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Spring 2009


Festive occasions and parties to enjoy with your pooch

arty p

directory of


party services

Also Inside:
Discover the Bluebells at Bull Run Therapy Dogs Offer Healing Paws
Online Edition Sponsored By: www.housepaws.com

Spring 2009
N O R T H E R N V I R G I N I A D O G : T H E U LT I M AT E G U I D E T O C A N I N E - I N S P I R E D L I V I N G I N T H E D C M E T R O A R E A


Party Animal
Our top tips for hosting your own doggie special occasions
By Lisa Woody


Sharing Smiles
Article one in a three-part series on working dogs
By Taylor Ham





News, information and products


Literature, arts and new media


Advice and information on canine health issues


A glimpse into the life of Northern Virginia dogs


Answers to your behavior and training questions


Local walks to enjoy

On the Cover:
Joe, owned by Sarah Marcell of Lovettsville, VA, is all dressed up with someplace to go! Our party dogs were captured on camera by Bev Hollis of Bev Hollis Photography, in her Leesburg, VA, studio. To view more of her work please visit www.bevhollisphoto.com.

Celtic Canines:
The Fun Dog Show event raised funds for the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria.

Tips, products, and insights for greener living


Adoption success stories


Dog-friendly spaces in Northern Virginia and beyond




PUBLISHER Janelle Welch janelle@2houndsproductions.com CONTRIBUTORS Carol Brooks, Robin Burkett, Lisa Coln Tudor, Juliet Farmer, Taylor Ham, Bev Hollis, Ingrid King, Sandy Mejias, Kelly Pike, Tammy Rosen, Veronica Sanchez, Gina Spadafori, Alana Stevenson, Lisa Woody ADVERTISING For rates and information, please contact: Angela Meyers Vice President, Advertising p: 703.887.8387 f: 858.400.6812 ahazuda@yahoo.com SUBMISSIONS janelle@2houndsproductions.com For writers guidelines, visit www.novadogmagazine.com DISTRIBUTION H.D. Services, Inc. 540.659.4331


busting the myth:

Fighting Like Cats and Dogs
Insight on how dogs and cats are living peacefully under the same roof.
ALSO: The second in our series of Working Dogs: Geese Police of Virginia
Destinations: Bath

Take your dog to yappy hour at one of Northern Virginias dog-friendly wineries. time: tips for success

Take our short, online, reader survey and you could WIN one of TWO pet rst aid kits from WAGN Enterprises (www.wagn 4u.com). June is disaster preparedness month for animals!

win free stuff!

WERE ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY Sustainability and the future of this planet are important to us. The pages of Northern Virginia Dog are printed on recycled paper with vegetable-based inks. To further reduce our eco-footprint, our business cards and most promotions are printed on recycled paper, with presses that use wind-generated power. Please help us make a difference by recycling your copy of Northern Virginia Dog Magazine. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine is published quarterly by 2hounds Productions, LLC. Complimentary copies are distributed throughout the DC Metro area, and are available in select locations. Please contact us if you are interested in becoming a distributor or to nd a distributor near you. P.O. Box 30072 Alexandria, VA 22310 703.850.6963

Retail value: $46.95

75 piece-kit includes:
Insect Bite Applicator Antibiotic Ointment Cold Pack Thermal Blanket Plastic Tweezers Digital Thermometer Pet First Aid Book

Participate now at: www.novadogmagazine.com

(Click the reader survey banner on the right side of your screen.)



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

Subscribe to NOVADog
Complimentary issues disappear quicklydont miss an issue! Have NOVADog delivered directly to your mailbox for only $17 per year. Visit www.novadogmagazine.com to pay with your MasterCard, Visa or Discover. (Domestic U.S. delivery only. No foreign or international.) Take $1 off your subscription
when you enter coupon code NOVAD2 at checkout

Congratulations to our FIRST ROUND WINNERS who will each get a $25 PETCO gift card: Lisa Joyner of Sterling, VA, Joelle Wiese of Washington, DC, Lori Markowitz of Herndon, VA, and David Hotz of Arlington, VA

2 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009


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

If you thinktrydogs cant count,

putting three dog
biscuits in your pocket and then
Photo courtesy of premier.com

giving Fido only two of them. Phil Pastoret

product spotlight: dog-tested review

Kibble Nibble

Tails Are for Wagging

Kids seem naturally attracted to dogs, but
adults must teach them the basics of being kind to animals and how to show their love for pets in an appropriate and gentle way. A childrens book available from the ASPCA store can help. Tails are Not for Pulling, by Elizabeth Verdick, shows kids how to interact with pets by teaching careful handling, awareness and respect. Since toddlers dont always realize when their play is too rough, pages like Pets are for cuddling, not squeezing, will attempt to educate your child to interact with pets gently. Several tips at the back of the book include spending time with your child practicing on a stuffed animal, and instituting a rule to ask rst before approaching a strangers pet. Local dog trainer, author and teacher Anne Davis, of Rudys Friends Dog Training enjoys working with children and teaching them how to be safe and have fun with their dogs. She suggests starting with something simple such as giving children an appropriate activity to share with their dog. Teach them how to say the dogs name and reward when the dog responds by looking at them, Anne advises. Adults should supervise all interaction between children and pets. Even a well-known family pet when spooked is more likely to scratch or bite. Price: $7.95 FIND it: www.aspcaonlinestore.com

Make Mealtime Interactive for Your Pup

Its all about the stimulation! Of course I am paraphrasing what Premier states about its latest product on the market, the Kibble Nibble. It is constructed from a hard outer shell with a ribbing of purple rubber on the outside (smart move for hardwood oor owners!). Similar to its Twist and Treat sister product, the Kibble Nibble twists open so you can place up to 2 cups of dry dog food inside. Once closed it has an egg shape with two holes. One hole is on the top and the other on the bottom. The holes have carefully placed rubber prongs that allow for bits of kibble to roll-out. The packaging instructions encourage the owner to adjust the rubber prongs by snipping them to the appropriate size of the dry dog food. Test Subject: Jack, All-American dog mix, 26 lbs, male Results: Filled with his dry dog food, Jack sniffed around and tried to stick his tongue inside to reach the food. Once I realized that I needed to adjust the holes, he was able to shove it around with his nose and eat his meal. Jack tired easily and disengaged from his meal after a few minutes.

by Lisa Coln Tudor

Comments: I really love this thing even if Jack does not (note: Jack is not motivated by dry dog food). As trainers and dog guardians, any time we can stimulate our dogs during everyday activities it improves their quality of life. Meal time is no exceptionhere is our opportunity to make meals interactive and require a little bit of work. Rating: 5 out of 6 paws (how about one small enough for the terriers?)

Where to Buy: Online at www.premier. com, or we purchased ours at the Pet Marketplace and Adoption Center (PetMAC) at 822 N. Kenmore St., Arlington, VA 22201. Price: $20$25.
Lisa Coln Tudor, CPDT, is a certied professional dog trainer and owner of KissAble Canine, LLC. Lisa specializes in behavior modication and in-home family pet training. She works hard to nd the most useful products on the market for her clients and for her own two rescue pups, Jack and Betty. Reach her at 571.312.1940 or visit www. KissAbleCanine.com.

Worlds Oldest Dog Turns 21 in May

Chanel, a 20-year-old dachshund (thats 140 in dog years) was adopted in 1989 from a humane society shelter here in Virginia. She now resides in Port Jefferson Station, NY, with her family and owner Denice Shaughnessy. The next edition of the Guinness Book of World Records, due out in September, will feature Chanel as the worlds oldest dog. She takes the place of Butch, a beagle from Virginia that died in 2003 at age 20.



JUNE Is National Disaster Preparedness

Month for Animals
Preparing our families and pets, homes and businesses for unexpected disasters has become a sign of the times. After 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, people began to realize the importance of having a disaster preparedness and evacuation plan that includes family pets.

Take The Test

The Humane Society of the United States offers a few plausible scenarios and a series of questions designed to help pet owners assess their level of disaster preparedness. An ofcer arrives at your door. A truck has overturned down the road and is leaking toxic chemicals. You have thirty minutes to evacuate. You may not be allowed home for several days. 1. You run to nd the dog and cat carriers and try to get the dog and cat into the car. Do you have carriers for all your pets? Are leashes easily accessible? 2. You decide to evacuate to a motel. Do you know which hotels take pets or where the local emergency shelter is for pets? Do you have a plan for where you will go and the route to take? 3. As you arrive at the emergency shelter, your cat somehow slips out of the carrier and jumps out the car window. Do you have photos and descriptions of your pets in your emergency kit so you can show them to emergency workers? 4. You need to tell the shelter workers what to feed your dog and when to give his medications. Did you remember to bring your dogs medication and written directions for feeding and giving the medication? 5. You are at work when the evacuation order is given for your neighborhood. Have you made prior arrangements with any of your neighbors to evacuate your pet or to notify emergency workers that your home has pets inside? If you answered no to one or more of these questions, you are not prepared to care for your pet in a disaster. For help with developing a disaster plan that includes all your pets and animals, visit www.hsus.org/hsus_eld/hsus_disaster_center. ND

Fur-Get Me Not

ias ern Virgin for North appy Hour Join us Y working best pet bark it up! d an


where dogs rule and cats meow!

Local Company Offers Pet Owners Peace of Mind

The unfortunate truth is accidents do happen. Rover RespondR is a vital link between rst responders, you and your designated pet guardians. First responders/good samaritans will contact the National Rover RespondR emergency phone number upon seeing the prominently displayed key tag, dog tag, window sticker or your license plate alerting them that there are pets in your life that need immediate attention. Annual membership in the service, for as little as $1 a day, provides pet parents the ability to create an action plan centered around the care of their pet in the event of an emergency.

dig the difference.

Conveniently located at the intersection of Rte. 50 and Rte. 606 (West Ox Road) by Regal Cinema & TJ Maxx.

FIND it: www.roverrespondr.com

4 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009


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

Is Your Dog Depressed?

By Alan a S t e v e n s o n

id you know that dogs suffer from depression just as we humans do? Usually, it is environmentally caused, and based on their social interactionsor lack thereof with other animals, including people. The most common causes of depression in dogs are lack of physical exercise, lack of mental stimulation, loneliness, and being scolded or punished too frequently. Dogs that are reprimanded or corrected inconsistently for behaviors that are often reinforced, albeit unintentionally, by humans, make a dogs world unpredictable. This may cause your pet to be anxious and depressed. Depression is when an animal gives up hope, has succumbed to despair and assumes that no positive change will take place or occur.

Animals live very much in the moment. They express how they are feeling, what they are taught, and what they know, through their behaviors. You can learn a lot about your dog by observing how he behaves. If you suspect your dog is unhappy, lonely or depressed, here are some questions to ask yourself. Is your dog exercised? Do you mentally stimulate your dog? Do you give your dog attention and affection? If so, how often? Dogs are pack animals. They are incredibly social. It is unnerving and very isolating for a dog to be left alone. Because dogs are inherently communal, they are very dependent on,

and sensitive to, the behaviors of others. If a dog is under-stimulated, physically or mentally on an ongoing basis, chances are the dog is unhappy.

Do you keep your dog in a crate over four hours a day? If your dog remains in



a crate or cage for hours on end, he will be under-simulated and under-exercised. The pent up energy a dog accumulates by overcrating is simply too much to bear. As a result, the dog responds to any little trigger with overexcitement or over-stimulation. This causes people to react and become upset. Usually, they reprimand the dog or yell at the dog for misbehaving, which results in more crate time and connement. This causes a vicious cycle that is hard to break. Dogs who are overly crated often end up depressed.

Does your dog jump on you constantly or bark at you and other people in the family? If so, your dog is probably getting
mixed signals from you. Barking at you is a way to get your attention. Jumping is a submissive, attention-seeking behavior. It is not a condent gesture. If your dog is behaving this way around you, your dog is trying to appease you or seek your attention in the only ways he knows how. More than likely you are not leading the interactions or guiding your dog, but reacting to him. Your dog is anxious around you and does not know how to get what he wants without barking at you or jumping on you. These behaviors can be precursors to depression, especially if these behaviors result in punishments or too much crate time. Dogs who are happy tend to have positive influences in their lives. They tend to engage in social play with other animals, including people. They usually are taught with rewards and praise. They get a lot of physical exercise and/or mental stimulation through activities, such as playing with other dogs, jogging, hiking, swim-

Does your dog self-lick or chew at himself incessantly? If your dog obsessively licks or chews at himselfproviding there is not any underlying medical problemyour dog may be stressed, anxious or bored. Self-chewing and licking are displacement behaviors when the dog does not have a positive outlet or alternative way to relieve his anxiety or boredom. Too little structure or too many corrections or reprimands, along with too little exercise, and lack of mental stimulation, will cause a dog to exhibit such behaviors.

ming, agility, or go find games. They are given friendly, gentle attention and are touched in a kind way through gentle stroking and/or massage. They do not spend much time alone and are not overly crated. When their owners go to work, they have a social companion such as another dog, or they have other animals in the family to be with. By being aware of what causes depression and paying attention to your dogs behaviors, you can make your dog happy and encourage him to enjoy life. By playing with your dog, teaching your dog how to play, exercising your dog, and giving your dog positive attention and feedback, through praise and other rewards, you can pave the way for a happy, healthy relationship with your canine companion. ND
Alana Stevenson, M.S., CDBC, is a professional dog and cat behavior specialist, dog trainer, and dog and cat massage therapist. She is the author of The Right Way the First Time: Teaching Your Dog Kindly and Humanely. Reach her at pethelp@k9kitty.com

Specializing in stylistic, timeless pet por traits.

For detailed information call or email us at: 615.414.2903 bev@bevhollisphoto.com

Serving Virginia, Maryland and Washington, D.C.

6 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

By Gina S p a d a f o r i

Where to go for the facts

very pet lover with an e-mail address has at one time or anotheror time and time againreceived warnings on potentially deadly pet hazards. Warnings have ranged from produce (grapes and raisins) to garden products (mulch made of cocoa hulls) to name-brand household cleaning products (Swiffer WetJet and Febreze). Problem is, not all warnings are what they seem to be. Some may be well-intentioned but wrong, while others may be possibly motivated by a campaign against a particular company and also wrong. And then there are those that are legitimate concerns.

Legit or bogus? The rst stop for any pet lover investigating an Internet warning should be the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals poison information site (www. aspca.org/APCC). The APCC veterinarians respond quickly to Internet warnings, providing information on which reports are a real concern and which should not be. Internet scares covered by the APCC include grapes and raisins (potentially toxic), cocoa-hull mulch (potentially toxic), and Swiffer WetJet and Febreze (safe when used as directed). If you dont nd what youre looking for at the APCC Web site, check out Snopes.com, arguably the best resource for checking out urban legends and e-mail hoaxes of all varieties. The site offers an extensive collection of information on common animal-related myths. In the name of fairness to your friends, dont forward any kind of e-mail warning without checking it out on the APCC and Snopes.com web sites rst. If you cannot verify the claims in any e-mail, the only proper thing to do is hit delete. ND
Award-winning journalist Gina Spadafori has authored several bestselling pet care books. 2009. Reprinted with permission of UNIVERSAL PRESS SYNDICATE. All rights reserved.

My dog rulz!

Tell us why your dog rules! Selected entries will be published in the next issue, plus you will receive a NOVADog My dog rulz! T-shirt.

You know why your dog rulz, now tell us!

Go to: www.novadogmagazine.com/dogrulz.html


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

The Perfect Plan for a Social Puppy

B y Ve r o n i c a S a n c h e z

I just brought my new Labrador puppy home and QUESTION I want to be sure that he grows up to be friendly with people and other dogs. I am introducing him to my friends and family and we have another dog at home. Is there anything else I need to be doing?

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

Aww, how cute! ANSWER Taking your adorable puppy out for a walk is a fun way to get to know your neighbors. Moreover, the opportunity to meet new people is important for your puppys behavioral development. Dogs have a brief period of time where they can easily learn to accept and adapt to new experiences. This time period before the age of 14 weeks is often referred to as the socialization window. Although socialization later on is important, it does not have the same impact. Puppies that are inadequately socialized early in life are at risk for developing problems like fearful or aggressive behavior in adulthood. Time ies with a new puppy so hit the ground running! Make sure your pup has lots of positive experiences with different people and has the opportunity to explore different environments. Introduce him to people of various ages, sizes, and ethnic backgrounds. Keep it fun for your puppy by having people he meets give him healthy treats. If your pup is very mouthy, you can feed him yourself while people pet him. Be careful and always supervise your puppys in-

teractions with children closely. Puppies also need an opportunity to play and interact with friendly dogs. Dog parks are risky because you do not know anything about the other dogs. Play dates coordinated with dogs and puppies current on vaccinations and known to be friendly are a safer bet. Do not forget to expose your puppy to different environments and surfaces too. Your puppy needs to learn to be comfortable walking on slippery oors as well as grass, carpet and cement. One size ts all does not apply to puppy socialization. Take your puppys unique temperament into account because scary experiences may have a long lasting impact. An outgoing puppy may enjoy a visit to Old Town Alexandria. A more reserved pup, on the other hand, may do better given the opportunity to build condence in quieter locations rst. Getting qualied professional help when raising a new puppy is always a great idea, but it is a must-do for pups that are shy, aggressive or demonstrating other behavioral problems. Pet owners used to be told to wait until their pup had all his

vaccinations before letting him play with other dogs. While some vaccines and precautions are necessary, the American Veterinary Society for Animal Behavior recommends socialization experiences and puppy classes before the puppy is fully vaccinated. For details on their vaccination and socialization recommendations, check out their position statements online at www. avsabonline.org Socialization is fun for both puppies and owners. Remember to bring your puppy toys, treats and clean-up supplies on your socialization eld trips. And, of course, dont forget to bring your camera! ND


E-mail your dog behavior questions to Veronica Sanchez at askdogexpert@cooperativepaws.com. We regret that we cant answer each
e-mail personally. The most interesting and timely topics will be chosen for review in this column. Questions may be edited for brevity and clarity.

8 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009


Ti p s , p r o d u c t s & i n s i g h t s f o r g r eener living

Kiss Carpet Stains Goodbye

Stain & Odor Removers Get Eco-Friendly
By Julie t F a r m e r

ets face itaccidents happen. And when dogs are involved, those accidents can be messy, stinky, and, unfortunately, lingering, which can also lead to marking problems. Luckily, there are several eco-friendly, natural solutions that offer an all natural, eco-sensitive alternative to harsh chemicals found in traditional household stain removers. Simple Solution (www.simplesolution.com) offers Natural Pet Stain and Odor Remover, which is made with renewable corn-based ethanol and plant-based mild cleaners, as well as benecial bio-cultures and enzymes that activate on contact with stains and odors. According to the company, this combination digests organic waste and continues to multiply until the problem is

eliminated. The product is scented with a ginger eucalyptus fragrance oil blend that works with the cleaning agents to advance pet odor removal. Its also non-toxic and safe to use around children and, of course, pets. (32 oz., $14.99 at www. petco.com)

Green Carpet Tiles From Flor

Short of replacing your entire carpet, Flor (or.com) offers carpet squares made out of renewable and recycled raw materials. The tiles also feature some of the lowest VOCs (volatile organic compounds) in the industry. Flors carpet tiles can be used to create area rugs both large and small, as well as carpet rooms wall to wall, and are available in a variety of colors, patterns and textures. They even have tiles suitable for garage use. Whether they are used to carpet large areas, or as individual squares, the tiles can be lifted up, cleaned and then left in a ventilated area to dry before replacing. The tiles are priced per 19.5-inch by 19.5-inch square, starting at $7.99 each, so they are inexpensive enough that if a stain just wont come out, you can replace a tile (or two) and not break the bank. Flor will send samples for a nominal fee, so you can be sure you choose just the right color and texture to compliment your home.

Busters Secret Odor & Stain Eliminator, created by Bark Busters (www.barkbustersboutique.com), features natural bio-enzymatic technology to eliminate odors and stains. The product is made with a unique proprietary blend of bacteria and enzymes that break down and turn organic stains and odor-causing substances into liquid that can be wiped away. This product is non toxic, non ammable, 100-percent biodegradable and assigned Environmental Protection Agencys Design for Environmental Approval, and is also safe to use around children and pets. (32 oz., $14.99 at www. barkbustersboutique.com) Bi-O-Kleen (www.bi-o-kleen.com) offers BacOut Stain & Odor Eliminator, which contains strains of live enzyme-producing cultures that remove organic waste and odors, as well as food-grade lime extracts to eliminate stains and odors on contact. In addition to carpets, the product can be used on upholstery, pet runs and kennels, and, according to the manufacturer, is even gentle enough for use on cloth diapers. (32 oz., $8.99 at www.drugstore.com) Cesar Millan (yes, that Cesar Millan) created the non-toxic Dog Whisperer by Cesar Millan Natural Odor & Stain Remover exclusively for Petco. The product does not contain harsh chemicals. Instead, it features botanical extracts that neutralize odors and stains, as well as essential oil of lemongrass for a fresh smell. The product also bears the Carpet and Rug Institute Seal of Approval. (32 oz., $12.99 at www.petco.com) So the next time your pooch makes a mess of your carpet, reach for an all-natural, non-toxic stain and odor remover, and soon, pet stains will be a thing of the past. ND

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



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

Spring Rolls Out the Blue Carpet

By Kelly Pike

Janice Fang Yi and her daughter Camryn, stroll with their dog Snowyi among the Virginia Bluebells. Photo by Robin Burkett of Pawprints Photography. To see more of Robins work visit www. pawprintsphotography.com.

orget about the cherry blossoms. When it comes to welcoming spring with your pack, those famous pink blossoms have nothing on northern Virginias own secret spring treasure, the Virginia bluebell. And nowhere boasts more bluebells than Bull Run Regional Parks Bluebell Trail. Bluebells are small, low-growing plants known for their bell-shaped blue or violet blooms. While modest when alone, each April 150 acres of Bull Run Regional Park erupt into a stupendous display of blue and green that covers the forest with a carpet of wildowers. Believed to be the largest stand of bluebells on the East coast, it is not only visually stunning, its also easily accessible and welcoming to canine companions. The parks Bluebell trail is a 1.5-mile loop offering a glimpse at 25 varieties of wildowers, including the bluebells and 300 acres of spring beauties, small white owers that also cover the forest grounds. Both people and leashed dogs are able to enjoy the trail any time the
| Spring 2009

park is open, but for those really looking to get their bluebell x, there is the annual Bull Run Bluebell Walk. This year it will be held Easter Sunday, April 12. Led by naturalists with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority, the 30-minute walk includes folklore, plant identication and trivia about the plants. For instance, youll learn why another name for bluebells is Oysterleaf. (Hint: You could taste it to nd out.) The walks are typically informal, says Jeff Randolph, park assistant manager, and attract a wide range of visitors from children (recommended for those age 6 and up) to the physically challenged to families and their dogs. Visitors are encouraged to ask questions. Chief Naturalist Martin Ogle has been leading bluebell walks at the park for the past 24 years and is still wowed by the naturally occurring wonder. He especially enjoys watching the faces of newcomers when they rst see the display. The reaction is pretty universal, Ogle says. If someone is seeing it for rst time, there is a look of

10 Northern Virginia Dog

surprise and a little awe. It really is a pretty spectacular show.

IF YOU GO: The Bluebell Trail blooms for about two weeks in mid-April. The naturalist-led Bull
Run Bluebell Walk will be held Easter Sunday, April 12 at 2 p.m. The walk covers 1.5 miles and lasts about 30 minutes. Participants should meet at the pool parking lot. The event is included with park admission, and no reservations are required, though you should call ahead in the event of bad weather in case it is cancelled. Nature-lovers can also walk the tour without a guide any time the park is open. Admission is free for residents of Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax City, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Loudoun County. Others pay $7 per vehicle. Hours vary. Bull Run Regional Park is located in Centreville, off exit 52 on I-66, and is about 29 miles west of Washington, D.C. Call 703.631.0550 for updates on the blooming status of the bluebells. For more information visit www. nvrpa.org/parks/bullrun.

Happy Tails
Freelance writer Katherine Mercurio Gotthardt of Bristow and her 12-year-old Shiba Inu Shiba agree. The pair has been enjoying the smooth, at trail for years. Not only is the short path easy on Gotthardts bad knees and her aging pup, it also makes her feel closer to nature. The owers literally blanket the forest oor with their blue and purple hues, the color heightened by leaves and stems, Gotthardt says. The sight of the owers, the smell of nally thawed air and the joy a pup gets from exploring can bring you away to a more peaceful place even if only for a brief time. One of the most delightful aspects of the trail, visitors agree, is the way it curves through the forest of wildowers. Each turn offers a new vista and yet more owers. Add to that the fact that there are no thorny bushes, pits or other hazards for curious dogs, and you have a wonderful way to spend a morning or afternoon. Those with more energetic dogs can

continue on the 17-mile Bull-Run Occoquan Trail, a moderately strenuous hike which winds through steep hillsides and deep ravines. Hikers should know, though, that unlike the Bluebell Trail, the Bull-Run Occoquan Trail doesnt lead back to Bull Run Park. One warning for bluebell lovers with a dog in tow: Virginia Bluebells grow best in stream banks and moist woods. Combined with frequent spring rains, it often makes for a muddy trail so be sure to bring towels to clean off your pup for the car ride home. But a little bit of mud is surely worth it, especially if you and your dog have grown tired of cold weather and bare branches. The vibrant blue owers, nestled in purplish-green foliage, are a beautiful reminder that spring and with it, longer days for more walks together are really just around the corner. ND

Kelly Pike is a freelance writer in Annandale, VA. When shes not busy writing about business and nance, she and her husband enjoy jaunty walks with their Puggle Lola.




Our top tips for hosting your own doggie special occasions
B y Lisa Woody

| Spring 2009

et parties have become the newest trend. More and more people are hosting them, and nearly everyone attends. Why? Pet parties are much more fun than most other kinds of parties! And everyone has something in common with the other guests, so its a great way to meet people. Here are our top tips for hosting your own dog birthday party.
Location. Choose a place where theres
plenty of room, and where the occasional accident wont be a big problem. Some doggie daycare and boarding facilities will let you have a party at their place. Even doggie boutiques and bakeries now offer dog party packages that include refreshments and location for one price. Dog parks are another great party location; some even have a party area thats fenced off from other runs. If you hold the party at your home, choose several areas where guests can mingle, such as the back yard and the living room. This allows your guests to separate dogs who might not get along, without making them leave early.

Themes. Dog parties can have as many

themes as other types of parties. Consider having a costume party, an Easter egg hunt (with kibble or small treats hidden in small plastic eggs), a learning party with special guest trainers or groomers, a portrait party, or other fun themes. Spaw parties can be loads of fun, and with all the great canine spa products on the market today, you can assure a fun time for every dog, from the most masculine Rottie to the most feminine Bichon. Pam Ahart and Dani Weng, local owners of Bark N Bubbles Dog Wash agree. Parties are becoming increasingly popular among our four-legged family members. Birthdays were created to celebrate another year. As dog owners we are so thankful for another year with our pets so

Bev Hollis, of Bev Hollis Photography, caught our two adorable party dogs on camera, in her Leesburg, VA, studio. Bev can be reached at 615.414.2903, or visit her web site www.bevhollisphoto.com.

12 Northern Virginia Dog

Ivan, owned by Cecelia Spitznas of Purcellville, VA, is dressed in his party best. Party collar and hat courtesy of The Reign of Cats and Dogs, www. thereignofcatsanddogs.com.

13 Northern Virginia Dog

| Winter 2009



why not celebrate their birthday, too? Its a great time to come together with your dog and his doggie friends for pupcakes, gifts, games and socializing. Pet parties have become one of the newest party trendsyour dog should be able to join the fun, says Ahart.

Games. Its always fun to have a few games to keep

the fun times going. Try a relay race (a friend of mine had a sock relay where the owners had to put socks on their dogs, then cross the nish line). You can have a sit/stay contest or a talent show in which each dog shows off his or her trick repertoire. You may be able to get prizes from local pet shops in exchange for putting their card or coupon on the prize as you give it away.

Refreshments. A lot of what makes a dog party

successful is preventing natural squabbles between dogs (and, to a lesser extent, between dogs and people). Food will initiate a territorial incident more than any

other thing, so how you serve canine refreshments at a party is even more important than what you serve. Dog treats should be served in bite-sized pieces. Owners should feed their own dogs, and no more than can be chomped in one bite should be offered. If a dog snatches a large bone or cookie and runs off to eat it, hell almost certainly be followed by a crowd of other dogs whod like to have it, too. Your doggie special occasion would not be complete without a cake. Theyre a little less sweet than what you would eat, but they look the same as any other cake. You can either make one from a recipe (there are plenty online), or buy a mix, or purchase a decorated cake from a bakery. Its still hard to nd a pet bakery that will ship a cake, so look for a local bakery that you can pick up from. You can make your own beautiful snacks by taking inexpensive dog biscuits and dipping or drizzling them in white chocolate. Melt the candy on low heat, add food coloring if you wish, then place cookies on a wire

Keeping the Peace

The trend towards dog get-togethers has increased signicantly over the last twenty years. In the 70s and 80 the Olde Towne School for Dogs students lived with their people, walking in town or playing in their fenced yards but they did not socialize extensively with each other. Now many of our students principle source of exercise is a visit to the dog park, a play date or a party with their dog friends. When planning a party for the dogs think through how each of your canine guests will react to the stimulation of other dogs, treats and activities.

By Sandy Mejias

Plan the Guest List Wisely

The rst thing to consider in achieving a peaceful party is to plan a compatible guest list. Obviously females in heat should stay home as should intact males who have been involved in skirmishes before. Some intact males do play well with others so it is not necessary to exclude them. It is important to insure that any toy breeds or pop eyed dogs like Shih Tzus and Pugs are not involved in rough activities with bigger dogs. Accidental injuries of small breeds participating in play that becomes to rough can occur even with a friendly, compatible group. Any dog with a previous history of aggression that has caused injury towards another dog and or human should never be included in a dog get together.

On Leash or Off?
Decide ahead of time according to your guest list if this will be an on or off leash party. If there are active or large impulsive dogs combined with small tentative ones it should be the responsibility of the owners to insure each dog stays in his comfort zone. However, too much

interaction and interference by the human guests can sometimes cause a ght to occur so it is best to have a chaperone at your party who understands and speaks dog. A knowledgeable dog person will usually know when it is appropriate to intervene and when it is not. Make sure that all the guests are wearing appropriate tting at collars or harnesses and remove all training collars or equipment that could cause injury while wrestling and playing.. Dogs are notorious for not wanting to share with each other. Unless you have a group who knows each other well and has enjoyed food treats together before it is best to offer food, chew bones and exciting treats individually. Favor bags to be taken home and enjoyed can be a solution to avoiding confrontations. Another trigger for ghts and bites is retrieving games as some dogs just cant handle anyone else getting the ball. If a dog is known to become aggressive when others reach the ball or frisbee rst he should probably not participate in free for all retrieving game. Planning your party with a compatible guest list, a knowledgeable chaperone and appropriate activities for the group will insure a great time for dogs and their people. Sandy Mejias and her husband Carlos have owned and operated The Olde Towne School for Dogs in Alexandria, VA since 1975.

14 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

rack after dipping or drizzling them. These can make a gorgeous party tray for just pennies per treat.

Gifts. You can have a traditional birthday party, but

if your dog has everything she needs and your real purpose is to visit with friends, why not make it a shelter benet party? Ask guests to bring toys, treats and blankets for dogs at a local shelter, then donate them in your dogs name. It makes the party even more fun, and people enjoy knowing theyre giving comfort to dogs in need. Tip: take a picture when you deliver the gifts, and e-mail it to your party guests. Theyll love it. If you do have gifts for the birthday girl or boy, plan ahead. If you open the gift in front of everyone, be aware that other dogs may want to play with and

1. Be sure to supply pickup bags and point guests to the receptacle for
disposal. Photo by Robin Burkett, www.pawprintsphotography.com.

2. Because so many doggie treats look good enough for us to eat, its polite to tell

guests verbally and/or with table signage which buffet is for people and which is for pups. Photo by Robin Burkett, www.pawprintsphotography.com.

3. These personalized collars from The Reign of Cats and Dogs in Leesburg, VA,

are sure to make your dog feel noteworthy on his special day. Photo by Bev Hollis, www.bevhollisphoto.com.



Denise Hansen, of Manassas, VA, planned this fancy affair to celebrate her soft-coated Wheaten Terrier, Bubis 7th birthday. His custom cake was created by Natalie Marquardt, of My Best Friend Specialty Pet Bakery. Natalie handpaints all her cakes from a supplied photo. (www.mybestfriend pettreats.com).

sample the gifts at the party. So be prepared to share, or have a place set aside to put gifts out of reach.

Etiquette. Invitations should

be sent out three weeks before the

party. If you request an RSVP, remember that fewer people actually do respond these days than did in the past, so have enough room and refreshments (and gift bags) for a few extra guests. Tell your guests which areas are off-leash, and ask them to kindly keep their dogs leashed in other areas. Supply pickup bags and point guests to the receptacle for disposing of them. Because so many doggie treats look good enough for us to eat, its polite to tell guests verbally and/ or with table signage which buffet is for people and which is for pups. If youre giving gift bags to your guests, hand them out as guests leave. This prevents guests from squabbling over treats or toys during the party. Think about the kind of guests youre having for the party when planning gift bag contents. If youre expecting a mix of small and large dogs, you may need

to purchase treats and toys in two sizes. Mark the gift bags for large and small dogs so guests can take an appropriate bag as they leave. Remember that the main purpose is to have a great time with your human and canine friends, so once people arrive, dont be uptight. If someone forgets to pick up after her dog, just pick up the pile yourself with a smile. If dogs track mud or grass into the house, or if theres an accident on the carpet, just take a breath and worry about it later. Its often worth a little cleaning up to have a party that your friends remember and talk about for years to come. ND
Lisa Woody is co-owner of www. FunStuffForDogs.com, a quirky retail site she launched in 2005. She hosts The Lucky Dog Show, a weekly online podcast with 14,000 listeners, and is a frequent writer for pet publications.

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| Spring 2009

Party Animal
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Whether youre throwing a full scale bash, or planning a quiet family get-together, celebrate in style with the products and services listed in the Northern Virginia Dog Magazine resource guide to dog parties and celebrations.


571/641-1044 www.pawsandclawsphotography.com


1700 7th Ave. #116 PMB 282 Seattle, WA 98101 877/381-6924 www.tailwagging.com

Why give a good dog a bad treat? Come visit us at Chase Your Tail Bakery in Leesburg or at the Farmers Markets in Leesburg, Cascades and Falls Church (May-Dec.) Try our handmade, fresh baked treats in many popular varieties!

The best value in pet photography: professional results, unbeatable prices and a complete satisfaction guarantee. Join our growing list of satised clients. Serving the entire Washington, D.C. Metro area since 2005.

Tail Waggin Celebrations has all the party hats, cakes, treats, birthday banners and decorations you need for your pets special day. Come visit us at www.tailwagging.com.


2445 N. Harrison St. Arlington, VA 22207 703/237-5070 www.dogmabakery.com


847/507-7722 www.puppypartyplace.com


703/328-0185 info@errandpartners.com www.errandpartners.com

Introducing Northern Virginias Exciting New Errand & Personal Concierge Service!
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One Stop Doggie Party Shopping. Find amazing treats (made fresh daily!) and gifts. Select a unique, personalized cake to celebrate your dogs special day. We also have ice cream, pet supplies and more.

Party Animals Wanted! This is your one stop puppy party shop! Sign up for Rockets Barkday Club and receive free birthday greetings! Enter NOVA for 20% off your next purchase.

Whether its planning your dogs birthday party, your daughters wedding, or day-today tasks, if it will save you time, well do it!


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12158 Fairfax Towne Center Fairfax, VA 22033 703/865-6644 www.reddogspa.com

The perfect doggie celebration! Birthday package includes: Invitations, thank yous, Decorated party room, streamers, balloons, birthday banner and games. Each doggy guest will enjoy a pupcake and goodie bag. Spaw baths can also be included.

Unique dog toys, treats, dog birthdays, dog beds, gifts, dog party supplies, and pet apparel. Shop our frisky, friendly store today. Check out our money-saving coupon codes and see whats new this week!

Red Dog Spa pet boutique, eatery and grooming spa offering nutritious food and treats, apparel, gifts and cage-free grooming services for dogs and cats.



Dogs have a way of nding the people

sharing smiles
working dogs
By Taylor Ham

who need them, lling an emptiness we dont even know we have.

Thom Jones

Article number one in a three-part series

(from left to right) Fairfax Pets on Wheels volunteers Cara Schantz and Sabine Arndt, and their dogs Jacob and Tessa, stroll through the hallways of Powhatan Nursing Home with resident dog-lover Marie Mobley. Photos by Robin Burkett (www.pawprintsphotography.com)

s dog owners, most of us would agree that the connection we have with our pets makes us happier people. Just one wag of a tail can make us smile; it can make us laugh; and it can turn a bad day around. Some dog owners would even go so far as to describe the time spent with their dogs as therapeuticand it is! Although dogs have been a source of comfort for people throughout history, it wasnt until relatively recently that the therapeutic qualities of the human-ca-

nine bond began to be seriously studied by health care disciplines concerned with peoples emotional well being and quality of life. Out of these studies was born a new eldanimal-assisted therapyand a completely new way of looking at the human-animal connection. While the benets of animal-assisted therapy were not widely recognized until the last half of the twentieth century, they now cannot be ignored. Studies have shown that interactions with pets offer both psychological and physical benets.

18 Northern Virginia Dog

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Pets can contribute to enhanced feelings of emotional connectedness and reduced feelings of loneliness and depression. Research shows that pet owners reap physical benets as well, including lowered blood pressure and decreases in the stress hormone cortisol. The results of research on the humananimal connection have been more conclusive than we could have imagined, and yet I think we still dont fully understand how deeply it affects people, says Denice Ekey, program coordinator at Virginia Commonwealth Universitys Center for Human-Animal Interaction. The unconditional love a dog offers is a very powerful thingits hard to put into words.

Making the Grade

By Tammy Rosen

Giving Back
In light of these ndings, non-prot organizations that train, evaluate and register dogs for therapy visitation have been cropping up across the country, and more and more pet owners are signing up to share their best friends with others. Thousands of therapy dogs and their owners volunteer to visit hospitals, rehabilitation centers, nursing homes and other special needs facilities in their communities, bringing joy and comfort to the people who need it the most. Tracy Van Duston rst learned about animal-assisted therapy shortly after September 11, 2001, when she began to search for meaningful volunteer opportunities in the area. She came across an advertisement for Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc., an all-volunteer non-prot organization that connects people and their pets to residents of nursing homes and assisted-living facilities in Fairfax County, VA. I thought: How great is it to be able to volunteer with your dog?! Tracy remembers. My grandmother was in a nursing home, and there were never any animals there. The minute I saw the ad I knew it was a perfect match for me. Tracy now serves as President of Fairfax Pets on Wheels, managing a network of more than 300 canine and human volunteers who provide over 8,000 hours of pet visitation to residents in 10 Fairfax County facilities. I was recently invited to tag along during one of the groups Tuesday evening visits to Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, VA. Though I had never visited one before, I had always imagined nursing homes to be very austere and gloomy places. What I witnessed, however, changed

Not all dogs are cut out to be therapy dogs. If you are interested in exploring your dogs readiness for therapy work, youll want to focus on these main areas:

Socialize your dog. Introduce your dog to a variety of people including men, women, and
kids. It is very important that the dog be comfortable and enjoy greeting people. Each experience should be positive; the dog should not show any signs of fear or aggression. Practice having strangers wear hats, coats, gloves, masks, and strange clothing that your dog may not witness every day.

Practice grooming and handling. Your dog should enjoy being touched and held. Make
sure you can pet your dog without fear or hesitation, including the head, ears, mouth, belly, front paws, back paws, and tail. Patients may want to hug your dog, so it important to ensure your dog enjoys these types of interactions not just from you, but more importantly, from strangers.

Simulate the therapy environment. Expose your dog to a variety of environments particularly loud and crowded areas. Help your dog gain condence in cramped quarters and near equipment that may be sparse in daily life, but will be predominant in a hospital setting such as crutches, wheelchairs, beeping machines, and elevators.

Establish strong obedience skills. It is important that you and your dog have a good
working relationship, your dog listens to you, and can follow directions well. This is where it is crucial that your dog have a solid foundation in basic obedience. Your dog should have good attention skills, be able to sit and down on command, not jump on people, walk nicely on leash, stay, and come when called. The better trained your dog is in these basic skills the easier he will be to manage in a therapy-type setting.

Evaluate your dogs personality. Relaxed dogs are best suited for therapy work. If your
dog is easily aroused, he may not be the best t for this line of work. Dogs should be able to control their excitement and be calm around a child or someone in a fragile state. To really ensure that your dog is comfortable and would enjoy therapy work, I recommend daily exposure and practice of these tips. The therapy organization you choose to work with will evaluate your dog for temperament using many of the examples outlined above. If you have a puppy, understand that they need time to grow and develop. Puppies begin their adolescence stage around 5 months of age and it ends once they are behaviorally, sexually, and physically mature at around the age of 2 in small breeds and 2 1/2 in larger breeds. Training a puppy that is eager to please is far different from training an adolescent dog that is now eager to test your patience. It takes time to develop and hone obedience skills. Some therapy programs do have a minimum age requirement of at least 1 year. Another excellent way to prepare your dog for therapy work is to become a Canine Good Citizen (CGC). Some therapy groups use the CGC test as part of their evaluation, but not all therapy organizations require it. For more information on CGC testing go to www.akc. org/events/cgc

Tammy Rosen is a Certied Pet Dog Trainer (CPDT), CGC Evaluator, and owner of Fur-Get Me Not, a full service pet business that provides dog daycare, boarding, training, dog walking, pet sitting, a DIY pet bath, and boutique. For more information on their Levels Training Program or CGC testing go to www.furgetmenot.com


my perspective and warmed my heart. As the dogs and their owners entered the facility, the rooms and hallways lled with life and laughter as residents, staff, family members and volunteers interacted with the dogs, watched them perform tricks and shared stories of their own pets.

Partners in Healing
Tracy rst began visiting Powhatan with her Cairn Terrier mix, Princess. Her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Precious, joined her just this past year. Princess was a typical terrier, Tracy says. She was full of energy and life and vitality. Precious on the other hand, is very Zen. Ive had visits where she will fall asleep in a residents lap and stay there for hours. Good therapy dogs come in all shapes, sizes and breeds. Some have double lives as pedigreed show dogs or faithful family companions, and some, like volunteer Cara Schantzs Rottweiler mix, Jacob, were rescued from a shelter. When Cara rst met Jacob in the Richmond City Animal Shelter, she immediately knew that he would make a perfect therapy dog. He loves people so much, that it would almost be a waste not to let others share that. Cara says. He gives Rottweilers a bad name, she adds with a laugh as she watches him cuddling up to a resident at Powhatan. Despite their diverse backgrounds and personalities, the best therapy dogs have one thing in common: a love of people. Most therapy dog organizations require that dogs pass a temperament test as well as an evaluation of behavior in situations they would encounter during a visitation, including maneuvering wheelchairs, walkers and slick hospital oors. Although there are no strict obedience guidelines to qualify as a therapy dog, basic obedience and control is required for a safe and enjoyable visit. Some people prefer small lap dogs, while others like the larger breeds. Big dogs are easier to pet from a wheelchair or seated position, while the small dogs, like Precious, are often happy to snuggle in someones lap. Marie Mobley, a resident at Powhatan Nursing Home, makes no distinction. I love all dogs, she tells me with a grin. In fact, I have a motto: I love dogs, horses, catsand some people.

Precious, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, shares a quiet moment with Marie Mobley, a resident of Powhatan Nursing Home in Falls Church, VA.

Therapy dog groups in the DC Metro region are always looking for human and canine volunteers. Get involved today by contacting one of the organizations listed below, or visit Therapy Dogs International (www.tdi-dog.org) or the Delta Society (www.deltasociety.org) to learn more about therapy dog registration and visitation programs nationwide.
Fairfax Pets on Wheels, Inc.

life-sized plush hound that stands guard on her nightstand. Like many residents, Marie had to give up her own beloved pet when she entered the nursing home and looks forward to weekly visits with the volunteers dogs. Sabine Arndt, Vice President of Fairfax Pets on Wheels and a volunteer who has been involved in the program for more than ten years, tells me about the special bond that formed between her late Great Dane, Daytona, and Mrs. Mobley. Daytona loved her, and she loved him. Sabine says. As soon as we walked into the building he would practically drag me to Maries room to nd her. It is the many touching stories like these that keep volunteers coming back, week after week. I come for the happiness that I can bring to others, says Dan Pearl, a volunteer who has visited Powhatan with his dogs since 1998. I love seeing the smiles on peoples faces. People who are normally bored and depressed will come alive when they see the dogs.

Get Involved
The benets of animal-assisted therapy are certainly not one-sided. The presence of pets in a nursing home or hospital provides a break from routine, lightens the mood and increases communication and socialization between staff and patients. Dog owners nd volunteering to be a great stress reliever, and as everyone gets involved in the visits, a kind of extended family is formed. We are family is a sentiment I heard from every staff member, volunteer and resident I spoke with, and saw echoed in every happy, wagging tail. We already reap the physical, social and psychological benets of our dogs love. Most therapy dog owners will tell you that there is no better feeling in the world than to share that love with others. Therapy dog visitation programs are not only a great way to spend some quality time with your best friend, but also a chance to give back to the community. ND
Taylor Ham is a freelance writer from Ithaca, NY. She currently lives in Alexandria, VA, with her husband, two cats and a Basenji mix, Samson, who was born in a small village in West Africa.

703.324.5406 www.fpow.org A therapy dog visitation program that connects pets with people living in assisted living and nursing homes in Fairfax County, VA.
PAL (People Animals Love)

202.966.2171 www.peopleanimalslove.org An organization that brings people and animals together to brighten the lives of the lonely, ease the pain of the sick and enrich the world of at-risk children.
National Capital Therapy Dogs, Inc.

301.585.NCTD (585-6283) www.nctdinc.org A volunteer organization that provides animal-assisted therapy and animal-assisted activities to healthcare facilities in the DC Metro area.

The dogs and their human companions from Fairfax Pets on Wheels have been visiting Marie at Powhatan for three years now. Her favorites are displayed in framed portraits scattered amongst countless dog gurines on her shelves, just behind the

20 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009


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


Izzy & Lenore: Two Dogs, an Unexpected Journey, and Me by Jon Katz
By Ingrid King

n his previous books, bestselling author Jon Katz rst introduces the reader to the dogs of Bedlam Farms. You do not have to have read these books, though, to become engrossed in this moving story about the depth of the connection between humans and animals. In the authors own words, this book is about small things, like getting a new dog that changes your outlook. And about big things, like having a dog lead you places you never imagined going. The story begins with Katz rescuing Izzy, an abandoned Border Collie who had been turned down by others because he was too dirty, too hyper, and had never lived with people. Katz saw something special in this dog. Little did he know that taking Izzy home was going to be the beginning of an amazing journey, which was later complemented by the arrival of a bright-eyed black Labrador Retriever puppy named Lenore, also dubbed The Hound of Love. Izzy and Jon train to be hospice volunteers. Izzys intuitive and affectionate nature makes him a natural at bringing comfort and canine companionship to dying patients in private homes and nursing facilities in upstate New York. What transpires between Izzy and these patients is pure love that dees explanation. An Alzheimers patient smiles for the rst time in months when she is able to feel Izzys

soft head under her hands. A terminal cancer patient joyfully remembers his own beloved dog from long ago each time Izzy comes to visit. As Izzy ministers to the patients and Katz gets to know their families, the author also starts to confront his own past and descends into depression. Enter Lenore, she of the exuberant personality and endless capacity for affection. Not only does her loving presence help move Katz out of the valley of the shadows and reignite his passion for working with the dogs, it also restores his connection with the farm and the people and animals around him. The book is a beautifully written celebration of the connection between dogs and humans, and the ability of a special dog (or two) to transform lives. And if you didnt get enough of Izzy and Lenore after reading this wonderful book, you can follow their lives on Jon Katz Bedlam Farm Journal blog where he shares his thoughts along with moving photographs.
Ingrid King is a Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Healing Hands also publishes free periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit www. pethealing.net .

new media: web

Search With Your Heart

We all have the best of intentions and most of us try to make donations to our favorite pet-related charities from time to time. These dedicated foundations and organizations are hurting now more than ever for funding to help the many animals that touch their lives daily. What if you could help these organizations simply by searching the Internet? GoodSearch.com was founded in 2005 for just this purpose. You use GoodSearch exactly as you would any other search engine, but the big difference is that 50 percent of the revenue it generates is donated to charities and schools designated by youthe user. Goodsearch is powered by Yahoo!, so you can rest assured that you are getting back high-quality results every time. Its very easy to get started. On the GoodSearch.com homepage, choose from thousands of existing organizations or add your favorite cause to the list. Search the Internet just like you normally wouldand fty percent of the revenue generated from advertisers is shared with the charity, school or nonprot organization of your choosing. Each time you perform a search on GoodSearch.com, your designated charity earns money. The more searches you perform, the more your charity makes. Add up the thousands of others who have selected the same charity and you can see that it begins to make a real difference. Make sure to bookmark the search engine in your web browser, to use it every day and to tell family members and friends so they can use this tool to support their favorite causes, too. ND

Sterling Silver pet charms make a unique piece of wearable art for you or your dog. Sandi Bahr of Tiny Tokens Designs is a stay-at-home mom with three children, and says she has been creating jewelry since she was a child. About three years ago, I decided to get serious about my jewelry and began selling it online. Designing jewelry has been a way for me to express my creativity, she adds. Sandis custom charms are hand stamped using individual letter stamping tools, therefore no two are exactly alike. Lettering may not be perfectly straight and spacing may vary, which adds to the appeal. Prices start at $12 and charms are shipped from Brentwood, CA. Contact Sandi at 925.550.9059 or visit www.tinytokensdesigns.etsy.com.




A g l i m p s e i n t o t h e l i f e o f Northern Virginia dogs


Loved by Melissa in Leesburg

Loved by Suzanne and Josh in Alexandria


Loved by Karen in Ashburn

5 4 6 9


Loved by Alana in Chantilly

Loved by Doug in Rockville


Loved by Staci in Washington, DC

7. DEACON 8. RIPLEY 9. MOLLY 13 7 10 11

Loved by Rob & Marlene in Alexandria

Loved by Amy in Gainesville

Loved by Joanne in Hamilton


Loved by Jennifer in Gainesville

Loved by Jamie in Arlington


Loved by Mike & Jacquie in Woodbridge

13. RORY

Loved by Viviana

Hey, wheres my dog?
If you submitted a photo, and dont see it here, check out the NOVADog home page for the slide show of NOVADogs! Submit your photos at www. novadogmagazine.com/ submissions.html

Loved by Bracy & Bridget in Ashburn



Loved by Ines in Reston


15 14
22 Northern Virginia Dog
| Spring 2009

Loved by Mark & Cindy in Fairfax Station

APRIL Saturday, April 11

E v e n t s y o u w o n t w a n t t o miss
and are held at Bark N Bubbles, 795 Center St., Ste 1B, Herndon, VA. Cost: $105. Reservations and pre-registry required. Call 888.WAGN4U2.

NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club10:00 AM-12:30 PM, Bull Run Regional Park, Centreville, VA. Mid-April is the best time to visit Bull Run for spectacular, blanketed elds of bluebells! RSVP required, www.K9Hiking.com

Sunday, April 26
BowWowPowWow 2009!11:00 am 5:00pm, Marie Reed School Plaza (2200 block of 18th St NW at Wyoming Ave.) A day of fun and festivities for you and your dog, meet new friends & neighbors, soak up the Adams Morgan experience, show off your pooch and network with other pet owners. Contests & Prizes (best kisser, owner/dog lookalike, & more!), Vendor booths, pet adoptions. www.bowwowpowwow.com.


Serving The Area Since 1994 Licensed Bonded Insured

Saturday, April 18
9:00 AMNOONDog Wash to benet Homeward Trails Animal Rescue. FurGet Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. $15 suggested donation. www.furgetmenot.com. 10:00 AMFREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com

Over 6,000 Square Feet Cage-Free Boarding & Day Care 24 Hr. Supervision
5 Indoor Play Rooms Outdoor PottyYard Spacious Outdoor Play Area Separate Puppy & Geriatric Areas Kitty Condo Cat Boarding Obedience & Behavioral Training Pet Transportation In Home Pet Care In Home Pet Exercising Open 7 Days/Week

M AY Saturday, May 2
10:00 AM4:00 PMReston Pet Fiesta! Reston Town Center, Reston, VA. A fun-lled day for the entire family. Leashed dogs are welcomed. Tails on Trails Dog Walk: Bring your family pet and walk for a cause benets GoodDogz.org. Face Painting, $5 & Caricature Artists $10 Proceeds benet GoodDogz.org. Vendors and retailers for great petrelated shopping. To register for the walk and get info about the Fiesta, visit www.petesta.org.

Sunday, April 19
12:00 noonDog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register: Dog Paws University, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com. Please do not bring pets to class.

Advertiser Index:
All Friends Pet Care ........................ 27 www.allfriendspetcare.com Always There Pet Care ..................... 23 www.alwaystherepetcare.com Animal Welfare League of Alexandria .................................. 25 www.alexandriaanimals.org Bark N Bubbles.........................17, C2 www.barknbubblesdogwash.com Beckys Pet Care ............................. 27 www.877doggywalk.com Bev Hollis Photography ................... 6 www.bevhollisphoto.com Cascades Photography..................... 16 www.cascadesphoto.com Chase Your Tail Bakery .................... 17 www.chaseyourtailbakery.com Cooperative Paws, LLC .................... 27 www.cooperativepaws.com Cutie Paws ..................................... 27 www.cutiepieskeepsakes.com Dogma Dog Bakery.......................... 17 www.dogmabakery.com DogOn Fitness, LLC ........................ 27 www.dogontness.com Doody Calls .................................... 27 www.doodycalls.com Errand Partners .............................. 17 www.errandpartners.com Extra Hours Pet Care ....................... 27 703.541.2129 Fun Stuff for Dogs.....................25, 17 www.funstufffordogs.com Fur-Get Me Not .............................. 4 www.furgetmenot.com

Monday, April 20
6:30-8:30 PMBABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival of a new baby. Reservations are required. Contact Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation per couple is $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

Thursday, May 7
7:15-8PMFREE Puppy playdates for dogs less than 1 year of age. Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. www.furgetmenot.com.

Happy Woof, LLC ............................ 7 www.happywoof.net Happy Yaps .................................... C4 www.happyyaps.com Help Lost Pet ................................. 27 www.helplostpet.com Karing By Kristina .......................... 16 www.karingbykristina.com Marchten Interiors .......................... 27 703.533.7670 Olde Towne School For Dogs ............ 5 www.otsfd.com PawPrints Photography .................... 11 www.pawprintsphotography.com Paws and Claws Photography ........... 17 www.pawsandclawsphotography.com Pet Nursing, LLC ............................ 27 www.petnurses.com Puppy Party Place .......................... 17 www.puppypartyplace.com Red Dog Spa & Boutique..............4, 17 www.reddogspa.com Reston Pet Fiesta ........................... 27 www.petesta.org Rudys Friends Dog Training, Inc. ..... 7 www.rudysfriendsdogtraining.com Susan Makara Pet Portraits .............. C3 703.548.4611 Tail Waggin Celebrations ................. 17 www.tailwagging.com Virginia Greyhound Adoption ............ 27 www.virginiagreyhounds.org

Saturday, May 9
8:30 AM RAIN OR SHINE14th Annual Walk for the Animals. Bluemont Park, 329 N. Manchester Street Arlington, Virginia. Check-in and on-site registration 8:30 AM, the Walk kicks off at 9:30 AM. Participating dogs will receive their very own bandana. Exciting demonstrations, entertainment, and vendor booths. Contact the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, www.awla.org. 10:00 AMFREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club 8:00AM-12:00PM at US National Arboretum, Washington DC. Stroll through Spring Flowers at the National Arboretum! Optional picnic following the hike. RSVP required, for more info visit www.K9Hiking.com

Saturday, April 25
10:00 AMFREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com 1:00 PM4:00 PMTAVERN DOG CONTEST Gadsbys Tavern Museum Society in Alexandria, VA, is holding its 2nd annual competition to select a Tavern Dog. The Society is searching for the right dog to represent them at special events. Contest held at Market Square, 301 King Street, in Old Town, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Advance registration and fee are required. For more information, please visit www.gadsbys tavernmuseum.us or call 703.836.2407. 9:00 AM6:00 PMPetTech PetSaver program provides pet owners and pet industry professionals with the necessary skills to help save pets. Eight hour course covers restraining and muzzling, primary assessment, rescue breathing, canine and feline CPR, choking management, snout-to-tail assessment for injury and more. Classes provided by WAGN Enterprises, LLC

Thursday, May 14
6:308:30 PMBABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare their home and their pets for the arrival Continued on page 25




L o c a l w alks to enjoy

Potomac Overlook Park

By Caro l B r o o k s , c o - o w n e r, D o g O n F i t n e s s
Ah springseason of hope, newly budding ora, and longer days. What better way to experience the season than to view its wonders on a hike with your dog. My mixed-hound, Polly-Bunches, and I are always up for a new adventure, and so we were delighted to discover Potomac Overlook Regional Park, a 70acre wooded refuge only two miles from Routes 66 and 29 in Arlington, VA. This sumptuous native hardwood park, sandwiched between Donaldson Run and the George Washington Parkway, offers exceptional scenic views, mature trees, and well-marked trails. On a recent visit, Polly and I scrambled around the park for over three hours. Polly enjoyed balancing on fallen trees, climbing rocks, and splashing through several water crossings along the way. We both enjoyed exercising over hilly terrainfrom gentle to challengingand passed several like-minded people and dogs. Potomac Overlook Regional Park has over two miles of trails to discover, and you can easily extend your outing beyond the park using the Donaldson Run Trail, leading to the Potomac River and Potomac Heritage Trail. If youre really adventurous, you can use the park as a starting point for longer hikes, following the Potomac Heritage Trail downstream to Roosevelt Island or upstream to Chain Bridge where you cross to the C&O Towpath. Both of these extended trips will take 4-5 hours so pack a lunch and plenty of fresh water, and wear sturdy hiking shoes.
Bill Russell with his daughter Faye and their Labradoodle Penny, out for an all-day hike following the trail.

Two-mile Hike Suggestion

Before heading to the park, visit its website (www.nvrpa.org/parks/potomacoverlook) to download a map. Keep in mind this park is a popular destination for dog-owners, children, and runners. Keep your dog on a leash and step aside for others on the move. Our suggested 2-mile hike is a loop around Marcey Road. This hike takes us past the Donaldson Cemetery, an Indian Camp dating back to 500 BC, an abandoned spring, an orchard, and several well-placed park benches inviting us to pause for the view. The trails are dotted with interpretive signs offering insight to the parklands history and habitat. To get to the trailhead from the upper parking lot and comfort station, follow Marcy Road toward the Nature Center. Take an immediate right as you pass through the gate onto the well-marked Overlook Trail (black trail signs). Follow the Overlook Trail downhill to the intersection of the Red Maple Trail (red trail signs). Turn left on the Red Maple Trail and go about 1/4 mile to the Donaldson Cemetery. Continue downhill to the Heritage Loop Trail (green trail markers) and look for the Indian Spring on your left. You can either take a short side trip across a wooden bridge to view the spring or continue on the trail. The trail leads uphill to an open eld and the Indian Camp, an excellent spot for a picnic on a nice day. Cross the eld and look for white trail markers leading you to White Oak Way, a winding and hilly trail. This eventually leads you back to the tennis courts at the bottom of Marcy Road, or to the Nature Center if you venture off on one of the feeder trails to the left of the path. To return to your car from the tennis courts, go left on Marcy road to the top of the hill.

Getting There
Potomac Overlook Regional Park is at the end of Marcey Road off of Military Road in North Arlington. Follow directions available on the parks website to get to Military Road (varies depending on your starting location). Once on Military Road, continue to Marcey Road and go right (you will see park signs along the road). Go to the end of Marcey Road (past the tennis courts) to the Potomac Overlook parking lot.

Park Hours
The park is open year-round during daylight hours, but the comfort station is only available when the Nature Center is open. The Nature Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. IMPORTANT: The Nature Center is closed for renovations from March 1, 2009 through late spring. ND

Distance: 2 miles Time: 60 minutes or more Location: Potomac Overlook Regional Park, two miles from Route 66 and Route 29 in Arlington, VA. Fido-Friendly Features: No bikes, offstreet parking, dog-safe trails, trash receptacles at trailheads, comfort station with drinking fountain. Close to dog-friendly Clarendon (for an afterhike meal) Use: hikers, runners, on-leash dogs (also running clubs and schools) Best time to go: Morning Rated:
1 paw = easy; 5 = expert

About Your Guide

Carol Brooks is co-owner of DogOn Fitness, LLC. She specializes in high-energy dogs, providing them with working walks, running, adventure hikes, socialization and training reinforcement. Located in Reston, DogOn Fitness has served the Northern Virginia area since 2003. Visit them on the Web at www.dogontness.com. GOT A HIKE youd like to see proled? Send suggestions to cabrooks@dogontness.com

(moderately hilly)

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| Spring 2009


assessment for injury and more. Classes provided by WAGN Enterprises, LLC and are held at Bark N Bubbles, 795 Center St., Ste 1B, Herndon, VA. Cost: $105. Reservations and pre-registry required. Call 888.WAGN4U2. tions required. Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

of a new baby. Reservations are required. Contact Animal Welfare League of Arlington, 703.931.9241 x 213. Suggested donation per couple is $25. Please do not bring pets to class.

Saturday, June 13
10:00 AMFREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com ND

Saturday, May 23
Viva Vienna! Hours varyFood, artisans, retail vendors, professional groups, and community organizations gather on Church Street for a Memorial Day festival. Visit Rudys Friends Dog Training booth for help with your pup. Festival info: www.vivaviennava.org

Sunday, May 31
NOVA Trail Dogs Hiking Club8:30AM3:00PM at Hawksbill Summit, Shenandoah National Park. Visit the tallest peak in Shenandoah National Park, take in views of a waterfall and hike along the famed Appalachian Trail. RSVP required, for more info visit www. K9Hiking.com

Submit your event to: janelle@2houndsproductions.com

Yappy Hours
Pooches on the Patio, Capitol Hill
Union Pub, 201 Massachusetts Ave. NE12pm-4pm Saturdays, Spring and Summer Only. Plenty of dog treats and water bowls. Humans get happy hour food and drink specials too. www.unionpubdc.com

Saturday, May 30
K-9 2K and the 2009 Herndon Festival, Bready Park, Herndon Community Center. Registration 8:30-9AM. 2K Walk 9-10AM, Doggie Expo 10AM-Noon Call 703.787.7300 for more info. Interested vendors contact pam@allfriendspetcare.com. www.herndonfestival.net. 10:00 AMFREE Puppy Playtime for pups 3 to 5 months of age at Dog Paws University in Arlington, VA. Please make a reservation: 703.931.5057, www. DPnCC.com 9:00 AM6:00 PMPetTech PetSaver program provides pet owners and pet industry professionals with the necessary skills to help save pets. Eight hour course covers restraining and muzzling, primary assessment, rescue breathing, canine and feline CPR, choking management, snout-to-tail

JUNE Thursday, June 4

7:15-8PMFREE Puppy playdates for dogs less than 1 year of age. Fur-Get Me Not, 4140 S. Four Mile Run Dr., Arlington, VA. www.furgetmenot.com.

Hotel Monaco, World Famous Doggie Happy Hour

480 King Street, Alexandria, VATuesday and Thursdays from 5 to 8 pm, weather permitting, April through October. Held in the courtyard of the Hotel Monaco. Complimentary doggie snacks with plenty of fresh water bowls. Humans can feast on menu items from the adjacent restaurant Jackson 20. www.doggiehappyhour.com.

Saturday, June 6
10:00 AMDog Safety for children 5 years of age and older. Teach children the rules so they can be safe and have fun with dogs. FREE but please call to register: Dog Paws University, 703.931.5057, www.DPnCC.com. Please do not bring pets to class.

Pat Troys Irelands Own

111 N. Pitt Street, Alexandria, VADaily yappy hour on the patio from 4 to 7pm with half-off special on appetizers and drinks (for humans). Your dog can dine from his own menu. May we suggest the lamb or beef stew! www. pattroysirishpub.com/doggy.php

Thursday, June 11
6:308:30 PMBABY-READY PETS CLASS offers preparation and assistance to help expectant families prepare for the arrival of a new baby. Reserva-

Jays Saloon & Grille

3114 N. 10th St., ArlingtonSundays, weather permitting, from 1 to 4 pm. Dog-friendly Clarendon is the perfect setting for happy hour fun on the covered patio. Water, treats, and games for your dog. 703.527.3093

Shop our frisky, friendly store today.

The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria

A non-prot organization with over 60 years of caring, concern and commitment to the animals in our community. Operating the Vola Lawson Animal Shelter, where we offer adoptions, counseling, and a variety of animal care programs. 4101 Eisenhower Ave. Alexandria VA 22304 703/838-4774 www.alexandriaanimals.org

Find Your New Friend At

Check out our money-saving coupon codes and see whats new this week!




H a p p e n i n g s w e v e s n i f fed out

Celtic Canines: Fun Dog

Show Raises Funds for AWLA
March 7th marked the 28th annual Ballyshaners Saint Patricks Day Parade in Old Town Alexandria. The parade festivities began with the Fun Dog Show, which was co-sponsored again this year by Barkley Square Gourmet Dog Bakery and Karing by Kristina, Pet Care Professionals. Unseasonably warm temperatures attracted a throng of parade-goers, lining King Street for the festivities. Northern Virginia Dog Magazine was proud to be the ofcial media sponsor of the Fun Dog Show event that drew dogs and their owners in record numbers. This event has quickly grown over the years to become one of the most anticipated dog events in the area. This years Dog Show judge, the Honorable Daniel OFlaherty, joined the Master of Ceremonies, newscaster John Harter, in evaluating the dogs in categories ranging from Best Tail Wag to Best Irish Costume. Proceeds from the event were donated to the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA). ND

Fun Dog participants lead the St. Patricks Day parade down King Street.

WINNER: Disproportionate Body

WINNER: Best Tail Wag

WINNER: Hair Most Like Owner

WINNER: Most Unusual Tail

Photos of the festivities were taken by Kristina Meacham of Cascades Photography. To see more of her work, please visit www.cascadesphoto.com.

WINNER: Best Costume

WINNER: Biggest Paws

WINNER: Most Unique Markings

26 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009


P r o d u cts and Services directory

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For over 10 years our staff of reliable, professional pet sitters has been providing in-home pet sitting, midday dog walks, and overnight stays to pets big and small contact us today to nd out how we can make YOUR best friend our best customer!! 703-716-PETS 703-960-PETS
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For rates and more information contact: Angela Meyers p: 703.887.8387 e: ahazuda@yahoo.com.


Adoption success stories


On the fast-track to a loving home

Adopted from:
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA)

How did he get his name?

Suka was abandoned in his crate in front of the AWLA early one rainy morning. His former owners left a note taped to the crate explaining that they were losing their home and needed to move out of state. They could not take their dog with them. Since he is a Siberian Husky, we researched some names and picked Suka which is Inuit for fast. Like most Huskies, Suka loves to run, and this name seemed appropriate!


Approximately 1 year old owned by Rachelle and Steve Oliver of Dumfries, VA

Yo u p i c k e d h i m b e c a u s e . . .
We are the previous owners of two Siberians and appreciate their energy and intelligence. They can be mischievous escape artists with incredible driveand unprepared owners can be overwhelmed by thiswhich lands them in shelters. We knew we wanted another Husky because we had come to love the breed, and preferred to adopt rather than go to a breeder. We visited with Suka at the AWLA and saw that he was all Husky in mind and spirit, with a very soft side. We knew he was the one!

Favorite treat or snack:

Our two previous Huskies were not especially food-driven, and Suka is no exception. We usually stay away from table food for him because we do not want him to beg or become bothersome with guests. He seems just as happy with his kibble and dog biscuits. Praise and attention seem to be his preferred rewards, and we can provide plenty.

Favorite toy:
Right now, his tail seems to be very entertaining to him...but he really loves chasing tennis balls. Our other Huskies would chase balls but never bring them back. Suka actually returns the ball, and if you dont throw it again, he amuses himself by tossing it in the air on his own.

Yo u l o v e h i m b e c a u s e h e . . .
We love the breed as a whole, but Suka knows how to charm people. He will tuck his ears, cock his head sideways and lure you in with an outstretched paw. Then he gives you tons of kisses. He greets strangers like he has known them all his life! What we enjoy most though, is the reception we get when we return home. His Welcome Home! is unlike any otherit makes you laugh every time. ND
The Animal Welfare League of Alexandria (AWLA) is an animal sheltering and welfare organization whose mission is, To inspire compassion for all living things, to provide shelter to animals in need, and to promote adoptions, animal welfare, and responsible pet ownership in our community. Approximately 1,200 animals are adopted from the shelter each year. The AWLA also provides behavior and training advice, humane education programs, wildlife rescue, reduced cost spay and neuter certicates as well as rabies and microchipping clinics. Visit www.alexandriaanimals.org to donate or learn more.

28 Northern Virginia Dog

| Spring 2009

Masterfully painted in oil on a gold leaf background.

Pet Portraits by




from Marguerite in California

Call, Email or Visit the Studio
Studio #339 Torpedo Factory Art Center, 105 North Union Street Alexandria,Virginia 22314 703-548-4611 susanmakara@gmail.com

When I unwrapped Cookies portrait tears welled up in my eyes I am so grateful to Susan for bringing my dear dachshund back to me.