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AUGUST 17, 2012

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Paws & Claws

You Have The Best Pet?

Apollo I want to nominate my Chorkie (Chihuahua/Yorkie Mix), Apollo as the best pet. He is a young dog, but very lovable. Not only is he so cute, he also is very loyal and protective of his family. Even though he is only about seven pounds, he acts as if were 70 pounds. Every night, he makes sure he gets his warm spot in the bed. He loves to snuggle with all family members. —Melissa Karagiannis, Hamilton

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e asked Leesburg Today and Ashburn Today readers to tell us why their pet is the best pet. We got back lots of passionate and interesting nominations and a ton of cute photos. Now it is your turn. After reading through the entries, please go online to the newspaper’s webpage to vote for your favorite. We set up a poll at: www.leesburgtoday.com/more_a/special_sections/best_pets/. The winner will be awarded with a gift basket containing a gift certificate from DogGone Natural and other goodies. Online voting will end at midnight Friday, Aug. 24.

Go VOTE

Ace is a rescue Pit/Lab mix. When we adopted him he had been burned by cigarettes and possibly beaten by previous owners. He was also afraid of smoke and water. That was almost three years ago. Now Ace is trained and well behaved to the point that he waits for permission before allowing people to pet him. Pit bulls are scary to some people, but he is gentle and loving. He loves licking people and getting positive attention. He can high five and shake with both paws (dog lovers know, that’s a feat in and of itself!). He’s also an Auburn puppy—as he responds to “War Eagle” with two short barks. He loves long walks around the neighborhood, treats and his stuffing-free toys, which he takes to bedtime with him. He’s got a fantastic personality and isn’t afraid to tell his people what he needs. He really is the best dog for our family and is helping us show people that its not only about the breed—its about how they’re loved, raised and trained. —Meghan Kerns

Ace

Scout takes after her namesake from To Kill a Mockingbird. She’s fiercely independent, yet loyal, loving and sweet. She defends those she loves with every ounce of her being. Scout saved my life. I adopted her while I was going through a rough phase in my life. It was only her affection and love that kept me alive for a long time. Scout is my best friend. Her talents are many. She knows how to fetch and catch toys. She knows that to get outside, you need to open the door, and to open the door, you need to turn the doorknob. If she had thumbs, she would rarely be inside. She can talk to birds. She gracefully puts up with two cats she doesn’t like. She can pull herself around the couch while lying on her back using only her front claws. She is the smartest cat I’ve ever met. Scout is 11 years old, and she has arthritis in her back legs, making jumping, sitting and lying down painful for her. Yet, she still acts as sweetly as ever. One day, I hope I can be as great as Scout is. —Jennifer Hughes

Scout


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AUGUST 17, 2012

Dixie

BARKTOBERFEST! Saturday, September 29, 2012 The Fest: 10am-4pm • The Strut: 9:30-10:30am

at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds! FRIENDLY PETS WELCOME!

There’s no need to look any further; I definitely have the best pet! My best friend is a 3-year-old pug named Dixie. She’s fashionable, talented, opinionated and the world’s best cuddle partner. If I’m having a bad day or if I’m feeling down, she definitely knows how to put a smile on my face. Or if I’m up for an adventure, she’s right there to be my partner in crime. Between her naps and daily tour of the neighborhood, you’ll find her chowing down on “Grammy-Os,” which are a fancy word for Cheerios at my mother’s house. Dixie knows how to sit, shake both paws, lie down and even wait for those special treats. She’s definitely my baby girl and is always by my side or most of the time in my lap. She’s even been known to help me co-pilot my truck. Dixie is oneof-a-kind and would snort in agreement. —James R. “Rusty” Foster

• Live Music • Fabulous Food • Pet Contests & Prizes • Games for Dogs •Games for Kids •Kitty Corner for the FOHA Cats and Feline Vendors • The Giant Litter Box: Scoop for Treasure! • Canine Demonstrations • Vendors: Pet Related & Non-Pet Related • Silent Auction • Raffle Baskets • FOHA Pets for Adoption • And MUCH MORE!

Register to Strut! at www.barktoberfest org

Bennie

If you asked a thousand people: “Is your pet the best?” I’d bet you twenty dollars That all would just say “yes”. But if you were to ask me: “Is your pet the best?” I’d give you an analysis Of why I told you “yes”. My dog Benny runs and plays And barks at all the squirrels. He’s a little Westie Who’s the cutest in the world! We got him as a rescue dog To give a loving home To a pooch who’d been mistreated And was sad, hurt and alone. When Benny came, he was shy And didn’t bark at all. But after a few loving weeks He became a ball! You can find him saying hi To everyone he meets. Or he’ll be out in the backyard Barking up a tree. He loves long walks and playing fetch And getting belly rubs. He brings loads of fun and joy And happiness and love! My dog is the very best And now you can see why. I love him more than anything! I’m so lucky that he’s mine! —Lara, Leesburg

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Dr. Keith Robbins Dr. Susan Conway Dr. Peter Pruckowski Thank you Loudoun County for voting for us in the “Best of Loudoun Survey”. We appreciate all your support.

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BB E SUTR G P E TT O S DAY LEES

AUGUST 17, 2012

FOHA Seeks Barktoberfest Vendors

All Pets Can Be The Best It doesn’t matter what animal you have, what habits they possess, the cuteness of their face or what skills they know. As long as you love your pet with all your heart and they love you back, then your pet is the best pet. —Jamie Reid

Why Choose Us? We treat your pet as we do our own. By combining our Veterinarians’ knowledge base and specialties with our medical and surgical equipment, we exceed the standard for veterinary excellence. We put an emphasis on detailed client communication in a supportive environment so that the best decisions are made regarding your pet’s healthcare.

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Dealer is a relatively small but exceptional quarter horse. Easy to ride and quick to learn, Dealer has been exceptional is all aspect of Western riding, with his favorite being dealing with cows, rounding up or cutting from the herd. Unfortunately, early this year Dealer developed a “lamenessâ€? issue and, without going into details, he hasn’t been able to perform the way he used to.  He’s had injections to help his joints, had special shoes put on along with pads, and he’s even had acupuncture. And while some things have helped, he’ll never be as good a “performerâ€? as he used to be. While some horse folk would have given up on him, we have not.  And in late July, after having special shoes and pads put on Dealer, Rosemary Lawler took Dealer out into our “big fieldâ€? among our sunflower rows.  While he wasn’t asked to do anything strenuous, he did amazingly well, and was so happy to be “doing somethingâ€? again—including chowing down on our sunflowers, which was OK! —Tom Lawler, Rock Hill Farm

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participate in the event, set for Sept. 29 at the Loudoun County Fairgrounds. Barktoberfest kicks off with the one-mile “Mutt Strut� at 9:30 a.m. before the main event gets under way from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Guests will enjoy live music, games for dogs and children, canine demonstrations, a silent auction, raffle items, food and more. Indoor and outdoor space will be available for vendors to set up, display their wares and make connections with community members. Barktoberfest is an ideal event to inform attendees about vendor services and products, as well as become more deeply involved with the community. Most importantly, vendors will help draw in the crowds, whose suggested admission donations of $5 per person will benefit FOHA’s efforts as Loudoun’s largest no-kill shelter and center for responsible pet ownership education. Those businesses interested in securing a vendor spot are encouraged to visit www.barktoberfest.org and click on the “vendor information� tab to get started.

Why Choose Us?

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Organizers for Friends of Homeless Animals’ Barktoberfest 2012: A Purrfect Pet Celebration, are looking for a diverse selection of vendors to

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Meet Trey. He has an athlete’s body, an extra-long tail, a funny knob of bone on the top of his skull, and eyes that mesmerize. Some say he looks like a cat on an Egyptian tomb. Actually, he began (this) life in a feral nest under a construction trailer, in a field somewhere around Ashburn. He nearly lost that life about a week later when the trailer was moved to Herndon, with Trey and without his mother. My sister heard screams one April evening as she drove past the trailer. She investigated and found Trey on the ground demanding attention—so young his eyes were still closed, but defiance and a will to live in every inch of his tiny body. She brought him to the vet and then to me. I learned to bottle feed and massage a kitten to make him evacuate. Trey beat the odds. More than five years later, he still tests those odds at every opportunity! He is wild at heart and strangers approach at their peril. But sometimes, too, he purrs and pushes his head into my hand to nurse between my fingers. That’s my special “Tway-Tway” (but don’t dare call him that to his face!). —Patricia Pickett, Leesburg

Trey

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AUGUST 17, 2012

Noodle Bone

My Best Pet is a beautiful male 7-year-old red nose American Pit Bull Terrier.  His name is Noodle Bone and his nickname is Boy. He loves living on 15 spacious acres in rural Leesburg and loves to chase bees on the deck and watch the many different birds flying in the sky. Boy loves to snuggle on the couch after dinner and to watch the Olympics and is a huge fan of the Washington Nationals and Washington Redskins. Boy enjoys the company at home of his wife, a black and white female pit bull, Lily Bone, Girl for short, they are the cutest dog couple you will ever see! Boy is friendly and loves people to come over for cookouts and waits for the UPS man to deliver packages to the front door. Boy carries the Leesburg Today newspaper proudly in his mouth from the street all the way to the front door and is rewarded with a treat, this is part of his very busy day of napping, looking outside for squirrels and bunnies, and waiting for his dad to come home from work. Boy will dispel any feelings of insecurity due to his breed because he is a lover of people and the outdoors, he is not only My Best Pet, he is my best friend. —Michelle Sarson

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Model mutts and pedigree pooches are naturals in front of the camera, but how do you capture that perfect moment that’s Hallmark card material? Loudoun veterinarian/photographer Bev Hollis talks about the unique relationship between humans and their pets in the August/September cover story of Country Woman Magazine and explains how to take picture-perfect photos of your pets with seven simple tips:   1.    Be playful – For a fun, lifestyle shot, photograph your children playing with their pet rather than posing. 2.    Get on their level – Try a belly crawl; your images will take on a totally different look. 3.    Focus on the eyes – The expression and light in your pet’s eyes give the image feeling. 4.    Make noise – Use a unique noisemaker–sparingly–to get your pet’s attention. But understand your pet will grow accustomed to it quickly, so don’t overdo. 5.    Forget the flash – It can distract or frighten a pet, so work with natural light whenever possible. 6.    Cut out the clutter – A simple, neutral background will draw the eye directly to your pet. 7.    Limit the bling – If you’re snapping your pet for a holiday card, a seasonal collar is enough; don’t over accessorize.   For more, pick up the current issue or go to www.countrywomanmagazine.com  


AUGUST 17, 2012

Bernie

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This is Bernie a 3-year-old, 140-pound male Bernese Mountain Dog. The first time I saw him, I knew he was special. He was the biggest and cutest of his litter. He was born in Lovettsville and makes his home in Waterford. He has his own room in an old historic 250year-old house. During the long hot summers he loves to stay inside in the air conditioning. During the cold, snowy winters he prefers the backyard to play and dig tunnels in the drifts. Since his ancestors come from the mountains of Bern, Switzerland, this behavior all comes quite naturally to him. His beautiful, curly double-coated hair is designed for keeping him warm in the mountains. On country walks around the village of Waterford, Bernie makes friends with other dogs, cows, cats and even chickens. Bernie loves to go to the First Friday events in Leesburg and the Rio in Gaithersburg, MD, to listen to the bands and receive tons of attention from all the other attendees. Kids and adults alike from far and wide can’t seem to get enough of his gentle temperament and his handsome and distinctive features. He has been photographed on many, many iPhones. He is the perfect pet and just the “best” in every way. —Steve Atwell, Waterford

Jimi

My best pet is Jimi, a Maine Coon cat who we adopted about 10 years ago, when he was just a little whippersnapper of a kitten. Jimi (named for a famous guitarist/singer) has the sweetest, gentlest nature imaginable. He’s also the most beautiful cat we’ve ever owned (and there have been many). He loves going outside on our farm, is a great mouser and likes to hang out with the chickens, but he’s equally comfortable sleeping on our bed, stretched out full length and purring loudly. He’s a very happy boy. Jimi gets along with the other cats in our household as well as our dog, Hana. They’re friends, but there are limits to the friendship; if Hana gets a little too rambunctious he gives her a quick swat on the nose, just to say, “Be cool, don’t overdo it.” —Richard Busch

Howi

Meet Howi, and, yes, he really is that cool. Howi is a Native American Indian dog. Weighing in at more than 120 pounds, he’s often mistaken for a wolf. Actually he’s a Malamute, Shepherd, Husky mix and has absolutely no wolf in him! He comes from a breeder in Michigan and is one of the kindest, gentlest dogs you’ll ever meet. His owner will testify that not only does he not have any wolf in him, he’s actually part chicken. Howi lives in Round Hill, and is very much a stay-at-home kind of guy. He is a trusted ally to his owner, Bob Friedenberg, and is the inspiration for the name given to the drawing-hobby company, “Not-Wolf-Productions” that you may of seen at some of the local art and craft festivals in the area. The name was Bob’s way of getting the word out once and for all. Without Howi, who knows what he would have called his business…though “Fat-Berner-Productions” did come up as a possibility. (Howi’s smaller brother is a Bernese Mountain dog.) —JoEllen Friedenberg, Round Hill

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Hermione

In 2007, neighbors offered us rescued kittens. We went to see the kittens. Two of them were in the front of the cage and a shy kitten hid in a corner, terrified of people. We knew she was meant for us so we took her home and named her Hermione. She became less shy after a few months. We let Hermione outside to explore the world and she fell in love with nature and began hunting prey. People say felines hunt upon only instinct, but that isn’t completely true. If cats hunt just upon instinct, why would they bring their kills to you? Cats would leave them outside if they didn’t care about their owners!  Hermione brings us birds and mice because she wants us to know that she is part of our family. She tries to be the closest she can to us. When we sit at the dinner table, she sits on a chair. If we go outside, Hermione will go with us. This cat tries her hardest to get to our hearts, and that’s just what she successfully does. —Olivia Bixler, Leesburg

Molly

Molly is special because she has a personality I have never seen in a dog before. She is determined, adventurous and even cute when she growls at me for a toy. She loves everyone she meets and trusts all. She may be small but she is the boss of the two Labradors in the house. Molly makes even the meanest, toughest man laugh. She makes me smile when I am sad and even licks the tears off my face when I cry. She is the best most lovable dog! — Mallory Yarbrough

Sophie

“No, No, No, No!” Those were the first words that came out of my parent’s mouth when I even mentioned anything about getting a cat. To get a cat I had to persuade my parents for weeks. I had to give them the facts, the pros and cons, and even have to make them fall for pity. But, most kids would want a cat because they just want a playmate or a person to be there friend. I wanted a cat for a non-selfish reason. A couple months ago, we suffered a tragic loss in our family. My mother’s father had passed away due to an illness. My mother was heartbroken, and had a tough time with the loss. She would come home from work looking very dull, down and sad. It was a pain to see my mother like this. I wanted something to cheer her up every time she came home, or something that could keep her busy with when she is sad. I really thought that a cat would cheer her up, so I kept on persuading for a long time until she finally realized the facts: That it would be a really good addition to our family. But I didn’t just want to bring home a cat for my mom, not even knowing she liked one. At first I felt like I was forcing her to get something she didn’t want. So I decided to test her. One day I told my mom that we were going to get our cat, but we were just going to observe some cats to adopt the next day. When we arrived home, my mother was waiting at the front door jumping and happily smiling. Later we told her that we were getting the cat tomorrow. The next day the cat finally arrived. My mother was so happy that you could see her smile behind her face. The cat we adopted was a domestic short hair named Sophie. Sophie is the most playful kitten you will ever experience. She will sprint, jump, pounce and play with her tail for hours. Her amount of energy is through the roof. The first day she came she used the litter box immediately and found her food in an instant. She is one of the smartest and easiest cats I have ever known. She fits our lifestyle so well. Sophie has changed our family’s life tremendously, she is a joy to have around, and when my mom comes home from work now, she has a smile as wide as the sky. And not only have we changed her life, but she has changed our lives, too. —Sahil Gangele


Paws & Claws: Best Pets