Archive for the ‘Guest Blogger’ Category

Dogs, Kids, and Books, Oh my!

Wednesday, January 1st, 2014

Friends at the library howliday party

Helen and Sparky greet a reader

The Columbia Pike Branch of the Arlington Public Library writes today’s guest post about their very special dog-and-kids reading program. – ND

Library staff and patrons hosted a holiday party to recognize some fantastic people who help beginning readers by sharing their therapy dogs with them. Children in grades Kindergarten through 5th read with therapy dogs every 1st and 3rd Tuesday of the month at the Columbia Pike Branch Library courtesy of PALs (People Animals Love). These amazingly dedicated volunteers also visit several other libraries in the region.

Cynthia Power, an Arlington Public Schools educator, brought us her wonderful team of volunteers two years ago and has been steadfast in scheduling Paws-to-Read teams ever since. We applaud the organization PALs for the work they do in our communities!

In attendance at the holiday event, which included a “Sit! Stay!” competition and a dog biscuit Secret Santa exchange, were Maria & Petra, Maggie & Brodie, Stephanie & Starr, Liz & Lucy, Stefanie & Holly, Cynthia & Humphrey, Helen & Sparky, Amy & Lou Lou, Rebecca & Ovi, Tracy & Tavish, Tom & Watson, and Carolyn & Willow.

Thank you to the library, library staff, and all the dog and person volunteers at PALs for making spirits bright all year ’round!

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6,000 Reasons to be Thankful!

Tuesday, November 26th, 2013

Six Thousand. It’s a big number.

And it’s the number of animals that Lucky Dog has saved since its founding in May 2009.

Six thousand dogs and cats have been rescued from certain euthanasia in overcrowded shelters and brought to DC to find their forever homes. Number 6,000 arrived on November 1 and was adopted the very next day, from shelter pen to forever family and a bed of his own in less than 48 hours.

Lucky Dogs are not just given away. They are not handed over to the first interested adopter. They are deliberately placed in carefully screened, loving forever homes.

Think about how many people touch each animal before a forever home is found. Each dog or cat is identified by a Lucky Dog partner and pulled out of the shelter. They are driven to DC by one or two drivers. They are placed into a foster home or stay with a boarding partner. They may need a volunteer to bring them to — or handle them at — an adoption event. An adoption coordinator screens applications from interested adopters. Another volunteer conducts a home visit.

By our count, that’s eight volunteers. Eight volunteers pitching in to get one dog or cat into a forever home. And that doesn’t even count the volunteers organizing the transports and adoption events, the administrative volunteers keeping track of all the records for the animals, or the volunteers creating flyers, proofreading online posts, and posting the dogs and cats on our facebook page.

6,000 animals. 48,000 volunteer touch points.

At this time of giving thanks, Lucky Dog would like to express our most sincere gratitude to all of our volunteers, fosters, and supporters for making it possible to save over 6,000 dogs and cats. For giving their time and attention, their love and warmth, and their hearts to homeless animals in need. For rallying to cover surgery costs. For welcoming fosters into their home and their hearts, then lovingly sending them to their forever families. For picking Lucky dogs up on weekends and taking them to adoption events so they can have a chance to meet their forever family. Thank you for all you do, for all you give, and for making all of this possible.

If you’d like to be a part of a Lucky dog’s journey, and make a difference in the lives of homeless dogs and cats and the people who love them, email to volunteer. Lucky Dog is actively looking for new fosters as winter sets in and the shelters get colder. The more available foster homes we have, the more lives we can save. To learn about other volunteer opportunities, visit

This is a Take Me Home Tuesday post from Lucky Dog Animal Rescue. Lucky Dog is a non-profit organization dedicated to rescuing homeless and abandoned animals, primarily dogs from high-kill shelters and owners who can no longer care for them. Our committed volunteers, foster homes, and trainers provide homeless pets with loving temporary care, and find them well-matched, carefully screened forever homes.

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Let’s Get Our Back Yards in Order! Stop Inhumane Selling of Cats and Dogs here in NoVa!

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

Today’s blog is courtesy of Homeward Trails Animal Rescue – ND

Right now in our very own backyard, we have an opportunity to get rid of disreputable pet stores that are defrauding consumers and making dollars off of the inhumane treatment of dogs and cats.

Both Fairfax and Arlington counties are currently looking at implementing stricter permitting requirements for businesses wishing to sell dogs and cats. And while we’d personally like to see no businesses doing such, sometimes a war must be won in small steps.

The goal of stricter permitting requirements on pet sellers is three-fold: a.) to prevent businesses from selling dogs and cats that originate from inhumane puppy mills and disreputable breeders; b.) to protect consumers purchasing such animals against misleading and fraudulent sales practices that purposely withhold breeding and health information and prevent the consumer from returning the animal and/or receiving any kind of refund; and c.) to prevent a greater burden on our local shelters, which will most likely see an increase in animal intake as a result of such pet stores opening.

PLEASE reach out to the Arlington County Board and to the Fairfax Mayor’s Office and ask them to implement these simple yet effective steps to addressing this issue.

  1. 1. For each companion animal in the permit holder’s possession, custody or care, the permit holder shall keep accurate records for two years from the date of disposition of each companion animal, and such records shall include:  (a) a description of the companion animal, including species, color, breed, sex, approximate weight and age, (b) license number, microchip information, and any other identifying tags, tattoos or markings, and (3) the source of the animal and date of acquisition; (4) any and all other records required by this chapter; and (5) the disposition of the animal.
  2. 2. For each companion animal in the permit holder’s possession, custody or care, the permit holder must provide and display in public at all times information regarding the source of each companion animal, including the breeder’s, kennel’s or other source’s name, full address, web address and phone number.
  3. 3. The permit holder must ensure that all animals are kept current on vaccines, and standard vetting protocols and records of such must be kept and made available to the public at all times.
  4. 4. The permit holder must keep a weekly written inventory of all companion animals in the permit holder’s possession, custody or care. 
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Charity Dog Wash Supports Veterans

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

The 4th of July celebrations are over, but are you still bursting with patriotic spirit? That means it’s time to start gearing up for “National Wash Your Dog Day” on July 21, 2013! Put your dirty dog to good use and help change the lives of veterans by bringing your dog to Dogtopia’s 9th Annual Charity Dog Wash. There are 29 locations across the country, and seven of them are right here in the Northern Virginia area.

Proceeds benefit not-for-profit organizations that provide service dogs to veterans with physical and mental challenges. Recent reports are estimating that nearly 30% of Iraq and Afghanistan War veterans being treated at VA hospitals and clinics are diagnosed with PTSD. The charities that train therapy and service dogs are asking for your help to raise public awareness and funds. Organizations such as Veterans Moving Forward and America’s VetDogs need funds to train and place comfort dogs, therapy dogs, and assistance service dogs. These dogs are life-changing for veterans, improving their quality of life and helping them heal and move on.

Participating in National Wash Your Dog day at a Dogtopia Charity Dog Wash is a simple way to make a very real impact on the life of a returning veteran. When you bring your dog for a summertime bath, the $15 suggested donation goes directly to the cause. Although it’s a nationwide fundraiser, each event will have the fun and flavor of each local Dogtopia team. Family-friendly events will feature food, photo booths, games, raffles, silent auctions, and local vendors. Stop by, sign in, and stay awhile…and it’s all for our veterans!

Visit to find your nearest Dogtopia location or to donate online if you can’t make it out on July 21st. Like Dogtopia on Facebook and follow them on Twitter to keep up with all the latest developments, and spread the word with the #charitydogwash hashtag. The goal is to raise $30,000 and every dollar counts – so you and your dirty dog should go there on July 21!

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Too Hot to Fly: Summer Airline Pet Embargoes

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

Today’s blog is courtesy of

If you’re traveling with your pet this summer and plan to fly to your destination, make sure you familiarize yourself with the airline’s pet embargo policy before you book your flight. During the summer, many airlines don’t allow pets aboard flights–as checked baggage or as cargo–when temperatures are high. Airline pet embargoes are in the best interest of your pet and play a vital role in ensuring his safety.

Not only is air travel stressful for your pet, but it can also pose serious health risks. Being confined in his carrier for long periods of time during the hottest months of the year is potentially dangerous for your pet and may lead to dehydration and heatstroke. In addition, certain breeds, such as brachycephalic (snub-nosed) dogs and cats, are susceptible to pulmonary distress when temperatures are extreme.

According to the International Pet and Animal Transportation Association (IPATA), embargoes protect pets from exposure to extreme heat while they’re in the holding areas and terminal facilities, while moving them between terminals and aircraft, or while they’re on an aircraft awaiting departure.

“Heat embargoes are critical during the summer months,” says Sally Smith, past president of IPATA. “They protect our pets and keep them safe and comfortable while traveling.”

Since airlines impose embargoes to ensure your pet’s safety, there are no exceptions. However, if an embargo is in effect on the day of your flight, the airline will work with you to re-route your flight, if possible, or schedule your flight for another day.
Although each airline establishes its own policies for pet embargoes, the following are a few commercial airlines and some of their regulations.

  • Alaska Airlines – Although Alaska Airlines doesn’t have any embargoes scheduled this summer, if temperatures are too high for pets to travel safely, they may place an embargo. However, your pet may travel with you in the cabin if he fits in an approved carrier that can be placed under your seat.
  • American Airlines – To ensure your pet isn’t exposed to extreme heat, American Airlines imposes an embargo any time the current or forecasted temperature is above 85 degrees Fahrenheit at any location on the itinerary. However, if your pet fits in an approved carrier that can be placed under your seat, he can travel with you in the cabin.
  • Delta Air Lines – To ensure the safety of your pet, Delta places an embargo on pets as checked baggage from May 15 through September 15. If at any point-origin, transit, destination-the temperature is forecast to be above 85 degrees Fahrenheit-or 75 degrees Fahrenheit for brachycephalic pets-your pet can’t travel. However, your pet may be able to fly as cargo via the Summer Live Animal Program. (Restrictions apply, particularly for brachycephalic pets.) Launched in 2011, the program, which is in effect from May 15 through October 15, lifts temperature restrictions and provides safe transportation of your pet in select cities. Delta Cargo uses climate-controlled vans to pick up and deliver your pet to or from the plane, holding areas, and cargo facilities. Your pet is also loaded or unloaded according to specific time frames. In addition, your pet may travel with you in the cabin if he fits in an approved carrier that can be placed under your seat.
  • Southwest Airlines – Since Southwest Airlines doesn’t allow pets to travel as checked baggage or in the cargo hold, they don’t impose pet embargoes. Your small cat or dog can travel with you in the cabin in an approved carrier that is small enough to fit under your seat.

Since airline policies can change, be sure to check with your carrier before your next flight. Your pet’s safety is your top priority. Choosing an airline that fits your needs can help ensure the flight is a positive experience for both you and your pet.

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Photo Blog from a Happy Dog

Friday, May 24th, 2013

A little dog stopped by share his photo diary about the fun he had last year at Springfield Days. Check out this year’s event June 1, 10am-4pm at South Run RECenter. – ND

Blessing of the PetsOh boy, oh boy – it’s Springfield Days PetFest! Let’s go early so we can be there for the blessing of the Pets with Reverend Campbell.







Pets on ParadeWhat’s next? Oh yes, it’s the annual “Paws on Parade.” This is just so much fun. I get to be around my buddies, and Freckles leads the way. Best of all there is a free goodie bag at the end of our walk!








Giant water bowlI’m a bit pooped, but still going strong as I need to visit all of the vendors that are at Springfield Days PetFest. They always give me goodies, and maybe they’ll even have a water bowl for me to quench my thirst. Ha, look at that! That is one GIANT water bowl!











Goodies from vendorsAh yes, just as I thought, free goodies! I LOVE treats and there are just so many great businesses at Springfield Days PetFest that care just about me (well, and my sister the cat, too).








Dog in agilityMom thinks I need to try my paws at agility, so that’s where we are headed next. Just check out this little guy. What a hoot! He’s having a blast!











Raffle for Rescues prizeI am so excited! Look what Mom at Dad won at the “Raffle for Rescues!” A HUGE basket of goodies! Is this my lucky day or what? It just can’t get any better!







Happy dogBut, all good things must come to an end. What a great day at Springfield Days PetFest!

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