Monthly Archives: October 2011
It has been an active and fun Howloween week in Metro DC for many people and their dogs, and creativity has been in abundance, as evidenced by some great ideas for costumes and fun. Ronald Zell of Alexandria, for example, had custom-made Revolutionary period costumes made for himself and his two Brussel Griffons, George and Martha, repleat with brass buttons on their vests, ruffles and a tricorn hat. Many animal shelters and rescue organizations benefited from donations made at area festivities including the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria. Here’s a sampling of some revelers in costume at the benefit for AWLA…..
Dog lovers everywhere look forward to Halloween, because both they and their dogs have an opportunity to dress up! Before you take your dog out to participate in a parade or to go trick or treating with the family however, you may want to consider these tips to ensure a good time for everyone.
Cats are believed to have descended from African Wild Cats some 4,000 years ago, and since then they have come a long way. While they still carry many of the traits inherited from their ancestors, today they are oftentimes known to be aloof, independent and finicky. Devotees though are smitten. Albert Schweitzer, the well known medical missionary once said, “There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”
Here are a few facts and bits of trivia about cats that you may not have known.
- Cats have amazing jumping ability and can jump more than seven times their height
- Most people are unaware that cats have spines on their tongues which act like a comb to help them groom their fur, and to hold prey more securely
- Cat’s night vision is six times better than humans, because they have more reflecting cells which absorb light
- Cats have 230 bones, whereas humans have 206
- A cat uses it’s whiskers to determine if it can fit into a space
- Cats are able to see the colors blue and green, and possibly red
- Abraham Lincoln loved cats and had four while in the White House
- Cats rub up against people’s legs to show affection and to put their scent on them
- In proportion to their body size, cats have the largest eyes of all mammals
- You’ll know that a cat is in attack mode when their fur sticks up in a narrow band along its spine and tail
- When cats are frightened all of their fur stands up evenly over their whole body
- Cats have 500 skeletal muscles, while humans have 650
- Cats meow at humans, but rarely at other cats, and they have around 100 vocalizations, whereas dogs have around 10
- Cats are able to sprint up to 30 miles per hour
- Cats are the most common pet in America (about 68 million cats vs. 60 million dogs)
- Ernest Hemingway had 30 cats living at his home in Havana, Cuba
- Cats drink water by curling their tongues under, essentially scooping water into their mouths from the underside
- Cats can have a dominant right paw or left paw, just as humans are either right-handed or left-handed
- Cats do not need to blink their eyes on a regular basis to keep them lubricated
- Cats walk on their toes
- Cats spend around a quarter of their lives grooming themselves
- When a cat holds it’s tail high it generally means that it’s happy
- After being held, cats lick themselves to smooth their fur and remove the scent of humans
- In Asia and England, black cats are considered lucky
- Cats can get bored which they show through excessive licking, chewing, or biting
- Cat fur is comprised of an undercoat and an outercoat
- Only cats, giraffes and camels step with both left legs, then both right legs, when they walk or run
- Cats were domesticated over 4,000 years ago, and the ancestors of today’s domesticated cat are the African and European Wild Cats
- Studies have shown that petting a cat will lower one’s blood pressure
- When a cat purrs it’s a sign that it is very content and happy
- The average lifespan of a cat is 12 to 14 years old with some cats reaching 20 years of age
The Montgomery County Humane Society pulled out all of the stops Saturday evening as they hosted their annual Love Ball at the Hyatt Regency Bethesda – and it had all the makings of a spectacular event! This Gala is held annually to celebrate all of the compassionate work of volunteers and all animal-lovers, in saving homeless dogs, cats, rabbits, birds and other animals every year.
Everyone was in their best cocktail attire and many arrived with a dog, or two. The festivities began with a cocktail reception and an opportunity for guests to view and bid on numerous products and services, ranging from artwork to vacation trips, that had been donated by local and national companies. A very talented caricaturist was also on hand to draw portraits of people and their dogs.
Dan and Kelly Blankfeld arrived with Anna a, 14 year-old Pit Bull, who was representing the “pack” of the Blankfeld’s three dogs, two Pit Bulls and one Boxer Bull Mastiff. This was the second year that Kelly has served on the Love Ball committee as the person in charge of the auctions.
Another early arrival to the Gala was Ellie Slotkin who brought Lexi, a Malti-Poo. She explained that shortly after moving to the DC area with her husband three years ago she was interested in volunteering with a charity, so she did some research on non-profit organizations and found the Humane Society. Ellie remarked, “Everyone that I met at the MCHS from the Volunteer Coordinator to the Events Coordinator was wonderful and easy to work with, so I decided that this would be my number one charity, and the one for which I would volunteer my time”
Ellie went on to say, “My major responsibility as a volunteer was to gather many of the silent auction items from area businesses. We were very fortunate this year that many local businesses in Montgomery County were extremely generous in donating items, from restaurants to hair salons. In my opinion I think that the auction looks even better than ever before – one of the most exciting year’s we’ve had yet. The MCHS also has a new Special Events Coordinator, Juliana Willems, who is wonderful and our committee has been just outstanding.”
Petros Voskerchian one of the evenings honored guests arrived at the Hyatt escorting Friend, an Australian Shepherd who had been rescued by the Humane Society. Petros was being honored at the evenings ceremonies as the number one Veterinarian.
Debra Robinson and her boyfriend Jody Kenote attended the Love Ball with Debra’s 5 year old, “son” Benji. Debra explained, “I first saw him at the house of a friend who was a breeder and Benji was very shy and had a big head. I didn’t think anyone was going to take him. My friends kept on saying to me that with my lifestyle I couldn’t possibly handle a dog. But, every time I went over to my friend’s house Benji would walk over to me and tug on my heartstrings, so I decided to take him home.” Debra chuckled as she said, “I’m eventually going to have a Bark Mitzvah for Benji”. Jody added, “Me and Benji get along great”. Debra is an avid animal advocate and dog-lover and was quick to add, “Eventually I would like to buy some land in the country and rescue dogs”.
Among the many other guests that attended the Love Ball Gala with their dogs were Leslie Casaya with her Pomeranian Sophie, Vickie Quezada with her 83 pound, Pit Bull Labrador mix Chino, Pat Culpepper with Lily a 10 year old, Standard Poodle, Mitzy Harp and Sarah Yassin with Bridget Victoria, Cathy Corbin with her Yorkie, Lilly, and Tony and Sherri Bruno who had traveled from Philadelphia with Seamus and Profittarollie.
Once everyone was in the ballroom this year’s emcee Sue Palka, FOX5 weather forecaster kicked off the evening with opening remarks, and was followed by Cris Bombaugh, President and CEO MCHS, who recognized and honored individual attendees for their devoted work. She also gave her heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Montgomery County Humane Society to all who worked tirelessly throughout the year in their efforts to rescue and save the lives of thousands of animals in need.
The Montgomery County Humane Society is the largest animal welfare organization in Montgomery County, providing shelter and care to thousands of homeless animals every year. They offer a full range of services including foster care, rescue network placements, adoption counseling, behavior seminars, bereavement support, humane education, community outreach, volunteer training and much more. The Love Ball is one of MCHS’ biggest fundraisers, with proceeds supporting all of these vital programs and services.
For more information visit their website at…
The eighth annual Home 4 the Holidays pet adoption event will be held on Saturday, November 5th at the Reston Town Center from 11AM – 4PM. In addition to K-9 Lifesavers, over 40 all breed and purebred dog rescue organizations will be on-hand with adoptable dogs awaiting their holiday gift – a family to spend the holidays with.
With a laid-back ambiance and warm, friendly atmosphere the Doggy Happy Hour at Jackson 20 Restaurant stands as one of the most popular in the metro DC area. Set within the confines of the inner courtyard of the Hotel Monaco in Old Town Alexandria, this doggy friendly happy hour is both cozy and inviting. The large red-bricked area provides just the right amount of space for dogs and people to mingle freely, and enjoy the company of other dogs and their human companions. There are ample tables with very comfortable chairs and even a few couches on which to relax, sit back and enjoy the open-air. By 6:00 pm on warm, sunny days the courtyard is bustling with people unwinding from their workweeks. Plenty of parking is also available in either the underground parking garage below Market Square (adjacent to City Hall) across the street or on neighboring streets.
On this Thursday evening Amy Knebel and her husband John who just six months ago moved from Chicago to Alexandria, arrived at the happy hour with Lou Lou Maybelline. Amy explained, “Lou Lou was adopted when she was around 10 weeks old from the Anti-Cruelty Society in Chicago. She had been one of the dogs moved out of shelters in the central Midwest to make room for dogs being moved north, after they had been left homeless as a result of hurricane Katrina”.
Lou Lou had been sent to Chicago with her mother and sibling puppies after being rescued from neglect on a farm, and Amy mentioned that she and her husband adopted her on the same day that Lou Lou’s siblings were also adopted. “She started positive reinforcement training shortly thereafter and because she has such an easygoing temperament her trainers recommended that she become a therapy dog”, added Amy. So Lou Lou was trained in specific skills that she would need as a therapy dog, enabling her to visit patients in Chicago area hospitals. She also received additional, specialized training so that she could work with patients undergoing occupational therapy.
After moving to the metro DC area, Amy involved Lou Lou in working with Pets on Wheels, an organization which coordinates bringing loving pets on visits with residents of area nursing homes and assisted living facilities. In addition to being a therapy dog Lou Lou is quite talented and knows a number of tricks including giving “high-fives” (see photo), praying, jumping up and off of things, balancing on her hind legs, taking a bow, and posing for pictures.
Another person at Thursday’s happy hour was Randy Plante with his dog Oliver. His tradition of going to the happy hours began in the summer of 2002 when a flight attendant friend invited him to one. He found that he had such a great time that he eventually began hanging out with people who have dogs – and because he had so much fun, he decided to adopt. So he researched various rescue groups, visited a number of shelters and eventually saw Oliver’s picture on PetFinder.com.
At that time Oliver was being sheltered at the Washington Animal Rescue League and after going through the adoption process Randy brought him to his new forever-home. Randy exclaimed, “Adopting Oliver was one of the best decisions I ever made”. Randy, a former Air Force pilot, was so inspired by the experience that he decided to write a book about searching, finding and adopting Oliver. The book entitled “My Wingman Oliver” is currently being printed and will be available soon.
Also making an appearance this evening, as well as at every doggy happy hour was Charlie, a very friendly Bichon Frise, who serves as the Director of Pet Relations at Hotel Monaco Alexandria. Woods Morrison, Restaurant Manager, pointed out that, “Charlie is responsible for making all of our four-legged guests feel welcomed and comfortable”.
Restaurant 20 will be hosting a Doggy Happy Howl-o-Ween party on Thursday, October 27th. This Happy Hour will benefit the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria and has in years past been attended by hundreds of people and their dogs, decked out in some highly creative costumes.
Be sure to get there early if you want to enter your dog in the contest because the number of entrants is restricted to the first 50 who apply. For more details on the contest see the Jackson 20 link below.
Prizes will be awarded for:
- The Most Glamorous Get-Up. Prize: Overnight stay at a Kimpton New York property
- The Best Dressed Couple (pet/owner costume combo). Prize: Overnight stay the Hotel Palomar Philadelphia
- The “Top Dog” Award (best overall costume). Prize: Overnight pet package stay and dinner at the Hotel Monaco Alexandria and Jackson 20 Restaurant.
Jackson 20: An Alexandria Restaurant Celebrating Modern Tradition
Located in the heart of Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Jackson 20 is at once elegant and casually comfortable, contemporary and rooted in tradition. Our namesake, President Andrew Jackson, was legendary for his hospitable nature – he was the first U.S. president to invite the public to attend the inaugural ball. True to this spirit, Jackson 20 is a convivial and popular gathering place. Here you’ll find a welcoming atmosphere and fresh, inspired American regional cuisine.
Jackson 20 Restaurant and Tavern
480 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703 842 2790
When Katie Condon accompanied her brother to the Washington Animal Rescue League three years ago, she wasn’t looking for a dog. Her 13-year-old corgi had passed away just a few months before and she wasn’t sure she was ready for another canine companion. But then she saw
The Washington Humane Society (WHS) held their annual DC Walk For The Animals this past Saturday, October 15 in Adams Morgan and surpassed their fundraising goal of $55,000.
The day began very early for WHS volunteers, setting up registration and vendor booths, signage, an agility course, games, and a stage for the day’s contests. By late morning the park was teeming with activity as hundreds of dogs and owners mingled in front of various booths, and strolled across the playing field.
Daniel D’Eramo and Michael Triebwasser, WHS Humane Law Enforcement Officers were on hand to help educate people about animal welfare, and about the services that their office provides. Michael explained, “We are alerted to situations of animal abuse by the general public and work closely with District Police to conduct investigations and rescue animals in need”. These cases range from situations in which dogs are denied adequate shelter, to animals who have been starved, to biting incidents, to cases of a much more egregious nature.
The Master of Ceremonies for this year’s event Will Thomas, weekend anchor with Fox 5 News arrived with Lex, a long-haired, mini- dachshund. This was Will’s 5th year participating in the event and one of his duties as the emcee was to preside over contests that included Best Dressed Dog, Best Dog/Owner Look-a-Like, Musical Sit and Best Trick. Remarked Will, “My favorite is the owner and dog lookalike contest, and it’s surprising that sometimes there really is a resemblance.” He added, “We’re also here to thank the sponsors and to raise, much-needed funds for the Washington Humane Society.”
Kirsten Stade was an early arrival along with Sandy a 10 month old Pit bull puppy and a prospective adoptee. Kirsten volunteers with WHS and stated that Sandy had been very stressed out living at the shelter, so she took her in as a foster dog to live with her other foster dog, as well as her senior dog. Kirsten explained that Sandy is being trained with positive reinforcement and doing very well. One often hears of the deep compassion felt by those who strive to help less fortunate animals, and she explained her own motivation in part by saying, “My goal is to rescue as many dogs and save as many lives as possible.”
Danny Allgeier a resident of Van Ness in DC was at the Walk for some outdoor fun and socialization with Sprout, a prospective adoptee at WHS. Danny, a dog-lover, doesn’t have one of his own because of the rules of his apartment building, so he lives a bit vicariously by volunteering once a week at one of the WHS shelters. Danny typically helps to clean out the stalls, walk the dogs, and show potential adopters in search of a dog. Danny said, “It’s a pretty good setup. The dogs in the shelter are always happy to see me and I’m very happy to see them as well.”
The socialization in the ball field actually was an integral part of the DC Walk For The Animals, and provided the rallying point for the subsequent one-mile procession through the surrounding neighborhood. And by the time it had begun everyone appeared to join in the spirit of the moment – for this very worthy cause.
This year’s DC Walk for the Animals proved to be a tremendous success for the Washington Humane Society, and over $56,000 was raised. Top fundraisers included:
- Julie Conway ($7,435)
- Andrew Weinstein ($4,375)
- Jennifer Sullivan ($3,025)
- Lisa LaFontaine ($2,515)
- Carrie Mathuran ($1,570)
- Christine Nassikas ($1,125)
- Diana Rock ($1,030)
- Margaret Milroy ($1,010)
- Angela Younger ($860)
- Stacey Lipscomb ($815)
The Washington Humane Society (WHS) the only Congressionally-chartered animal welfare agency in the United States, has been the area’s leading voice for animals since 1870.
As the only open-access shelter in the Nation’s Capital, the WHS provides comfort and care to nearly 30,000 animals each year through its broad range of programs and services including sheltering, adoption spay and neuter, CatNipp, Humane Law Enforcement, lost and found, human-animal therapy programs and Humane Education.
Throughout the years, the organization has helped spearhead new legislation to protect the animals that live in the nation’s capital. In the 1960s and 70s, WHS helped DC create laws to prevent animal hoarding, and better health standards for pet shops and medical research clinics.
WHS operates two shelter locations: their private shelter at 7319 Georgia Avenue NW, as well as the District of Columbia Animal Care and Control Facility (under contract by the Department of Health) at 1201 New York Avenue NE. The organization’s administrative offices are located at 4590 MacArthur Boulevard, NW. WHS has nearly 100 dedicated employees, 22 distinguished members on the Board of Directors and more than 300 active volunteers.
For more information on the Washington Humane Society please visit their website at http://support.washhumane.org/site/PageServer .
If you’ve ever wondered about pet-friendly hotels in this area that could accommodate any of your four-legged, out of town guests then wonder no more. There are several actually, but none so conveniently located next to Reagan National Airport and Route 395, than the Residence Inn, Arlington Capitol View. This new, and dog-friendly hotel is located at 2850 South Potomac Avenue in Arlington.
The hotel facility is very welcoming to dogs and to show their commitment to being dog-friendly they held a contest on Thursday evening, October 6th to select the Top Dog – that dog who would essentially become the goodwill ambassador to the hotel.
Twenty three entrants particpated in the contest, representing a wide array of all types of dogs. With names like Rebel, Sophie, Sweet Dee, Moses, Dora, Peanut Butter, Mooch, Lani, Mugsly, Petunia, and Moose it was quite the ensemble.
Tommy McFly who hosts a morning radio show with Jen Richer on 94.7 Fresh FM was the emcee for the evening’s festivities and he was accompanied by his dog Chip McFly.
And, an impressive line-up of judges was assembled to review the contestant’s performances.
- Dan Russo, Arlington County Canine Division Officer
- Steve Chenevey, morning Anchor on the Fox Network
- Dr. Katy Nelson, Veterinarian Consultant
- Lee Trimble, Dog Behavioral Therapist & Trainer
Treats for dogs were provided by Kristina Robertson of Barkley Square Bakery. She and her team made handmade, all natural dog treats and cakes for this evening’s contestants, the same kind of baked goods which she makes available at Barkley Chocolate in Del Ray and Barkley Gifts and Chocolates in Old Town.
Moses a white Cockapoodle and his two human companions, Kim and Jane Adams were the first to arrive. Moses, “inherited” from Jane’s son who now lives in NY, is a very calm dog and seemed a natural when posing for his picture. Jane explained that Moses is well behaved, adding that, “Moses attended the Old Town School for Dogs ”. Jane went on to say, “We live in Clarendon and everyone knows Moses. He’s a therapy-dog and accompanies them on visits to people living in local nursing homes and mental health centers”
By 6:00pm most of the contestants had arrived including Hope Bludworth with Sophie a petite black and white Papillon. Sophie was adorable and was not shy in vocalizing her excitement at seeing the other contestants and for the evening’s festivities.
Mike Chan and Vickie Huang arrived with Sweet Dee a mix of Boston Terrier, French Bulldog and Pug with a bright smiling face. Vickie explained that they saw a photo of Sweet Dee on the website of a humane society in Front Royal, Virginia and eventually adopted her. “We are very lucky to have Sweet Dee”, she added. They had been alerted to the Top Dog contest through a flyer at Wag Time daycare where Vickie takes Sweet Dee once a month.
Bernie Delia arrived in his business suit with Lani a Husky, Malamute, Akita, and Shepherd mix. Bernie a long-time supporter and contributor to The Washington Humane Society had found out about the Top Dog contest from a friend. He mentioned, “Lani has walked the runway in The Washington Humane Society’s Fashion For Paws benefit event in the last two years”.
Blair O’Brien was another person with ties to The Washington Humane Society. She brought a prospective adoptee, Neena, a white and black Pit Bull mix to the Top Dog contest. Blair, who lives in Arlington, helps the Society at their adoption events, and also volunteers once a week with the Society’s Pack Program, in which several dogs are taken out for runs in Rock Creek Park and other parks in the area on Saturdays.
Tonight’s entrant who had traveled the farthest was Dora, with Emily Ann Meyer. They had made the two-hour drive from Frederick, Maryland. Emily explained the long drive by saying, “I found out about the Top Dog contest through my vet’s blog, and I felt that Dora has the perfect laid-back disposition for ambassador type of work. Dora is the greatest dog, and a testimony to getting second chances in life, because she is a rescue dog, a cancer survivor, and a therapy dog”. Emily adopted Dora from Friends for Life in Gaithersburg six years ago Emily and is very proud of Dora. “Dora has been through a lot. She underwent a splenectomy in March and now is defying all the odds”, she added.
As for the Contest itself, each entrant was required to walk a circle in front of the judge’s stand, sit and stay, and perform a trick. Each of the contestants provided their own unique “take” on performing and in the end each of them was a winner. Nonetheless, the judges had a tough time deciding who would be the “Top Dog” among all of the very qualified contestants, and in the end narrowed the field down to the winner – Sweet Dee!
As winners, Sweet Dee, Vickie Huang and Mike Chan will receive a 3 night stay at their choice of Marriott hotels, as well as 10% off at restaurant SOCCi Italian Bar and Grill for one year. Sweet Dee will also serve as the hotel mascot, make appearances, receive discounts and will be a guest blogger for the Residence Inn, Arlington Capital View.
Thousands of people attended Clarendon Day on Saturday, September 24, a beautiful fall day, as Wilson Boulevard was lined with booths of all kinds adjacent to, and stretching beyond the Metro station. People were strolling up and down the street stopping to sample food, inspect crafts and artwork, learn about various health related topics, and keep abreast of the latest in County civic and road-building affairs, as well as bank financial services. There even were booths for shoulder/back massages, and a chance to grab “floating” dollar bills in a plexi-glass enclosure….
Adoption Events – December through January
Come meet YOUR new best friend!
K-9 Lifesavers is an all-volunteer, approved 501(c)(3), private non-profit rescue group, dedicated to saving the lives of homeless and abandoned dogs from high-kill shelters, and other high-risk situations.
My husband and I got Elliott through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue and were told that his mother was a Beagle and his daddy was possibly a Yorkie. We however, think he is a Beagle/Dachshund (long haired) mix.
He has brought so much joy to our lives! His middle name is Jacare, which is Portuguese for Caiman, because he certainly resembles his namesake when he nibbles. He is now six months old, but at only 4 months, he mastered “sit, down, touch, roll over and chase your tail”.
He loves his 2 cats (it is unrequited) and everyone in our building knows him - he is famous for his feet licking talents! When he is a year old, we hope to make our Elliott an animal-assisted, therapy dog. ~ Rachel Wills
by Eryka Kahunanui
When you’ve got the threat of a biting dog, you aren’t at the beginning of a problem; you are smack dab in the middle of it. Fellow dog trainers can confirm: there is no uttered phrase more likely to send shivers down our collective spine than “my dog bit out of nowhere.”
Dog bites do not happen “out of nowhere”.
In our continuing series of “Out and About” photo montages these were captured on one recent weekend in Maryland. People and their canine companions were out early – some enjoying a Saturday walk through the Farmers Market on the Plaza in downtown Silver Spring, while others were enjoying a quiet Sunday morning on Bethesda Row. People out for casual strolls, amidst bustling restaurants, coffee shops, a farmers market and city street-scapes. Everyone was out and about despite the deluge of rain we’ve had lately. That’s Jeff in the featured photo out to catch a cup of coffee and a walk with his dog Indy.