Posted by: twodogtales | May 27, 2015

Dock dogs at Reston PetMAC grand opening May 30

PetMAC Grand Opening Flyer ColorThe PetMAC store in Arlington has moved to Lake Anne in Reston, and this weekend they celebrate their grand opening with tons of fun, dog- and family-friendly activities.

On Saturday May 30, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, there will be World Champion dogs from the Chesapeake Dock Diving Dog Club demonstrating their amazing leaps and jumps into the lake, as well as dog scent work demos by Kissable Canine, cooking demonstrations by Culinaria Cooking School, face painting, music, free giveaways and raffles.

There will also be representatives to talk to from Just Cats Clinic, The Hope Advanced Veterinary Center, Dogtopia, locally-made Golden Nugget Dog Treats, and dog and cat foods such as Fromm, Weruva, Answers, Stella & Chewy’s, K9Naturals, Zignature and Wild Calling.

Park in the Lake Anne Plaza parking lot and walk towards the lake, past Chesapeake Chocolates and the Lake Anne Brew House to get to the event.

For more information call 571-325-2099.

Posted by: twodogtales | May 15, 2015

Blessings and Barkfest downtown May 15-17

  A couple of dog-friendly things to do this weekend, for owners of all activity levels…

If you want an excuse to be a couch potato, NatIonal Geographic Wild is airing dog content all weekend, beginning Friday, May 15. The inaugural #Barkfest features Cesar Millan marathons, shows featuring service dogs, surfing dogs and more. 

On Sunday, May 17, the National City Christian Church on Thomas Circle in NW is conducting their annual dog blessing on the front steps. Keep fluffy out of trouble the coming year with a little help from the man upstairs, then head up 14th Street a couple blocks and have brunch on the dog-friendly patios at Logan Tavern or Commissary on P Street!

Posted by: twodogtales | April 23, 2015

Dog-friendly Rocky Run Stream Trail

A few weeks ago, after collecting donations for Golden Retriever Rescue, Education and Training at the Super Pet Expo in Chantilly, I took the girls to meet a friend for a hike at  Rocky Run Stream Valley Trail in Fairfax. If you’re looking for a simple, dog-friendly hiking trail that’s within a 20-minute drive of the Beltway, this is it.

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Just under 3 ½ miles long, the trail runs from the Fairfax County Parkway at Monument Drive to Ellanor C. Lawrence Park in Chantilly. There’s no climbing, scrambling or jumping needed to enjoy this trail, it’s finished with asphalt and stone dust surfaces with very little change in elevation.

The trail winds along, and occasionally crosses, Rocky Run Stream. You can let your dog wade in the stream, but on leash only—Fairfax County’s leash law is enforced. While the trail is out of sight of major roadways, it’s still located in fairly dense suburbs and a runaway pup could reach a road quickly.

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The parks provide a peaceful area to stop for a picnic, plus have the added benefit of restrooms (at Greenbrier and Lawrence).

One nice thing is that even though bikes are allowed on the trail, and horseback riding is permitted on the 623 acres of Lawrence Park, all we encountered on our warm early spring Sunday afternoon hike were a handful of walkers and runners. It’s really annoying to have to pull your dog close every few minutes to the call of, “On your left!” as a biker swooshes by.

There are four parking lots that provide access to the trail; two on either side of Walney Road at Lawrence Park, and at Greenbriar Park and one at Poplar Tree Park, both on Stringfellow Road.

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Posted by: twodogtales | March 25, 2015

Top five things to know for this weekend’s Super Pet Expo

It’s Super Pet Expo weekend time! This weekend, March 27-29, the Super Pet Expo comes back to the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, Va.

As always, there will be education, demonstrations and adoption opportunities along with shopping with more than 150 local and national pet product and service vendors.

The new event this year is an attempt to set a world record for the largest “Doggie Kiss.” Organized by the Super Pet Expo team and NOVADog magazine, this event involves owners kissing their dogs—all at the same time—in the parking lot.

Based on what I’ve seen and experienced going to the show for many years, here are the top five things you need to remember if you go:

  1. The parking lot doesn’t come close to accommodating a big crowd. Go early, or be prepared to hike.
  2. If crowds stress out your dog, don’t bring him.
  3. If your dog can get aggressive with other dogs, don’t bring him.
  4. If your kids don’t know proper strange dog etiquette, don’t bring them.
  5. The holidays are just  nine months away, it’s never to early to buy the perfect present!

And here’s a bonus piece of advice. Skip the expo center food and go to Willard’s BBQ in the strip mall next door. Best tender meaty ribs, cornbread, mac-and-cheese and other tasty comfort food delights I’ve ever had (well, except for Franklin Barbeque in Austin, Texas, which even President Obama visited recently).

Show hours are Friday 4:00-9:00 pm, Saturday 10:00 am to 7:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Single-day admission is $13 for adults, $8 for children ages four to 12, and free for kids three and under. An adult weekend pass is $20.00 and child  is $10.00. The Dulles Expo Center is at 4368 Chantilly Shopping Center, Chantilly, VA 20153.

Posted by: twodogtales | March 7, 2015

Old Town St. Patrick’s Day parade today, March 7

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My apologies for the late notice, but I’m sure I’m not the only one whose schedule got thrown off by Mother Nature’s last winter reminder this week that SHE is in control! The 2015 Alexandria Saint Patrick’s Day parade is today, Saturday, March 7, in Old Town Alexandria.

The parade itself begins at 12:30 pm at the intersection of King and Alfred Streets, but if you get down to Market Square early, you can participate in (or just watch and enjoy) the fun dog show put on by the Animal Welfare League of Alexandria! The dog show begins at 11:15, onsite registration starts at 10:30 and costs $40 to enter your pup in the fun categories such as Best Irish Costume and more.

I know, it’s bitterly cold out. But hey, what’s more Irish than pink cheeks and a ruddy complexion? And there’s plenty of shops and Starbucks, not to mention bars, to duck into and grab a cup of something to warm your heart…and nose…and toes…

See pictures from previous parades.

Posted by: twodogtales | February 19, 2015

Cure your cabin fever at 8 Chains North Winery

If you’re suffering from a chronic case of winter cabin fever, but it’s WAY too cold to think about doing anything outdoors with your dog, 8 Chains North Winery in Waterford is the answer. It’s another Northern Virginia winery that welcomes dogs inside their tasting room as well as on the grounds.

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Adding to the high canine-comfort score, 8 Chains has built a fenced-in area for dogs to romp off-leash. There are a few picnic tables in the enclosure, so owners can relax with a glass of vino while keeping an eye on their pup. The play area sits alongside the covered patio and open yard which overlook the vineyard where Sauvignon Blanc and Albariño grapes are grown.

In the tasting room there are a couple of cozy seating areas with deep leather chairs, one in front of the large stone fireplace and one next to a picture window with sunny southern exposure. There’s also a private party room and a gallery wall featuring the work of local artists.

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Tastings are $8 for five wines. Surprisingly, my favorite was the least expensive, an $18 Vidal Blanc, Traminette and Sauvignon Blanc blend called LoCo (for LOudoun COunty) Vino.

I highly recommend doing the chocolate pairing option for $5 more. Each wine is paired with an elegant artisan truffle from Leesburg chocolatier Abby Rose Confections. My pairing included Salted Caramel, Lemon Honey, Orange Spice and Raspberry truffles. Gourmet chocolate and wine can make anyone forget record-setting wind chill temperatures!

8 Chains is open Thursday-Monday, and located at 38593 Daymont Lane, Waterford, VA 20197.

Posted by: twodogtales | January 29, 2015

Washingtonian magazine features best area hikes

Make sure to pick up a copy of the February Washingtonian magazine issue with the Ultimate Pets Guide! Not only did Two Dog Tales write the piece on best hikes in the area, there’s loads of other great dog-friendly information!

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Posted by: twodogtales | January 9, 2015

Warning: local dog deaths due to creek mussels

002Beware if you walk your dog around any local creeks, especially those that feed into the Chesapeake Bay.

The Capital Gazette in Annapolis is reporting a number of dog deaths thought to be a result of ingesting toxic mussels. And one dog didn’t even eat the mussels themselves, but just ate ice from the creek and chewed on a stick that was covered in the mussels.

Read more: ‘Quite a mystery': Biologists investigating local dog deaths

Posted by: twodogtales | December 24, 2014

Happy holidays!

Happy holidays from all of us at Two Dog Tales!

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Posted by: twodogtales | December 14, 2014

Dog-friendly D.C. secret: U.S. National Arboretum

I recently discovered a hidden dog-friendly gem right in the city–the U.S. National Arboretum. Having passed the sign for the arboretum for years while traveling out New York Avenue on my way to Maryland, I finally decided to check it out.

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What I discovered was a 446-acre living museum with vast collections of trees, shrubs, and plants set on rolling hills and dense woodland. While we visited in November, when the flowers aren’t blooming and most trees have dropped their leaves, it was easy to envision how beautiful the groves of azaleas, magnolias, dogwoods, camellias, and other flowering plant species are when in full bloom.

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There are nine miles of paved roads, or you can take rough trails through woods and overlooking the Anacostia River. There are benches scattered throughout the property so you can stop to enjoy beautiful Asian gardens, unique azalea, hollies, magnolias, pre-colonial native plants and more.

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I really enjoyed the National Capitol Columns, which sit in front of a reflecting pool in the middle of a 20-acre meadow. The sandstone columns were constructed in 1828 for the Capitol building, and a display shows them in use during a speech by President Abraham Lincoln.

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There is no admission fee, and plenty of parking throughout the property.

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