After eight years of running his own business, Will Reintzell believed he was ready to take a new path. So the Arlington resident did what many of us would like to do: He chucked it all, shut it down and went to Spain for a well-deserved vacation.
When he got back he interviewed for a new position in a new industry — sales — and before long, given his background and genial nature, he landed an impressive job that, after thinking it over, he eventually declined.
“At the end of the day, I just wasn’t going to be happy,” he says, and for many Arlingtonians, his dissatisfaction is cause to rejoice.
WiKi Walks is back in business.
Will is the founder of WiKi Walks, a full-service dog walking/pet sitting service that he revived in early November. “I love dogs and I love owning my own company,” he says, explaining the return.
Not only is Will happier, so are some of his regular clients who were relieved to hear Will had picked up the leash again. Many signed up again as soon as they got the news.
“There are some dogs I’ve been walking for eight years, seven years, five years,” he says. “There is very little turnover. My clients are like family.”
Will Reintzell takes pride in keeping his schedule running like clockwork, knowing that not only do the clients count on him to save their canines from indoor accidents, but that the dogs themselves badly need the exercise dog walking affords. For many, it’s the only on-their-feet outdoor activity they get during working hours.
“Most of my clients are professionals and they leave home at 7 or 8 in the morning and get home nine or ten hours later,” he says. “It’s understandable, but it’s not healthy for a dog to have to ‘hold it’ for nine hours. And puppies need to go out more often, and older dogs need to go out more often. For the ones in the middle, walking is an activity and exercise that keeps them from getting overweight.”
Once a day — or more, according to the contract executed after an initial consultation — Will ventures out in all manner of weather for a 20-minute sojourn with his client’s best friend. The daily route is sometimes varied to keep it interesting for both parties — the walker and the walkee — and if something is amiss or the dog doesn’t seem his or her usual self, Will emails the owner right away.
I asked Will how the name “WiKi Walks” came about “It’s a portmanteau,” he explains. The “Wi” is from Will and the “Ki” is from his fiancée Kim’s name.
One last question: Does the dog walker own his own dog?
“I do, finally,” he says. He and Kim inherited her late father’s pointer, Ziva, named for the character on CBS’s “NCIS.” That’s Ziva in the logo with Will.
And yes, he walks Ziva. Of course he walks Ziva.
“I love dogs and I love spending time with dogs,” he says. “And at the end of the day I love my job.”
The preceding was a sponsored local business profile written by Buzz McClain for ARLnow.com.
(Updated at 3:50 p.m.) Arlington County officials have reportedly shut down a popular fenced-in “dog run” outside of a Rosslyn apartment community.
In a memo to residents of the Rosslyn Heights and Rosslyn Vue apartments on N. Quinn Street, building managers say that they’ve been ordered to remove the fence around the dog play area.
The decision, managers say in the memo, came from new Arlington Acting Zoning Administrator Arlova Vonhm, who decreed that a permit for building the fence around the nearly two-year-old dog run should never have been approved by the county.
Jace Bauer, a local resident, said that the dog run is “convenient and much enjoyed.” Via email, Bauer said the loss of the area is a blow for residents and for dogs.
“I recently moved to Arlington and have found this small, fenced in area to be a great spot in our community,” Bauer said. “I have met so many wonderful people in my first few months here while taking my one year old border collie mix out for a game of fetch. The nearest dog park (Clarendon) is a 30 minute walk, which is not practical for a quick morning or evening outing.”
The memo from building management, which suggests legal action may follow, is below.
Dear Residents of Rosslyn Heights and Rosslyn Vue,
A few months ago Arlington County received a complaint from our neighbors regarding the dog walk area by the leasing office. We have been attempting to work with Arlington County Zoning officials to comply with their requirements and appease our neighbors. Although this area has existed for almost two years, the Zoning Administrator, Ms. Arlova Vonhm, has decreed that the approved permit should not have been approved. Her decision is that the fence violates Arlington County Zoning ordinance and must be removed or we will be subject to fines and legal action for noncompliance. Ms. Vonhm has also been presented with multiple plans to relocate the dog walk to other areas of our property, all of which have been denied.
As such, tomorrow, November 20th, we will be removing the fence to comply with their order. Rosslyn Heights and Rosslyn Vue have always been pet loving communities and it gives us great displeasure to have to do this. Please take some comfort that we do not consider this matter closed. We will be obtaining legal counsel to bring this issue to the attention of the Arlington County Board (http://countyboard.arlingtonva.us/county-board-members) and County Manager, Mark Schwartz.
The next scheduled Arlington County Board Meeting is scheduled for Saturday, January 24th at 8:30am at 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Room 307.
Thank you for choosing Rosslyn Heights and Rosslyn Vue as your home and for your patience and understanding as we work through this situation.
Rosslyn Heights Team
In an email Vonhm, the Acting Zoning Administrator, confirmed to ARLnow.com that today was the deadline for the apartment’s property manager to remove the fence, after it was determined that the county had mistakenly issued a permit for its construction contrary to the property’s approved site plan.
The site plan calls for only landscaping in the area where the dog run now is, Vonhm determined, after receiving complaints from neighbors. She noted that the property manager has the option of applying for a site plan amendment.
“The County’s position is that the fence changes the nature of how the space is used, and creates the problem of dogs running loose and creating excessive noise,” said Vonhm. “The option of applying for a site plan amendment is still open to the property manager, even after the fence is removed. The County has worked in good faith with the property manager to come up with a viable solution that addresses the neighbors’ concerns about noise from the dogs.”
Photo courtesy Jace Bauer
Dogs and their owners will make their way around the Market Common Clarendon loop, while stopping at local businesses to trick-or-treat. Each year, owners compete to have the best costume for their furry friends.
Kelly Spafford, a spokeswoman for Doorways, recommends owners use “originality, creativity and humorous/clever costumes” to win the costume contest.
“Consider combining your dog’s costume with your own (dressing up isn’t mandatory, but there will be prizes!),” Spafford said in an email. “Remember to make sure your dog feels safe and comfortable in their costume.”
In addition to trick-or-treating and the costume contest, dogs will have the ability to show off their skills on an agility course.
Howl-O-Ween is dog and human friendly, Spafford said.
“It’s a way to get your kids involved in charity work, [as] volunteering is typically unavailable to them for confidentiality, insurance or other reasons at most human service nonprofits, so this is a way to get them connected to the importance of helping others early, so bring the whole family,” she said.
Howl-O-Ween is a charity event, and costs $30 for adults and $20 for children. All proceeds go to helping women and dogs that are victims of abuse.
Immediately after Howl-O-Ween, the Market Common Clarendon will host its annual family-oriented Falloween event from noon to 4 p.m.
The free event will also have a petting zoo, face painting and pumpkin decorating. Kids will have the opportunity to go trick-or-treating at local businesses from 1-3:30 p.m.
Varius, a 13-year-old black lab, is retiring from the Arlington County Sheriff’s Office tomorrow after 11 years of service as a narcotics-sniffing K-9 officer.
The dog “will remain in the care of Deputy Patrick Grubar, who has been his partner since teaming up at the U.S. Customs Service K-9 Training Academy in 2004,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a press release. “The duo shared in the Arlington County Crime Solvers 2013 Law Enforcement Officer of the Year award.”
Varius, who’s a senior citizen in dog years, “plans to spend his days watching Animal Planet with his pug ‘little sister’ and keeping up with fans on his Facebook account.”
Romo the dog, a long time beloved fixture of the Adams Morgan neighborhood in D.C., is settling into his new life in Arlington.
The 150 pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix became well known in D.C. for his habit of sleeping near an open window in owner Tiffany Scourby’s condo. Passersby took to the droopy dog, and a Facebook page and Twitter account dedicated to Romo soon sprang up.
Romo, along with Tiffany and her husband Peter Scourby, moved to the Forest Hills townhouse community in the Arlington Ridge neighborhood earlier this summer. So far, Peter says Romo has taken to his new life outside of the city.
“He’s enjoying the space more,” said Scourby. “We went from 1,000 square foot condo to 3,000 square feet.”
Although Scourby says there aren’t any windows in the new home with quite the foot traffic of Romo’s Adams Morgan haunt, the pooch has been given a bed by a window and has scoped out prime napping spots around his new home.
The couple says that like their dog, they are enjoying the newfound space Arlington affords.
“I’m a Virginia boy,” said Scourby. “I like the ‘burbs, and I wanted space. There’s a country club down the street, and I can see the Washington Monument from my house.”
Romo’s Facebook page has more than 3,000 likes and counting, and since moving the couple has discovered that some of their new neighbors are long-time Romo fans.
“When we first got here, a neighbor we hadn’t met yet said, ‘Oh my God, that looks like that Romo dog!,'” said Scourby. “When we told her it was him, she just screamed. Apparently she was one of his followers on Facebook.”
The move to Arlington won’t be the only change for Romo this summer. Peter says Tiffany is eight months pregnant and is due this September.
“[Romo’s] gonna have a little brother soon,” he said.
Photos via Facebook
The officer, whose first name is DeDe, set up a GoFundMe campaign with a goal of $800 to cover the medical expenses of veterinary knee surgery. (Ed. note: officer’s last name has removed due to safety concerns.)
Smyth, a 6-year-old Chihuahua, injured his knee while jumping off of a bed to get a toy stuffed monkey, DeDe said. The injury is common for small dogs.
Smyth can still walk, but the veterinarian recommend limiting his movement to stop him from hurting his knee more.
“Despite his injury, he continues to be a loving little dog that keeps trying to play with his brother and neighboring dogs,” says the fundraising page. “Smyth is in need of a surgery that I am unable to fund at this time to repair his patella luxation. I don’t want my little guy to suffer, while I’m trying to save up the money. Any donation help my little guy get back to his fun playful little loving self.”
The surgery, anesthesia and pre- and post-operation care total $800, she said. During the procedure, Smyth will also have to get a heart echo to determine if he has a heart murmur.
“My concern is his treatment being prolonged by trying to raise the funds,” DeDe said. She said she’s usually a private person but is going public with this in order to speed up the treatment.
A couple years ago, her other dog, a Chihuahua named Wessin, had to have a similar surgery on both knees. DeDe said has a special connection with Smyth, who can pick up her moods and try to make her feel better.
“I’d never admit this to the other one [Wessin], but he’s my favorite,” DeDe said.
Two Arlington dog daycares are also helping DeDe raise money. Wag More Dogs (2606 S. Oxford Street) and WOOFS! Dog Training Center (4160 S. Four Mile Run Drive) will hang flyers about Smyth and his surgery, DeDe said.
DeDe did not want the police agency she works for named because she’s raising funds as a private individual and not as a representative of the department.
Mayra Perez said she got the news that her 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier, Charlotte, had been killed while she was in Chicago making preparations for her wedding next month. She took the next flight home.
“Instead of picking out her flower girl dress I’m picking out an urn for her,” Perez said in a phone interview, her voice trembling. “This is the worst possible thing that could happen… we are beyond heartbroken.”
The incident happened around 5:00 p.m. on Friday, on the 1200 block of N. Herndon Street in Clarendon.
According to police, a dog walker who has numerous clients in The Clarendon Apartments had parked illegally in front of the building. Building management called Advanced Towing to tow the car, not realizing that it belonged to a popular dog walker who often parked there while walking dogs in the building.
“As the tow truck was towing the vehicle away, the dog walker approached the driver while walking three dogs,” according to Arlington County Police spokesman Lt. Kip Malcolm. “A conversation or argument occurs and the dog walker asks the driver to pull around so that he can discuss it with management. As the tow truck driver is pulling away, one of the dogs was struck by the back, driver’s side tire and subsequently died.”
John O’Neill, owner of Advanced Towing, said the dog walker was walking away when the tow truck began to move. Unknown to the driver, the dog was on an extended leash and ran under the wheel as the driver began to move, O’Neill said.
“The tow driver is a dog owner and was devastated when he realized the dog had been struck,” O’Neill said. The driver was distraught and was given the rest of the day off, he said.
Perez, however, said that she heard a different version of events from the dog walker and a witness. She blames Advanced Towing for her dog’s death.
“Our girl was not on an extended leash,” she said. “I have the leash and my girls DO NOT use extended leashes.”
“You see this tow company in our neighborhood constantly flying down the street,” she said of Advanced. “It’s lie after lie. I just don’t find it fair. We lost our family member.”
Police investigated the incident but no one was charged. Perez said she and her fiancee, Aakash Desia, are planning on speaking to an attorney.
“It’s been tough… it’s a life changing event,” said Desia. “This is the worst kind of negligence.”
Desia questioned why tow trucks don’t have camera on the sides in order to avoid accidents like this. Perez, meanwhile, is mourning Charlotte and lamenting that she didn’t bring her to Chicago with her, as she usually does. Matilda, Charlotte’s younger Yorkie sister, is also mourning her death.
“Charlotte was loved and spoiled beyond measure,” Perez said. “She will be greatly missed by the both of us and her sister.”
Three people and two dogs escaped from a two-alarm house fire on the 700 block of N. Edgewood Street, near Clarendon, this evening.
The fire broke out around 7:00 p.m. in the rear of a three-story house. Residents told ARLnow.com that they rent the house and were playing video games when all of a sudden they noticed a fire in their backyard, which borders the 2700 block of Washington Blvd.
The three people inside the house grabbed the two dogs that were inside and fled for safety, they said. No injuries were reported.
Despite heavy flames and smoke, firefighters were able to largely contain the fire to the house’s back porch and first floor. Washington Blvd was closed in both directions while fire companies from Arlington and Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall battled the blaze.
The county fire marshal is investigating the cause. Residents said they didn’t hear any loud noises before seeing the fire. ARLnow.com spotted a melted electrical meter near the charred rear porch, but a fire department spokesman declined to speculate on a cause.
Arlington Resident Advances at Wimbledon — Denis Kudla, an Arlington resident, has advanced to the fourth round at Wimbledon. Kudla, 22, is the last American man standing at the tennis tournament. He will face the Croatian Marin Cilic at 10:30 (ET) this morning. [Sporting News, ESPN]
Dog Gone From Penrose — A Penrose resident is working to find her dog, a redbone coonhound, after it got loose and ran away during a party on the Fourth of July. [Facebook]
Fake Valet Takes Man’s Car — A man posing as a valet drove off with the car of a disabled man who was heading to lunch meeting in Crystal City last week. The phony valet even took a $5 tip from the victim. [NBC Washington]
County Bolsters At-Risk Support System — After winning a competitive award from the Center for Juvenile Justice Reform at Georgetown, Arlington County is embarking on a six-month project that seeks to strengthen collaboration among County agencies that serve at-risk youth and families. [Arlington County]
Flickr pool photo by Rob Cannon
Three dogs that had been set for slaughter at a meat farm in South Korea are now alive and well in Arlington, thanks to the Humane Society and the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.
The dogs first came to Arlington in January, part of a group of 23 that had been rescued by the Humane Society International and sent to D.C. area shelters. Now, two have been adopted and the other is still with AWLA, hoping to find a loving home soon.
AWLA provided an update on how the three are doing in their new environments.
Abi, a one-year-old female Corgi/Cattle Dog mix, was recently adopted by first time-dog owners Jackie and DJ Woodell. AWLA spokeswoman Kerry McKeel described Abi as “a beguiling blend of shy and wiley.”
Abi has also proven to be quite the escape artist; while at AWLA, McKeel said Abi would amuse herself by escaping through a weak spot in the fence of her enclosure and wandering the corridors. Abi’s new owners report that in her new home, she’s learned to unlatch her own crate and let herself out to explore.
All in all, “she’s pleasantly surprised everyone with her smooth transition to Easy Street,” said the Woodells.
Billy, a one-year-old Lhasa Apso/Poodle mix, was chipper and cuddly after coming to the shelter and was adopted within days.
Described as “a gregarious curly haired lapdog mix with a pronounced underbite and pleading eyes,” Billy was “well adjusted and ‘normal’ that he had us at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington convinced he was someone’s pet who’d been snatched off the street.”
Hope, a female Korean Jindo mix, is waiting to be adopted and currently living with a foster-guardian from K-9 Divine. McKeel said that Hope came to AWLA skittish and hyper vigilant, but seems to have found solace in companionship with the other dogs.
Hope spends her days at an off-leash daycare facility where she plays with the other dogs and goes home with Rachel Jones, her foster-guardian, at night. Jones reports that Hope has made great progress since living with her, and thinks she would make a wonderful pet for anyone willing to take the time to let her warm up to them.
Hope is available for adoption at AWLA’s website.
Photos courtesy Shelley Castle Photography
Memorial Service for Library Employee — A memorial service will be held next week for Lynn Kristianson, an Arlington Public Library employee who died of advanced stage four rectal cancer on June 4, less than a year after her leg was amputated following a bike crash. Kristianson’s was seriously injured in 2014 by a hit-and-run SUV driver who struck her as she was riding her bike in Anne Arundel County, Md. [WJLA]
Famous Dog Moving to S. Arlington — Romo, a 150-pound bull mastiff/pit bull mix who’s known as the “unofficial mascot of Adams Morgan,” will be moving to Arlington with his owners on Friday. Romo will trade his first floor window on Calvert Street NW for the view from a home near Army Navy Country Club. [NBC Washington]
GW Parkway Blocked — The northbound lanes of the GW Parkway were closed and diverted onto Spout Run Parkway during this morning’s rush hour due to the continued cleanup from a bus engine explosion that caused an oil spill and some crashes last night. [WUSA 9]
GOP Endorses McMenamin — The Arlington County Republican Committee has voted to endorse independent County Board candidate Mike McMenamin. A telecom consultant and president of the Arlington County Civic Federation, McMenamin previously ran for County Board as a Republican in 2006. [Twitter]
Metrobus Changes in Arlington — Starting Sunday, changes are coming to a number of Metrobus routes in Arlington, including the 25B, 22A, 22B, 22C, 22F, 15K, 15L, 7A, 7F and 7Y. [Washington Post]
Tour of Politico’s New Rosslyn Newsroom — Politico has posted a video tour of its brand new newsroom in Rosslyn, which includes a fancy hardwood floor cafe area. [Politico]
Flickr pool photo by Alan Kotok
The events, which are free to attend, feature live music and, for paying customers, sips of various wine varietals.
“Expert noses from [Washington Wine Academy] help guests select and enjoy the perfect wine for an after work beverage to kick-off the weekend right amidst the calming sounds of falling water mixed with live music,” according to the Crystal City website.
This year, the event is being combined with ArtJamz, which offers aspiring artists paint and canvas so they can create their own paintings in a social setting.
Wine in the Waterpark and ArtJamz will run from 6:00-10:00 p.m. tonight and will take place every Friday in June at the Crystal City water park (1750 Crystal Drive).
On Wednesdays in June, from 5:00-8:00 p.m., Crystal City will hold Blues, Brews and Barks, featuring beer and live music in a dog-friendly setting. The event will take place at the 2121 Crystal Drive courtyard.
Attendees are encouraged to pick up food from local eateries before going to the park. Beverages will be available in the beer garden. Attendees can get two drink tickets for $5 if bought in advance.
Disclosure: Crystal City BID is an ARLnow.com advertiser
This Saturday marks the 20th anniversary of the Animal Welfare League of Arlington’s Walk for the Animals, and, in honor of the occasion, the nonprofit is adding a “Pet Fest” to the event.
The annual dog walk takes place in Bluemont Park (329 N. Manchester Street), with check-in at 9:30 a.m. and the 5K walk beginning at 10:30 a.m. There is also a one-mile “stroll” through park. After the walks conclude — you can register for them here for $30 or at the event for $40 — the Pet Fest will begin.
Owners are discouraged from bringing cats to the event.
The festival will last until 12:30 p.m. and include a “retail row,” with vendor booths from Dogma Bakery, KissAble Canine, Lazy Dog Art Studio and other pet-related local businesses. There will also be demonstration’s from Shirlington’s WOOFS! Dog Training and food from the CapMac DC truck.
With games like “bobbing for biscuits,” music from a local DJ and a “kids corner” where children can make pet-related crafts, there is no shortage of things to do when the walk is over.
“The Walk not only supports the thousands of animals the League cares for each year, but it is also a way for people to be a part of the solution for improving the lives of animals in our community,” AWLA CEO Neil Trent said in a press release. “We encourage people to walk with or without a dog, in memory of a beloved pet or in honor of their cat or other companion animal.”
In Arlington County, residents who own dogs must pay a for a license.
The license costs $10 per year or $25 for every three years. Despite the abundance of dogs in Arlington, the tax only brought in $59,664 from about 7,000 licensed dogs during a recent fiscal year, according to the Sun Gazette.
That has prompted enquiries from County Board member John Vihstadt.
It also led the president of the Arlington County Taxpayers Association, who fervently advocates for lower taxes, to suggest that the fee might be raised to help pay for the county’s dog parks.
What do you think should be done with the county’s dog license fee?
The event is being held at the shopping center from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on March 28. It will be followed by a “Yappy Hour” at Zaika restaurant from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m.
The pet adoption day is scheduled to be the only D.C. area stop this year for the North Shore Animal League “Tour of Life” bus. New York-based North Shore bills itself as the world’s largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. Beyond that, it’s perhaps best known nationally as the animal shelter publicly supported by Beth Stern and her husband, Sirius XM host and America’s Got Talent judge Howard Stern.
North Shore Animal League is partnering with Arlington-based Homeward Trails Animal Rescue for the event.
“The Tour of Life bus… will park on the Community Loop and house approximately 50 animals ready for adoption,” according to a Market Common spokeswoman. “The Loop will be transformed into an interactive dog park, where Arlington residents will have the opportunity to bring their pets to mingle with other animals, as well as have the opportunity to adopt from and donate to Homeward Trails.”
Ten percent of the proceeds from the Yappy Hour will be donated to Homeward Trails.