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novadog Winter 2012




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What exactly is the raw food diet and is it right for your pup? Also Inside: Indoor Winter Swimming With Your Dog Help For Canine Joint Pain

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contents Winter 2012

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


Where to buy

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page 20

From Barn to Bowl What exactly is the raw food diet and is it right for your pup? By Pennye Jones-Napier and Carole King

16 D E PA RT M E N T S


News, information, and products


Advice and information on canine health issues

On the cover:

Izzy is chief farm hound at Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville, VA, a fifth generation grass-based farm providing 100 percent grassfed beef, lamb, and pastured pork throughout northern and central Virginia (www. mountvernonfarm.net). Photo by Molly M. Peterson (www. mJmphotography.biz).


13 D.I.Y Dog

Inspired projects for the resourceful dog owner

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


Happenings we’ve sniffed out

Let your pup follow his nose with this new sport




Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond


A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs


27 HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy


Adoption success stories

Find a pet service provider—see the directory on page 26.


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PUBLISHER Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com CONTRIBUTORS Christy Bell, Carol Brooks, Ines de Pablo, Sabrina Hicks, Pennye Jones-Napier, Carole King, Ingrid King, Neil Knolle, Sophia Malakooti, Elissa Matulis Myers, Sandra Mejias, Molly M. Peterson

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We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover. NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Training and canine health care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Helping local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals.

Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2012 is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area, and are available in select locations. One and two year subscriptions are available. Visit the NOVADog web site for more information. Send change of address information to janelle@2houndsproductions.com or P.O. Box 30072, Alexandria, VA 22310, 703.850.6963. NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.

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Winter Swimming The holidays are over, the new year is underway, and let’s face it—spring seems like a dream. Why not read our Destinations article on canine winter swimming and then venture out to one of the local indoor pools? Your dog will enjoy the warm water and indoor play time, and you get a break from the cold winter winds whipping through the dog park. See page 10 to read the adventures of Sophia Malakooti and her dog Lilo’s romp in the pool at the newly opened Olde Towne Pet Resort in Dulles, VA.

Raw Revealed I didn’t know very much about the raw food diet before a few months ago, when NOVADog Magazine asked Pennye JonesNapier and Carole King, two leaders of the local raw food movement to explain to us

exactly what it is and what the benefits and risks are of feeding raw to our pets. Jones-Napier walks you through the basics, starting on page 16, and King gives helpful tips on page 19 for transitioning your pet over to the raw diet. Because so many pets were sickened or even died from the 2007 pet food scare, locally sourced, traceable, and organic ingredients are important to pet parents now more than ever. Do you already feed your dog the raw diet? Are you thinking of transitioning your dog over? We’d love to hear about how your dog adapted, and if you have realized health benefits from feeding raw. Send your emails to janelle@2houndsproductions. com.

for Dogs Sandra Mejias to help us with a reader question on using the dog park safely. She provides guidance on what sort of dog does well at the dog park and what type of dog should avoid an unleased social setting. We provide great tips on reading a dog’s body language and on how to deal with an unpredictable human element that can sometimes spark trouble at the park. Don’t miss the winner of our quarterly photo contest on page 12. As always, thanks for reading NOVADog Magazine. If you have an idea for our next photo contest or suggestions for future editorial—or just want to say “hello”—I’d love to hear from you.

Dog Park Dilemma We asked seasoned dog trainer and owner of Olde Towne School

Janelle Welch, Publisher janelle@2houndsproductions.com

Bev Hollis Photography


connect with us: facebook.com/novadog twitter.com/2_hounds flickr.com/photos/novadog novadogmagazine.com/blog

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suggesting they have a rudimentary capacity for empathy, reported British scientists in the journal Biology Letters. Although yawning is widespread in many animals, contagious yawning—a yawn triggered by seeing others yawning—previously has been shown to occur only in humans and chimpanzees. It turns out, however, that man’s best friend is highly sensitive to catching human yawns, with 72 percent of 29 dogs tested yawning after observing a person doing so. SOURCE: PET CONNECTION by Marty Becker and Gina Spadafori © 2011 Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.

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Butternut Bites This recipe is a tasty treat for both humans and dogs, and you can easily make it using table scraps from a festive winter dinner. Ingredients 1 cup boiled and mashed butternut squash. (You could substitute mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes, if you don’t have butternut squash available.) 1½ cup uncooked oatmeal ¼ cup dried cranberries 1 tsp nutritional yeast 1 tbsp honey What to do 1. Preheat the oven to 370°F and butter a large cookie sheet. 2. Combine the cooked, mashed butternut squash with the oatmeal, cranberries, yeast, and honey. 3. Mix well so that all the ingredients are thoroughly combined. 4. Use a teaspoon to scoop small balls on to the buttered cookie sheet. 5. Make sure they are evenly spaced out—about 1 inch apart—and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes. 6. Allow the bites to cool, and then add these nutritious goodies to your dog’s usual meal or serve them as individual treats!

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Stem Cell Therapy for Dogs & Cats Eases Joint Pain Chri s ty B ell, LV T B lu e R i d g e Ve te ri n a ry B l o o d B a n k Ste m Ce l l Te a m


tem cell therapy for the treatment of joint diseases in animals, particularly dogs, cats, and horses, has been available in the United States for a number of years. Today, second-generation technology is enabling more veterinarians to take advantage of this modality by making the investment less expensive and improving the process and delivery. Proponents say stem cells harvested from adipose (fat) tissue accelerate the healing of muscles and joints in adult animals suffering from osteoarthritis, hip dysplasia, ligament and cartilage injuries, and other degenerative joint diseases. Researchers have found that “activating” stem cells before returning them to the animal’s body enhances the healing of these musculoskeletal problems. “This technology can be adapted for any animal, be it a dog, horse, or cat ” says Boardcertified surgeon Dr. Tom Walker, M.S., DVM, Dipl. ACVS. “Our team takes that pet’s fat, processes it, and activates the stem cells. Then, we put them back into the same animal. We

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are using the animal’s own repair system, the adult stem cells.” Because it is an autologous procedure (same animal), he says, it is safe and effective. A true benefit is that this can all be accomplished as a singleday procedure at the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank, and our patients are released to go home the very same day.

| Winter 2012

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Reducing Pain and Inflammation Veterinarians only harvest about 20 grams of fat—a little more than a tablespoon—to collect 400 to 600 million stromal cells. Any extra cells can be banked for future treatments. The harvested fat tissue is broken down by an enzyme wash, then centrifuged to obtain stem cells. During the process, a blood sample is also taken and is centrifuged to separate contents and create platelet rich plasma (PRP). Rich in many growth factors, PRP is used in veterinary medicine to aid tissue healing. The veterinary lab technician adds the PRP to the stem cells and puts the mixture under an LED light, which activates the cells outside the body. “We are using PRP and photostimulation, which activate the stem cells and cause them to proliferate in much higher numbers, and that is a big advantage,” Walker says. “It also helps enhance the amounts of antiinflammatory growth factors that are helping the body reduce pain and inflammation.” Once the fat is harvested, processing the stem cells takes only about three hours. Most owners report improvements in range of motion and mobility in three to 14 days. The stem cells will continue healing for weeks to months, and the effects last at least a year or more on average, Walker says. Depending on the extent of the joint injury and the age of the animal when it first receives regenerative medicine, some animals will need periodic treatments. Walker says it is important to frame owners’ expectations: They need to understand that the animal is suffering a degenerative disease, and that stem cells cannot “cure” arthritis. Instead, he says, stem cells will aid in healing, reverse some of the degenerative process, and provide substantial pain relief, but over time, the joint will begin to degenerate again. “We are not turning a 10-year-old dog back into a puppy. But we are providing tremendous pain relief, so they feel better and they move around better,” he says. If you are interested in learning if this procedure can help your pet, schedule a consultation appointment with your veterinarian. Review a brief questionaire and your veterinarian will help determine if the procedure could be of benefit. Because the patient undergoes general anesthesia, pre-surgical bloodwork is required. Stem cell therapy is contraindicated in animals with malignancies, so experts recommend a radiograph of the chest and abdomen to make sure there are no tumors. Typically, this is similar to the pre-surgery work-up a dog receives before a dental or surgical procedure. ND Christy Bell, is a licensed veterinary technician at Blue Ridge Veterinary Associates. To find out more information on Veterinary Adipose stem cell procedures and clinic site options, contact the Blue Ridge Veterinary Blood Bank at stemcell@BRVBB.com


Join the pack. Stay informed.




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An s w e rs to y ou r be h a v i o r a n d tra i n i n g q u e s ti o n s

The Dog Park Dilemma B y Sa n d ra M e j i as

Unfortunately, it only takes one dog, one irresponsible owner, or just a set of unusual circumstances to put you or your dog in jeopardy.

I hear a lot of good and bad things about dog QUESTION parks. I very much enjoy taking my dogs to an off-leash park because they get more exercise than they would on a leash, and it’s very social for me and for them. My two dogs like people and other dogs. But I’ve seen some fights, some injuries, and lots of people yelling at each other over the behavior of their respective dogs. Once, I was bitten as I broke up a bad fight the wrong way. Can you give me some advice and safety tips on how to best take my dog out to the park? The question of how to safely enjoy an off-leash dog park is an excellent one. There are so many different variables involved in this activity that the experience may vary with each visit. The number and types of dogs running and playing in these parks change according to the location and time of day. Some parks are far more ANSWER

popular and crowded than others. In a perfect world, our dogs would go to the park and have fun running with the other dogs or chasing a ball while you and other owners enjoyed watching the fun and socializing with one another. This is often the experience dog owners enjoy in the dog parks, especially if they go to the same park with the same basic

group of dogs. Unfortunately, it only takes one dog, one irresponsible owner, or just a set of unusual circumstances to put you or your dog in jeopardy. For the safety and well-being of you and your dogs, it is important to educate yourself on what is acceptable and appropriate behavior for the owners and dogs in the park.

What type of dog does well in the dog park setting? The dog should be social and enjoy the company of other dogs without trying to dominate them. He should also be obedient enough to listen to his owner if he is bothering a person or dog or if his owner just needs to get him back. If he lives to retrieve and goes to the park strictly to chase his “ball,” he should be able to handle another dog looking at or possibly picking up his ball without retaliating. If a dog has

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some of the freedoms that they might experience in a natural environment. These freedoms will put them at risk for fights, bites, or injuries at times. had any history of aggression towards dogs or people, his owner should look for a different outlet for exercise.

How well can you read another dog’s body language? If a dog enters the park and begins to dominate another dog by posturing over him, growling, mounting, or attacking, it is time to take your dogs home. It is important not to intervene once dogs have begun to posture. Instinctively, we want to pull them apart, but that action can actually trigger a fight. A good book on dog body language will help you identify problem situations. Understanding Your Dog, by Dr. Michael Fox, has excellent charts of dog body language. If you arrive at the park and the play appears to be

Understanding the Human Element

aggressive or unsettled, pass the park by and save it for another day with a more peaceful group. As a professional dog trainer, I hear stories of unfortunate incidents in the dog parks. Most of those incidents could be prevented by people being more respectful and responsible with their dogs; however, other incidents seem to come out of left field. For example, dogs that have played well together in the past suddenly get into a terrible fight resulting in a trip to the vet, or a dog suffers a serious eye injury while just wrestling with a friend. I hear enough of these stories to know that your concerns about safety in the dog park are legitimate. Dogs will be dogs, and, in the dog park setting, we are allowing them time to enjoy

“Baby it’s cold outside!” at Olde Towne School for Dogs you’ll find plenty to warm the body and soul of your furry friend: coats, sweaters, parkas, collars, leashes, and a wide selection of holistic, grain free, and raw diet dog and cat foods, cookies, treats, bones, rawhide and toys of all kinds

Everyone has met the person whose dog is the terror of the dog park. That person is usually clueless regarding his dog’s behavior and his inability or unwillingness to control the dog can be infuriating. When someone refuses to control his or her dog and puts another dog in jeopardy, those actions can lead to human confrontations which can be even more disturbing than dog fights. Despite these drawbacks, because you and your dogs enjoy the dog parks and do well with others, you should not deprive yourself or them of the fun. You can help protect your dogs simply by being responsible and vigilant of the activities and social camaraderie in the park on any given day. ND

Sandra Mejias began her dog training career at the age of 12, showing Irish Terriers in obedience and conformation. In 1975, she and her husband Carlos opened the Olde Towne School for Dogs in Alexandria, VA. They have successfully trained thousands of dogs over the years, and the school continues to create successful, happy dog and owner teams. To schedule a free evaluation with a trainer, visit www.otsfd.com.

on nd nti a ff Me ADog % o V 0 NO 1



“Trust Your Pet to NoVa Mobile Vet” Call now for your appointment—at your home or in our hospital! Wellness Visits Sick Visits

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703-836-7643 www.OTSFD.com Olde Towne School for Dogs 529 Oronoco St. Alexandria, VA 22314 www.novadogmagazine.com



D og -fri en d l y s p a c e s i n No rth e rn V i rg i n i a a n d b e y o n d


What if your dog doesn’t love water? Brian Dove, Pet Care Director at the Olde Towne Pet Resorts gives tips on how to overcome your dog’s fear. Visit the NOVADog Blog to read more: www. novadogmagazine.com/ swimtips.

Lilo and her swim guide splash and play at the Olde Towne Pet Resort.

A Winter Waterland

When the Temperatures Drop, Take Your Dog for an Indoor Swim By So ph ia M a la koot i


y dog Lilo has pounced through the playful surf of the Eastern Shore beaches (attempting to hang twenty on a surfboard) and captained kayaks in the regional rivers of Virginia, swimmingly sporting her hot pink life vest. She has sunbathed on the docks of Reston Lakes, submerging herself in the crisp water for a quick cool down. Amidst the endless “pawsibilities” of aquatic leisure, the sweet sensations of a sun-filled summer have left and gone, leaving Lilo with nothing more than frigid and bitter waters. Has the onset of the winter season abandoned her swimming adventures to a bath tub filled with organic shampoos and Kong toys? Let us not despair, for the opportunities to experience the wet dog smell have not escaped our senses quite yet. Indoor swimming pools

10 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012

for animals have become a new trend. Our canine companions have been given a great gift to release excess energy, exercise their muscles, and practice Hydro Therapy.

Our Adventure It was a misty day. The fog left us with little to see, and the rain began to shower down. Lilo was perched on the arm of the couch staring out the window—sad she could not frolic in the fields and chase chipmunks. I looked at her; she looked at me. Then I said, “Let’s go!” Lilo leaped off the couch, wiggled her way to her cabinet of leashes and yum-yums, and sat military style waiting to get hooked. So it was, we were on our way to an indoor dog pool. We arrived at the magnificent Old Towne Pet Resort in Dulles, VA. After we scurried through the rain and walked in the doors,

we were greeted by multiple voices of welcome. The pristine lobby of stone and dim lights was modern yet warm, appealing to the human eye as well as the canine. Immediately our eyes were led to the glass enclosed room of a sparkling aquatic wonderland. The very friendly and CPR-trained staff suited Lilo in a snazzy life vest, and off she went to swim. Or did she? She looked at the pool, looked back at me, and held her ground. With an encouraging tug from the swimming guide, Lilo walked down the pool ramp and sloppily swam her way through the pool with loud splashes that showered the room. Much to my surprise, a talented swimming Alpha Dog walked in to assist Lilo with her aquatic etiquette. A few laps and a chase later, Lilo sprawled out on the pool ramp to cool down and rest. As we all know, a tired dog makes a happy owner.


The setting of an indoor swimming pool for dogs is quite impressive. Most pools are heated, providing a comfortable and relaxing temperature for the dog’s body, and are treated with non-harmful chemicals or salts, surprisingly beneficial for the dog’s coat. Some pools have walk-in ramps for easy access, toys to play with, and massaging jets.

An Energy Release Swimming is a unique, energy releasing exercise for dogs, much different from a routine walk or running to fetch a ball. A swimming dog is in constant movement. He breathes more deeply, and has a sharper attention span to his surroundings—all of which require a lot of energy. The effects of water exercise are beneficial to a dog’s muscles, ligaments, and joints, as the weight of the body becomes buoyant and is reduced by almost 90 percent. This effect lightens the stress of pressure on the dog’s muscles and joints, allowing for a broader range of motion. From Toy Poodles to Newfoundlands, all breeds and ages are encouraged to swim. Young pups who experience the thrill of water adapt quickly, and older dogs benefit from the water’s therapeutic effects, known as Hydro Therapy. Dogs that have arthritis or aches and pains may use swimming as a safe exercise to relieve joint pain—especially

Please note: All swimming facilities require an appointment in advance, so remember to call ahead.

Olde Towne Pet Resort Springfield: 8101 Alban Road, Springfield, VA 22150 703.455.9000

Northern Virginia Animal Swim Center 35469 Millville Road, Middleburg, VA 20117 540.687.6816 Half Hour Session: Starts at $30 Hours: Tuesday-Friday 10AM - 8:30PM, Saturday and Sunday 10AM - 6PM

Dulles: 21460 Squire Court, Sterling, VA 20166 571.434.3300 Half Hour Session: $35 Hours: Monday-Friday 7AM-7PM, Saturday 8AM-5PM, Sunday 11AM-4PM

Liberty Hill Pet Resort 10401 Green Road, Bealton, VA 22712 540-439-7297 Sessions: Start at $28 Hours: Monday 8AM-6PM, Saturday 8AM-2PM

Blooms Crossing Animal Hospital 9471 Manassas Drive, Manassas Park, VA 20111 703.335.7766 or 703.361.1363 Half Hour Session: $35 Hours: Thursday 2-4PM, Saturday 10AM-3PM

in rehabilitation after injury or surgery. Emotionally, swimming can enhance the energy and confidence of a dog. If you have a dog that suffers from pain, he or she is most likely unable to exercise or play well, which can result in depression or lack of motivation. The subtle movements in the warm water can help release the dog’s endorphins and can increase motivation and playfulness. Every dog has a different energy level in the water. Some dogs take advantage of their time in the pool, while others grow tired after only a few minutes. When it rains or snows, when it is cold or damp, or when your dog just needs a

change of routine, taking a swim in an indoor pools is a fantastic way for your dog to burn pent-up energy, safely exercise muscles, and soothe aches and pains. Let’s just say Lilo slept very well after her swimming session. *I should note that dogs with serious diseases, respiratory or heart problems, open wounds, or potty troubles should seek the consent of a professional before entering a swimming pool. ND Sophia Malakooti and her dog Lilo like to travel around Northern Virginina exploring new opportunities and experiences.

Welcome to Olde Towne Pet Resort • 30,000 sq-ft state-of-the-art facility for dogs and cats • Affordable day/overnight suites, spa, day camp, and grooming • High-tech indoor pool and pro-style outdoor agility course • Live, 24/7 PetCams for online viewing

Come in for a tour. Make a reservation. Learn more. Call or click today! OldeTownePetResort.com | 1.888.475.3580 OLDE TOWNE PET RESORT, DULLES 21460 SQUIRE COURT | STERLING, VA 20166



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Hey, where’s my dog? If you submitted a photo, and don’t see it here, check out the NOVADog slide show! Click on “submit your photos” from our homepage: www.novadogmagazine.com.

D . I . Y  D O G

Ins p i red pro j ec ts for the res o u rc e fu l d o g o wn e r

Create a Family Emergency Plan There is No Such Thing as Being Too Prepared in a Crisis By Ines de Pablo


hen you became a pet parent, you took on the responsibility to care for his or her well being, no matter what hazards get in the way. Your pets depend on you to keep them safe and healthy. In an emergency situation you are more likely to panic if you don’t have a few good rehearsed plans. A pre-determined plan can help you keep a level head. Pets can pick up on your stress and if they are injured, it could make their medical condition worse. With some thought and planning, you can create a simple and effective plan that will serve your family well. Some key points to remember when formulating your plan: n Bad things happen to good people, so yes it can happen to you and your pet(s). n If Plan A does not work out, have a good contingency plan ready. n Any rehearsed plan is better than just a theoretical plan. n Prepare your Go Bag ahead of time with

supplies, and essentials that you can grab at a moments notice. n Pets should always wear a collar with regular identification, county license, microchip, and rabies tag at all times. Update microchip information when you move, change phone numbers, get a new job, or anytime your contact information changes. No matter what the nature of the emergency, pet parents will always need to consider these essential concepts, so we suggest starting with the following steps as the basis for your emergency plan.

Step 1: SECURITY The first thing to do in an emergency situation is to determine and assess the security of your surroundings and make a decision: Do you want to evacuate or shelter in place? When creating your family emergency plan, think ahead. How will you protect yourself,

your family, your pets, and property against the elements and others once you have evacuated or once you emerge from your shelter-in-place location?

Step 2: A DESTINATION Establish a safe room in your home and the criteria to know during each scenario to select that safe room, a local shelter, or out-of-town location. You should set up an out-of-town contact that will accept and accommodate you and your pets. Have your out-of-town contact’s information readily available at all times in your Go Bag, and make sure to determine that your out-oftown contact is not in the path of whatever disaster is striking your area. It’s also a good idea to create a backup out-of-town contact in case you cannot reach your original emergency contact. Make sure to scope out pet friendly hotels along your evacuation route ahead of time. Not all shelters accept pets. Those shelters that do will probably require vaccination records and proof of ownership. (See common sense items sidebar.)





1 Emergency/weather radio, flashlight, and extra batteries. 2 Waterproof matches and a way to cook food, along with a can opener and multi-tool knife.

3 Water treatment tablets. 4 Extra dry clothes. 5 Trash bags. 7 Paper maps (Technology fails. Paper and pen notes survive water damage better and power outages.)

8 Whistle. 9 Human and pet life jackets, plus any pet carriers needed. 10 Proof of your identity, proof of pet ownership, and your

pets’ immunization records, along with a picture of you and your pet(s) ensuring everyone pictured can claim ownership at a shelter.

11 Copies of your social security card, medical records,

birth certificates, passports, driver’s license, and health and home owners insurance should you need to file claims or need to prove your identity to authorities or insurance companies.

12 Towels. A beach towel if possible and smaller cotton

towels. The large towel can be used as a stretcher (for people and dogs); cut into pieces if needed to bandage or wrap things together; used as a blanket; or waved at helicopters or rescuers, etc.

Visit www.wagnpetsafety.com/AllHazardsCatsDogs for a full comprehensive checklist.

Your own transportation. Lines at the gas station after an emergency are often long and there may be fuel shortages. If possible, plan ahead to fill your tank before the emergency situation strikes. A good rule of thumb is to always keep your gas tank at least half full. Check your tires on a weekly basis and periodically check to ensure that there is enough air in the spare. Do not overload your car. As a general rule, Go Bags should not have wheels and weigh more than what each family member can carry. Now is the time to assess your list of essentials, and let family members know what is permissible to bring along. Practice now to ensure it all fits, or there could be a very rude awakening during the emergency when tensions already run high. Communal/public transportation. Most modes of public transportation do not accept pets that cannot fit on your lap inside their crate. If you have more than one pet or your pets are too large, make other arrangements now before an emergency strikes.

Step 4: COMMUNICATION Communication with your family. You and your family should plan how you will contact each other if you are not together when disaster strikes. Don’t rely exclusively on cellular telephones because they work intermittently following a disaster. Text, Tweet or Facebook instead as real emergency calls may not make it through. Discussing Fido’s feelings after an event is not crucial and can wait or be shared through other means. Someone out of town may be more easily able to communicate among separated family members. Communication with your emergency contact. That person does not have to be near you. It could be Aunt Anna, who is 100 miles away and always home—she would be a great emergency contact because she both lives out of town and is available. She can become your dispatcher. Everyone in your family can send in

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14 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012

a status report and she can coordinate everyone’s status during the emergency. Medical help. Know where your nearest hospital is and how to get there. Keep hospitals and emergency vet clinics marked on your evacuation route map. Keep the contact information of your primary care physician, veterinarian, emergency vet and poison control on paper and electronically at home, in your car, and in your Go Bag.

Step 5: ESSENTIALS Food and water. Plan on one gallon of water per person, per day minimum. Water can be used for drinking, sanitation, cleaning, cooking, and medical emergencies. Too heavy? Consider water purification tablets and camping equipment to filter and boil water found on the go. For pets, add 2 quarts per day, per pet. Pack a non-perishable food supply for seven days for each person. Keep a large bag of your pet’s food in your Go Bag. Always include food your pet is used to in order to maintain health and diminish stress and sanitation issues. Medications. When you prepare your Go Bag keep a printed calendar and make notes of when things were placed inside and when they expire. Place meds in Ziploc bags and label each one, so if need be, others can help you safely distribute. Your Go Bag should include human and pet first aid kits. Get the right tool to stop bleeding, respond to poisoning emergencies, or, at a minimum, get instructions. (Visit www.WagnPetSafety.com for good tools and resources.)

Step 6: SHELTER This selection will vary depending on the nature and scale of the emergency. Shelter-in-place. This can be hazard specific, depending on the type of disaster or emergency. Think ahead to which room of your house would be safest in a tornado or a flood. How many people can fit in? How long can you stay in there? What resources will you need? Evacuate. Assuming it is not safe for you to remain at your current location, how far should you go? Where will you stay? Is there still room? Keep camping equipment within reach of your Go Bag in case you plan to shelter in a tent or SUV on your own terms. Make a list of hotels and motels in the area and along the route to your out of town contact in case circumstances prevent you from reaching your original destination.

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A Non Rehearsed Plan is a Bad Plan Once a pet emergency management plan is made, practice the plan with your family, considering multiple hazard scenarios and giving yourself various time frames to evacuate. Make sure each family member understands what to do and what responsibilities, if any, he or she has. For instance, make sure everyone is aware of whose job it is to wrangle the pets and who’s in charge of shutting off the gas line, electricity, and water. This way, if disaster does strike, you’ll know that your emergency plan runs smoothly, safely, and effectively. ND Ines de Pablo is the president and founder of Wag’N Enterprises, which offers pet emergency management solutions to service industries, first responders, and pet parents to effectively mitigate, prepare, and respond to emergencies that impact pet health and safety. Wag’N Enterprises has been dedicated to pet safety since 2007. Find out more by visiting www.wagnpetsafety.com.

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Where to buy

raw food page 20

By Pennye Jones-Napier and Carole King

16 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012


What exactly is the raw food diet and is it right for your pup? Tips and guidelines from leaders of the local raw movement can help you decide.


aw diets for dogs and cats are now readily available in most urban areas, and a good many consumers are starting to hear about the benefits of feeding a raw diet. It is important first to understand what comprises a whole, balanced, raw diet for dogs and cats, and then to know the benefits and risks, and how to safely transition them over.

What is the Raw Diet? By Pennye Jones-Napier Optimally, whether preparing a balanced raw diet at home or using a whole, balanced commercial raw diet, the same ingredients must be present in order to make a good raw diet a whole raw diet: n raw meaty bones n muscle meat and organ meat n eggs, dairy, and micronutrients n fruits and vegetables in a limited amount. People who feed their pets significant amounts of raw meat must ensure the diets are properly balanced, or the animals could be at risk of nutritional deficiencies. Today, pet owners have many more options available for feeding their pets a good, whole commercial raw diet than there were a decade ago. Every commercial diet contains the above ingredients in varying percentages to create a balanced formula, based on the company’s internal animal nutritionist’s guidelines.

Why Feed Raw? Since the 1890s, the use of dry foods has become more and more prevalent for a variety of reasons, so why the change back to a more traditional way of feeding your companion animals? First, we have to travel back in time to nutritional studies done on cats by Dr. Francis M. Pottenger. These nutritional studies showed a regular diet of cooked or canned foods caused the development of chronic degenerative diseases and premature mortality, while the “control” group of felines in the study thrived on a raw food diet and their offspring were healthier with less initial losses at the birthing. This was followed in the early 1980s by a recommendation from Dr. Richard Pitcairn, who suggested a diet of raw and whole foods for your pets versus the commercial dry dog and cat foods on the market. He states, “All processed pet foods—whether sold in cans, bags, or frozen packages, in either giant supermarket chains or local health food stores—are missing something that seems to me to be one of the most important ‘nutrients’ of all. This key ingredient is something nutritional scientists have practically ignored. But when it’s there, you and I

WHERE DID IT COME FROM? “After the tragic deaths in 2007 of thousands of dogs and cats due to tainted pet food ingredients, safe ingredient sourcing needed to become a priority, says Carole King, owner of Pawgevity Food for Pets. “Fortunately, there is a growing movement of consumers looking not only for quality, human grade ingredients for their beloved companions but for foods made from ingredients that are locally sourced, grown and raised using organic methods,” says King. Traceability is a major factor— when ingredients are grown and raised locally and aren’t traveling around the world or being shipped and passing through multiple hands, a manufacturer can have a better and more thorough tracking system—from farm to bowl.



Aunt Jeni’s Home Made complete and balanced frozen raw diets are locally made and sold at many Northern Virginia pet stores.

can know it and feel it. It is a quality found only in freshly grown, uncooked whole foods. It’s life energy.” So what are some of the benefits that people find when they switch their pets to a raw diet? n Their animals no longer have that “dog” or “cat” smell on their coats, and the coat becomes shinier. n There is an increased vigor and liveliness in the animal. n The teeth become cleaner, and the mouth odour is dramatically reduced. nThere is much less stools produced, the stools are firm, and turn chalky after a couple of days. This is a sign of all the nutrients being utilised before excretion. n The diet mirrors more closely what a dog or cat would be getting in the wild.

At The Big Bad Woof, we have found over the years that many of our customers see a marked improvement in their animals health even if they add raw as a feeding once a day and feed kibble at the other feeding. By introducing whole foods to their diet, you allow critical micro-nutrients and enzymes to be available that are cooked out of processed foods. This can lead to an improvement in the overall health and vitality of the animal. According to Dr. Lea Stogdale, DVM, and Dr. Garcea Diehl, DVM, “To our knowledge, feeding home-prepared cooked or raw diets has not been proven to control medical problems, based upon prospective, double-blind, statistically significant clinical trials. However, we find that we can control a number of chronic digestive, allergic, and metabolic

problems by using home-prepared diets. We find that we can prevent a large number of problems from occurring in our feline and canine patients, including bladder stones and feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), intermittent vomiting or diarrhea, seborrhea sicca, and recurrent ear infections.” Handling raw food diets should follow the same food safety guidelines as handling any other meats and foods in the kitchen, including washing your hands, counters, and all utensils with warm soapy water. A touch of vinegar can be added to the mix for additional safeguards against bacteria. Raw food diets are not appropriate for all dogs. Because the diets are typically high in protein, they aren’t appropriate for dogs with late-stage kidney or severe liver failure. Dogs with pancreatitis or other digestive issues should start with a cooked, homemade diet and clear up problems before switching to raw. Dogs with cancer, on chemotherapy, or dogs with other immunosuppressive diseases also should not eat raw food without the advice of your veterinarian. ND Pennye Jones-Napier is co-owner of The Big Bad Woof in Washington, DC, and Hyattsville, MD. Visit them on the web at www.thebigbadwoof.com

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Going Raw By Carole King So, you’ve decided to transition your dog or cat to raw food for the first time. Remember, any time you make a major change in diet, it’s easier on the animal if it’s done gradually. Here are some tips and things you can expect when transitioning to the raw diet: n Remove all dry kibble from the diet. n No free feeding (leaving food out), and no treats between meals (while transitioning). n Mix a pea-size amount of raw with their favorite wet food. This is only short term. n If your cat or dog is used to “crunchy,” you can sprinkle a little of the old kibble or favorite treat crumbled on top as an enticement. n Serve food at room temperature or slightly warmed up by mixing in a small amount of hot water. Don’t microwave. Cats “eat with their nose” and need to be able to smell their food. It’s also easier on their digestive systems. n Leave food down for no more than 5-10 minutes, and what doesn’t get eaten goes in the fridge. Warm up leftovers with hot water mixed in for the next offering. n If a cat or dog has only eaten dry kibble his or her entire life, remember this is going to be “foreign” to him or her. Most dogs will accept readily; for cats, you generally can expect a slower transition. Don’t hesitate to sauté the food at first to get your pet used to something different. n Don’t let a cat go more than two days without eating something. n Once your pet has accepted the raw diet,

Izzy enjoys Pawgevity Chicken Formula. Pawgevity raw foods are available at over 100 locations throughout the DC/ MD/VA region. (www. pawgevity.com)

continue adding more of the raw food while taking away the equivalent amount of the wet food at each meal. n In multi-animal households, sometimes a hesitant animal will try something new if she sees another animal eating it. Long term, it’s best to separate the pets so they can eat at their own pace. n Both dogs and cats will go through a “detox” period as they expel stored toxins—expect runny eyes, smelly urine, coat shedding, slightly loose stools or constipation, and, possibly, some itching/scratching. This will pass, and they will have renewed vigor and vitality. ND Carole King is a lifelong animal lover and advocate. After losing two of her beloved pets, she launched a Virginia-based, natural, raw pet food company known as Pawgevity—Food for Pets, where she remains as owner and chief feeding officer. For more information, visit www. pawgevity.com.

What’s on the Label? s just as important to read the ingredients on the labels of raw diets as it is any pet food label. Don’t be confused by It’

the word “raw” as some foods are, in fact, irradiated, pasteurized in some form, or dehydrated. The general rule is if it’s not in the freezer, it’s not raw—but check the packaging carefully and contact the manufacturer if you’re not sure. Here are some pointers on what to look for: n The first ingredient should always be an animal protein (i.e., chicken, lamb, turkey, etc.). There shouldn’t be any other animal protein included—mixing different proteins within a formula can cause food intolerances and increase allergic response. n Ground bone should be included, not bone meal. Bone meal is highly processed and a poor substitute for the real thing. n Organs of the same animal as listed in the first ingredient should be included. There shouldn’t be a mix of organs from other animals. n No additives, preservatives, or synthetic chemicals, vitamins, or minerals. n No grains. n No added taurine—taurine should be obtained from the organs/meats.

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Where to buy

rawlocally food

Who Carries What?

Aunt Jeni’s Home Made www.auntjeni.com 90 locations in MD, VA, and DC

Dogma Gourmet Bakery & Boutique Two Arlington, VA, locations to serve you www.dogmabakery.com

Old Town School for Dogs Alexandria, VA www.otsfd.com

The Big Bad Woof Washington, DC, and Hyattsville MD www.thebigbadwoof.com

Uptown Pet Bistro and Boutique

Aunt Jeni’s sells frozen raw food and raw meaty bones through online retail space at www.auntjeni.com,* and it’s available at more than 90 locations in MD, VA, and DC, including Whole Foods Market in Alexandria. *Food is shipped on dry ice, in special Styrofoam coolers, with no extra charges for these materials.

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Work at What You Love By El i s sa M a t u lis M y er s


eah Fried Sedwick, owner of Olde Towne Pet Resorts, says “few relationships are so laden with mutual benefit as that between man and dog.” The relationship “goes way beyond pragmatism and protection. Dogs have played a key role in the evolution of the idea of companionship.” It’s clear that Leah loves dogs. Dogs may have helped us learn about companionship, but Leah and her family company, the Fried Companies, have elevated that friendship a notch through their remarkable pet resorts. Fried Companies was founded by Leah’s mother and father, who first kindled her dog passion. “My dad would take me walking around the neighborhood, pointing out one dog after another, and teaching me their breeds,” she says. “While we walked, he quoted to me from Robert Frost’s “Two Tramps in Mud Time”: My object in living is to unite my avocation and my vocation. “‘Work at what you love,’ my dad would say, so when I wanted to open a pet resort to focus on my passion for dogs, he encouraged me.” “In the 90s, the pet industry was valued at about $23 billion,” she says. “Today, it’s $47 billion and growing– not surprising since 65 percent of Americans have pets.” Leah spoke at a pre-opening party, worthy of a gala opening for a five-star hotel, for the new Olde Towne Pet Resort in Loudon County. Also speaking at the event was Steve Jones, president and COO of Fried Companies, the real estate development company founded by the Frieds. “I’m excited to see us opening our second Pet Resort,” says Jones. “I’m the ‘bricks and sticks’ guy,” he says. “A lot of thought went into designing this second facility. We moved the pool up front, so human guests could watch our dogs swim. The pool is designed


to provide water-therapy for dogs with arthritis or just plain fun for water dogs. And technology is installed to keep the water fresh without using a lot of chlorine that can dry a dog’s skin and irritate his eyes.” (See page 10 for more about indoor canine swimming.) “We installed a custom heating and air-conditioning system that refreshes the air throughout the facility every 3-4 minutes,” says Jones, “and an industrial-strength generator that keeps us operating at capacity 24/7, even if there is a power outage.” But the best parts of the resort are the private and public rooms. On arrival, guests are greeted from a marble reception desk, laden with bowls of dog treats. The public spaces are plentiful because, as Fried Sedwick says, “We emphasize physical activity and play time.” There are outdoor areas where attendants play with the dogs, and a very large indoor play space that can be ingeniously subdivided with custom-installed doors. Agility equipment is around for the dogs to practice and play on, plus a community room for birthday parties. Glorious portraits of past guests and their owners and wonderful sculptures of dogs by a wild-life biologist decorate the space. The resort has staff on-premises 24 hours a day to keep an eye on the dogs and make sure everyone is comfortable, happy, and safe. A full-time dog trainer is at the resort daily, and there are the groomers, the ball throwers, the swim instructors, and the dog walkers. The dog narrator in the novel Racing in the Rain aspires to come back as a human. After visiting the Olde Towne Pet Resort, I think I‘d like to come back as a dog—one pampered enough to periodically stay here. ND

Leah and grand openfamily at the Dull es ing. Dog of their own? Biloxi, a Mastiff that was Leah’s dad’s dog, is everywhere at the resort, keeping a gentlemanly eye on the operation, and Barbara Fried’s Terra, a Rat Terrier, is too. Family and staff members have rescued more than 100 dogs. Best advice to other entrepreneurs? Work at what you love. Funniest story? Sometimes bankers or realtors will call to discuss some business plan, and when they hear dogs barking in the background they will ask, “Do you work in a kennel?” And Steve Jones will answer, “As a matter of fact, I do.” Extra benefit of the stay? One of the things we are most proud of is that most of our owners say they are able to take their dogs everywhere with them because they are so socialized as a result of their stays with us. Over the top luxury? Don’t have time to drop your dog off? Nick, the chauffer will pick him up.

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

Join the pack. Stay informed.




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H a p p e n i ng s w e’ v e s ni ff e d o u t

March 16-18, 2012 Dulles Expo Center

A Pet Owner’s Paradise


he Super Pet Expo, one of the area’s most acclaimed pet events, is coming to the Dulles Expo Center on March 16, and runs through March 18. If you have pets, you don’t want to miss this premiere shopping extravaganza. The Expo delivers tons of shopping, animal education and exciting entertainment—all under one roof. Eric Udler, producer of the show welcomes leashed, and wellbehaved pets of all kinds and creates an engaging and fun environment for families to enjoy a day out with their pets. “It’s the best place to find unique pet-related items that you just can’t find in the store,” says Udler. With more than 150 vendors, your shopping experience starts as soon as you step in the door. Pick up some gourmet doggy biscuits, shop for a hand-made harness, and get that beautiful new pet bed that Fido has been dreaming of.

Looking for a New Best Friend? The Super Pet Expo helps to promote responsible pet ownership through the many educational exhibits and sessions featured throughout the weekend. Many local animal rescues will be in attendance with adoptable pets looking for their forever homes. If you are looking for a new best friend or a furry addition to the family, the Super Pet Expo is the puurfect place to meet your match!

Entertainment to the Max Each year, Udler and his team put together an amazing array of unique and exciting entertainment sessions. NOVADog Magazine received a sneak peak, and here’s a few things you can expect to see at the Expo:

n EVO Pet Food High Flying Athletic Dog Show: See world class canine athletes who jump super high catching Frisbee’s along an agility race with tunnels, weaves, jumps and more. n Wiener Dog Racing Team: See a team of high energy miniature dachshunds dressed in burns and finished with mustard or ketchup. Wiener takes all. n Puppy Playground: The World’s Largest Indoor Puppy Playground spanning nearly 5,000 square feet guarantees to be a fun and educational environment for your dog. There is no better way to socialize man’s best friend. Sponsored by a Dog’s Day Out. n Best Dressed Pet Competition: Does Max exhibit that certain je ne sais quoi in a tuxedo? Is Bella chic in satin and pearls? Enter your dog in the All Friends Pet Care best dressed pet competition. The parade of fashion-forward animals begins at 11 AM Saturday, March 17. A panel of judges will award prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. n Extreme Reptiles: See an amazing venomous snake exhibit and experience the wonder and excitement of these fascinating animals. Learn and view them with a greater understanding. Gain new respect for these amazing animals. n Dog Agility Demonstrations and Dog Agility Classes: Trainer extraordinaire Kathy Benner and several of her human and four legged friends will direct various dogs through an obstacle course in a race for both time and accuracy. Dogs run off-leash with no food or toys as incentives, and the handler cannot touch the dog and/or the obstacles. ND

Show hours are 4:00 to 9:00 PM on March 16; 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on March 17; and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on March 18. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www.superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG. Leashed pets welcome (no charge).

novadog Fall 2011




fun fall

22 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012

Also Inside:

When It’s Time to Say Goodbye Expert Advice: Pup Finding the Perfect Hit The Trail: Difficult Run

meets up Plus, pet care for the holidays, and gifts to get and give!

FREE Subscription to NOVADog

Buy your Super Pet Expo tickets ONLINE and you have the option to sign up for a FREE annual subscription to NOVADog Magazine. Offer for new subscribers only, one subscription per household while supplies last! Buy tickets online at www.superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG.


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www.novadogmagazine.com/subscribe BARK BUCKS! $5 off! Enter coupon code NOVAD8 at checkout. www.novadogmagazine.com



E v e n ts y o u wo n ’ t wa n t to miss January 26

JANUARY January 9 6:30-8:30PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact kharman@awla.org or call 703.931.9241 x246.

Featuring the best organic, holistic, and raw food. You will find unique items for the largest to the smallest dog and the most curious Kitty.

January 14 12:30-3:00PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

January 15


4471 Market Commons Drive, Fairfax, Virginia 22033 www.uptownpetboutique.com

1:00PM—Free Ask the Trainer session at Fur-Get Me Not, 4120 S Four Mile Run, Arlington. Come by, take a tour of our school, and ask any question you have about dogs. It can be specific to your current situation or about training or dog behavior in general. The session will be led by Fur-Get Me Not lead trainers, who are Certified Professional Dog Trainers, Knowledge and Skills Assessed (CPDT-KSA). More info, email trainer@furgetmenot.com or call 703.933.1935.

6:30 - 8:30PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241.

January 28 12:30-3:00PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

January 29 1:00PM—Canine Good Citizen Test at Fur-Get Me Not, 4120 S Four Mile Run, Arlington. Cost is $20. Register online at www.furgetmenot.com.

FEBRUARY February 1 7:30 – 8:30PM—Pet Bereavement Group at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, 4101 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria VA 22304. No appointment necessary. Join professional Kathy Reiter to share thoughts and emotions regarding the loss of a loved companion animal. More

book review by ingrid king

Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die


ets don’t live nearly long enough. Anyone who considers a pet a family member or best friend will sooner or later experience the pain of loss, and it can be as devastating as the loss of any loved one. Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die addresses the many challenges that come with pet loss: knowing when it’s time to say goodbye, making a decision you can live with, bracing yourself for and coping with the inevitable grief that follows, helping children cope with pet loss, letting go, healing, and, hopefully, eventually getting another pet. Katz’s book is profoundly influenced by his experience with Orson, the difficult dog he wrote about in A Good Dog, a dog who came with serious behavioral challenges that ultimately forced Katz to make the agonizing euthanasia decision. The author was caught off guard by the grief that followed Orson’s death. “I was embarrassed by my grief,” he remembers. “What right did I have to fall to pieces over a border collie?” Katz addresses many of the issues sur-

24 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012

By Jon Katz

rounding the end of life of a pet with great sensitivity. He shares his own examples, as well as stories from other pet lovers. A particularly poignant chapter is titled “A Perfect Day.” Katz relays the story of a dog owner who, when faced with the dog’s failing health, decided to pay tribute to his life with the dog and give him something to feel besides pain and sadness. He decided to give his dog a “perfect day”: a day that included everything from favorite foods to walks and tennis balls—all the things the dog loved. Katz manages to turn a difficult topic into something beautiful by honoring the animals and the gifts they bring into our lives. In the introduction, he shares that his wish in writing this book was, “in part, to convey the idea that the loss of a beloved cat or dog or horse does not have to be the end of something. It can be the beginning, a process as well as a loss. It is a gateway to the next experience.” He fulfills that wish well. The book serves

as a guide on how to navigate through the process of grieving the loss of a pet, as well as an encouragement to welcome grief as a sign of the depth of the feelings we have for these pets we love so much. Ingrid King is the award-winning author of Buckley’s Story—Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. She is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. Her online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called “educational catnip for the cat lover” and is a comprehensive resource for conscious living, health, and happiness for cats and their humans. For more information about Ingrid and Buckley’s Story, please visit www. ingridking.com.

information, www.alexandria animals.org. 6:00PM - 9:00PM—Sugar & Champagne Affair at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. The Washington Humane Society’s 11th annual dessert and champagne reception honors local crusaders against animal cruelty and celebrates all things sugary and sweet, showcasing the DC area’s most talented pastry chefs. Enjoy delectable confections complemented by some of the world’s finest sparkling wines. www. sugarandchampagne.org.

February 11 12:30-3:00PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

February 11-12 Ice Rescue and Safety Course. Location will be Deep Creek Lake, MD. There are no prerequisites for this class and registration is now open. More info: www. wagnpetsafety.com.

February 13 6:30-8:30PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact kharman@awla.org or call 703.931.9241 x246.

February 25 12:30-3:00PM—SPCA of Northern

Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.



Dog Bakery and Boutique

March 7 7:30 – 8:30PM—Pet Bereavement Group at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, 4101 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria VA 22304. No appointment necessary. Join professional Kathy Reiter to share thoughts and emotions regarding the loss of a loved companion animal. More information, www.alexandria animals.org.

March 10




Thank You For Supporting Us For 12 Years!

12:30-3:00 PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

March 12 6:30-8:30 PM—Baby-Ready Pets at Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Offers free preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of the new baby. Dogs are not invited to this class. Endorsed by the ASPCA. To register, contact kharman@awla.org or call 703.931.9241 x246.

March 16-18 Super Pet Expo. More than 150 vendors for a cool shopping experience, plus outstanding entertainment. Show hours are 4:00 to 9:00 PM on March 16; 10:00

2011 ABBIE Award Winner 2445 N. Harrison St. Arlington, VA 22207 • 703-237-5070 2772 S. Arlington Mill Dr. Arlington, VA 22206 • 571-422-0370




AM to 7:00 PM on March 17; and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on March 18. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www. superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG. Leashed pets welcome (no charge).

March 22 6:30 - 8:30 PM—Low-cost Rabies Clinic at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Cost: $10. Please bring proof of a prior rabies shot (a rabies certificate, not a tag) to get a three-year rabies shot. Without it, your pet will receive a one-year shot. More info www.awla.org or call 703.931.9241.

March 23 10AM- 6PM—Pettech Pet First Aid Class offered by WAG’N ENTERPRISES, LLC. Be sure you have the skills needed in an emergency that can help save your pet’s life. The PetSaver First Aid Course is an 8 hour hands-on class that certifies you in Pet First Aid. More info: www.wagnpetsafety.com.

March 23-25 PetSaver Instructor Training. This threeday program will provide you with the

necessary skills and teaching methods to properly train pet owners in first aid and care. Learn to market and promote your new skills and the Pet Tech Family of Programs. More info: www.wagnpetsafety. com.

March 24 12:30-3:00 PM—SPCA of Northern Virginia Dog Adoption Days at Weber’s Pet Supermarket 11021 Lee Hwy, Fairfax, VA, 703.385.3766. Visit www.spcanova.org to see available dogs.

APRIL April 4

March 16-18, 2012 Dulles Expo Center March 16-18—Super Pet Expo. More than 150 vendors for a cool shopping experience, plus outstanding entertainment. Show hours are 4:00 to 9:00 PM on March 16; 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM on March 17; and 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on March 18. Admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and FREE for kids three and under. Buy tickets online at www.superpetexpo.com and save $3 on tickets by using promo code NOVADOG. Leashed pets welcome (no charge). GET A FREE NOVADOG MAGAZINE ANNUAL SUBSCRIPTION WITH YOUR ONLINE TICKET ORDER.

7:30 – 8:30PM—Pet Bereavement Group at the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, 4101 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria VA 22304. No appointment necessary. Join professional Kathy Reiter to share thoughts and emotions regarding the loss of a loved companion animal. More information, www.alexandriaanimals.org.

during times of disaster, whether at the local or national level. For more information and to register www.wagnpetsafety.com.

April 14 & 15

April 21

Wag’N Enterprises will host the American Humane Basic Animal Emergency Services Training. Learn about disaster response and how to care for and shelter animals

10AM- 6PM—Pettech Pet First Aid Class offered by WAG’N ENTERPRISES, LLC. Be sure you have the skills needed in an emergency that can help save your pet’s

life. The PetSaver First Aid Course is an 8 hour hands-on class that certifies you in Pet First Aid. More info: www.wagnpetsafety.com.

Find more events online at www. novadogmagazine.com.

Directory of Service Providers SAVE MONEY! Look for the SAVE $$ logo for special offers from participating companies. Turn to the page number listed and see their ad for special savings offers for NOVADog readers. Agility

Frying Pan Farm Park 703.437.9101.....................................p. 5


Olde Towne Pet Resort www.oldetownepetresort.com.............p. 11 The Dog Eaze Inn www.dogeazeinn.com................................p. 6

Cremation Services

Sunset Pet Services, Inc www.sunsetpetservices.com...........p. 15


Northern Virginia Professional Pet Sitters Network www.novapetsitters.com.........................p. 20 Passionately Pets www.passionatelypets.com.........................p. 12 Time for a Walk www.timeforawalk.com.................................p. 5 Tickled Paws www.tickledpaws.com.......................................p. 15 Walking The Dogs, LLC www.walkingdogsva.com...................p. 23 Your Dog Smiles www.yourdogsmiles.com.............................p. 22

Dog Bakery/Treats

Pet Therapy/Volunteerism

Dogma Dog Bakery www.dogmabakery.com...........................p. 25

Fairfax Pets On Wheels, Inc. www.fpow.org...........................p. 4

Dog Day Care

Photographers/Pet Portraits

Dog Food/Nutrition

Friends of Homeless Animals www.foha.org....................... p. 28 Washington Humane Society www.washhumane.org ............p. 28

Dog Spa/Grooming

Retail Goods SAVE $$

Always There Pet Care www.alwaystherepetcare.com.............p. 20 Fur-Get Me Not www.furgetmenot.com..................................p. 8

Pet Safety Goods & Services

Wag ’N Enterprises www.wagnpetsafety.com ..........................back cover

Pet Sitting/Dog Walking

| Winter 2012

Do-Rite Disposable Dog Diaper www.Do-Rites.com................p. 23 Doodlebug Quilts www.doodlebugquilts.com..........................p. 23 Uptown Pet Bistro & Boutique www.uptownpetboutique.com....p. 24

Training/Behavioral Counseling/Advice

Full Pet Services (dog walking/pet sitting/boarding/daycare/training)

26 Northern Virginia Dog


Rescue Organizations

Aunt Jeni’s Home Made www.auntjeni.com...........................p. 18 Whole Pet Central www.wholepetcentral.com.........................p. 8

All Friends Pet Care www.allfriendspetcare.com ............inside front. Amanda’s Pet Care www.amandaspetcare.com......................p. 23 Becky’s Pet Care www.beckyspetcare.com.............................p. 4 Biscuit Break www.biscuitbreak.com.....................................p. 23 DogOn Fitness, LLC www.dogonfitness.com...........................p. 23 K9 Nirvana www.k9nirvana.com............................................p. 2


Bill Owen www.owendogphotography.com.............................p. 23 Molly M. Peterson www.mollympeterson.com........................p. 25

Dogtopia www.dogdaycare.com.............................................p. 2

Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique www.barkleysquarebakery.com...............................................p. 3 Bark ’N Bubbles www.barknbubblesdogwash.com........inside front. Pampered Pets Grooming www.pampered-pets.us.................p. 23 The Purrfect Grooming Company www.purrfectgrrooming.com...................................................p. 23





Big City Dogs www.bigcitydogs.net.........................................p. 13 Good Dog Workshop www.gooddogworkshop.com..................p. 23 KissAble Canine www.kissablecanine.com.............................p. 19 OffLeash K9 Training LLC www.offleashk9training.com.........inside back Olde Towne School For Dogs www.otsfd.com.........................p. 9 Rudy’s Friends Dog Training, Inc. www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com..........................................p. 12 SAVE $$ Unleashed Abilities www.unleashedabilities.com...................p. 23 SAVE $$

Veterinary Services

Blue Ridge Veterinary Hospital www.blueridgevets.com.........p. 7 NoVa Mobile Vet www.novamobilevet.com.............................p. 9 NOVA Pets Health Center www.VA-PETS.com........................p. 23 Veterinary Surgical Center www.veterinarysurgicalcenters.com...p. 14

Don’t like to hike alone?

Join us for our monthly group trail hike and F.I.T. Clinic. Find out more: www.facebook.com/DogOnFitness.

HIT THE TRAIL Local walks to enjoy

Riverbend Park By Carol B r ooks a n d N ei l K n o l l e


f you and your dog are looking for something

ness, along with a uniquely diverse and changing

to keep active in cold weather, consider a

environment, trick you into thinking you’ve gone

winter hike. Hiking in cold weather is easier

farther than you actually have. Within it’s over

than in the summer, and you can take in scenic

400 acres of forest, meadows, and ponds, one

views not available during other seasons. You

can travel from sandy riverside paths hosting

also gain the advantages of less-crowded trails

paw-paws and large sycamore trees, to richer for-

where your dog will get a healthy break from

est paths with oak, maple, and beech trees, to a

concrete and asphalt.

meadow that is said to be one of the area’s best

I recently rediscovered Riverbend Park in Fairfax County while looking for a dog-friendly

viewing locations for migratory songbirds. Our suggested 3-mile trail hike follows the

Lynn Pacenta and Kona enjoy a Saturday morning hike

park to host a group hiking clinic. Riverbend

Madison Escape Trail, to the Bootlegger Trail

Park is a delightful destination often overlooked

through Conn’s Meadow, and continues onto the

for the better known nearby Great Falls Park. The

Potomac Heritage trail, which in April is rich with

spacious Visitor Center deck. If you’re lucky, you

park is open year-round (except Christmas Day),

waves of Virginia Bluebells. Since this hike has

might catch a glimpse or hear the faint sounds

is free, and has a modern visitor center and ex-

a significant portion along the Potomac River,

of high-flying migratory swans along the Potomac

pansive multi-level deck with inviting Adirondack

please check a trail map for alternate routes


chairs that look out onto the Potomac River. This

before heading out; water levels can affect the

is a great place to relax after a hike, even in cold

accessibility of riverside trails.


Our hike starts on the yellow-blazed Madison

Getting There Riverbend Park is located at 8700 Potomac Hills

Escape Trail The trailhead is in the lower parking

Street, Great Falls, VA. From I-495 (Beltway)

hike along historical paths used for millennia

lot above the first parking space as you enter the

take the Rt. 193 (Georgetown Pike) exit toward

for trading, escape from the British invasion on

lot. Follow this trail uphill, paralleling the park

Great Falls. Go approximately 4.5 miles to River-

DC, by bootleggers, Conn’s Ferry boat passen-

entrance road for about a half mile to the park

bend Road and follow signs to the park. Traveling

gers, and fishers. Since the topography along

entrance. A sign advertises the Bootlegger Trail

on Georgetown Pike from points west, follow

the Potomac remains relatively unchanged by

on the left. At this point go right and cross the

directions listed on the park’s website: www.

development, scenic views are much the same

entrance road onto the well-marked (red blazes)

fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/riverbend. ND

as described in accounts of early travelers. The

Bootlegger Trail that narrows as it enters the

2.5 miles of Potomac Heritage Trail that skirts

woods. Follow Bootlegger Red Trail signs into the

the park at the edge of the Potomac River, and

meadow. This is a little confusing, but the goal is

winds through a globally rare plant community,

to get onto the Meadow trail and follow it to the

has been in continuous use for over 5000 years.

right past a viewing platform by a natural pool.

What was once a Native American trade route is

Past the pool, the trail goes left. You will see a

now a modern hikers’ paradise.

restored farm building about 100 yards away on

Our dog hiking group enjoyed a pleasant loop

A highlight of this park for dogs and people is its wide and open pathways. This feeling of open-

About Your Guide Carol Brooks is co-owner of DogOn Fitness, a daily exercise service for dogs. She specializes in high-energy and overweight dogs, providing them with working walks, running, adventure hikes, training reinforcement, and more. Located in Reston, DogOn Fitness has served the Northern Virginia area since 2003. Visit them on the Web at www.dogonfitness.com.

your right. Continue, and then turn right to cross the paved road. After crossing, enter onto a fire road that runs next to a residential home. You’ll


Hours: park and trails open 700 AM to dusk, visitor center open winter hours 11AM-4PM closed on Tuesdays. What To Bring: Be sure your dog has adequate tick protection. Wear sturdy waterproof shoes—the trail can be muddy in areas. Bring water for you and your dog, poop bags, and blankets and towels for after-hike clean-up. Distance: 3.0 miles

walk around a barrier that prevents unauthorized

Time: 60 minutes or more

vehicles from using the fire road. Continue on

Fido Friendly Features: off-street parking, fun dog-safe trails, water access, wide trails, numerous trash cans, a dog water bowl on the visitor center deck.

this road downhill until it intersects the Potomac Heritage Trail (green blazes) that leads to the river. Follow the green markings back to the Visitors Center. If the Potomac Heritage Trail is flooded (check this before heading out), you can easily change your route by following any of the

Use: hikers, runners, bikers, on-leash dogs Best Time to Go: Any time. Visitor Centers sells snacks and hot chocolate between 11-4 daily. Rated: 2 paws (hilly in places)

trails that lead to the Nature Center and back to the Visitor Center. After your hike, be sure to take a few moments to relax in an Adirondack chair on the

1 paw = easy; 5 = expert



WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Hermes: Athena’s New Little Brother

Photo © Jim Poor

Adopted from: The Lucky Dog Animal Rescue in February 2011. Hermes (above, right) is 11 months old and loved by Janine in Washington, DC.

How did he get his name? Hermes was initially Hershel. I was fostering him and the rest of his litter. Hershel loved my older dog Athena, and when the other puppies in the litter were adopted, Hershel became more attached to Athena. When we decided to adopt him, we gave him the name Hermes, since he became Athena’s little brother.

You picked him because... Hermes was the happiest and the silliest of his litter—he was always running around and playing with a smile on his face. We couldn’t resist having the furry bundle of joy in our home permanently.

Favorite treat or snack:


Hosted by

Chef Todd and Ellen Gray of Equinox & Watershed Restaurants and Muse at the Corcoran Gallery of Art

Presented by Trade Center Management Associates

Benefiting the Washington Humane Society

February 1, 2012 Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW Washington, DC 20004 – Leashed dogs permitted –

I’m not sure Hermes has met a treat he doesn’t like, but he loves hooves and the smaller knuckle bones. I buy then for him on very special occasions.

Favorite toy: Rope toys are his absolute favorite!

Favorite activity together: Hermes loves to play fetch and tug—he cannot get enough of his toys. Hermes and Athena race around the basement wearing circle marks into the carpet.

You love him because... It’s not possible to be in a bad mood when Hermes is around. All he has to do is smile and run over to you like you’re the most important person in the world. All unhappiness, depression, misery is immediately banished. Just thinking about him as I write this is making me smile. ND

General Reception: 7:00 – 9:00 PM ($90) VIP Chefs’ Tasting Room: 6:00 – 7:30 PM ($150) (includes entry to General Reception) To purchase tickets or for more information visit: www.sugarandchampagne.org, call 202-683-1822 or email events@washhumane.org

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2012

Lucky Dog Animal Rescue is an all-volunteer, non-profit animal rescue organization dedicated to saving the lives of homeless animals and educating the community on responsible pet ownership.To see adoptable dogs and to learn more, visit www.luckydoganimalrescue.org.

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NOVADog Magazine Winter 2012  

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

NOVADog Magazine Winter 2012  

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

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