The Virginia-Maryland Dog Winter/Holiday 2011

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Volume 2 •Issue 4

Winter/Holiday 2011

inside: Lifting the Spirits of People with Pet Therapy Holiday Gift Guide Inside! The Physical Exam: How Important Is It?


oliday 20

Volume 2

Issue 4


Volume 2 •Is

Winter/Holiday 2011

inside: Lifting th of Peop e Spirits Pet The le with rapy

departments 18

sue 4

contents Holiday Gift Gui de Insid e! The Phys ical Exam How Im : portant Is It?

Weekend Getaway: Commonwealth Park Suites

On the Cover… Therapy Dog “Snickers” owned by Wags for Hope volunteer Kelly Bongard

Weekend Getaway: State House Inn

Photo by: Fuzzypants Photography – Carina Thornton


The Physical Exam:


Is Your Dog Suffering from Allergies? Skin Problems?



Alternative Therapy:


Creating Your Dog’s Disaster Survival Kit


Lifting the Spirits of People With Pet Therapy


To Infinity and Beyond


Holiday Gift Guide


Joint Support—


Wish List: Bring Some Joy to Shelter Animals in Need

32 34 36 38 40


How Important Is It?

Tuning Into Your Animal Companion Through Animal Communication & Reiki

Safety: Cheers to a Safe and Festive Holiday Season

Training: Building Drive in Dogs

Training: What Children Can Learn From Training the Family Dog

Featured Business:

Demystifying Joint Support Supplement

Doggy GOO

Calendar of Events

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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contributors Christine Bessent, DVM

Michelle Kluchurosky, DVM

Chris Bessent, D.V.M. practices holistic veterinary medicine, utilizing Chinese herbs, acupuncture, food therapy and chiropractic on all animals. After years of using Chinese herbal formulas in her practice, Dr. Bessent channeled her wealth of knowledge and experience into Herbsmith Inc. — a holistically-minded company that provides great Chinese herbal options for animals.

Dr. Kluchurosky is a small animal associate at Yellow Springs Veterinary Clinic in Frederick, Maryland. She completed her veterinary training at The Ohio State University in 1997 and has practiced small animal medicine for 14 years. Her interests include dermatology, internal medicine, and behavior. She resides in Woodsboro, Maryland with her husband, two children, a Golden Retriever, two cats, two horses and a donkey.

Brae Blackmore, Intern Brae Blackmore is a senior at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland where she double majors in French and Communication Arts. A native of Richmond, Virginia, Brae has lived with dogs her entire life. Starting with a large 70-pound Boxer to an 11-pound miniature dachshund, dogs have always played an integral part in her life.

Terri Diener, MA, Animal Communicator Terri is committed to bridging the worlds between animals and humans, and promoting mutual respect between animals and their human friends. Terri also includes, Reiki, Ama Deus, and flower essences as part of her healing practice. Terri is the author of The Pets Speak.

Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT Dr. Erwin, a life-long Loudoun County native, owns a house call practice called Wholistic Paws Veterinary Services that focuses on offering in-home acupuncture, rehabilitation, pet hospice, and euthanasia for her clients. She also practices part-time at Leesburg Veterinary Hospital. Dr. Erwin is a Certified Canine Rehabilitation Therapist and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist.

William Given William Given has owned, exhibited, and bred purebred dogs for more than 25 years. He has competed in conformation, obedience, and rally. William is an AKC licensed judge for Junior Showmanship. William also possesses a background in disaster management and emergency preparedness for pet animals and livestock.

Amber Haldis Amber is a 2008 graduate of Marymount Manhattan College with an interest in writing and editing. She has found herself to be a bit of a gypsy in an attempt to find her niche in life. Currently holding a mixture of administrative, retail, and supervisory jobs, she finds solace in the thing that has always been there for her: Riven, her thirteen year old mutt.

Tom Lacy, Dog Obedience Instructor Tom along with his wife Pat are the owners of Dog Lovers Obedience School located in Richmond, Virginia. Tom joined efforts with his wife Pat Lacy in 1983. Under Pat’s supervision, Tom trained his first dog 25 years ago. He is an instructor, as well as a writer and counselor. Tom established the New Hope Counseling Service for premarital, marriage and family crisis counseling. As a writer, Tom has published several books, articles and assisted others in doing the same.

Kathleen Lester, MS, Animal Reiki Practitioner & Teacher Kathleen owner of Zubhaa, LLC is a Reiki Practitioner and Teacher and certified Animal Massage Therapist living in Baltimore, Maryland. Kathleen studied Animal Reiki with Kathleen Prasad in California and Animal Massage with Brandenburg Massage Therapy in Ohio. Kathleen is also the Executive Director of the Animal Reiki Alliance.

Betsy McFarland Betsy is vice president for companion animals at The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization. In her 13 years with The HSUS, she’s assisted hundreds of animal shelters and humane organizations in handling various animal care and protection issues. Born and raised in the Commonwealth, she now lives in Maryland where she and her husband share their home with their dog Berkeley, and his three feline buddies.

Darleen Rudnick, BSW, MHN, Nutritional Pet Consultant Darleen holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work, and a Master’s Degree in Holistic Nutrition. She counsels pet owners worldwide and supports animals with a complete holistic approach. As a nutritionist, her focus is nutrition and building programs for pets suffering from all ailments and offers natural supplements and herbal remedies.

Nick White, Dog Obedience Instructor Nick is the owner of Off-Leash K9 Training, which specializes in off-leash obedience in high distraction areas. Nick’s background is a former US Marine and former US Secret Service.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Publisher/Editor in Chief Pamela Wahl

{ publishers note }

a note

from our publisher

Director of Operations Gene Wahl

Right about now, you’re probably starting to prepare for the holiday season. And the holiday season is such an exciting time of year---there are so many cherished traditions and customs to schedule, arrange, decorate and deal with. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a lot of fun, too. And holiday season rituals create enduring memories that touch our hearts with fun, excitement, history, happiness, and, perhaps most of all, the welcome warmth of family togetherness, and spending valuable time with the ones we love.

Art Director Kalico Design, Kim Dow Senior Editor Kimberly Holmes Photographer Fuzzypants Photography, Carina Thornton Photo Editor Fuzzypants Photography, Carina Thornton Copy Editor Matt Neufeld Advertising Director Pamela Wahl Production Coordinator Diane Weller Web Site Design/Manager Kalico Design, Kim Dow Business Manager Cathy Wahl Contributing Writers: Christine Bessent, DVM Brae Blackmore Terri Diener Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT William Given Amber Haldis Michelle Kluchurosky, DVM Tom Lacy Kathleen Lester Betsy McFarland Darleen Rudnick Nick White The Virginia-Maryland Dog Magazine 1 College Avenue Frederick, MD 21701 Tel: (301) 514-2804 Fax: (301) 576-5079 Copyright 2011 No part of this publication may be reproduced without expressed written permission of the publisher. No part may be transmitted in any form by any means, including electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without prior written permission from the publisher. Publisher accepts no liability for solicited or unsolicited materials that are damaged or lost. Views expressed by editorial contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher.

And speaking of touching our hearts and spending time with the ones we love---it’s fitting that we note during this time of year, in our cover story, how spending some special time with the unconditional love offered by pets--through very special animal therapy--can offer encouraging, uplifting support to people in miraculous ways! The healing power of an animal that occurs within the walls of healthcare facilities sheds a whole new light on our communication with animals, thus illustrating the pleasure that people can derive from the simple presence of an animal. Our cover story offers a detailed look into the lives of two separate pet therapy organizations in Virginia and Maryland, and how the touching, valuable work of these agencies provides glowing testament to the beauty of animal-human interaction. The holiday season is also a season of generosity. And in that spirit, we hope that you will take a moment to scan our Wish List of items that are needed by the many shelters and non-profit organizations throughout Virginia and Maryland. If this year has been good for you, and we hope it has been, please consider, among your charitable giving, a donation of at least one of the items found on the Wish List. I’m certain that as many of you review the Wish List’s items, you will be a bit taken back by just how simple and inexpensive a lot of these items may be. On a much lighter note, what would the holiday season be without a little shopping? Right here, in this issue, we offer an extensive Holiday Gift Guide that is guaranteed to provide you with a variety of unique, creative and useful gift ideas for your human and canine friends and family alike. In closing we would like to provide a little thanks of our own to you, our readers, who have provided us with a significant amount of positive feedback throughout the past year. Your loyalty is very much appreciated. In addition, we would like to thank our contributors, whose helpful, informative and insightful words grace our pages, providing our readers with a variety of educational, enlightening and heartwarming articles. We would also like to thank our advertisers, for providing our readers with a variety of products and services designed to ensure the health and safety of our pets, and to bring some joy and excitement in the lives of our beloved canine companions. And, finally, thanks to the staff and volunteers of the many shelters and non-profit animal organizations who invest a substantial amount of their time, energy, tears and laughter while helping to assist the countless homeless animals who are awaiting their forever homes. Your generosity is supreme! So right about now, as you reach for that sweater or that fleece that’s been waiting patiently for some attention since March, please enjoy our articles, of course, but also, please remember that our faithful pooches are an essential part of the holiday season, too! Happy Holidays! Pamela Wahl, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Creating Your Dog’s Disaster Survival Kit By William Given Dogs are an important part of our lives and many of

§ Grooming supplies

They depend on us for so very much. It is our responsibility to keep them safe, and that responsibility includes keeping them safe during emergencies and natural disasters. In the event of an emergency such as a fire, tornado or other natural disaster, you may be forced to evacuate your home. Being prepared is often critical to survival. Assembling your dog’s survival kit today will give you some peace of mind and this will save precious minutes if or when an emergency does occur.

§ Cleaning supplies, including plastic bags, a roll of paper towels and a small bottle of disinfectant

To create a disaster survival kit for your dog, include the following items in a sturdy container. I have two dogs, and I prepared my kit using a Rubbermaid 18-gallon storage box. Here are the items: § A leash, and collar or harness § Bottles of fresh water, enough for three days


§ A several-day supply of dog food and treats, along with information on your dog’s eating habits and food allergies


§ Any medications that your dog is on, in a waterproof container, plus information on the dosage and frequency

In the event of an emergency such as a fire, tornado or other natural disaster, you may be forced to evacuate your home. Assembling your dog’s survival kit today will give you some peace of mind and this will save precious minutes if or when an emergency does occur.


§ Clean bedding

us consider them a member of the family.

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

§ A canine first aid kit tailored to your breed, and the number of dogs you own In your kit, keep a file of important documents that may be helpful in an emergency. Include copies of vaccination records and any treatment records regarding existing medical conditions; copies of registration papers; adoption papers; bill of sale or proof of purchase; and microchip or other identification information. It is especially important to remember that having your dog microchipped is useless unless it is also registered with the company. Also, include a few recent photographs of you and your dog, in case your pet becomes lost or separated. Write the breed, age, sex and color on the back of the pictures. The photographs can also be used to help prove the ownership of the dog. It will be helpful to include a list of emergency contacts, such as friends and relatives, especially someone who lives outside of the affected area. Include your veterinarian’s name, address, and telephone number. It may also be helpful to include information on pet-friendly motels that are a good driving distance from your home. Once you have placed all of your items in the box, if you have room, I recommend putting one or two duplicates of your dog’s favorite toys. They help put a dog more at ease in a time of heavy stress. Store the kit in a location that I easily accessed, next to, or near, his crate or kennel, so that you can grab it quickly if you need to evacuate your home. Please make sure that the crate is labeled with the dog’s name and your name, address, and telephone number. We may not be able to prevent a disaster from occurring, but we can minimize the impact. A little planning can help reduce injuries, loss and suffering.

Photo by: Fuzzypants Photography

{ cover story }


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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Story by Amber Haldis | Photography by Fuzzypants Photography—Carina Thornton

Volunteers Meg Klackner, director of Wags for Hope, and Pat Lacy, director of Therapy Dogs and Associates, offer great, wonderful and welcoming services through their much-loved organizations by lifting the spirits of seniors, children and others with affectionate and loving pet therapy. It’s been said that the best relationships are those that turn you into a better individual. If that’s true, keeping a furry friend by your side is one of the best relationships you can have. The benefits are physical, emotional, and even psychological—some of the first experiments in pet therapy were used in corrections and mental health facilities to calm inmates, and animals are now being used by FEMA in disaster situations like Hurricane Katrina and the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks to administer what some officials call “psychological first aid.” Pet owners are proven to live longer. Blood pressure drops when petting or calmly interacting

with an animal. Keeping a pet also encourages exercise, maintaining a routine, and developing responsibility. Socially, an animal is non-judgmental and loves unconditionally. Pet therapy organizations have been on the rise during the past several decades. In 1984, Pat Lacy read an article on the subject and was inspired to start up Therapy Dogs and Associates in the Richmond, Va., area. Lacy started the organization with five handpicked dogs that she had trained, and together with their owners, they began visiting different facilities. Today, with 40 dogs, the group frequents nursing homes, assisted-living facilities, hospitals, youth groups and other venues and organizations. Wags for Hope, which is based in Frederick, Md., began with a handful of teams brought together by a desire to do some good in the community. Meg Klackner, the current president of Wags for Hope, got involved because she just wanted to share the pet she inherited from her mother “Isabelle” a black Terrier mix with others.

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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Now a non-profit organization with more than 250 dog and handler teams and a seven-member board, it is the main group of its kind in Frederick, Washington and Carroll Counties in Maryland and in Martinsburg, West Virginia. In addition to visiting nursing homes and hospitals, Wags for Hope also visits a local college to alleviate students’ stress during finals, and the group hosts a R.E.A.D. Program in schools and libraries. R.E.A.D. stands for: Reading Education Assistance Dogs. The program works with a curriculum-base for the schools, and it runs more like an individual storytime in the libraries. Three dog and handler teams stay for about an hour, and the children are given one-onone time with the animal, depending on the number of participants. Animals are a much easier and less intimidating audience for troubled readers to practice with. Even the adults who bring dogs are viewed as less threatening, merely because they are there with a dog. Additionally, the program serves as a rewards system, motivating children to read. Each week, a pet therapy group visits a local nursing home. For example, in one particular case, the group meets a resident in the common area across from the resident’s room. The dogs perform tricks. One jumps through a hula-hoop. Another plays the piano. The animals range from lap dogs to larger dogs, cats, even birds and rabbits--anything friendly, calm, and gentle!

After the performances, the teams split up and walk the halls. They go between the aisles in the common room so the audience can have a moment, then doorto-door to visit those who couldn’t come out. One of the volunteers has noticed that one particular resident, while not venturing out, will prick her ears at the sound of the group, might careen her head in their direction, and made her way into the doorway last week. One week, the volunteer visited inside the resident’s room and offered some companionship. A small Corgi was placed in the resident’s lap, and the resident’s eyes told the volunteer that a clear connection was made with the little dog! Pet therapy visits usually last only an hour or so. The welfare of the animals is always the most important thing to remember. Sometimes, children tend to grab, some people pet roughly, and there can be the buzzes and tones from medical equipment and alarms—these are all common surprises to pets! Pets must be able to react calmly. This is why an ideal natural temperament is the prerequisite for being a therapy dog. The rest is obedience and handler training. Wags for Hope and Therapy Dogs & Associates use their own set of guidelines when evaluating dog and handler teams. For both organizations, most participants pass evaluation. Any who don’t pass the initial evaluation are encouraged to keep training and try again.

Wags for Hope volunteers offer pet therapy to residents of a local assisted living facility. Photo by: Fuzzypants Photography


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ cover story }

Also, becoming Delta certified is not necessary to be a pet therapy volunteer. However, some facilities do require that kind of obedience testing, which handlers would have to find and complete on their own. Wags for Hope offers Delta testing for its members several times a year. Wags for Hope requires a handler Orientation, Educational Seminar and Evaluation of both the pet and the handler. Then, dog and handler teams must pass a two part shadowing experience with a WFH facility coordinator (veteran who oversees each site or program). Members are asked to visit at least two times a month. Therapy Dogs and Associates requires a minimum of 16 weeks obedience training for evaluating both dog and handler. Only handlers who attend the training are allowed to be responsible for the pet during visits, but she will train the whole family so that anyone, as young as three, can participate. Continued training for Therapy Dogs & Associates is also required. Prior to all visits, pets and volunteers meet outside the facility. Lacy likens it to a sports team meeting up, setting out a plan, and prepping for game. It is a meet-and-greet which promptly turns to work once inside the building; the dogs know what they are there for. Other animals that are either held or kept caged do not always need obedience training and are just tested for their temperaments.

With the case of one particular elderly resident at one facility, after a few months of furry companionship, the resident has indeed begun engaging in light conversation with staff, friends, and family! The resident doesn’t grasp new memories, but the animals jog stories from her past. The pet therapy group has reconnected the resident with her surroundings! Now, photos of the volunteers and their pets decorate the dresser in the resident’s room!

Once getting approval from both hospital staff and Lacy, the dog was trained and began serving the residence giving kisses and being petted. He is now retired, but the morale of the patients noticeably improved during his stay.

Photo courtesy of Dog Therapy & Associates, Richmond, VA

Wags for Hope includes, in its mission that the group’s goal is to “improve the quality of life of the people we visit, even if it’s just for that one little moment.” A moment is all it takes to spark an interest, and an interest turns into a distraction, a distraction turns into a story--and a story is something to be shared. Just like an animal.


The most grueling training requirements are those attached to a facility in search of adopting a therapy animal. Pat Lacy spent over a year setting up Eastern State Hospital in Williamsburg, Va., to host a pet. She used her experience from working years in the field to choose a dog with the right temperament, training, and health. She then trained the entire staff and helped the facility create a home for the dog, a small space just for him to be alone and off-duty. The most important requirement: including the duties of caring for the animal in the job description of the handler’s position, hiring the appropriate person, and paying the employee accordingly. This is necessary to hold someone accountable for the dog and his health.

Volunteers from Dog Therapy & Associates located in Richmond, VA

Wags for Hope organizes local fundraising and community events in addition to making pet therapy visits. Their next fundraiser is Pet Stockings. Anyone who would like to purchase a holiday stocking with treats and toys for your pet, or is interested in volunteer opportunities, can visit the group’s website at Richmond-area residents who are interested in participating in pet therapy visits with Dog Therapy & Associates can contact Sue Brown at 804-741-4050, or Pat Lacy at 804-741-3647, or online at

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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to infinity and

beyond! How the technology of tomorrow can help your canine companion today! By Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

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The world of tomorrow--automatic kitchens and cars that drive themselves. Not so long ago, that’s how people viewed the future. It is amazing how far we have come along, and it’s even more amazing that equipment such as therapeutic lasers and ultrasounds are now at arms reach to help keep our pets feeling fit and healthy. Odds are, if you pursue rehabilitation therapy for your dog, one of these tools will be utilized to help speed recovery and control pain. However, just as with any other medical therapy, it is important to have some basic understanding about the treatments that are being recommended for your dog, so you can make the best decisions possible. Here is a basic introduction into these fascinating and effective therapies:

Therapeutic Laser Low-level laser therapy, also sometimes called cold laser, uses focused red and infrared light energy to affect tissues at the cellular level. These effects stimulate tissue repair by promoting the regeneration of cells, stimulating the production of collagen, and improving local circulation. The light energy also stimulates the release of endorphins (the body’s own natural pain relievers). All of these effects work together to promote healing of injuries and wounds (either due to trauma or surgery) by reducing inflammation and pain. In fact, treatment with a therapeutic laser may actually help to reduce your pet’s need for pain medication. As an example, laser therapy can be used as a treatment for the following conditions: § § § § § §

Bursitis and Tendonitis Arthritic disorders Ligament sprains and strains Muscle spasms and trigger points Joint inflammation and swelling Skin lesions such as hotspots

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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Typically, laser therapy would be prescribed by the veterinarian in charge of your pet’s health care, but treatment may be administered by a physical therapist, physical therapy assistant, or veterinary technician trained in pet rehabilitation. Laser therapy is generally safe, but care should be taken to protect your eyes. Also, since laser therapy helps to stimulate cell growth, it shouldn’t be used on patients with cancer. Treatments with therapeutic laser tend to be cumulative, and your pet’s therapist may recommend a succession of treatments in order to achieve the best results. Oftentimes, therapeutic laser treatments are also incorporated with other forms of pet rehabilitation such as therapeutic exercise, underwater treadmill, and stretching.

Therapeutic Ultrasound Therapeutic ultrasound uses sound waves produced by a transducer that looks similar to the diagnostic ultrasound doctors use to examine pregnant women. However, the therapeutic ultrasound works at a different frequency and, instead of producing an image like you might see of a baby, causes different changes in the body’s tissues. Some of the benefits from ultrasound come from a gentle warming of the tissues that increases blood flow and enzyme activity within muscles, tendons, and ligaments. This helps to reduce swelling, decrease spasming, and decrease pain. Therapeutic ultrasound also causes other healing effects, such as promoting regeneration of new connective tissue at injury sites to help accelerate

healing and to increase elasticity of collagen to help improve range of motion. Typically, therapeutic ultrasound can be indicated for the following conditions: § Conditions that involve restricted range of motion (i.e. muscle contracture) § Muscle spasms and trigger points § Conditions causing chronic inflammation and pain (i.e. osteoarthritis and tendonitis) § Wound healing Just like laser therapy, therapeutic ultrasound should be prescribed by the veterinarian overseeing your pet’s treatment plan. Ultrasound may also be used in conjunction with other rehabilitation modalities to better help your pet to recover as quickly as possible and to preserve your pet’s good quality of life. We are so very fortunate to have cutting-edge technologies that are becoming more available to give our pets a new lease on life. However, it is very important to remember that these are medical treatments and should be prescribed and administered by trained individuals. Ask your veterinarian or local rehabilitation therapist today to see if these technologies of tomorrow can help your dog today! P.S. For those of you who have been following us from the first issue, make sure to check out the movie Dolphin Tale! It follows the story of Winter the dolphin that we featured in the pilot rehabilitation article, Veterinary Rehabilitation Medicine: New Techniques to Give Your Pet a New “Leash” on Life!



For More Info Contact:

Krisi Erwin, DVM, CVA, CCRT, Wholistic Paws Veterinary Services


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

We are devoted entirely to the rescue of Bull Terriers in need and to supporting and educating new owners. A regional member club of the Bull Terrier Club of America.

Blue Ridge Bull Terrier Club For information on adopting a Bull Terrier see our web site Celebrating 31 Years of Service in 2012


VA Dog Ad v12.p65


8/28/2011, 2:08 PM

The Virginia-Maryland Dog encourages you to spay and neuter your pets. It is a humane and responsible choice that will help slow the overpopulation and as a result decrease the euthanasia of homeless animals in shelters. Spaying and neutering improves pet health, behavior, and increases the quality of life while lessening the burden on overcrowded animal shelters.

Brought to you by:

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Commonwealth Park Suites A Dog-friendly Addition to Richmond’s Capitol District By Brae Blackmore

Bordering Richmond’s capitol district, Commonwealth Park Suites offers weary business

Photos courtesy of Commonwealth Park Suites

travelers, government workers, and families alike the quiet comfortable retreat they crave in Virginia’s eclectic capital. Boasting unbeatable views of the Virginia capitol building, which housed the ratification of the U.S. Bill of Rights in 1791, this hotel is a perfect location for exploring the capital of Virginia, as well as the old capital of the Confederacy.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Originally built in 1846 as a small three-story hotel, this building, along with all the warehouses that followed the banks of the nearby picturesque James River, was burnt to the ground when the Union soldiers infiltrated the city during the Civil War. It remained destroyed until it was rebuilt in 1912 as a ten-story hotel, and the hotel has stayed open since, except for a time in the 1980s when the hotel was being renovated with its namesake suites. Out of 59 rooms in the hotel, 47 of them are suites. These suites offer more than 550 square feet of living space, with separate rooms for the bedroom and living room, with televisions in both rooms.

These spacious suites allow guests who are travelling with dogs the extra room that they need. “It’s more like a home for the people; not only do dogs have more room, but so do the people,” said Christina Norton, the director of sales. This makes traveling with pets easier and more enjoyable--for the animals as well as the humans. Every room is dog friendly, and a $50 one-time fee allows a guest to bring their dog, regardless of size. “There aren’t many properties in the Richmond area that are animal-friendly, and we want to make sure we can accommodate the most amount of people. And people consider their dogs as family, and we don’t want to alienate their family,” Norton explains.



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“It’s more like a home for the people; not only do dogs have more room, but so do the people…”

Richmond is a city known for being animal-friendly; as two of the city’s malls welcome dogs. Even the beautiful and historical grounds of the State Capitol are open for people and their dogs to tour. The 12-acre grounds are scattered with various statues and monuments dedicated to important national and Virginian heroes. Every December, Richmond hosts the Grand Illumination, where buildings in the downtown area are lit with Christmas lights to kick off the holiday season. The celebration takes place outdoors, and pets are always a staple at this event. When Hurricane Irene hit in late August, Virginia Beach was directly hit, and Richmond, being only two hours from the coast, also sustained damaging effects. In the city, 75 percent of residents were without power. Thankfully, Commonwealth Park Suites did not endure a power outage--and many local residents brought their pets to the welcoming nearby hotel. “A lot of people came from the Tidewater region with their animals because they didn’t know what their house would look like when they got back, so they weren’t going to leave their pets,” said Norton. Being one of only a few hotels in the Richmond area that welcome pets made this hotel an asset during a very hard time for the city and the surrounding areas. Commonwealth Park Suites (888) 343-7301

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ weekend getaway }

Photos courtesy of State House Inn

State House Inn

Charming Views in Historical Annapolis By Brae Blackmore

Nestled in the richly historic center of Annapolis on State Circle, the building that hosts the State House Inn is no stranger to history. The current State House Inn has been in operation for 15 years, but tax records show that the building has been around since 1820—and the structure might have been around even before that. What makes this inn an asset to the historical district are the magnificent views of the best that this city has to offer. Each of the charming rooms offer a different perspective on the city, with views of the State Capitol, the Chesapeake Bay, the shop-lined Main Street, State Circle, and St. Anne’s Church. The


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Naval Academy is only half a mile from the inn and the Chesapeake Bay is within walking distance. Annapolis hosts the yearly Midnight Madness holiday shopping event every December on the first two Thursdays of the month. Stores in downtown Annapolis stay open from 6 p.m. until midnight, with musical performances, refreshments, and other holiday festivities to initiate the holiday shopping season. Also in December, on the second Saturday, the Eastport Yacht Club hosts the Lights Parade, where onlookers can watch boats decorated with thousands of colored lights sail across the Annapolis City Harbor. The Inn recently opened Piccola Roma Portico, located on the veranda. It is open daily, weather permitting, and the restaurant also provides room service for the guests of the State House Inn.

The Inn’s current owner, Marc Lucas, bought the inn in September 2007. As a Lieutenant Commander in the U.S. Navy and a math professor at the U.S. Naval Academy, buying the inn was a new and different venture for him. So far, it has been very successful. When he bought the inn, he also decided to make it child- and dog-friendly because he has two dogs, and so far this has been a positive change. Guests can bring any sized dog, and according to Lucas, “size doesn’t matter, but bark does.� Friendly and quiet dogs and cats are welcome to stay at the State House Inn, and there is no limit to how many dogs a guest can bring. The most dogs that a guest has brought has been two. Pets are also allowed in the parlor room and the courtyard of the Piccola Roma Portico, which makes this inn entirely dog friendly.

Protection, comfort, fit and style. AWhSa ! Â’ ;ORS W\ bVS CA/ /dOWZOPZS Ob g]c` Z]QOZ ^Sb P]cbW_cS

The State House Inn offers charm coupled with modern amenities that any traveler would feel at home with. All seven rooms come with their own private bathrooms, and three rooms have Jacuzzi tubs. Each of the rooms and the main parlor room are equipped with wireless Internet. “We have very spacious rooms, which is uncharacteristic for such an old building, so this is very appreciated,� said Emily Eberhart, the inn’s manager. “Our furniture has old touches, different touches that lend itself to being an older building, while still having all the amenities of a new hotel.� State House Inn (410) 990-0024



“Friendly and quiet dogs and cats are welcome to stay at the State House Inn, and there is no limit to how many dogs a guest can bring.�

Subscribe Today! 301.514.2804

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ health }

The Physical Exam: How Important Is It? By Michelle Kluchurosky, DVM

Clients frequently ask me, “Does my dog need to have an exam today? Can’t he just have the vaccines?” I explain to them that the exam is even more important than the vaccines,

especially important in puppies, as dogs with murmurs should not be used for breeding, since this is a heritable trait. Murmurs in adult or senior dogs may require medical treatment to slow the progression of heart disease.

especially for senior pets and puppies. It may appear to you that your veterinarian is merely petting your dog during the visit, but the vet is feeling your dog for lumps, looking at the quality of the hair coat, checking for fleas, ticks and lice, and assessing the condition of the body. Most veterinarians have a systematic approach to their physical exams. I begin at the head of the dog and proceed to the tail. First, the teeth are assessed for tartar, abscesses and malocclusion. The tongue, gums, and palates (the roof of the mouth) are examined for ulcers, masses, and color. Pale gums could indicate anemia in your dog. Yellow gums may indicate liver disease. Next, I palpate the lymph nodes for enlargement. Enlarged lymph nodes may indicate that your dog is fighting a virus, tick-borne disease, bacterial disease or even cancer. Your dog has lymph nodes located below his lower jaw, in front of his shoulders, in his inner thighs, and below his gluteal muscles in the hind legs. All of these are assessed for size and symmetry. The abdomen is palpated for organ enlargement. It may appear that your veterinarian is massaging your pet’s belly, but the vet is actually checking the spleen, liver, kidneys, and abdominal lymph nodes for enlargement. The intestines may also be felt for thickenings, which may raise suspicion of inflammation or cancer. It may even be possible to feel bladder stones in some dogs during abdominal palpation. Next, the heart and lungs are ausculted for murmurs, arrhythmias, and abnormal lung sounds. This is


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

The next two organ systems examined are the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. I perform an orthopedic--neurologic exam by assessing the muscle condition of the dog and manipulating the shoulder and carpal joints, elbows, knees and hips to check for painful areas that may indicate tendon or ligament problems (such as cranial cruciate ligament tear or luxating patellas), arthritis or bone cancer. The ear canals are examined with an otoscope for signs of ear infection, ear mites, inflammation, polyps, or masses. The eyes and eyelids are examined for abnormalities such as tumors, inflammation, congenital diseases (such as ectropion, cataracts), corneal ulcers or abnormal corneal pigments. The size, shape and symmetry of the pupils are evaluated, as is the retina, during the ophthalmic exam. A seasoned veterinarian will likely be able to perform all of these things within five to 10 minutes, while simultaneously talking to you about your pet. Your veterinarian is also educated in breed differences when it comes to health problems and behavior problems. Vaccines are tailored to the dog’s lifestyle, based upon the examination findings and the history that you provide during the exam. For example, a senior dog who has a history of cancer may not receive any vaccines, depending upon the results of his physical exam. A Labrador puppy who will be attending puppy classes and will be going on camping trips with his owner will likely receive all of the important vaccines. Your veterinarian will help you decide which vaccines are appropriate for your dog, based upon his exam. So yes, the physical exam is necessary before your dog receives his vaccinations!

YSVC11_VA-Dog_HlfPg_1_Layout 1 7/7/11 12:33 PM Page 1


In Your Pet’s Veterinary Care:

• • • • • •

Preventive Healthcare • Pharmacy Anesthesia and Surgery • Geriatric Screenings Radiology • Feline Boarding Dentistry • Ultrasound Laboratory Services • Pet Portal website Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupucture Now offering Canine Massage

Y •S •V•C Yellow Springs Veterinary Clinic is a full-service animal hospital, providing the highest quality healthcare for your pets. We are dedicated to improving the quality of life for our patients and their owners. 25 Thomas Johnson Drive

Frederick, MD 21702

As an accredited member of the American Animal Hospital Association, we are dedicated to providing excellence in small animal care. Our hospital is evaluated regularly by AAHA to ensure that we meet or exceed the association's standards of excellence. AAHA standards are recognized around the globe for quality care in veterinary medicine. Doctors’ hours are by appointment during the following times: Monday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 6 pm Tuesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 8 pm Wednesday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 8 pm Thursday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 8 pm Friday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 8 pm Saturday . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 am to 12 pm

Dr. Randy Barbour & Dr. Geof Ruppert own and operate the hospital as a team. Dr. Michelle Kluchurosky also joined the practice in 2007! Phone: (301) 663.8353

“Because dogs are a part of my soul, they have to be a part of my stories.”



*** Published by Tidal Press,

Breaking and Entering will

be available for purchase at and other online retailers this November in both e-book and paper format To learn more and read a sample, visit A portion of all sales are donated to the Charlottesville-Albemarle SPCA.

Laura Semonche Jones

{ nutrition }

Is Your Dog Suffering

From Allergies? Skin Problems? This May Be a Yeast Infection

By Darleen E. Rudnick, B.S.W., M.H.N. Nutritional Pet Consultant

If you are reading this article, your dog is probably suffering from allergies, skin problems, hot spots, pimples, itchy smelly skin, ear problems, bladder infections and a whole host of other ailments. The route of these problems may be a systemic yeast infection. This is the biggest problem facing dogs today, but little is known about how to treat this problem properly. Yeasts are single cell organisms which are found on the surfaces of all living things, including your pet’s body. Yeasts normally live on the mucous


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

membranes of the digestive tract. Unfriendly bacteria, viruses, allergens and other enemies also find their way into other membrane-lined passageways and cavities. Yeast found in the body changes to its fungal form and starts to overgrow in the gut, causing toxins to leak into the body. This causes a breakdown in the immune system, leading to chronic problems. Since the skin is the biggest filter organ in the body, it is easy to understand that this is where the toxins in the body end up, causing the issues that you see in your pet.

{ nutrition }

When a pet’s immune system is healthy, the body is able to destroy the yeast. However, when the immune system is weak, the yeast produces in mass amounts, causing toxins that disable the immune system and prevent it from functioning properly. In this case, the immune system cannot destroy the yeast, causing a host of health problems. Treating A Yeast Infection Naturally To find the cause, you need to look at the whole picture. Once the cause is found, a prevention plan can be initiated. A prevention plan is a simple method of enhancing the level of nutrition and making lifestyle changes. Below are general guidelines on how to treat a yeast infection naturally. Prevention Plan 1. Change the Diet: An anti-yeast diet is one that includes meats, and some vegetables. An antiyeast diet will starve the yeast and aid in the healing process. Once your pet’s health improves, you will be able to expand on what you feed your pet. For specific recommended diets, email me at darleen@ 2. Supplements: Antibiotics are known to destroy the friendly bacteria so they may not be the most effective method to treat a yeast infection. I do not recommend discontinuing traditional medicine cold turkey or discontinuing at all. I highly recommend you work closely with someone knowledgeable in nutrition, such as a holistic vet or a pet nutritionist. Product Recommendations Yeast & Fungal d’tox | A natural anti-fungal, antibacterial and anti-yeast liquid which helps the body eliminate Candida overgrowth. Nupro YEAST FREE | A yeast-free vitamin supplement containing vitamins, minerals, amino acids and digestive enzymes. Pets may show a response to treatment within a month. However, some pets may take several months. The length of treatment seems proportional to the cooperation of the owner. In other words, if the owner gives the remedies once a day, administers antibiotics during the treatment program, and feeds the pet a low quality diet, the treatment will take longer. A high-quality diet and consistency are the keys. A consultation is highly recommended before any treatment is started. A consultation will include a per-

sonalized diet and holistic program suggestions, all custom-tailored to your pet’s personal needs. While Purely Pets continues to provide and even add educational articles on the company’s website, these are just general in nature. We therefore encourage you to tailor a program specifically for your pet’s needs. This is particularly important regarding pets with complicated health issues, or if you have done outside reading and have conflicting information.

Some Symptoms of a Yeast Infection Include:

§ Food allergies

§ Bladder infections

§ Ongoing ear mite problem

§ Clogged sinuses

§ Joint pain

§ Severe itching and skin rashes

§ White-coated tongue

§ Persistent cough

§ Brittle nails

§ Chronic ear infections

§ Skin eruptions

§ Greasy skin

§ Rectal itching

§ Foul odor from the body or ears

§ Irritable bowel syndrome § Asthma

§ Discharge from the eyes, ears or nose

The symptoms listed above may be due to other health issues. Therefore, before concluding that your pet’s health problem is yeastrelated, you should have your pet checked by a veterinarian to rule out other causes.

{ { For More Info Contact: Darleen Rudnick, Purely Pets Tel: (804) 748-7626

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ holiday gift guide }

holiday gift guide Belgian Pup Bakery


! ! ! ! !




! !

! ! ! !

! ! !

John Paul Pets Holiday Pet Kit Belgian Pup Bakery’s dog treats contain no chemical preservatives, artificial colors, artificial flavors or Genetically Modified Organisms — simply 100% all natural & organic human-grade ingredients. Handmade and oven-baked in Maryland, these are the perfect holiday treats for your canine companion. Visit our website to learn about our special Holiday promotions!

Pamper your pet this winter with salon quality grooming products from the CoFounder of Paul Mitchell. Oatmeal Shampoo and Conditioning Spray will soothe and add shine to your pet’s coat. Eye & Ear Wipes keep your pet clean, fresh and happy! Look for the JP Pet Holiday Kit at an ULTA store near you. | 1-855-K9TREAT | 1-888-588-1119

Paws N Claws All Breed Dog Grooming

Glowdoggie The German-made Glowdoggie™ LED collar is the perfect way to keep your dog seen, safe & protected during dark and cold winter nights. Used by K-9 Search & Rescue units around the world, the Glowdoggie™ is 100% waterproof, extremely durable and comes with a full 2 year warranty.

Bring in this ad & receive 10% off your holiday groom at Paws N Claws All Breed Dog Grooming. See our full color ad on page 5 of this issue. I will make your furry friend picture perfect for the holiday season! Expires December 31, 2011

301.829.7632 | 240.876.0066

Purely Pets

Zubhaa Reiki Healing for Animals EpiPlus!! The all-natural supplement for pets suffering from seizures. It contains a combination of herbs and vitamins that open the blood vessels to aid in the body’s natural cleansing process and assists in fighting off toxins in the nervous system. Help your dog remain calm, stay energized, and live a vibrant, happy life with EpiPlus. Your pet deserves no less! | 804-748-7626


Don’t know what to get your best friend for the holidays? How about a day of relaxation with a Reiki session for your animal friend ($75 for one Reiki session); or have a day out with your animal companion ($125 for two Reiki sessions on the same day)? | 443-986-1516 The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ holiday gift guide }

My Buddy Pal

Hillary Vermont My Golden’s reaction when he saw greeting cards I’d made of the things he’d said. There are 12 different cards showing how “Pal” viewed life’s joys and frustrations. Each card and envelope is protected by a clear cello. Priced at $3.00 each or a set of 12 for $29.00. See them at:

Tees $20 at

Santa Fe Designer Hillary Vermont offers Pet Design Tees for Humans plus color Art Prints, Cards, Magnets and Paintings. Want your breed etched in stone? Hillary also designs one of a kind hand-etched sandstone Clocks, Plaques, Coasters, Memorials. Custom orders welcome, Wholesale too. Woof Y’All. | 505-992-8701

New! Sublingual Doggy Goo

Gertie Gear — Pet Air Beds Gertie Gear™ air beds offer body conforming orthopedic support in three sizes. Machine wash away odors, allergens and pests. No compression or lumps, ever. Up to 200 slipcover fabric choices, made to order, make each a unique gift for dogs or cats and those who love them.

Itchy DOG? Fleas/ FOODs=NO;Pollens/Mites/ Molds=YES! Sublingually fight enviro allergens with dermatologist formulated Doggy Goo. PLUS pre and probiotics with beneficial ingredients simultaneously target, support and balance innate, acquired and GUT tiers of dogs immune system, 100% Natural Doggy GOOLicious. | 855-246-2426 | 734-329-2661

My Name is Rosie by Kate Updike O’Connor

Humane Society of US

Snippets of a Corgi’s everyday life in her own words… A dog book for all ages, 48 pp., $8.95

KATE with




O’CONNOR C h l o e Wh i t e

Partial proceeds go to Woods Humane Society.

Order online at

Accent your garden or lawn and stake your claim with our spirited Angel Dog Garden Stake. Individually handcrafted by an Arizona artisan, each piece is an original work of art. This heartfelt heavenly hound will spread his wings and bring a warm smile to everyone he meets and greets all year long.

Rosie, the Corgi, shares a peek at her life in fourteen whimsical snippets. Illustrated with charming pen and ink drawings, My Name is Rosie will delight your dog-loving friends of all ages. Partial proceeds help support Woods Humane Society in San Luis Obispo, California. Happy Holidays from Rosie! | Item #230901 Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ holiday gift guide }

holiday gift guide Humane Society of US

Ultimate Health for Dogs

Our personalized puffed heart necklace, available in sterling silver or pewter, is inscribed with Always in my heart on the front and your pet’s name on the back. A special way to always keep your beloved pet close to your heart.

A Liquid Dog Vitamins Formula with Joint Support & Mangosteen — provides powerful anti-inflammatory & anti-itching properties in one product. Just put directly on your dog’s food, they LOVE the taste. Mangosteen is one of the most nutrient-dense botanicals on the planet and even show dogs see the difference in only 3 weeks. | Item #2342 | 360-264-7526

Fuzzypants Photography

HattieRex Keep your pooch safe and stylish with custom pet ID tags by HattieRex! Each tag is hand-stamped to your specifications in our Montana studio. Choose from our wide variety of styles or work with the artist to create a unique design! Take $5 off with coupon code VAMDDOG.

At Fuzzypants Pet Photography, we offer playful, candid images that bring out the uniqueness in your pet. Your service begins with our first conversation, continues through your custom session, the presentation of your carefully edited gallery and the personal delivery of your final product selections. Please contact us today to discuss ideas for your perfect custom photography experience. | 631-766-5282 | 406-992-4641


Off-Leash K9 Training, LLC Breath Freshener Spray is designed to combat bad breath & plaque in your pet’s mouth. Non-Toxic, 100% Organic formula provides a fresh scent, relieves pain from toothaches, and helps in the treatment of cavities and plaque build up. It does not contain any alcohol. Check out the rest of PETfection products online! Everything’s Organic!


Give your K9 the gift of being off-leash for the holidays! Check out our 200 videos on YouTube and our (84) 5 star reviews on google in order to see the results we guarantee! Youtube: OffLeashK9Training | (888) 413-0896 The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ alternative therapy }

Tuning into Your Animal Companion Through

Animal Communication and Reiki Pet owners seek the advice of a veterinarian or other animal practitioners so often that they forget their ability to tune into their pets. What are they thinking? What do they want? What treatments do they think will help them heal? Are they ready to transition, or do they still have something to contribute here on earth? What if we could tune in and find out? Animal communication and Reiki complement each other in beautiful synchronicity, allowing us to tune into our animals, hear from them directly, and support their physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

Communicating With Our Animals Animals communicate with us through thoughts, feelings and mental pictures, and through having

strong opinions about themselves, their families, and their situations. Our animal companions communicate with us all the time. However, we are often not listening in ways that allow us to understand them. They then resort to a variety of creative behaviors to get our attention. If we are willing to tune in and listen, animals can tell us how they feel, which medical treatments make them feel better, if they’re bored, if they want a job, their opinions of their vet or pet sitter, or if they are ready to transition. Animals very much want to be part of the conversation about their care and well-being, and not have decisions made for them.

Authors: Terri Diener, M.A., Animal Communicator, Kathleen Lester, M.S. Animal Reiki Practitioner and Teacher

Many people have actually heard their animals at one time or another. Have you ever walked through the house and a thought came to you and, for just one second, you thought that might have been

Winter/Holiday 2011 |



{ alternative therapy }


“I’m grateful to have such valuable resources available to me, not only for Sadie but for my healthy kids, too” –Kim KaletaKlein, Sadie’s Mom.

coming from your animal companion—and you then dismissed the thought as ridiculous? Anyone can learn the basic techniques of animal communication. And, with practice, anyone can come to trust that the information they are receiving really is coming from the animal.

clients. Her Internist initially gave her three weeks to live. In communication sessions, Sadie made it clear she was not ready to transition and was worried that her people were going to euthanize her after hearing them talking about it. She explained that her headaches were painful, but not enough to be put to sleep. Sadie has animal communication sessions every six weeks (more often if needed), and twice-weekly Reiki sessions. Her mom, Kim, takes Sadie’s comments and observations to her holistic veterinarian, who is very interested in Sadie’s recommendations for her treatment. In addition to veterinary care, Reiki is supporting Sadie as she manages her cancer, is reducing her headaches, and is increasing her appetite. Sadie consistently gained weight each month since starting Reiki, much to the delight of her healing team.

Reiki – Tapping Into Our Own Ability to Heal Ourselves and Our Animal Companions

“I’m grateful to have such valuable resources available to me, not only for Sadie but for my healthy kids, too” –Kim Kaleta-Klein, Sadie’s Mom.

Similarly, anyone can learn to practice Reiki, a Japanese energy healing technique founded in the 1920s. While energy healing is not new, Reiki has evolved in a way that demystifies energy healing and makes it available to the general public, allowing anyone to practice self-healing and the healing of others. Reiki works well with animals because they are so highly sensitive to the energies around them, they intuitively understand it.

Sadie is a wonderful example of how animal communication, Reiki and veterinary medicine can work together to support a terminally ill animal in a holistic way. Kim is relieved to know and respect her beloved Sadie’s wishes, and is delighted she still has work to do here; we are all honored to be part of this wonderful soul’s healing team.

Through Reiki we can support our animal companions in many ways through rebalancing their energetic body or biofield. Reiki supports the animal’s immune system, helps to manage pain from surgery, cancer, arthritis or other painful injuries or ailments, relaxes a stressed or anxious animal, assists to increase the bond between human and animal, and assists an animal during the transition into death. As part of the healing process, Reiki practitioners often receive mental pictures from animals that can assist in understanding what the animal is communicating to us. Reiki is taught through three practitioner levels— Level I, Level II, and Level III (Master Level)—and a teacher level. A Reiki teacher passes on the teachings and attunes the student to the Reiki energy.

Tune Into Your Animal Companions If you are willing to keep an open mind, you too can have a more cherished relationship with your animal companion. Explore the possibility of deepening your relationship and opening a dialogue with your animal companion--tuning in more deeply to who they are and what they want.


Meet Sadie! Photo by Terri Diener

Sadie’s Story Sadie, an 11-year-old cat who was diagnosed with a brain tumor five months ago, is one of our mutual


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

help make our name come true There’s no excuse for cruelty—ever. Not toward each other, not toward the animals who share our lives. Together we can create a more humane society. Visit to find out what you can do.

{ safety }

Cheers to a Safe and Festive Holiday Season for You and Your Dog By Betsy McFarland

The holidays are a special time. And we want to make sure it’s just as special for our canine friends. As vice president for companion animals at The Humane Society of the United States, I work to protect pets—at home and in shelters—and I seek to end pet homelessness. It’s important to remember to plan properly

Use caution when displaying seasonal plants: Ivy, holly, mistletoe among others can be poisonous if ingested. Keep decorations out of reach: Tinsel, bows, and ribbons can be tempting chew toys, but can damage pets’ digestive systems. Remember to keep tree ornaments high enough that they’re out of your pet’s reach.

for your dog during the holidays so all can enjoy a safe and happy season. My dog, Berkeley, always loves to be the center of attention. He’s a social butterfly who relishes the belly rubs and potential treats from anyone willing to dote on him. Berkeley is always part of our social gatherings, but many of the everyday things associated with the holidays pose hazards for him. Here are a few tips to ensure your dog’s health and happiness:

Give your pets a little space: Offer a quiet place for your dog to retreat in case the holiday parties become too much for him. Sweets are for people, not dogs: While you enjoy sweet treats, it’s best not to share them with your four-legged friends. Avoid not only chocolate, but also xylitol, a common sweetener. And individually wrapped candies are double troubles if both the candy and wrapper are eaten. Plan ahead for travel: When visiting friends and relatives, it’s best not to surprise them with Fido in tow. Ask in advance if it’s okay to bring the dog along. And if your trip involves air travel where your pet may have to ride in cargo, it’s best to board your dog or hire a reputable pet sitter instead. Limit table scraps: Most dog lovers slip their dogs a little something from their holiday meal, myself included. Just be careful not to overdo it as you can create an upset belly. Watch out for bones


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

{ safety }

especially—they can easily splinter and can cause serious, even life-threatening, health problems for your pooch. Don’t leave candles unattended: One happy swipe of a dog’s tail may accidentally knock them over and spill wax or start a fire. Of course, a little indulgence isn’t all-bad! If you’re like most dog lovers, the holidays are a fun time for new toys and treats for your canine friend. Offering your dog something special—like a new squeaky toy, or chew—can keep him entertained while you’re busy with guests. Are you thinking about making a four-legged addition to your family this holiday season? There are many wonderful dogs (and cats!) waiting for a second chance at your local animal shelter. Pets don’t choose to wind up in shelters. Their families moved and couldn’t take them, or other life circumstances interfered. Animal shelters and rescues would be happy to help match you with the right dog for your family. You can save a life by adopting— that’s the true holiday spirit. Visit to search for a pet, find local shelters and learn more about the adoption process. When looking to add a dog to the family, avoid pet stores and online animal dealers, as their dogs almost always come from puppy mills. Tragically, puppy mills continue to thrive because they prey on unwitting consumers who are smitten by toocute-for-words puppies in pet store windows and

on legitimate-seeming websites. Puppy mills house dogs in shockingly poor conditions. After their fertility wanes, breeding animals are often killed, abandoned or sold cheaply to another mill to try and get “one more litter” out of the dog. Finally, think twice before giving a new puppy or dog as a surprise gift. The recipient may not be ready for the commitment involved with the lifetime care of a pet. Instead of including a puppy among the presents you’ll dispense, give the gift of adoption. Many shelters offer adoption gift certificates, so the recipient can be actively involved in choosing the perfect pet who will share their home for years to come. With the hustle and bustle of more people, more food and extra cheer, with a little preparation, your holidays can be safe and comfortable for you and your dog. Berkeley and I wish all of you and your canine companions a lovely holiday season and a happy new year!



…with a little preparation, your holidays can be safe and comfortable for you and your dog.



Dr. Phillips,

Dr. Gellasch,

• Ultrasound • Endoscopy • Chemotherapy • Complex Case Management

• Orthopedic • Soft Tissue • Neurologic • Vet Stem • Pain Management




Available for Weekday Appointments & On Call for Emergencies 1080 W. Patrick Street | Frederick, MD 21703 301-662-CARE OPEN 24 HOURS A DAY / 7 DAYS A WEEK | EMERGENCY/ Y URGENT CARE NIGHTS, WEEKENDS, HOLIDAYS Y/ Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ training }

Building Drive in Dogs By Nick White, Dog Obedience Instructor

One of the most important steps to raising a confident dog is to play tug with your dog. People do not realize how important this step is in confidence building. It does not help that there is so much misinformation out there on this subject. Thus, people really do not know what to think. In order to get our protection dog very tug-driven— meaning they go crazy when they see the tug and then they will do anything for it—the owner needs to limit the pet’s exposure to it. In most military branches and law enforcement agencies, our dogs were working for a ball. As soon as the handlers pull that ball out, the dogs go crazy for it by spinning and barking and other actions. So, many people would ask, “How do I get my dog that motivated for a ball?” First, it goes back to breeding and genetics. Some dogs, from day one, just have no interest in tugging or chasing a ball. That is why it is important to know what type of puppy you are getting, and who you are getting it from, to ensure that the puppy will be able to meet the expectations that you have for it.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

In order to make your pup highly motivated for a ball, tug, or toy, it is essential that he does not have full access to it. That means that he should have only limited access to that specific toy. If he has access to the ball or tug all throughout the day, he will never be highly motivated for it. Again, a toy to dogs is like money is to you: If you had unlimited access to money, you wouldn’t be very motivated to go to work, because there is no incentive. The same principles apply with your puppy—if he has constant access to a toy, there is no incentive for him to “work” for it. A dog will never be too motivated for something he always has—just like people. The ball or tug becomes a new treat—they get it only at limited times, and on special occasions. If you fed your dog hot dogs every day, three meals per day, for one month, they would no longer be considered a treat to him—it is now food. So think about the ball or tug the same way—limited accessibility, and offer it only when they do something deserving of that treat. Generally, we will give dogs the toy or play tug with them only when they are doing something good. When we are training with them, we will do some

{ training }

obedience training, then “mark” the behavior (more on this in the training section) and immediately reward them with a quick game of a tug or by throwing the ball for them to chase. As soon as we play tug for a minute or two, we will immediately take the tug back and repeat the training. If we are using the ball, they have it long enough to go get it and bring it back, and that’s about it. If the pup gets the ball and lies down with it, we immediately take it away. Remember, these are not used as chew toys. One thing to keep in mind is that you do not want to over-train with the tug or the ball. You do not want to keep playing with the dog until he loses interest in the tug or the ball. Stop playing when the dog still wants to keep going. That is what builds up the drive for it. So, when your pup is still in the prime of wanting to play, we will tease them with the ball or tug, and once they get all excited over it, we will simply turn and put it away to end the session. This really helps build their drive. That way, when you go to pull the tug or the ball out the next time, they immediately want it and want to play. By repeating this sequence over a period of weeks, you should really see your dog’s drive building up for these devices. Let me correct some misinformation about playing tug with your dog. The first myth is that playing tug with your dog can lead to aggression. That is false. Actually, the opposite is true. Playing tug has never led to aggression in any dog I have ever seen or worked with. Again, playing tug builds confidence. As I always say, confident dogs are not the ones biting people. It is generally dogs with low confidence and that are fearful that conduct that type of behavior.

The second myth is that you should always win if you play tug, in order to show that you are the alphamale, the dominant member of the pack. This is also completely false. Beating your puppy in tug is not something that will teach your dog that you are the leader. What it will do is give your puppy low confidence. Think about it—imagine if you and a friend were to play a game of pool at their house every day after work, and your friend always beat you. How confident would you be in playing pool? Imagine if their friends came over and they always beat you, too. Where would you be on the confidence scale of 1 to 10? That is where your puppy’s confidence would be, as well. Now, think of the same scenario, but reverse the roles. Now imagine that you always beat your friend, every one of their friends, and all of their family members. How high would you be on the confidence scale then? In your mind, you are unbeatable. Losing isn’t even an option, right? Welcome to the world of how police, military, and personal protection dogs think. Your pup should always win in the game of tug!


When you start playing tug with your puppy, make it fun, engaging, and exciting. You should get into it as much as he does, if not more. If you follow these steps, you should see the drive building in your dog within a very short time.

For more info contact:

Nick White, Off-Leash K9 Training, LLC

Winter/Holiday 2011 |

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What Children Can Learn From Training The Family Dog! By Tom Lacy, Dog Obedience Instructor

Although professional trainers allow adept 3- and 4-year-old children, and some children who are older, to train dogs alongside older family members, those trainers do not believe that every boy and girl should have a dog. Trainers do believe that every child who wants a dog should have the right dog at the right time.


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

There is much preparation that should be made regarding the selection of the correct dog for a family. And there is also much preparation that needs to be made regarding children training the family pet. At the Dog Lovers Obedience School, officials there have many young adults, with their young families, who are training their pets. The school gets much of its business from personal referrals, and the trainers are now dealing with the second and third generations of pet owners. The officials are seeing some



{ training }

There is much preparation that should be made regarding the selection of the correct dog for a family. And there is also much preparation that needs to be made regarding children training the family pet.”

young adults train pets who were previously there as children. One example of this is the experiences of Greg Howard, a 22-year-old who recently registered his Labrador retriever, Boone, for training classes. About 10 years ago, when Howard was 12, he had previously helped train his family’s dog. Howard has offered four key aspects of training that he has learned from his experiences:

Persistence is key.

Be patient! The dog will need some time to learn.

One student, who had a very wiggly, spirited puppy asked in desperation, “Do you teach classes on patience?” “I’m teaching one right now, as I teach you to keep your dog sitting,” I replied. Greg Howard, welcome back, and thanks for sharing your valuable pointers! I know your dog, Boone, will be a well-trained, faithful companion dog.

There is more than one way to teach a dog any lesson, but why teach them two? Dogs learn best, and retain their learning, longer through repetition and consistency. Say the same things the same way, and that goes for everyone in the family-no variance.

Finding a happy medium between play pal and master is necessary, for owners of all ages. Dogs are pack animals, and unless you do something to establish pack leadership over the dog, the dog will establish pack leadership over you. Gaining pack leadership is not accomplished through heavyhanded training methods. The Dog Lovers Obedience School has 3-year-olds handling everything from 8- week-old puppies to dogs that out-weigh them! Getting dogs to submit to a child, or a person of any age, is done with proper training methods, proper placement of the hands, and proper-fitting training equipment.

Doing your homework, one night a week in class, is not enough to properly teach your dog. The Dog Lovers Obedience School advocates life-style training. As a pet owner learns the basic commands, require the dog to perform them to suit you. Contrary to bogus reasoning, consistency in training, and expected results from the family pet, does not produce robotic-type dogs.

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


{ featured business }

Is Your Itchy Dog Sad? The definition of frustration is an itchy dog. By Stephen Hauer

Pet owners constantly talk to pet professionals about their dogs’ itchy misery, as they try to find a solution to the problem. Ear and skin infections and hot spots, which are all allergy-related, are the top three health issues treated by veterinarians. And as dog owners and vets will verify, it’s easier to know that your paw-chewing dog has allergies than to be able to identify and address the actual source of that allergy. Pet owners start their investigation by considering fleas. But, your groomer says, “no fleas.” The pet owner then tries shampoos, which do provide some short-term relief—but the itching returns. The frustrated pet owner then reads about food aller-


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

gies, and then tries special diets. However, although the diets are nutritious, they just don’t seem to solve the pet’s itching. Further investigation reveals that 85 percent of itchy dogs actually suffer from the same pollens, mites and molds that humans suffer from. Success! The pet owner is now hot on the allergy trail! But upon closer inspection, you find that these itchy environmental allergens are almost hard-wired into your dog’s immune system. The pet owner then finds out that medications only mask symptoms in the short-term, have nasty side effects, and leave the animal vulnerable to secondary health issues. Then there are steroids. The increasingly frustrated pet owner reads about allergy skin test-



{ featured business }

Doggy GOO is the first veterinary and dermatologistformulated, premium canine immune health supplement, which sublingually leverages the adaptive abilities of the dog’s immune system to build immune tolerance to grass, tree and weed pollens, mites and molds.

ing and owner-administered allergy shots, which do work, but are not always available, are costly, and are not very pet- or pet-owner-friendly. What’s a pet parent to do, then? Fortunately, human and animal medical professionals have been focusing on allergy neutralization, and the delivery methodology by which neutralization is achieved. For fifty years, physicians and veterinarians have used subcutaneous allergy shots to neutralize allergies. They are clinically-proven, time-tested and offer a therapeutic option that stops the progression of allergy and neutralizes the disease at its source. Of course, no man or animal likes shots. Fortunately, there is a new, friendlier method of immunotherapy delivery called sublingual. Rather than using injection, sublingual immunotherapy introduces allergy extracts directly into the bloodstream, via absorption through the thin mucosal skin of the patient’s mouth. Sublingual immunotherapy has been reviewed and endorsed by global medical organizations for its clinical efficacy and safety in humans. Unfortunately, there have been no veterinary studies which test the immuno-success of sublingual delivery in canines. Until now. Veterinary dermatology academicians have just published preliminary results of a major study, which indicates that sublingual immunotherapy delivery is dog-friendly and produces the same, if not faster, immunological response than gold standard allergy shots. For Dr. Kristin Holm, a veterinary dermatologist and the medical director for Healthy GOO, a pet healthcare company, this is good news. “I know that the majority of animal health issues are based in immune irregularity, with allergy—atopic

dermatitis as the most common,” Holm says. “I also know that allergy shots do work, but may not be pet or pet-parent friendly. For me, this has always been a major source of frustration. When approached with the concept of a canine immune supplement, which uses friendly sublingual delivery to build immune tolerance to environmental allergens, I was immediately interested.” Holm and Healthy GOO have responded to this canine challenged by creating Doggy GOO! While that sounds cute and playful, Doggy GOO is the first veterinary and dermatologist-formulated, premium canine immune health supplement, which sublingually leverages the adaptive abilities of the dog’s immune system to build immune tolerance to grass, tree and weed pollens, mites and molds. The product also simultaneously targets, supports and balances the innate, acquired and gut tiers of the animal’s immune system. And best of all, the “GOO” is 100 percent organic peanut butter-based and delicious to dogs. “A dog’s immune system can defend and fight off most of what life throws at it,” Holm says. But Mother Nature can always use a little extra Doggy GOO help. With preliminary results demonstrating the clinical and pet-friendly effectiveness of sublingual delivery, company officials are excited to offer pet owners a pet-friendly, 100 percent. natural allergy care option in their battle against canine allergy itch. So if you have an allergy stressed dog, or if you wish to pre-emptively strengthen environmental allergy tolerance in your genetically-predisposed puppy, your best friend can now have a healthy GOO glow, with sublingual Doggy GOO!


Dr. Kristin Holm, DVM, DACVD, and Stephen Hauer, MSM, MBA, are the co-principals of Healthy GOO and the co-creators of Doggy GOO. | 855.246.2426

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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calendar In Virginia: Saturday, November 19, 2011

11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Holiday Pet Photos

$40 session fee for an 8x10 standard print or one high-resolution digital file. Plus $150 off a private, in-studio session with Canines in Art by Jim Poor. Appointments preferred

Benefit: SPCA of Northern Virginia Weber’s Pet Supermarket 14508G Lee St. Chantilly, Virginia For more information: (703)-347-4332

Thursday, December 1, 2011

6: 30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Low-cost Rabies Clinic

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.

Animal Welfare League of Arlington 2650 South Arlington Mill Drive Arlington, VA For more information: (703)-931-9241

Thursday, December 1, 2011

In Maryland: Sunday, December 11, 2011

12 noon to 2 p.m.

OBG Cocker Spaniel Rescue Adoption Show! Annapolis Petsmart 2601 Housley Rd Annapolis, MD For more information: (703)-533-2373

5 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Dominion GardenFest of Lights Enjoy the GardenFest of Lights with fido by your side! For this special evening, leashed pets will be invited to tour Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden with their guardians.

Benefit: Richmond SPCA For more information: Contact Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden (804)-262-9887


Saturday, December, 17, 2011

2:30 p.m.

Learning About your New Dog (Free Workshop) Your Dog’s Friend Training Facility 12221 Parklawn Drive Rockville, Maryland For more information: (301) 983-5913

The Virginia–Maryland Dog

Friday, January 27, thru Sunday, January 29, 2012

2 p.m. – Fri 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. – Sat & Sun

11th Annual World of Pets Expo! MD State Fairgrounds, 2200 York Rd Timonium, MD For more information: (800)-882-9894;

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Joint Support –

Demystifying Joint Support Supplements By Christine Bessent, DVM

With summer sunshine turning to damp and cool it is the perfect time of year to evaluate our pet’s joint health. Providing good quality joint support supplements is one of the most common and important aspects of maintaining joint health, especially in colder weather and as the pet ages. With so many products available how does one choose the right product for your pet’s specific needs? Here are a few key ingredients that are important to look for when shopping for the perfect joint supplement.

is that it is a very large molecule and unlike Glucosamine it is not absorbed well into the body.

Glucosamine is perhaps the most widely known and one of the most important ingredients for joint health. Glucosamine is a fairly small particle and is absorbed well by the body and is used to make thick and viscous joint fluid. This viscous joint fluid cushions the two bone endings and allows them to glide smoothly over each other. The recommended amount of Glucosamine for a 50 pound dog is 1000 milligrams per day. If there is less than this it is simply not enough.

One other suggestion is to add Omega 3 fatty acids to the pet’s diet. Omega 3 fatty acids are anti-inflammatory by nature and help to provide great joint support as well!

Herbs are also a great choice for joint support. A few herbs to look for are boswelia, an herb that also helps to stop the breakdown of joint fluid, yucca, curcumin, and corydalis. Cinnamon is also a great choice because it has a slight warming quality for pets that have joint issues that tend to get worse in cold weather.

As always, it is generally a good idea to be preventative when it comes to joint care. It is a great idea to support your pet throughout their life rather than wait until problems occur.

Chondroitin is another common ingredient found in joint supplements. This molecule is an important component of cartilage. It is a larger molecule than Glucosamine and thus is not as readily absorbed into the body. MSM is an ingredient that is widely known to have an anti-inflammatory effect. This is important as inflammation causes the release of hydrolyzing enzymes. These enzymes cause the break down of the joint fluid that cushions the joint. Hylauronic Acid is another component found in many joint supplements that chemically is the same as joint fluid. Wouldn’t this be the ideal product to give to your pet you might ask? The downside of Hylauronic Acid

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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Wish List: Bring Some Joy to Shelter Animals in Need

As the holiday season approaches our lives tend to get busier. We are distracted by thoughts of shopping, celebrating and spending time with friends and family. Unfortunately, the needs of the hundreds and hundreds of animals housed in shelters and rescue facilities awaiting their forever homes do not take a break. And although many of us would like nothing more then to donate to these many organizations with a monetary contribution, it may not always be possible especially in these difficult economic times.

But, what you may not know is that there are many items and other means by which to donate that according to BJ Altschul, Director of External Relations, Montgomery County Humane Society located in Rockville, Maryland are very important to them. Items as simple and inexpensive as a few rolls of paper towels, to a day of volunteering to walk and play with the many wonderful and loving animals housed at these facilities. With the help of several non-profit shelter and rescue groups we have compiled the following list of items and services for you to consider donating to a shelter or rescue organization in your area:

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


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Consumables: § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Antibacterial Dish Soap Bath Towels (New or Slightly used & Laundered) Batteries (AA, C, 9V) Blankets (New or Slightly used & Laundered) Bleach Distilled Water Dryer Sheets Examining Gloves (Powder Free) Facial Tissues Hand Sanitizer Ice Melt (Salt-Free/Pet Safe) Laundry Detergent Newspapers (No subscriptions/ No Inserts Please) Paper Towels Plastic Containers w/Lids (Large Rubbermaid/Tupperware-Type) Plastic Grocery Bags Rubbing Alcohol Swiffer Wet Jet Refills & Pads Trash Bags

Animal Care Supplies: § Beds (Cat/Dog – Washable) § Bowls (Cat/Dog – Stainless Steel) § Can Cat and/or Kitten Food (Please check w/ Facility for preference of brand based on specific dietary needs) § Can Dog Food (Please check w/Facility for preference of brand based on specific dietary needs) § Carriers & Crates (All sizes) § Cat Litter (Clumping-Type) § Cat Litter Scoopers § Cat/Dog Scale § Digital Thermometers § Dog Collars & Leashes § Dog Toys (Free of Ropes & Buttons Please) § Dog Toys (Washable) § Dry Cat and/or Kitten Food (Please check w/ Facility for preference of brand based on specific dietary needs)


The Virginia–Maryland Dog

§ Dry Dog and/or Puppy Food (Please check w/ Facility for preference of brand based on specific dietary needs) § Flea & Heartworm Preventative for Dogs/Cats § Gerber Baby Labeled Food (Chicken/Turkey) § Grooming Items (Brushes/Scissors) § Heating Pads § Hot Dogs § Kitten & Puppy Bottles/Nursing Kits § Litter Pans (Small & Large) § Milk Replacer Food Supplement for Kittens & Puppies § Nebulizers § Peanut Butter § Puppy/Piddle Pads § Scratch Pads for Cats/Kittens

Office Supplies: § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § § §

Clipboards Copy Paper (White & Colored/Letter Size) Envelopes (Plain White #10) Extension Cords File Folders (Manila/Letter Size) Folding Chairs Folding Tables Laminating Pouches Mounting Tape Notepads Paper Shredder Pens/Tape/Staples Polaroid Camera Film Post-It Notes Postage Stamps Poster Board Printer Cartridges (Please check with specific location for preference of make & model) Rubber Bands Scissors Two & Three Hole Punch White-Out Liquid

Other Items: § Gift Cards (Office Supply Stores/Pet Stores/ Home Depot/Lowes/Gas Cards/Visa Gift Cards

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Thrift Store Shopping & Donations:

We are here to help you!

Many non-profit animal organizations operate Thrift Stores as a means by which to obtain additional funding necessary to assist animals housed within their facilities. These stores contain a wide variety of quality items. By supporting these stores through shopping and/or providing donations you will be helping the many animals in need. To determine if a shelter or rescue organization in your area offers thrift shopping/donations please visit their website.

At The Virginia-Maryland Dog we take pride in our support to the many non-profit canine and pet organizations located in Virginia and Maryland. If you require assistance in locating a non-profit facility within your area, please feel free to bark at us via email at, or by telephone at (301) 514-2804.

Online Shopping: Some of the various non-profit organizations offer ebay shopping and/or purchases that are available through their website. Items range from jewelry to T-shirts.

License Plate Purchases: Both Virginia and Maryland offer vehicle license plates that may be purchased in effort to assist the needs of animals. For more information visit the MVA website in your specific state.

Volunteer: Volunteers are always welcome at the many nonprofit animal facilities. Rather you have one hour or many hours to spare, your assistance would be greatly appreciated. Some of the many volunteer opportunies include:

Animal Care & Feeding Assistance § § § § § §

Cage Cleaning Dog Walking Events Assistance Foster Care Office Assistance Transportation of Animals

Adopt a Pet: If you have room in your heart and home please consider adopting one of the many animals available for adoption. Many of the non-profit organizations offer adoptions consisting of mixed breed and pure breed animals. For a list of shelter and rescue groups within your area, visit our website at

Winter/Holiday 2011 |


Project1_VIMADog ad 10/4/11 12:04 PM Page 1



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Ask your local pet store for a free catalogue. If they don’t have a SunDancer catalogue, call time. Or e-mail us at sarah@solidgoldholisitc. com, you can also visit our website at www.

Any Breed, Any Age, Any Size.

Go off leash with your dog this winter! We’ll show you how.

Over 200 videos OffLeashK9Training

Highest rated dog training business in DC, Virginia, and Maryland

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