NOVADog Magazine Winter 2019

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novadog Winter 2019


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Anniversary ISSUE!

Dog disputes When A Dispute over a Pet Makes You Upset – Mediate Is the Best Bet

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We’re Environmentally Friendly. The pages of NOVADog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy or pass this issue along to a fellow dog lover. NOVADog Magazine is committed to creating and fostering an active and supportive community for local dogs and their owners to share, learn, interact, and engage. Our mission is three-fold: • Educate—Provide training and canine health-care tips to help dogs live long and fulfilling lives. • Inspire—Publish insightful stories about local heroes and organizations that are doing good in our community. • Collaborate—Help local animal welfare organizations to save and enrich the lives of homeless and abused animals. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine © 2019 is published quarterly by 343 Media, LLC. Limited complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area and are available in select locations. One- and two-year subscriptions are available. Visit for more information. Send change of address information to P.O. Box 239, Mount Vernon, VA 22121, NOVADog Magazine neither endorses or opposes any charity, welfare organization, product, or service, dog-related or otherwise. As an independent publisher and media organization, we report on news and events happening in our local area. Events are used as an outlet to reach new readers interested in all aspects of dog ownership. We encourage all readers to make their own decisions as to which products and services to use, organizations to support, and events to attend.

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contents Winter 2019

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





12 D og Disputes


When A Dispute over a Pet Makes You Upset —Mediate Is the Best Bet By Vivian Leven Shoemaker

18 LSources egal Pet Parenting 101: Dog Law in Virginia

By Charles Michael Fulton, Attorney at Law

12 D E PA RT M E N T S





News, information, and products


Support local businesses

22 IN THE KNOW Pet Memorialization

Advise and information on canine health issues




A glimpse into the lives of Northern Virginia dogs

10 DESTINATIONS Super Pet Expo


Hiking with your dog

27 D.I.Y DOG

Inspired projects for the resourceful dog owner


Adoption success stories

Read Champ and Chloe’s adoption success story on page 28.




appy New Year – and a big thank you from all of us! This issue marks a special milestone for us. With this issue we celebrate 10 wonderful years dedicated to dogs! When we started in 2009, we were focused on our mission of improving the lives of dogs through education, contributing to and inspiring the community and building partnerships that help rescue and adoption organizations place more pets and raise awareness. With 10 year under our belts we are looking back and feeling great about the accomplishments we have achieved over the years, the improvements in pet lives we have inspired, the hundreds of partnerships we have collaborated on and the thousands of pets we have helped raise awareness for so they could find forever homes. We are proud to work with our amazing partners and readers, and we thank you for joining us through these years and joining in the mission of better the lives of dogs everywhere! Within this year’s Winter Issue, we draw on the ideas from our previous 10

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years. We have compiled another informationpacked issue including a wonderful mediation article, some legal pet parenting 101 tips, a pet insurance evaluation guide, a relaxing hike through Meadowood and a celebratory dog cake recipe for any celebration needs you have this coming year. Winter is also a great time to maximize quality time with your pet and catch up on low-key relaxation. This time of year begs us to curl up on the couch with a blanket, a copy of NOVADog and our furry pals for the evening. So hunker down in your couch and make your pet’s night by snuggling up with them and giving this issue a read. Happy 2019 NOVADog Community! We are looking forward to another dogtastic 10 years with you! Angela

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Anniversary ISSUE


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

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Pet Insurance Basics: Education and Selection Guide


eeping our pets healthy is at the top of our lists. As pet care options improve, we are provided many options to keep them healthy. With those optins, often come a large expense. To help families ensure their pets are healthy, pet insurance options have also increased. This guide gives you the points to consider when deciding if pet insurance is the right options for your family and our top rated options to get started.

STEP 1: Pet Insurance Evaluation: Learn the ins and outs of Pet Insurance coverage so you can knowledgably assess various plans and the benefit and cost a plan could have for your family. Pet inurance has many benefits, however it can be expensive and may have less coverage than human insurance. Another rule of thumb is that insurance premiums tend to be less expensive for younger pets, the coverage often includes more and the deductibles are lower, as your pets age the premiums and deductibles tend to inclease and covering limitations increase as well. Taking time to evaluate cost vs. benefit is important to ensure it is the right investment, as well as that you select the right type of plan. 1. P lan Types: The most common types of plans are: Accident

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Only, Limited Time, Mazimum Benefit, Wellness and Lifetime Policy 2. Term: Many plans are month to month, but review the policy to ensure there is not a penalty for early cancellation. 3. Coverage: Check the plan for important coverage detail including: a. Age Minimum and maximum b. Vet exam requirement c. Waiting Period d. P re-existing Conditions or complications related to breeding. e. B reed Restrictions and Conditions. Hip dysplasia and ACL surgery are common to be omitted for certain breeds. f. Other Restrictions 4. Wellness: Some plans don’t include wellness care, but it can often be added for an additional cost. Ask about vaccinations, flea and heartworm prevention, dental care, spay/neuter procedure, wellness exams and tests to know exactly what is and is not covered. 5. M edical care benefits: Often each type of needed care may covered at a different rate or may be excluded. Review the

summary of benefits for procedure coverage amounts, limitations (such as time or number of incidents) and exclusions. Examples include: Chronic conditions, surgeries, overnight vet stays, emergency care, office visit fees, cancer care, prosthetics, medical devices, dental care, anesthesia, prescriptions, euthanasia, x-rays, exams, lab tests, illnesses, injuries, medically required special diets. 6. Wholistic/Alternative Care: Ask about coverage for non-traditional care such as therapy, acupuncture, behavioral counseling and massage. 7. Additional Coverage: Boarding, personal property damage, advertising for lost pets, loss due to theft or straying, death from injury or illness, vet call line, vacation cancellation and discounts on services or products. 8. R eimbursement Options: Percent of Procedure coverage or annual maximum 9. Deductibles: per-incident deductible or annual deductible 10. Co-Pays: generally there are co-pays associated with care, mostly for wellness plans, but sometimes for other care as well. 11. Discounts: You might be eligible for multi-pet discounts, online sign-up, auto-pay, multiple policy discounts if you bundle it with your home or car insurance, find a group plan through your employer, a pet group you may belong to or your vet, as well as other discounts if you follow certain care routines or healthy standards.

Step 2: Pet Insurance Selection Guide: 1. S tart your research online. Visit Insurance for our top-rated list and to access quotes. 2. C osts: Pet insurance can start as low as about $30/month for puppies and small dogs. A middle aged-dog medium sized rate would start at $50/month. An older, larger dog’s rate would start around $80/month. Adding options, selecting lower deductibles and increased coverage increases rates well into the $300+/month range. The options vary greatly so doing a thorough comparion is very important. 3. G et at least 5 quotes, it’s a relatively quick and easy process online to get quotes, comparing them in detail will take the most time. 4. As you are getting quotes, check the options to customize your plan. Most providers have this option and you are able to select additions, change deductibles, add wellness programs, and much more, which allows you to create a plan that works better for your family and budget. 5. R eview each providers FAQs to learn more in-depth about the plan, billing, cancellation and coverage details. 6. H ere is a list of some providers to use as a starting point. Heathy Paws, Pet Plan, Trupanion and FIGO proved to be some of the top plans in our research: • Healthy Paws • PetPlan • Trupanion • Figo

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• Pets Best • PetFirst • Pet Partners • Pet Premium • Embrace • Nationwide • 4Paws • PetAssure 7. O nce you narrow your selection down, invistigate the following for the providers at the top of your list: • How long have they been in business? • What is their Better Business Bureau Rating? • How easy is it to submit claims? • How fast do they repay claims? • Do they have good customer service? What hours are they open? • Is there an app available? • Is their website easy to use? • What’s their rating from the Better Business Bureau? • Can you make changes to your plan? • Do they offer a money-back guarantee or free trial? • How do you cancel? 8. I t is important to review your plan, or consider a plan if you opted not to get insurance, annually. During this time you

should re-examine if the plan choice is still the best fit, as well as rebid your insurance and research new coverage options. Pet insurance decisions are personal and unique. And you deserve to be congratulated for your efforts. Your research has certainly paid off, no matter what becomes your ultimate decision. Being an educated pet parent is an important part of caring for your pet. ND


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A gl i m ps e i n to the l i fe of No rth e rn V i rg i n i a d o g s

Cage-free daycare, boarding, grooming and more. Five great locations in Northern Virginia. Visit The Prize Pack Winner (#1) receives a NOVADog Magazine limited-edition T-shirt and a gift certificate from A Dog’s Day Out.

1. SARAH loved by Patrice 2. IZA & TANGO loved by Cindi 3. TANGO loved Michael 4. HARPER loved Cathy 5. DOUG GUNNER BO JACK




JOHNSON loved by Curt & Sheri

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

Super Pet Expo Returns to the Dulles Expo Center, Ready to Cater to More Pets Than Ever


elcoming the fluffy, furry, scaly, fuzzy and every pet in-between, Super Pet Expo takes over the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA March 15th – 17th. Pet lovers from across the region will descend on the venue for 3 days of shopping, engaging entertainment, educational speakers and the chance to meet and greet a variety of friendly pets. There are few places you’ll find Mini Ponies, Macaws and Great Danes, but the Super Pet Expo is that place! Attend with a special Discount available for NOVADog Readers! The spring’s premier pet event will feature shopping galore! While exploring the aisles you’ll find all of the collar, leash and apparel options you could imagine. You’ll also discover the latest and greatest for pet owners, too. When you’re ready for a shopping break, there will be plenty of activities to keep you smiling and tails wagging:

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Rescue Zone Visit with adoptable pets to meet furry friends in person and learn how to add a new pet to your home. These include breed-specific rescue organizations like the Virginia German Shepherd Rescue and all-breed rescues such as Gray Face Acres, a rescue focused on senior dogs.

Luring 101 In just a few short years Luring 101 has become one of the most popular activities on the event floor. Dogs have a chance to break free of the leash and run to their heart’s content. They’ll chase an artificial lure around a track, with twist and turns along the way. The dogs aren’t the only one having fun, as they’re often cheered on by a large crowd. Follow #SuperPetExpo on social and you’re sure to catch some great videos from the Luring 101 course. The Corgi videos are pretty amazing.

Marvelous Mutts Catch the supremely entertaining Marvelous Mutts! Their appearances include Animal Planet, Good Morning America, The Today Show, Fox & Friends and countless local media outlets. Founders Kara and Nadja have been training and performing with the most talented canine athletes for over 20 years. Each performer was a rescue and you’ll be amazed watching them snatch Frisbees from the air, race through obstacles courses and perform entertaining tricks and stunts. Graciously sponsored by Supreme Source Pet Food.

Main Stage Entertainment Educational entertainment will be featured throughout the weekend, including presentations from holistic veterinarian Dr. Judy Morgan, a Meet and Greet with Instagram superstars Winston & Maya and the Best Dressed Pet Competition, sponsored by All Friends Pet Care. Last year’s competition brought a wiggedChihuahua with a “Make America Cute Again” sign and a royal wedding re-enactment to the stage. Entry is open to all Super Pet Expo attendees.

Dog Agility and Training Sessions Dog agility is not only a fun sport, but a great way to improve your dog’s confidence, focus and obedience skills. The Animals’ House will be providing educational agility shows, as well as free workshops! All are welcome to participate in the Beginners Agility Workshop. Junior Trainer Workshops for children 7-15 are focused on dog care, safety, and training basics. If the aspiring junior trainer doesn’t have their own dog yet, Animals’ House will have sociable pups on hand. There’s fun to be had for the pets that don’t bark as well! Rabbit Jumping has adorable hoppers making their way through an agility course. The DC-areas most beautiful purrers will compete during an all-breed and household pet cat show hosted by NoVa TICA, a chartered cat club of The International Cat Associa-

tion. For the scaly and slithery, the dozens of exhibitors in the Repticon section will have supplies, reptiles for sale and experts offering top advice. Save 40% on Weekend Passes when you buy tickets at www. and use promo code NOVADOG. Show Details: Dulles Expo Center, 4320 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA, 20151. Hours: 3-8PM Friday; 10AM-7PM Saturday; 10AM-5PM Sunday. Admission: Adults $13, Children 4-12 $8, Children 3 and Under FREE. Tickets: Friendly, leashed pets welcome. ND


Dog disputes When A Dispute over a Pet Makes You Upset —Mediate Is the Best Bet

By Vivian Leven S h o e m a k e r

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og ownership in an urban setting comes with its own set of challenges. When space is scarce, a myriad of opportunities for conflicts emerge between dogs and people alike. Conflict can arise over who isn’t picking up after their dog, a dog barking in an apartment building, unwanted jumping on strangers, an unexpected dog fight, a jogger being nipped, a loose dog chasing a bicyclist. Some people are tolerant, taking things in stride, others become annoyed, and some may get upset enough to escalate the issue legally. Pet related conflicts can appear in so many different shapes and forms. Between two dog owners, between a pet owner and a non-pet owner, between a pet owner and a service provider. It can involve housing management, a dog daycare, boarding facility, grooming and veterinary services.


The parties involved in the conflict come to mediation with an open mind, willing to listen to the other person’s story, and to find a workable solution. In my role as a dog behavior consultant, working with clients to resolve their dog’s behavioral issues on a regular basis, it is not uncommon that a client has had a conflict arise involving their pet. My educational background in conflict resolution provides insight on how to use mediation to get resolution. Mediation is less expensive than a lawsuit, it is confidential, it allows the parties to be heard and express fully their side of the story, and it empowers all parties involved to find a solution tailored to the needs of the people involved in the conflict.

What is mediation? Mediation is a voluntary process. All parties engage at their own will and have the option to discontinue the process at any time and pursue other options, including litigation, if they wish. The parties involved in the conflict come to mediation with an open mind, willing to listen to the other person’s story, and to

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find a workable solution. The mediator is not there to solve the problem but to facilitate the process, so a solution becomes more likely. “Mediation is a conflict management process whereby a person or group, typically an outsider, intervenes in a conflict to help the adversaries to negotiate an agreement themselves or to take other joint de-escalating measures.” (Kriesberg and Dayton, p. 217) The mediator is keep the conversation on track, ensures equal opportunity for discussion, assists parties to engage in active listening, helps summarize, paraphrase and reframe the conversation so the other party is able to hear the message and respond in kind. The mediator is non-judgmental. They ask questions, point out commonalities, and help separate the discussion between issues and interests. Parties then engage in brainstorming options for a solution. This shifts parties from taking a stance against or for something and encourages cooperation for a mutually satisfactory solution. When in conflict we stake out a position, then convince ourselves we need a certain outcome for us to be satisfied. In mediation, the facilitator focuses on interests versus positions. Interests reflect hope, needs, values, beliefs and expectations. Most people can relate to these universal ideas. Once we understand the underlying issue it opens ideas for creative solutions. This process is a way of separating values, feelings and topics allowing for a more constructive conversation about conflict. For example, if a person has a fear of dogs their position may be that dogs should not be allowed on the elevator, but their interest may really be to feel safe. This dispute can be resolved by not taking the dog on the elevator when the other person is present. Recognizing the person’s concern, showing care and hav-

ing open communication can defuse a situation. This can make room for a solution, instead of assigning blame. Proactively engaging with people before the point of escalated conflict is a good idea. Debra Vey Voda-Hamilton is a mediator specializing on animal issues who has written an excellent book on the topic, “How to Use Mediation to Resolve Conflicts over Animals (2015). Hamilton has a mantra in her book to help us deal with difficult situations. She calls it STOP, DROP and ROLL. Followed with ADDRESS, KEEP, ACKNOWLEDGE AND APPRECIATE. Basically, when you first have the urge to fire back when someone says something or complains about your pet. STOP and listen to what they have to say. DROP the need to be right, ROLL with it and don’t engage if it will not be productive. If there is a conflict ADDRESS it right away and in the process ACKNOWLEGE and APPRECIATE the other party. It does not mean you agree. It is all about how you deal with an issue for more long-term success. As Hamilton points out “The mere fact that you appreciate a differing point of view, no matter how unacceptable you might find it, can cause a shift in the other party’s position.”

Why consider mediation? Most animal conflict goes straight to litigation. However, emotional issues can be addressed in mediation, which is focused on the concept of how we feel about a certain issue and how we

In mediation, the facilitator focuses on interests versus positions. Understanding the underlying issue opens ideas for creative solutions. choose to live our lives. The mediation process allows you to work through not only the actual problem, but also the emotional turmoil that comes with it. Without mediation, can be a ripple effect throughout the community. It can be very difficult when you see that person regularly or when you have common friends. With mediation, you can feel good about the fact that you both did your best to come to a satisfactory agreement and ideally can be cordial when you see each other. For our own emotional well-being it is an empowering feeling to address the


issue in a respectful way. It can open the possibility for communications about issues of disagreement in the future.

Nobody said it was easy Choosing mediation can be unnerving. We are influenced by a culture that rewards winning and shuns losing. Mediation asks us to move away from this competitive stance and look for a third way – finding a reasonable compromise instead of fighting for your “right” way. Choosing mediation asks that you start with an open, curious mind about “what could be.” It is important to realize that respecting the other party’s point of view is different from agreeing with it. The success rate for mediation is greater when addressed quickly. The more protracted a situation becomes, the more difficult it is to work through. If your dog is doing anything you suspect may be a nuisance, address it by asking if your pet is creating a problem. Acknowledge you are aware, apologize, thank people for showing patience while you work to improve the situation. Don’t wait for it to reach to the point of a formal complaint or litigation. Hamilton points out in her book that it is not uncommon for her to be hired as a party’s coach at the mediation table. You can contact a mediator or conflict coach to help you minimize the escalation of a conflict on your end. As she points out in her book, “No one can fight with themselves – they need a partner.” Conflict is normal. It can instigate positive change. How we approach conflict is the important part. When faced with conflict, stay curious. Ask questions instead of becoming mad, try to see the situation from the other person’s point of view. Again,

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you may not agree, but maybe you can see where they are coming from a bit clearer? The tendency to become reactive when feeling scared and anxious is something human and non-human animals have in common. If you need assistance with a conflict, I highly recommend contacting one of the organizations below. Community Mediation DC offers conflict resolution services for free. ND Vivian Leven Shoemaker is the co-owner and founder of Positive Dog Solutions and a member of the organization Community Mediation DC.

Local mediation resources • Community Mediation DC: • Northern Virginia Mediation Services:

References • Mediation Positions vs. Interests by Cinnie Noble (December 2013) Blog: NobleCbl20131207.cfm • Selecting a Mediator for Pet-Related Neighborly Strife by Paula L. Fleming • neighborly-negotiation/ • How to Use Mediation to Resolve Conflicts over Animals by Debra Very Voda-Hamilton (2015) • Constructive Conflicts: From Escalation to Resolution (5th ed.2017) by Louis Kriesberg and Bruce W. Dayton.

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Legal Pet Parenting 101: Sources Dog Law in Virginia B y C h a rl e s M ic h a e l F u lt o n , A t t o r n e y a t L a w


o help readers be knowledgeable and responsible pet parents, this article focuses on the source of laws relating to dogs in the Commonwealth of Virginia. It provides you the tools to check the laws that pertain to your particular city or county. Generally, state laws can either come from the state, in Virginia’s case the Commonwealth, or the local government, in Virginia’s case the city or county. The Commonwealth of Virginia, however, applies Dillon’s Rule to questions of the power of cities and counties. This means that cities and counties do not have the power to enact a law unless the Commonwealth expressly grants that power. Clay W. Writ, Dillon’s Rule, 24 Va. Town and City 28, n.p. (1989). For this reason, the Commonwealth is the source of most laws in Virginia. Note that the citations at the end of the majority of the sentence below are the title followed by the section number for the particular section that contains the cited law in the Code of Virginia, which you can find on the internet.

Standards of Care Source: State Law In Virginia, an owner must provide a companion animal, including a dog, with adequate food; adequate water; adequate shelter that is clean; adequate space, exercise, care, treatment, and

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transportation; and vet care when necessary to prevent suffering or the transmission of disease. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6503 (2018). Failure to meet these minimum standards is, for the first offense, a criminal misdemeanor subject to a fine of up to $250.00. Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6503(B); 18.2-11(d) (2018). Punishment for subsequent violations increase up to both a fine of up to $1,000.00 and six months in jail for failure to provide adequate food, water, shelter, or vet care. Va. Code Ann. §§ 3.2-6503(B); 18.2-11(b)

Required Vaccinations Source: State Law, Possibly City/County Ordinance in Some Cases All dogs and cats over four months old in the commonwealth must be vaccinated against rabies. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6521 (2018). There does not appear to be any other vaccinations required by law. Cities and counties, however, do have the authority to adopt additional regulations to prevent the spread of rabies. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6525 (2018). Therefore, it is important to review the local ordinance for the city or county in which you live for any other requirements to prevent the spread of rabies.

Dog Licenses Source: State Law All dogs over four months old in the commonwealth must be licensed. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6524(a) (2018). A dog must be

vaccinated against rabies to get a license. Va. Code Ann.§ 3.26524(b) (2018). Dog licenses must be attached to a “substantial collar” when the dog is “run[ning] or roam[ing] at large,” unless the dog is lawfully hunting, competing in a dog show, confined, or “under the immediate control of its owner.” Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6531 (2018). If you lose a license, you have to apply for a replacement license “at once,” and the replacement license cannot cost more than a dollar. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6532 (2018). If your dog isn’t displaying its license, the Commonwealth will presume that the dog is unlicensed, and the owner has the burden to prove otherwise. Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6533 (2018). Note that a lot of the phrases above, such as immediate control of owner and at once in the case of replacing a lost license, are not defined in the relevant law. This means that it is up to a Virginia court to determine whether an owner is in immediate control of a dog or if the owner replaced a lost license in sufficient time to satisfy the law. Courts generally interpret undefined phrases by asking how a reasonable person would define them. So, when trying to figure it out, just make sure your definition is reasonable.

Leash Laws Source: City/County Ordinance Leash laws are one of the few areas that the Commonwealth has granted authority to cities and counties to decide whether

or not to have them. See Va. Code Ann. § 3.2-6539 (2018). For example, Fairfax County makes it a criminal misdemeanor to let your dog off the leash unless it is in an area designated by the county or the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority as an off-leash park, and certain other circumstances, like when the dog is engaged in lawful hunting activity. Fairfax Co., Va. Code of Ordinances § 41.1-2-4(a) (2018). Notably, violating this simple ordinance can lead to a criminal record. So, if you have a security clearance, it’s a good idea to strictly abide by the leash law when you are in Fairfax County. ND Charles Michael Fulton is an attorney licensed to practice in Virginia and the District of Columbia. His areas of practice include animal law, consumer protection law, and landlord/tenant law.

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Have a legal question? Email info@novadogmagazine with your questions and future issues we will answer your questions.



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

Sophia Rutti is one of the primary Service Dog trainers at Dog’s Downtown.

Trained Dogs = Happy (Service) Dogs Dog’s Downtown Service Dog Trainer What was the impetus behind you wanting to train service dogs? Your facility is gorgeous and spacious. How did you design it? Dog’s Downtown’s goals are to educate the public on Service Animals, to provide affordable training services for Service Animals and family pets, and to assist in providing Service Animals that are carefully trained with low wait times. We are a team of animal lovers and experienced professionals that know what dogs can do for people in different capacities as pets, Emotional Support Animals, Therapy Dogs, and Service Animals. Our facility was designed with our goals in mind: to create a space where dogs can socialize, stay and train with the least amount of stress and the highest amount of positive focus. This means a priority on a stress-free, clean environment. We have multiple, secluded rooms for ‘low-stimulus environment’ training, as well as three play yards for socialization. Our facility and training decisions center around one thing: how do we train dogs to be well-balanced, focused, and happy in the home and in public? We focus on creating a balanced experience: playtime, socialization, training and discipline in appropriate measures. A happy, focused Service Animal does far more to help its ‘person’ than an overly stimulated, overtrained, over- worked stressed one does!

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What is the difference between a Service Dog, a Therapy Dog and an Emotional Support Animal? This is a really important question! Both Service Dogs and Therapy Dogs perform important roles, but those roles are completely different. A “Service Animal” as they are titled under the Americans with Disabilities Act is a carefully trained dog that is specially trained for 1- 2.5 + years to have access to all public spaces in order to assist through ‘tasks’, in public and at home, one individual whose physical or mental condition disables them in varying ways from engaging in every day activities and life. There are many examples of

Service Animals, such as: Seeing Eye dogs, Hearing Dogs, Psychiatric Service Dogs for individuals with mental disabilities, Diabetic Alert and Response Dogs. Therapy Dogs do not have rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. They are trained to help a group of people by providing comfort. These dogs have a uniquely affectionate, calm, and manageable temperament and are at least one year of age, but are not required to undergo the same extensive training as Service Animals. Therapy Dogs often work in environments like: hospitals, senior living facilities, and schools. These dogs only have access to the public environment that they are “working” in with their handler who has chosen to volunteer there—not all public environments. A third category are Emotional Support Animals (ESAs). ESAs provide emotional comfort and support in the home. ESAs, are often trained (though it’s not a requirement), do not have rights under the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) and are not equivalent to Service Animals. How do I know if my dog would be a good candidate for becoming a Therapy Dog? There are lots of things to consider: first, does your dog love people? Is your dog comfortable in public environments? Can you easily control your dog on the leash? Does your dog have any history of aggression? Therapy Dogs need to be 100% trustworthy in any situation. Only dogs that are well trained and socialized from the very beginning of their lives should be considered for Therapy Dogs. We always recommend starting training and socializing early! We offer a free evaluation to help people determine if their dog is a good fit as a Therapy Dog, and if so, what environments they might work best in.

Animals, Therapy Dogs, and pets, we carefully select a small group of puppies that balance each other so that no puppy gets bullied, gets to be the bully, or doesn’t engage. All puppies will develop and socialize differently, but we know the importance of a puppy’s first few months of life— aim to socialize in groups where there are not too many dogs, where the environment can be easily cleaned (rubber matting is ideal) and where there is enough stimulation (sound, people, other dogs) but not too much (extremely loud, dogs that are aggressive or too bullying, etc.). Where do you envision Dog’s Downtown in 5 years? We are going to continue working towards our goals: to help individuals with their pet dogs, but most importantly, to keep educating people on Service Animals, to make having and training a Service Animal accessible to those in need and to continue to build a network of non-profit organizations that can help support our clients financially and through community building. We want Dog’s Downtown to be an inclusive, community-driven environment that expands to help more and more people and dog owners. ND Sophia Rutti is one of the primary Service Dog trainers at Dog’s Downtown. Her background is in animal behavioral theory, with a focus on mitigating communication between humans and canines and her specialty is evaluating, selecting and training Service Dogs. She lives with a 3-year old German shepherd of her own who has an affinity for dog-friendly veggies.

How do dogs benefit from training and specialty work classes? There are countless benefits to training your family dog. Specialty work, such as scent work training, is a great way to focus your high-energy dog—it functions as mental and physical exercise and as a way to give your dog a “job.” All dogs can channel their energy effectively in one way or another—agility training, scent work, or therapy dog are a few examples! Without the structure, mental and physical outlets that come with training, dogs may become destructive. They can develop behavioral issues such as separation anxiety or leash reactivity. Training and specialty work are fun ways to keep your dog mentally and physically stimulated and happy! Tell me more about socialization? When should I start with my puppy? The critical socialization period for dogs ranges from 6- 20 weeks, though many argue only from 6-12 weeks! At Dog’s Downtown we follow the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior (AVSAB) standards: to start puppy socialization as early as 7-8 weeks of age. Puppies should receive a minimum of one set of vaccines at least 7 days prior to the first class and a first deworming. They should be kept up-to-date on vaccines throughout the class. Not socializing a puppy effectively and positively around other dogs (safely!), people, sounds and environments can lead to fear, aggression, or anxiety later in life. Socialization should begin young and continue through adulthood. How you socialize is important was well. For all of our Service



To p i cs i m po rta n t to y o u a n d y o u r fa m i l y

Pet Memorialization Creating your pet’s memorial is one step in the process of healing from your loss. By Ro bin W. Folt z - Va n n


ets are such an important part of our family, that when we have to say goodbye to a beloved pet, it is a challenging and emotional process. Choosing a way to memorialize your pet is one way of working through the grieving process and it also help you to focus on the time you shared together. The options for memorials for pets have evolved to encompass the treasured place pets hold in our hearts. Today’s memorials offer a personal way of creating a lasting memory of all the shared experiences. Creating your pet’s memorial is one step in the process of healing from your loss. Just like the process of healing from any loss there will be multiple steps before acceptance, and everyone’s journey is unique. The steps for healing are different for each person, but using ideas gained form other’s experiences can help you navigate your process. Unique tributes to memorialize your pet are ways to help share their memory and focus on the positive. Thinking about pet memorialization in advance, can give you time when you are not under emotional stress, to have a

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thoughtful approach to the options that are available. Urns or Pictures: The simplest reminder of your relationship with your fur-baby is a display. It should be something that brings to mind your pet’s mood (prissy, laid back, earthy, etc.) or that holds objects or pictures that display something your pet’s special characteristics. My son’s beagle had her routines – Her signal to my son was to walk in the appropriate direction, stop and look back at him over her shoulder. When she passed at 18 years I found a picture of her headed for the patio looking back over her shoulder to place on her picture urn. Others saw my selection and asked if I could find a better photo, but my son saw this and exclaimed, “That’s perfect! It’s her!” Their special communication was perfectly represented. Memorial Gardens: Pets like to slither through bushes hide, plop down on your favorite flowers or run wide open through a yard. What ever your pet liked most is what you should memorize. Did your pet love to test your gourmet concoctions? How about an herb garden. Maybe the interest is up a tree? Plant a new tree.

The steps for healing are different for each person, but using ideas gained form other’s experiences can help you navigate your process. Or maybe scatter their ashes some place special in the yard where they often would play or lie in the sun so you can pass by and say “Hello” often. Ashes are garden safe, but do not fertilize. Coarse ash can create air pockets in the soil, which is good for roots. Memorial Jewelry: Technology has given us processes to create gemstones from cremated remains. Artisans create glass beads, pendants, and precious metal jewelry incorporating a pinch of ash and engraving for memorialization. These can be used to wear as jewelry, create holiday ornaments, sun catchers or other creative reminders of your fur-baby relationship. Personal Items: Sometimes the best way to stay close to your pet is to be able to have contact with them. One option is to select a pillow or plush animal and have your pet’s cremated remains securely sewn inside. This allows you to have a personal item that you interact with providing extra comfort as you grieve.

Rocks and Monuments: Rocks and Monuments are options that can have your message of remembrance professionally etched so it will last many, many years. You can use granite or stone for a marker, or you can create a concrete marker combined with your pet’s ashes. Markers can move to new homes with you. They can also incorporate a unique shape or etching, like a paw, bone, tennis ball or mouse along with the pet’s name and inscription. Did you know?: Whether you choose burial or cremation for the first step in your healing process, you can write notes or include a favorite toy or treats for your fur-baby to take with them. For your healing keep a lock of fur, paw print or collar with tags. It does not matter how long you need to heal; it was never just a pet, this was your fur-baby and your fur-baby was special. Whatever was special in your relationship your imagination can create the memorial. As for me, I healed but keep on my desk a three-inch medallion photo of my Old English Sheepdog; she was mine and I was hers for too short a time. She rests on the property where she stretched her legs and she gave me so many hilarious memories. Robin W. Foltz-Vann: Comptroller and Marketing Manager in Death Care Industry since 1984 in Independent and Corporate Funeral Establishments, Human and Pet Crematories and Funeral Supply; Volunteer for Transition Center for Life & Bereavement Care, community and state-based volunteer; Attended Guilford Technical Community College and UNC Greensboro; professional enrichment courses.

Your pet is our priority. And that’s why we’re committed to delivering world-class surgery & physical rehabilitation in a facility that provides comfort to you and your furry family member when you need it the most. Our renowned medical team specializes in: • Advanced orthopedic surgery • Soft tissue procedures • Plastic & reconstructive surgery • Minimally invasive surgery • Physical rehabilitation • Pain management • Conditioning, weight loss & more!

Contact us today or speak with your veterinarian about a referral. 703-242-6000 703-771-2100 540-450-0177

Instagram @VSC_Vets



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

FEBRUARY February 3 WAG & BREW — Mark your calendars for TV Puppy Bowl Viewing Party. This dog friendly event will be held from 2 PM to 5 PM. Admission is free; $10 for Commemorative Beer Cup. Come watch puppies hit the national spotlight when they compete in Animal Planet’s annual Puppy Bowl. The public is invited to cheer the puppies on at a viewing party hosted by Wag & Brew in Alexandria, VA. Dogs are welcome, but all dogs must be on a leash while in the tap room. events.

February 23 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM – Pasta for Pets at Eastern Market DC, 225 7th St. SE, Washington, DC 20003. Over the years, Pasta for Pets has become

one of the most popular family affairs with a night of pasta dinner and bingo. Guests of all ages purchase tickets early as this event consistently sells out. Proceeds benefit the Humane Rescue Alliance. Purchase your tickets today at

MARCH March 2 St. Patrick’s Day Parade in Alexandria will be held at 12:30 PM. Old Town Alexandria’s Annual St. Patrick’s Day Parade is organized by The Ballyshaners— a volunteer organization committed to promoting and preserving Irish heritage and culture. Event features at least four pipe bands, numerous Irish dance schools, the Notre Dame Alumni Band, and over 100 additional parade units. Thousands of spectators line King Street for Old Town’s largest annual

family event. http://www.ballyshaners. org/parade/

March 9 Winery at La Grange—wine and food truck with Red Dog BBQ, from noon7PM. Enjoy food, wine, music and a wonderful afternoon of dog-friendly fun. upcoming-events.

March 9 and March 16 Spaghetti BINGO, 6-9PM. Don’t miss the most fun, family-friendly night of the year at the 9th annual Spaghetti Bingo fundraiser. Ticket prices include all-you-can-eat spaghetti, salad, bread, dessert, soft drinks and 6 bingo cards. Additional bingo cards, raffle tickets, merchandise and beer and wine will be available for purchase. There will also be many great items on the silent auction. Benefits Homeward Trails. Lyon Park Community Center, 414 N. Fillmore St., Arlington, VA 22201 https://www.

March 15 – 17 Tools and Knowledge for Exceptional Pet Parents

Our Courses Help You Get Prepared, Save Money, and Even Save a Life. – Pet CPR & First Aid – PetPREP: Healthy Ages & Stages

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



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

Super Pet Expo, Dulles Expo Center, Chantilly, VA. This dog friendly event will be held from 3-8 pm on Friday, 10-7pm on Saturday & 10 am -5pm on Sunday, to 8 p.m on Mar 15 – 17, 2019 at Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA, US. Admission is varied; adult tickets start at $13. Get your Tickets today at https://www. Use code NOVADOG to save!

March 16 Barks & Barrels, 6-9PM Come out to Barrel Oak Winery for a spring fundraiser for the AWLA Arlington. Fun times include live music, a silent auction, donation drive, adoptable dogs, and a dog-friendly winery/brewery. 10% of the proceeds to AWLA. For info: event/barks-and-barrels.

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Ides of Bark 2019 Dog Festival. 1– 4 PM at Grist Mill Park. 4710 Mt. Vernon Memorial Highway, Alexandria, VA. Ideas of Bark is a

fun-filled family and dog-friendly event featuring demonstrations, vendors, education and more. Now in it’s 4th year, the event continues to grow and is becoming a highly popular local event. We hope you join in the fun this year.

March 30 Annual Wags & Wine Extravaganza at Barrel Oak Winery from 6-9PM at 3623 Grove Lane, Delaplane, VA. Celebrating 10 years of saving lives; 10 years of bringing families together; 10 years of building friendships and creating an amazing community. For three hours, guests will enjoy the beautiful Virginia landscape, drink amazing wine, bid on incredible silent auction items, and learn swing dancing to a live band with GottaSwing! All of this to benefit Lucky Dogs and Cats! To learn more, please visit our website at

APRIL April 11 Lucky Dog Kendra Scott Event (noon) Shop for yourself, raise money for the pets, have fun mingling with fellow animal lovers. Kendra Scott, 2920 District Ave #125, Fairfax , VA 22031 www.luckydoganimalrescue. org/events.

April 13 Dog Days Bloom Festival from 10:00 to 4:00 at the Cider Barn by the pond. This adventure for dogs and their people has something for every member of the family including Bluemont Vineyard Wine and Dirt Farm Brewing Beer available in our new location. The addition of a Frisbee Competition with the Appalachian Air Canines on Saturday brings a new level of excitement to this year’s event. More at

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

Meadowood: Pick Your Hike By Angela Hazuda Meyers


he Meadowood Special Recreation Management Area (SRMA) is an 800-acre tract managed by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Meadowood’s 15 miles of interconnected trails, combined with 5 parking locations

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

make all trails easily accessible and allow for a multitude of trail combinations and lengths. The terrain varies greatly and includes open meadows, hardwood forests, ponds, streams, and wetlands. Formerly a horse farm, the converted farm roads and equestrian trails are dog-friendly and open for hiking, equestrian, and mountain biking. This article provides an overview for each area with trail notes on terrain, sights and parking. All trails are very well maintained and well-marked. The area has multi-use trails, so if your pet is fearful of horses or bikes, select the trails marked

accordingly and make adjustments to the loops listed to avoid trail segments that permit horses or bikes. This little known gem is a great escape. With few visitors, it’s easy to enjoy the solitude of this gorgeous setting.

Loop 1: South Branch Loop: 4.7 miles (dirt). Park at 10110 Gunston Rd. There is a map and information kiosk, as well as restrooms. 3 Paws This hike has the greatest elevation change of all the hikes, though not strenuous. This wooded trail has many small stream crossings – though they are small


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

will enjoy a wetlands walk around ½ way as well. Thompson Creek loop is mostly wooded and shady, Mustang Loop is open meadow. Both of these trails are also equestrian trails.

Loop 3: Meadowood Connector: 1.4 miles each way (dirt & gravel) +

and fairly easily crossable, on wet days, boots are highly recommended. It’s the perfect loop for a hot, sunny day as you’ll remain shaded for the duration. No horses are allowed, but the trail is shared with Mountain Bikes. You’ll enjoy brief views of the biking terrain parks as well as wildlife and streams.

Loop 2: Thompson Creek Loop: 1.9 miles (dirt & gravel) + .7 Mustang Loop to Enchanted Pond (grassy). Park at the Field Station Office which is the best place to pick up a map, as well as use the restroom. 2 Paws This hike is a total of 2.6 miles with both loops. Thompson Creek Loop has nice bridges and runs along the stream for about ½ of the loop. Again, especially after a rain, boots are suggested. You

1.1 Wood Thrush Loop. Park at 10324 Belmont Blvd. 2 Paws This hike is a total of 3.9 miles. Out of the parking lot, cross Belmont Blvd. to take this trail. Meadowood Connector runs along gorgeous moss covered streams and past mossy trees. It’s a mostly flat scenic trail. You can circle Wood Thrush Loop in either direction. On Wood Thrush you’ll enjoy meadow views and a boardwalk trail through a wetlands. Both trails are wooded, contain stream crossings and are also equestrian trails. Loop 4: Hidden Pond: .4 miles (dirt & gravel) return via Coyote: .2 miles (dirt & gravel). Park at 10705 Belmont Blvd. 1 Paw This short hike’s main feature is the wooded fishing pond. Planning a relaxing day by the pond might be the best option on a hot summer day. There is a small pier, complete with a bench. Bring your pole, a picnic lunch and cast away. The nearby trails offer a short walk if you choose. Hidden Pond trail is hiking only, Coyote is also equestrian. ND

Did you hike it? Please send us pictures of you with your dogs! (Include your name, your dog’s name, and your dog’s breed/age.) Or share with us on Facebook, Twitter (@ NOVADogMag), or Instagram (novadogmagazine). 26 Northern Virginia Dog

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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

Happy Birthday to US! NOVADog Magazine turns 10 this year! Celebrate your own doggie special occasions with these recipes and helpful tips.


he American dog is our favorite fourlegged member of the family, and more of us are showing our appreciation by treating them to designer digs, sporty shoes, and recognition that their birthdays are just as special as their two-legged brothers and sisters. Moms and dads are throwing dog birthday parties that include everything from dog-themed invitations and playful games to very special doggie birthday cakes. But you can’t just buy a cake from the grocery store. Those cakes are made for people and, if eaten by a dog, it risks an upset stomach, a visit to the vet, or even worse. Dogs’ dietary needs are very different from their human owners’. So what’s a human to do? First, know what your dog cannot eat. Number one on the list is chocolate, which contains caffeine, theobromine, and theophylline, all of which affect a dog’s heart and

nervous system and can be toxic. Instead, use carob, a very popular substitute that dogs love. You should also avoid raw eggs, raisins, macadamia nuts, onions, mushrooms, garlic, salt, yeast dough, and too much sugar. Instead, there is a whole line of dog friendly mixes and decorations that include colored sesame seeds and colored coconut flakes, which are the perfect substitute for sugary sprinkles. Then finish off your cake with some doggie candles. ND Andrew Colskey is the owner of K9Cakery, an online-only Northern Virginia company that believes if dogs have parties then “let them eat cake!” sells a variety of cake mixes, biscuit mixes, frostings, and decorations for the home baker.

try this at home

Chicken & Cheese Birthday Biscuits Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Combine 1 1/3 cup whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup water, 3/4 cup oats, 1/4 cup wheat germ, 2 tablespoons natural chicken powder, 2 tablespoons cheddar cheese powder, 1/4 cup oil, 1/4 cup honey, and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Mix Well Dough will be dry and firm. If it is not holding together, add a small amount of water until it does. Roll out on countertop into a 1/4 inch thick sheet. Cut out with dog bone shape cookie cutters and place on greased baking tray. Bake On top rack of oven, bake for 18 minutes. Turn heat off and leave in oven for 60 more minutes. Remove biscuits from oven and dip in cream cheese or yogurt icing mixture. Sprinkle with colored sesame seeds or colored coconut to decorate. Serve. Recipe courtesy of K9 Cakery

Basic Homemade Dog Birthday Cake Ingredients: 1/4 cup vegetable oil 1 cup shredded carrots 1 tsp vanilla 1/3 cup honey 1 egg 1 cup whole wheat flour 1 tsp baking soda 1/4 cup natural peanut butter 1/4 cup water How to make the cake: Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C) Mix together flour and baking soda in one bowl. In another bowl mix remaining ingredients with exception of water and mix well. Alternate flour mixture and water with liquid mixture until smooth. Pour into 9” round cake pan that has been greased and floured. Bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing from pan. Cool completely before frosting cake. Frosting: Beat 8oz. package of cream cheese with 1/4 cup peanut butter until fluffy. Frost cake. Cake will last 3-4 days in refrigerator.

Miles Ginther Loved by Cathy Ginther Washington, DC Photo originally ran in the NOVADog spring 2016 issue

Recipe courtesy of Tail Wag Treats (


WAGS TO RICHES Adoption success stories

Rescued Dogs Are Waiting for Their Forever Homes Looking to add a family member? A Forever Home Rescue has big dogs, little dogs, gentle dogs and playful dogs ready to be adopted! Can't adopt? Save a life by fostering, volunteering or donating.

Champ and Chloe Loved by Curran Family

Join the pack. Stay informed.

novadog magazine

Adopted: Champ adopted November 2013 Chloe adopted May 2018 Adopted from: A Forever Home, Chantilly, VA How did he get his name? Champ is named after former Redskins Champ Bailey and we kept Chloe’s name when we adopted her. Champ was adopted when he was 11 weeks. Chloe adopted at 2 years old. We picked Champ because we wanted to adopt a puppy. We adopted Chloe because she was not a puppy Background info:

Champ was a puppy from a WV shelter. My husband and kids were immediately drawn to him. I met the foster mom during the week to introduce my older dog, Jason, another AFH successful adoption. Champ made himself at home; he and Jason became the best of friends. Chloe had been returned a few times to AFH. After we lost Jason in April, Champ was depressed. I knew I wanted another dog and my husband and I thought Chloe was so cute. Her foster mom brought over to meet Champ.

Favorite activity together: These two love to hike in the woods

and play in the yard and house. They are full of personality and love other dogs, so they love going to the dog park to play as well. They are definitely quirky characters. Couldn’t and wouldn’t imagine life without them.

Favorite treat or snack: Pupperonis! I love him because: They add so much life and joy to our home! ND 28 Northern Virginia Dog

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