On some occasions this can be a positive. We were very fortunate that Sam never wanted to use the inside of our house as a toilet and, for the most part, Lizzie copied and learned from him, (with the exception of the day she kindly dragged my shoes over to rest atop the pile of pooh she left on the stairs). We were lucky. You may find yourself at the other extreme and constantly cleaning up twice the puddles and piles.

Behavior and Socialization This is where owning two puppies can have numerous pros and cons. On the one hand, they can learn from each other which can help enormously with toilet training and behavior training in general. On the other hand, you may think you’ve seen the destruction that one bored puppy can do. Now try to imagine what two can do together! Fences, furniture, carpet—it’s quite amazing what two sets of sharp, little puppy teeth can accomplish in a very short time. One key benefit of owning two puppies, or two dogs of any age, is the company factor. Dogs are social pack animals by nature. They love company. The staff at Dogtown, a dog daycare and kennel service in Lexington, note that dogs who live with other dogs tend to be less depressed when their owners are gone for long periods of time and, because they have a constant playmate, are often less likely to be overweight. They also tend to do well in group play with other dogs. There is the risk of over protectiveness though, and one may become more aggressive if they feel

that their sibling is being threatened. This is something that can be dealt with in training. It is important to make sure that the puppies, much as they love being together, learn to spend time apart from each other. Although this may develop naturally as they grow older, you should spend one-on-one time with each of them and occasionally separate them so that they are not entirely dependent upon one another. Good training is vital with any dog, but I would suggest it is even more so with two. That doesn’t have to mean a strict regimen in any sense of the word but they must learn to recognize you, the owner, as head of the pack. Rearing two puppies is not an easy task. Like any dog owner, I am biased and think that my two are the greatest creatures in the canine world, but would I recommend buying two puppies? It depends on the person and in most instances, I would suggest getting one and then getting another in a few years if you still want to have a multi-dog household. Having two people rather than one in the house certainly helped with training and discipline, and there are most definitely things that we would do differently next time around. Then again, as I look down at my feet and see Lizzie curled up under my computer desk and Sam laying protectively across the doorway, I know that I am lucky to have twice the puppy—and twice the love. ND

Fiona Young-Brown is a freelance writer and life coach. Originally from England, she now lives in Lexington, KY, with her husband, Nic, and their two PomeranianSiberian Husky mixes, Sam and Lizzie.


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


Merle’s Door: Lessons from a Freethinking Dog by Ted Kerasote By Ingrid King





andmade from cuddly, all-cotton socks, these one-of-a-kind creations are sure to put a smile on your face. Artist Stacey Hsu of Three Red Trees, has been making these creatures since 2005. She attributes her crafty origins to the Walt Disney World College Program in Orlando, FL. After being accepted into the program, she was assigned to a shop called The Chapeau, where she spent her early years sewing names on mouse ears. The promising internship fueled her love of all things “character,” and now over 15 years later, she spends her days as a writer, illustrator and a plush designer. Every Original Sock Dog comes with a colorful hang tag displaying their name, birth date and story, and each tag is signed by the artist. Stacey takes custom orders and will turn your own lovable canine into one of her miniature creations. To view samples of her custom work visit www. sockdogs.com. An avid volunteer and animal advocate, Stacey donates 10 percent of every Original Sock Dog purchase to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas. Reach Stacey Hsu at sockdogs@yahoo.com. Meet Laird (top) and Candy, two of the artist’s Original Sock Dog creations.

ooks about dogs are everywhere—from understanding and training them to stories about them. But no other book presents the unique blend of being both a moving love story between a dog and his human, and fascinating and well-researched information about how dogs think, communicate, and interact with their world. The story begins when Merle, a big, reddish dog, appears out of nowhere near the San Juan River, where Ted Kerasote, a well-known nature writer, is on a rafting trip. Merle chooses Ted as his human, and Ted takes Merle home to Wyoming. Thus begins a 13-year relationship built on that initial freedom of choice for both dog and man—a choice that enriched both their lives in ways neither of them could have imagined. What follows is the story of a deep and balanced human-animal bond. This is a relationship based on equality and freedom—Kerasote never subjects Merle to his wishes, but always offers him choices. The door, a real dog door that Kerasote installs for Merle, becomes a metaphor for the opening of a whole new way of looking at how dogs view the world. It shows how dogs, if given the opportunity to utilize their innate intelligence, can become fully realized beings with their own emotions, interests

and thoughts, rather than the eternal puppies so many pet dogs turn into. The door metaphor also extends to what the book really is—a love story. It symbolizes the opening to loving fully. Hearttouching, funny, moving and absorbing, it takes the reader on the 13-year journey of Merle and Ted’s relationship. If you’re not weeping by the end of the journey, your heart is made of stone. No matter how many times I’ve read the book, I still cry at the end. The book is packed full of interesting facts about dogs, from the latest research on wolves to explaining how sharing leadership with your dog, rather than treating him as your subordinate, can help create happier and healthier canine companions. It is a must read for any animal lover—it will change the way you look at how animals communicate and deepen the bond with your own canine companion.

Ingrid King is a Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people in Northern Virginia. Healing Hands also publishes periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit www.pethealing.net.

new media: blog

Would You Walk 2,000 Miles to Support Canine Cancer Research? Luke Robinson and his two Great Pyrenees, Murphy and Hudson, are out for a walk...A long walk! They are walking from Austin to Boston to combat canine cancer. In what usually amounts to 8 to 10 miles each day, you can follow their journey on the official 2 Dogs 2,000 Miles blog at http://2dogs2000miles.blogspot.com. Robinson’s journey really began in 2004, when his dog Malcolm was diagnosed with bone cancer, which metastasized to his lungs. Malcolm’s passing left him wondering how his dog had gotten this terrible disease and how he could help other dog owners, so they would never have to face the same diagnosis. Their original plan was to make it to Boston by Christmas, but with publicity stops and charity work comes a much slower pace. Instead, they hope to arrive to a celebratory event sometime in the spring. Visit the website for more information and “puppy up” products you can buy to support their walk and the mission of canine cancer research. 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 Beth in Alexandria



Loved by Sylvia and Bart in Leesburg




Loved by Alicia in Reston



Loved by Alicia in Reston


Loved by Fred and Crystal in Fredericksburg


MAGGIE Loved by Mike and Marlene in Woodbridge



Loved by Nichole in Fairfax


Loved by Krista in Arlington



Loved by Audrey in Alexandria


10. OLY

Loved by Rich and Mona in Alexandria


11. SAM 10

Loved by Connie in SpringďŹ eld

12. CASPER & AMBER Loved by Kathy and Jim in Alexandria




Loved by Barbara and Edward in Alexandria


22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

Advertiser’s Index: 14

1-800-PetMeds .................................. C2 Customer Service, 1.800.738.6337 www.1800petmeds.com


Becky’s Pet Care................................ 27 Becky O’Neil, 703.822.0933 www.beckyspetcare.com Cooperative Paws, LLC ...................... 27 Veronica Sanchez, 703.489.6452 www.cooperativepaws.com


DogOn Fitness, LLC ............................ 27 Carol Brooks, 703.627.4462 www.dogonfitness.com Drs. Foster and Smith, Inc. ................ C4 Customer Service, 1.800.381.7179 www.drsfosterandsmith.com





Happy Woof, LLC ................................ 25 Hillary Hutcheon, 1.877.370.WOOF www.happywoof.net KissAble Canine, LLC .......................... 25 Lisa Colón Tudor, 571.312.1940 www.kissablecanine.com NOVA Pet Sitters Network .................. 27 www.novapetsitters.com Olde Towne School For Dogs .............. 11 Gabriel Mejias, 703.836.7643 www.otsfd.com PawPrints Photography..................17, 27 Robin Burkett, 703-354-3736 www.pawprintsphotography.com

20 19. COCO

Loved by Linda in Alexandria

Loved by Kris and Carlo in Vienna

Planet Dog .......................................... C3 Customer Service, 800.381.1516 www.planetdog.com



Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. ...... 7 Anne Davis, 703.395.9450 www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com



Loved by Carolyn in Oak Hill


Loved by Carolyn in Oak Hill

17. ROSA

Loved by Barbara and Edward in Alexandria

Loved by Mary Beth in Alexandria


Loved by Gary and Renee in Catonsville


Loved by Leigh in Oak Hill


Loved by Carolyn in Oak Hill

Something From The Heart ................ 27 Crystal Day Page, 703.994.7407 Super Pet Expo ................................... 3 www.superpetexpo.com Virginia Greyhound Adoption ............. 7 Carolyn Flajnik, 703.288.4649 www.virginiagreyhounds.org Welcome Waggin’ Pet Sitting ............ 27 703.819.0809 www.welcomewaggin.com

Submit your photos at www.novadogmagazine.com/submissions.html



HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

Scott’s Run Nature Preserve 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


About Your Guide Carol Brooks is co-owner of DogOn Fitness, LLC. She specializes in high-energy dogs, providing them with working walks, running, adventure 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

24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

Distance: 2 miles Time: 40-60 minutes

As a co-owner of a dog exercise company and of a mile, pass Linganore Drive, and you will a dog parent, I spend lots of time running and see the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve parking on walking local trails in all types of weather. In your right. The East lot has space for about 14 winter, my mixed hound Polly-Bunches and I cars, so if it’s full, continue west on Georgetown prefer the blustery solitude of the woods, which Pike a half mile further to the West parking offer a safe alternative to icy or salted neighborlot directly across from Swink’s Mill Road. If hood paths. you park in the West parking lot, you have two One of our favorite winter spots is Scott’s hiking options. You can follow the posted maps Run Nature Preserve. Beyond its modest-lookleading you on a relatively flat route to the ing entrance lies a surprisingly robust park just Potomac River, or you can use the steep wooden one half mile from the Beltway in Mclean, VA. stairs mid-way on the right side of the lot. If Scott’s Run is a convenient and welcome respite you choose the stairs, the route leads you a half from the traffic and noise just a few miles away. mile back along the East-West Woodland Trail You’ll soon find yourself immersed in a mounto the East parking lot, which is where our hike tain-like retreat with uninterrupted winter views begins. Keep in mind, the stairs option from the not visible when leaves West parking lot will HIKING TIP: If you’re easily confused by crowd the trees in summer add a mile to your hike. directions, lay a few sticks pointing back in the and early fall. From the East direction you came from at trail intersections so With its many trails and parking lot, Polly and you can easily follow your path on your return trip. circuit hikes—detailed on I follow the trail to the several maps throughout the preserve—Scott’s Run has something for every fitness level of dog and person. Polly and I prefer a two-mile out-and-back hike on the Woodland Trail accessible from the East parking lot on Georgetown Pike. The Woodland Trail offers a fairly direct route from the East parking lot to the Potomac River. This hilly hike can take 40 minutes to an hour or more, depending on our mood. It’s easy to get to Scott’s Run East parking lot and the trailhead. Take I-495 to VA-193 (Georgetown Pike-Exit 44). Go west three-tenths


Location: Scotts Run Nature Preserve one-half mile West of I-495, Exit 44 (Georgetown Pike) McLean, VA Fido-Friendly Features: No Bikes, No Horses, Off-street Parking, Dog-safe Trails, FREE Entry, Trash Receptacles at Trailheads Use: Hikers, On-leash Dogs Best time to go: Morning Rated: 1 paw = easy; 5 = expert


right of the gate next to the Scott’s Run Nature Preserve sign. The trail starts off with an incline that opens to rolling hills as the parking lot disappears from view. Though park trails are unmarked, the main trails have reassuring map signs with “you are here” notations at trail intersections. The Woodland Trail Polly and I follow is wide, relatively easy to follow and obstacle free. At about the three-quarter mile point on the Woodland Trail, you’ll come to the remains of the Burling Homestead. This is one of the most scenic points along the trail. This old home site offers panoramic views of the Potomac River available only in late fall and winter. For weary dogs, this is a great place for a water break. If you’re not up for steep hills, this is also a perfect turn-around point. Continuing on the trail to the left of the ruins, the Potomac River is just a quarter mile away. Follow the trail downhill to the wooden steps, and then go right at the bottom of the steps to reach the Potomac River and Scott’s Run Falls on your left. If you’re lucky, you’ll have a camera-worthy view of the falls and river in icy splendor. The river is the turn-around point for our

John Phillips, of Falls Church, and his dog Ralph visit the park 2–3 times per week. hike. If you want to add more mileage, take the well-marked Potomac Heritage Trail downstream along the river toward the very visible I-495 American Legion Memorial Bridge. This part of the trail is narrow, rocky, and often has branches and fallen trees obstructing the path. It may not always be suitable for safe winter hiking. To get back to the parking lot and your car from Scott’s Run Falls, reverse and retrace your steps along the Woodland Trail. If you make it your mission to find interesting trails in all seasons for you and your dog to enjoy together, you’ll be on your way to a more fulfilling exercise routine and a well-behaved, happy dog. ND


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

JANUARY Saturday January 10th, 2009 Puppy Social Parties in Virginia—9:00 AM–9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St. Herndon, VA. Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks or erin@opbarks.com. For pups under 5 months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to supervise and answer questions for new puppy parents.

Saturday January 10th, 2009 Capital Bullies Meetup Group— 10:00 AM-11:00 AM at Guy Mason Park, 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC. Contact Aleetalynn, 202-491-5895 or a.schenesky@verizon.net Come meet and play with other friendly English Bulldogs and their people.

Saturday January 10th, 2009 HART Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Greenbriar Petco, 13053 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033

Saturday January 10th, 2009

Saturday January 17th, 2009

Homeward Trails Dog Adoption Event—12:00 PM-3:00 PM at Bailey’s Crossroads Petco, 5857 Leesburg Pike, Bailey’s Crossroads, VA. Contact Homeward Trails, 703-766-2647 or loisl@homewardtrails.org.

Capital Bullies Meetup Group— 10:00 AM-11:00 AM at Guy Mason Park, 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC. Contact Aleetalynn, 202-491-5895 or a.schenesky@verizon.net Come meet and play with other friendly English Bulldogs and their people.

Saturday January 10th, 2009 PetCo Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at the Fairfax Petco, 10708 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA Various rescue Groups will be bringing wonderful dogs that are looking for a new home. Call for more info: 703-352-3300.

Saturday January 17th, 2009 Puppy Social Parties-VA—9:00 AM-9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St., Herndon, VA. Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks or erin@opbarks.com For pups under 5 months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to answer questions for new puppy parents.

Saturday January 17th, 2009 HART Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Greenbriar Petco, 13053 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033

Wednesday January 21st, 2009 Pet Loss Support Group-Fairfax County—7:30 PM at the Fairfax County Animal Shelter, 4500 West Ox Road, Fairfax, VA. Call 703-2802244 or 703-830-1100. Special meeting for those whose pets are dying or who have already lost their pets.

Saturday January 24th, 2009 Puppy Social Parties-VA—9:00 AM-9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St., Herndon, VA. Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks or erin@opbarks.com. For pups under 5

months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to supervise and answer questions for new puppy parents.

Saturday January 24th, 2009 WARL Low-Cost Vaccination Clinic—9:30 AM-12:00 PM at Washington Animal Rescue League, 71 Oglethorpe Street, NW, Washington, DC 20011. Contact WARL Medical Center, 202-726-2273. The clinic will be offering canine and feline rabies, canine distemper/parvo, feline distemper, canine bordetella, and feline leukemia vaccinations for $10 each. Microchips for $35 and multi-dose packs of flea preventative will also be available. Appointments not necessary.

Saturday January 24th, 2009 Capital Bullies Meetup Group— 10:00 AM-11:00 AM at Guy Mason Park, 3600 Calvert Street, NW Washington, DC. Contact Aleetalynn, 202-491-5895. Come meet and play with other friendly English Bulldogs and their people.

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

Saturday January 24th, 2009 HART Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Greenbriar Petco, 13053 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033.

Saturday January 24th, 2009 PetCo Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Fairfax PetCo, 10708 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA. Various rescue Groups will be bringing wonderful dogs that are looking for a new home. Occurs every Saturday, except Holidays. Call for more info: 703352-3300

Wednesday January 28th, 2009 AWLA’s Wednesday Pet Loss Support Group—Please call or e-mail for time and reservation. Contact Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 2650 South Arlington Mill Drive, Arlington, VA. Call 703-931-9241 x260 for more information.

Saturday January 31st, 2009 Puppy Social Parties, VA—9:00 AM-9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St., Herndon, VA. Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks. For pups under 5 months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to supervise and answer questions for new puppy parents.

Saturday January 31st, 2009 Capital Bullies Meetup Group— 10:00 AM-11:00 AM at Guy Mason Park, 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC. Contact Aleetalynn, 202-491-5895. Come meet and play with other friendly English Bulldogs and their people.

Saturday January 31st, 2009 HART Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Greenbriar Petco, 13053 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033

Saturday January 31st, 2009 PetCo Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Fairfax PetCo, 10708 Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA. Various rescue Groups will be bringing wonderful dogs that are looking for a new home. Occurs every Saturday, except Holidays. Call 703-352-3300 for more info.

FEBRUARY Wednesday February 4th, 2009 Pet Bereavement Group-Alexandria— 7:30 PM at Animal Welfare League of Alexandria, 4101 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria, VA 22304. Free meeting.

Saturday February 7th, 2009 Puppy Social Parties-VA—9:00 AM-9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St., Herndon, VA. Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks. For pups under 5 months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to supervise and answer questions for new puppy parents.

Saturday February 7th, 2009 Capital Bullies Meetup Group— 10:00 AM-11:00 AM at Guy Mason Park, 3600 Calvert Street, NW, Washington, DC. Contact Aleetalynn, 202-491-5895. Come meet and play with other friendly English Bulldogs and their people.

Saturday February 7th, 2009 HART Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Greenbriar Petco, 13053 Lee Jackson Memorial Highway, Fairfax, VA 22033.

Saturday February 7th, 2009 PetCo Dog Adoption Day—12:00 PM3:00 PM at Fairfax PetCo, 10708 Lee Hwy., Fairfax, VA. Various rescue Groups will be bringing wonderful dogs that are looking for a new home. Occurs every Saturday, except Holidays. Call 703-352-3300 for more info.

Saturday February 14th, 2009 Puppy Social Parties-VA—9:00 AM-9:45 AM at Bark N’ Bubbles Dog Wash, 795 Center St., Herndon, VA Contact Erin Omba, 888-opbarks. For pups under 5 months! Socialization parties are for pups to meet other pups, people and experience new things for confidence building. Foster dogs welcome. A Professional Trainer is available to supervise and answer questions for new puppy parents.

Submit your event to: janelle@2houndsproductions.com

26 Northern Virginia Dog

Friday, Saturday and Sunday, March 20-22

| Winter 2009

NORTHERN VIRGINIA’S SHOPPING EXTRAVAGANZA FOR MAN’S BEST FRIEND Super Pet Expo brings its annual shopping extravaganza and animal lover’s dream to Chantilly, VA. From March 20-22, pet owners and pet lovers will be able of shop for their favorite four-legged friends at the Dulles Expo Center. The fun-filled family event will feature more than 100 pet-related exhibitors along with some highly unique entertainment and educational activities, including the following: Ultimate Air Dogs: Led by former Major League Baseball player Milt Wilcox and his dog Sparky, dogs run down a 40-foot dock, launching into the air at speeds exceeding 25 miles per hour and landing in a 30,000 gallon swimming pool. Ask the Trainer: Representatives from the International Association of Canine Professionals are happy to answer all of your questions about your pets’ behaviors. Pictures with Your Pet (additional charge): A professional pet photographer will be available to take some great photographs of your pet or pets to create lasting memories. Santa will also be available for pictures. Puppy Playground: Bring your dog to take a test drive of the puppy play ground, a fun and educational environment for your dog. Show hours 4-9 PM on Friday, 10 AM to 7 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM to 5 PM on Sunday. Admission is $12 for adults, $6 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www.superpetexpo.com and save $3 and kids attend free. Leashed pets, accompanied by their owner, are welcome to attend at no charge.


P r o d u cts and Services directory

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Specialty pet gift baskets Plus: wedding flowers, candles and favors Contact: Crystal Day Page

703-994-7407 When you want to do something from your heart


Advertise in the Spring issue of Northern Virginia Dog Magazine and put your company in front of regional dog lovers. A highly targeted publication, it reaches thousands of local readers, who are interested in the very best doggie day cares, pet sitters, barkeries, groomers, veterinarians, trainers, pet behaviorists, and retail pet stores. If you have a dog-related business, Northern Virginia Dog Magazine readers will want to know about it.

For rates and more information, please contact Angela Meyers, Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387, f: 858.400.6812 e: ahazuda@yahoo.com.


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WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Johnny Cash:

This Beagle Sings the Blues No More

A d o p t ed from: The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) on September 14, 2008.

H o w d id he get his name? The AWLA learned that more than 40 dogs were confiscated from a property near Middleburg, VA, and offered to take in some of the dogs. Before being rescued, the dogs were living in terrible conditions in a tumble-down barn with little or no food in sight. The AWLA took in four Beagles and one Coonhound—all of whom had very loud voices. The AWLA named each dog after country singers. Johnny had the loudest bay of all, and the name Johnny Cash seemed appropriate! We chose to keep his given name because it suits him so well.

Yo u p i cked him because... Last summer (July, 2007), we adopted our first dog from the AWLA—Max, a three-yearold Beagle mix, and thought he would enjoy a companion. We wanted to find a friend who would suit Max’s size and temperament. When we went to the AWLA, we met with Johnny and one other dog, but knew that Johnny had the right demeanor to be a good match for Max.

F a v o r i te activity together: We love going for walks with both our dogs, but we try to give each one solo, “special” walks when they get all of our attention. Johnny loves his time outside and also really enjoys playing and rolling around in the grass. Since we brought him home, we’ve taken Johnny and Max for special walks in Old Town, Great Falls and even Harpers Ferry.

F a v o r i te treat or snack: Johnny Cash, age 6 (or 7), owned by Michael and Selviana Bates of Alexandria, VA

Johnny likes just about anything you give him. At the AWLA, he was especially fond of chopped up hot dogs, but at home, he eats and enjoys everything!

Yo u l o ve him because he... Johnny is so resilient and so loving even after everything he has been through (including the removal of a cancerous growth found while he was being neutered). Considering the conditions he came from, we marvel at the fact that Johnny is still so outgoing to humans and wants to give everyone “doggie kisses.” As soon as we get home at night, he wants to be right near us and always wants to be around us no matter what we are doing. ND

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) provides shelter to animals in need, promotes adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in our community. An average of 1,200 animals are adopted from the shelter each year. AWLA offers humane education programs, wildlife assistance, reduced cost spay/neuter programs and rabies and microchipping clinics. There are still many dogs at the shelter in need of loving homes. Visit us at 4101 Eisenhower Avenue in Alexandria, to inquire about adopting your new best friend.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009

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Northern Virginia Dog Magazine, Winter 2009  

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

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine, Winter 2009  

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

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