The owner of a cancer-stricken dog in Arlington got thousands of dollars in help this month to pay for the pup’s medical bills.
Kristin Schmeski and her 3-year-old white German Shepherd, Buddy, reached out to The Magic Bullet Fund, a charity that provides funding for canine cancer treatments to owners who cannot pay for it themselves.
According to Schmeski’s Give Forward page, she is a student and works a full-time job, and Buddy’s medical bills — for radiation and the surgery he’s already undergone — are almost $10,000.
Schmeski has already raised $2,065 on her Give Forward page, but after Magic Bullet Fund’s donation, it’s likely the bills will be covered.
Buddy had a tumor on his right hind leg, which after a biopsy and surgery was found to be Spindle Cell Sarcoma, according to Schmelski. With the radiation treatments, Buddy’s doctors estimate that the odds are greater than 75 percent that Buddy will be disease-free in three to five years.
Our latest Arlington Pet of the Week is Bailey, a Labrador retriever mix who was adopted from a rescue organization earlier this year.
Here’s what owner Julie had to say about her:
Bailey is a 17-month old Labrador retriever mix, whom we adopted from Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation in May. Bailey is originally from Georgia, but she quickly learned to love New England sports, showing her team pride on her collars.
Bailey is a well-behaved dog (thanks to training for her owners) and responds especially well to her favorite treats, including peanut butter, carrots, apples, ice cubes, and rawhide. On occasion she is hesitant to try new things, such as baths, but she becomes more comfortable and confident with each exposure.
During our walks, she loves to sniff everything and snack on anything she finds along the way. We affectionately call her Bailey the Bunny Hunter as she has a keen ability to find rabbits from down the street. She is not much of a napper, unless she spent the day at doggy daycare. When she needs some quiet time, she hides under the bed. Bailey would love to spend her entire day chasing tennis balls, a laser pointer, or her tail. She is a great companion whether we are hiking, dining outside, apple picking, visiting a local winery, or just relaxing at home.
The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).
Want your pet to be considered for the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a 2-3 paragraph bio and at least 3-4 horizontally-oriented photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.
The Board voted unanimously to adopt changes to the Arlington County Code which went into effect immediately on Saturday. Previously, the Animals and Fowl ordinance did not specifically address dog tethering.
Under the new regulations, dog owners cannot leave their pet tethered unattended for more than three hours in a 24 hour time period. Dogs tied to running cables or trolley systems with access to water and shelter can be tethered for up to 12 hours in a 24 hour period. As previously reported, the rules only apply to dogs that are not within physical reach of their owners.
Regarding the running cables or trolley systems, the regulations state:
“A running cable line or trolley system is defined as one that is at least 20 feet in length and is mounted at least four (4) feet, but no more than seven (7) feet, above the ground. Under no circumstances shall a dog be attached to a running cable line or trolley system unless the tether attaching it to the running cable line or trolley system is at least ten (10) feet in length or three (3) times the length of the animal, as measured from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail, whichever is longer.”
The county staff report on the issue states that the regulations were suggested because tethering an animal for extended periods of time can put the animal’s life at risk.
“The Board’s action today is meant to protect dogs from abuse,” said Arlington County Board Chairman Walter Tejada. “Tethering can put dogs at risk if the tethered animal is unable to get to food, water or shelter. Dogs can also become aggressive if tethered too long. Animal control officers have long made it a practice to respond to reports of dogs being tethered for hours on end. The new rules help responsible dog owners by providing clarity on what’s acceptable and what isn’t.”
The ordinance amendment reads, in part:
“It shall be unlawful for any person to tether a dog to a chain, rope or line of any kind that is too short to enable the dog easily to stand, sit, lie down, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal, and reach shade as necessary… When the same dog is observed to be tethered in the same location that it was in after an initial observation of the dog in that location, then there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the dog has been continuously tethered in that location since the initial observation.”
The staff report indicates the Animal Welfare League of Arlington supports the new rules. Animal control officers have already responded to resident complaints of dogs being tethered for too long, according to the report.
Violations are considered a misdemeanor and come with a fine of up to $100. Residents who wish to report a violation of the dog tethering rules are asked to call the Animal Welfare League of Arlington at 703-931-9241.
Ben’s Chili Bowl Coming to DCA — Just a week after announcing the opening of a new location in Rosslyn, the owners of the iconic Ben’s Chili Bowl in D.C. say they’ll open a location at Reagan National Airport next year. It’s part of an effort by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority to revamp the concessions offerings at local airports. Legal Sea Foods and Pinkberry will join Ben’s, along with a Spanx outlet. [Washington Post]
Panhandler Helps Solve Missing Dog Mystery — A long-time Arlington panhandler has helped a local woman solve the mystery of her missing dog. Laurie Nakamoto had searched for her missing dog, Ms. Winter, since July and it led her to Glen Hilbrand, who has staked out a median near the East Falls Church Metro for about 18 years. Hilbrand had seen Nakamoto’s deceased dog in the road, and removed it so cars wouldn’t continue to run over it. Nakamoto says it gave her a sense of closure to hear from Hilbrand what happened to her pet. Hilbrand attended the memorial service Nakamoto held for her dog. [Washington Post]
Doorways for Women and Families Raises $180,000 — At its 35th Anniversary Brighter Futures Breakfast last week, Doorways for Women and Families raised $180,000. Doorways helps local people affected by domestic violence and homelessness. Since opening its first emergency shelter in 1982, Doorways has provided shelter for more than 3,200 women, men and children.
The Arlington County Board is considering making tethering a dog for more than three hours illegal.
At its Sept. 21 meeting, the board will vote on whether to hold a public hearing on the issue on Oct. 19. Under the ordinance change, dogs would not be allowed to be tethered in a yard for more than three hours in a 24-hour period, or attached to a running cable or trolley system for more than 12 out of 24 hours.
County staff, in its recommendation, said that tethering dogs for an extended period of time “can put the animal’s health at risk if the animal cannot appropriately access food, water or shelter. Tethered animals can also develop aggressive behaviors as a result, which may endanger others.”
The Animal Welfare League of Arlington and its animal control officers support the proposal, according to the staff report. The ordinance would state that, if a dog is observed tethered once and then again three or more hours later, the presumption will be it has been tethered continuously for that period of time.
The proposal does state that the tethering is allowed if the owner is physically within reach of the dog or the dog isn’t tied to a “chain, rope or line of any kind that is too short to enable the dog easily to stand, sit, lie down, turn about, and make all other normal body movements in a comfortable, normal position for the animal, and reach shade as necessary.”
Arlington’s annual dog show, Dogtober Day, will return to Lacey Woods Park (1200 N. George Mason Drive) next month.
The event will be held on Saturday, Oct. 5 from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., and will feature doggy competitions for: best kisser, most colorful pup, pet tricks, most adorable dog, best tail wagger, cutest costume, fastest pooch and Best in Show.
Ribbons and prizes will be awarded in each category. Best in Show will be determined by audience applause.
There will be also special games for dogs and their owners, plus stands for local vendors and organizations, such as the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. Those interested in having their pet participate can print out a registration form, fill it out, and bring it on the day of the event.
Photo via Arlington County
Deputy Accused of Murder Again Denied Bond — Arlington County Sheriff’s Deputy Craig Patterson, who is accused of murdering Julian Dawkins, has been denied bond for a third time. Patterson’s defense attorney argued that Dawkins may have been using and dealing drugs, and Dawkins’ previous dealings with police caused his confrontational nature the night of the incident. Patterson’s trial starts on December 9. [WUSA]
Home Sales, Prices Rise — The combination of higher sales and increasing average sales prices boosted Arlington’s total sales volume for August by 29.4 percent, to $173 million, compared to last year. The average price of all residential properties rose 8.1 percent to $594,479. Homes sold last month spent an average of 29 days on the market between listing and contract, compared with 50 days a year ago. [Sun Gazette]
Lost Dog/Stray Cat Profile — A Washington Post story profiles two of Arlington’s well known restaurants that help pets find homes — Lost Dog Cafe and Stray Cat Cafe. Co-founders Pam McAlwee and Ross Underwood describe how they started rescuing strays from shelters before the age of cell phones and the internet. Each year the duo, along with their 300 volunteers, helps around 1,800 dogs and 700 cats find homes. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by maryva2
The restaurants were approved for variance permits to allow dogs, in a program first announced in April, according to the county’s Public Health Division. Previously, it was against county code to allow pets to hang out in all restaurant dining areas.
“Public Health staff has worked closely with restaurants to ensure that the restaurants’ operating plans comply with all health and safety requirements, and staff will continue to work with restaurants on an ongoing basis,” the county said in a press release. It “is left to the restaurants with variances to decide which outdoor tables are reserved for patrons with dogs.”
Below is the list of restaurants approved for canine dining:
- American Seafood
- Arlington Capital View Renaissance & Residence Inn
- Arlington Capital View Renaissance – Illy
- Asia Bistro
- California Pizza Kitchen
- California Tortilla (Crystal City)
- Chasin’ Tails
- Elevation Burger
- Faccia Luna
- House of Steep
- Jay’s Saloon & Grille
- La Côte D’Or Café
- Lyon Hall
- Mexicali Blues Restaurant & Bar
- Nando’s Peri Peri
- Rappahannock Coffee
- Rhodeside Grill
- Rockland BBQ and Grill
- Saigon Saigon
- Samuel Beckett’s Irish Pub
- Sine Irish Pub & Restaurant
- Thai at Corner Restaurant
- THAI Shirlington
- The Green Turtle
- The Liberty Tavern
- William Jeffrey’s Tavern
- World of Beer
Single Family Home Prices Rise — The average sale price of a single family home in Arlington rose above $850,000 in July, to $853,572, a 5.1 percent increase from one year prior. Townhouse and condominium prices, meanwhile, dropped 0.6 and 3.3 percent respectively. [Sun Gazette]
‘Boot Camp’ for Dogs, Owners — An Arlington-based business, the Thank Dog Bootcamp, was featured on ABC7′s Good Morning Washington program. The bootcamps, which take place in Bluemont and Quincy parks, are for both dogs and their owners, offering “a grueling workout for you… and an obedience lesson for your dog.” [WJLA]
Feds, Va. Sue Over US Airways-American Merger — Virginia has joined a federal lawsuit to block the merger of US Airways and American Airlines. The merger would create the world’s largest airline, and would have implications for those flying out of Reagan National Airport. Together, US Airways and American hold 69 percent of terminal slots at DCA. [Washington Business Journal]
Photo courtesy Anthony Russo
Pet-centric vendors and their canine consumers will descend upon Shirlington for the 6th annual Wags n’ Whiskers event next weekend.
From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 24, animal-lovers will get a chance to peruse the corridors of Shirlington with their dog or feline friends. This year promises to be the largest event yet, with more than 50 vendors supplying pet-friendly products, activities and adoption opportunities — 60 percent more vendors than last year.
“The annual event celebrates the community’s pets and brings awareness to great animal services and non-profits,” said Jill Powell, senior marketing manager for Federal Realty Investment Trust, the company hosting the event. “The idea that a pet could find a new home because of the event is a great bonus of Wags N’ Whiskers.”
This year, 3,000 to 5,000 people are expected to attend. Wags n’ Whiskers is a family-oriented event that will include kid-friendly activities like face painting and balloon art. Other events include $5 pet photos, live entertainment, demonstrations and giveaways.
A dog can’t judge your reading skills or correct your pronunciation of words.
That’s the concept behind Paws to Read, a popular program at Arlington public libraries that allows children to read outloud to a non-judgemental canine companion.
The program began in 2011 after Ashlawn Elementary School teacher Cynthia Power pitched it to library staff as a way to encourage kids to read. It has since expanded to six library locations and has earned Power (and her dog, Humphrey) an Outstanding Volunteer Award.
The county’s Arlington TV channel produced the video, above, about the Paws to Read program.
County’s Debt Upgraded to ‘Stable’ — Moody’s Investors Service has upgraded the outlook on Arlington County’s debt from “negative” to “stable.” The county’s otherwise triple-A bond rating was downgraded in 2011 due to Arlington’s “lose economic, financial and capital markets linkages to the federal government.” The upgrade reflects the federal government’s improved debt outlook. [Arlington County]
Vandalism at Powhatan Springs Park — The skate park at Powhatan Springs Park was closed Friday and Saturday due to graffiti. The graffiti was “nothing serious,” said Department of Parks and Recreation spokeswoman Susan Kalish, but the park was closed while county crews removed it.
Dangerous Heat Prompts AWLA Rescues — The Animal Welfare League of Arlington has shared photos of four dogs it rescued in the recent heatwave. Among them are dogs left in hot cars, tied up in a parking lot and in cages in a backyard without adequate water. [Washington Post]
Flickr pool photo by Ddimick
Last week, the website Deadspin took a break from sports coverage to post an email from the president of an Arlington homeowner’s association
Apparently the HOA president of the Westwind townhouse community near Ballston has had it up to here with dog owners not cleaning up after their pooches. After encountering a wayward turd on the sidewalk, the president, whose name was redacted, sent a letter to residents threatening action.
Specifically, the HOA president proposes installing surveillance cameras and, if that doesn’t lead to the guilty party, using DNA testing to match poops with pups.
… I will be proposing in the next Board meeting (July 31), a new rule that would require all dog owners to register their dogs’ DNA so that poops can be positively identified. This practice has now been adopted across the country by many homeowners’ associations who are tired of sending warnings to their residents with no effect.
In addition, the safety surveillance cameras I and other Westwind residents are planning to install on their front and back doors will help identify the offending dog owners.
Photo via Google Maps
Our latest Arlington Pet of the Week is Truman, who has moved on up from his rescue roots to become the semi-official mascot of a congressional office.
Here’s what Kurt, who works in the office, said on behalf of owners Jeff and Veronica.
Meet Truman, a cocker spaniel South Carolina native who was adopted… on September 10, 2011 at the age of two from the Lucky Dog Animal Rescue here in Arlington.
Truman has developed quite the following on Capitol Hill where he serves as the Chief of Morale in a congressional office. He loves to edit memos and by editing we mean he tears them up. Truman is a master networker and enjoys bipartisan support from numerous offices who drop-by to visit him. His motto is “if you have a treat, you have a friend.”
Truman has become the king of his castle and every squirrel and rabbit in Arlington County knows his name. He is a true watch-dog spending most afternoons napping or sun-bathing. But don’t let the adorable face fool you, Truman has another side as numerous stuffed animals (such as his best friend Camel) and newly placed plants have found out.
The Arlington Pet of the Week is sponsored by Dogma Bakery, which has locations at The Village at Shirlington (2772 S. Arlington Mill Drive) and the Lee Harrison Shopping Center (2445 N. Harrison Street).
Want your pet to be considered to be the Arlington Pet of the Week? Email email@example.com with a 2-3 paragraph bio and 3-4 photos of your pet. Each week’s winner receives a $25 Dogma gift card.
The Fourth of July — traditionally filled with fireworks exploding and open flames for barbecues — can be dangerous for pets, the Animal Welfare League of Arlington warns. All sorts of hazards can cause dogs and other critters harm or cause them to run away.
“Dogs have acute hearing — far more sensitive than human hearing — so firework explosions, excited voices, visual stimulation and smells can panic dogs causing them to be fearful, which can activate their fight or flight response,” Alice Burton, Chief Animal Control Officer for the AWLA, said in a press release. “For their own safety this holiday, indoor-outdoor cats should be kept indoors and when outside, dogs should be kept on a leash.”
The AWLA offers some tips to make sure the household pets have a safe holiday.
- Leave them at home inside. Fireworks, crowds and fanfare can be stressful for pets, causing them to panic or run off. Leave them in a safe area with a television or radio playing to mask frightening sounds.
- Alcoholic drinks poison pets. If ingested, the animal could become dangerously intoxicated, go into a coma or in severe cases, die from respiratory failure.
- Do not apply sunscreen or insect repellent that is not specifically indicated for animals. Ingestion can cause drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst and lethargy. Deet, a common insecticide, may cause neurological issues.
- Keep lighter fluid and matches away from pets. Chlorates, a chemical substance found in some matches, if ingested, can cause difficulty breathing, damage blood cells or even cause kidney disease. Lighter fluid can cause skin irritation, respiratory and gastric problems.
- Citronella and insect coils harm pets. Insect repellants are irritating toxins to pets. Inhalation can cause severe respiratory illness such as pneumonia, which can harm a pet’s nervous system.
- Resist feeding table food. A change in diet can give a pet severe indigestion and diarrhea. Foods such as onions, chocolate, coffee, avocado, grapes, raisins, salt and yeast dough can all be potentially toxic to companion animals.
- Keep pets away from glow jewelry. While the luminescent substance contained in these products is not highly toxic, excessive drooling, gastrointestinal irritation and intestinal blockage could occur from swallowing the pieces of plastic.
- Never use fireworks around pets. While exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns and/or trauma to the face and paws of curious pets, even unused fireworks can pose a danger. Many types contain potentially toxic substances, including potassium nitrate, arsenic and other heavy metals.
Flickr pool photo by ameschen