Tysons, VA

The winter holiday season is approaching, and while the usual fun festivities will likely be altered to protect humans during the COVID-19 pandemic, dog owners should also be aware of hazards that may threaten their furry friends as the temperature drops and house decor increases. 

Luckily for Falls Church residents, the local Dogtopia has seen major success since its opening at the end of the summer. The store sold higher than average pre-sales, hitting about 25% above the company’s threshold to determine success, according to Dogtopia Falls Church owner Jim Hannesschlager. 

“We’re really, really excited and a little bit bullish on the potential here for this location, but also the brand in Northern Virginia,” Hannesschlager said. The store is one of two new businesses that have opened in Falls Church since the pandemic. 

Hannesschlegar explained that, during the cold winter months, dogs are especially in need of extra exercise and socialization to compensate for the extra food at Thanksgiving dinner, weather that inspires a slower pace of life, and the general feelings of excitement from the holidays. 

“It heightens our senses,” Hannesschlegar said. “When a dog has heightened senses…just like a human, those heightened senses and that potential anxiety and energy needs to be let out.” 

Luckily, socialization and exercise are two top services that Dogtopia provides to dogs, with education close behind. The dog daycare provider has resources for dogs who need a space for open play during the cold seasons.

When taking dogs on walks outside in the cold weather, however, owners should be cognizant of their dogs’ fur, Hannesschlegar says. Dogs with thicker hides like huskies should be fine to go on cold-weather walks, while dogs with thinner hides, such as greyhounds, may need a coat to wear. 

Hannesschlegar also advised buying dog-friendly snow-melting agents for driveways and sidewalks once it starts snowing.

“First thing a dog does, just like a baby, anything that’s weird, new, or painful goes right into their mouth,” Hannesschlegar said. 

When it comes to hazards around the house, the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) recommends keeping wires and ornaments out of reach, making sure candles are never left unattended, and avoiding mistletoe and holly as well as noisy toys such as poppers. Even creating a quiet room or space for pets can ease their anxiety in high-energy settings.

Photo via Jim Kalligas/Unsplash

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This October, beer fans and animal lovers can head over to Lost Dog Cafe to sip Solace Brewing Company’s Rescue Ale and support rescue efforts for dogs and cats.

The charity brew, which benefits the Lost Dog and Cat Rescue Foundation, will hit shelves at Solace Brewery on Oct. 8 and will start being poured at all Lost Dog Cafe locations on Oct. 9. A portion of all sales of Rescue Ale will be donated to LDCRF.

There are five Lost Dog Cafe locations, with one in Dunn Loring (2729A Merrilee Drive) and one in McLean (1690A Anderson Road).

The brewery will host a distanced adoption event, and an online auction will offer winners a tour of the brewery as well as  pooch and beer-themed merchandise.

Lost Dog Cafe is a long-time supporter of the rescue and donates a portion of its revenue to support the care of animals rescued by LDCRF. Local breweries have brewed a Rescue Ale in support of LDCRF for the last four years, and this is Solace’s second year making the charity beer. Read More

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(Updated 9/9) The Weekly Planner is a roundup of interesting events coming up over the next week in the Tysons area.

We’ve scoured the web for events of note in Tysons, Vienna, Merrifield, McLean and Falls Church. Know of any we’ve missed? Tell us!

Tuesday (Sept. 8)

  • 2020 Tuesday Night 5k –6:30 to 9:30 p.m. at Caboose Tavern (520 NE Mill Street)– Runners and walkers can take part in this multi-part series held on the W&OD Trai. Registration is $10 and people should arrive 45 minutes early for registration, the page said.

Wednesday (Sept. 9)

Thursday (Sept. 10)

  • Pets for Vets –4 to 8 p.m. at Settle Down Brewing (2822 Fallfax Drive)– This event invites people to take place in a fundraiser for Pets for Vets, which provides service animals that used to be shelter animals to military veterans. People can enjoy drink specials and free bingo, the Facebook event page said. 
  • The Boro Farmers Market –3 to 7 p.m. at the Boro Tysons(8301 Greensboro Drive)– This local market will feature fruits and vegetables, grass-fed meats and pastured eggs and baked goods, the event page said.

Sunday (Sept. 13)

  • Adoption Event –12 to 3 p.m. at Chico’s Natural Pet Market (6349 A Columbia Pike)– Anyone looking for their next furry friend can check out this dog adoption event. This event will allow attendees to meet pups up for adoption and learn about foster opportunities, the event listing said.
  • Intro to Traditional Climbing –9 a.m. until 4 p.m. at Seneca Rocks Mountain Guides East (9200 Old Dominion Drive)– For $125 people can try out this all-day experience which will teach them safe practices for outdoor climbing. Top rope climbing and belay experience is required, the page said. 
  • Music In the Gardens –3 to 4 p.m. at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens (9750 Meadowlark Gardens Ct)– This series will feature live music from the Virginia Chamber Orchestra. Guests are welcome to bring a blanket or fold-up chairs to sit on. The concert is free with admission to the gardens.

Photo via Meadowlark Botanical Gardens/Facebook

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Dogs in Falls Church will soon have a new daycare destination with the upcoming arrival of Dogtopia

The daycare, boarding and spa service for dogs plans to open soon at 108 W. Jefferson Street in Falls Church. The business has more than 90 locations across the U.S. and Canada, including one in Tysons near the Spring Hill Metro station.

The business initially planned to open earlier this summer, but pushed the opening due to construction and economic factors. Now, they hope to finish construction by the end of September and open in early October. 

Not only does the business work to care for dogs, but they also want to make an impact on the community.

“We have this awesome foundation that we work with and we do truly believe in always giving back to our community,” Cat Michael, the general manager of Dogtopia of Falls Church, said.

First, they are raising money to provide a service dog to local veterans. Second, they are looking to set up employment opportunities for adults with autism. Lastly, they want to raise funds to help the youth literacy programs across the country. 

They are currently pairing up with Settle Down Easy Brewing Co. in Falls Church every Thursday night of September to raise money toward their first goal of providing a service dog to local veterans.

“We are currently fundraising to hopefully train to place one dog by the time we open in a veteran’s home in the Falls Church community,” Dogtopia of Falls Church’s Owner Jim Hannesschlager said.

The upcoming location also wants to keep the community safe. To combat COVID-19, Dogtopia Falls Church installed an HVAC air filtering system. They plan to deep clean and sanitize every room with pet-friendly sanitizer to maintain cleanliness while keeping pets safe from harsh chemicals.

The location will also offer contactless pet drop-off and aim to eliminate possibilities of cross-contamination of pet belongings. 

Dogtopia is offering a Founders Program for two weeks leading up to the opening. People who sign up will receive two weeks of unlimited daycare prior to the grand opening, according to their website. This offer is available for the first 50 dogs registered.

Photos by Michelle Goldchain, image by Katie Runnerstrom

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As Northern Virginia reopens under phase one, people are beginning to visit public places like restaurants and shops again.

While Gov. Ralph Northam and health directors in Northern Virginia say that COVID-19 trends are going in the right direction, the Centers for Disease Control and the Virginia Department of Public Health warn that there is still a risk for community transmission of the virus.

For animals, though, the CDC issued a statement saying that the likelihood of catching the disease from a pet is very low. Still, people may feel hesitant to interact with other people or pets.

Currently, county-run dog parks are closed, according to the Fairfax County Park Authority. Several apartment buildings have their own dog parks in the Tysons area, along with ones in the Mosaic District and Vienna.

As COVID-19 restrictions get rolled back, Tysons Reporter would like to know how our readers feel about bringing fido to the local dog park. Let us know in the poll below and feel free to leave a comment.

Photo by Jonathan Slater on Unsplash

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Many people getting bored self-isolating due to the coronavirus have turned to art reconstructions — including a local art teacher and her greyhound.

Nicole Walter, an art teacher at Marshall High School, has been photographing her retired racing greyhound named Neirin in poses similar to famous pieces of art, according to Fairfax County Public Schools.

Walter, who has taught at Marshall for 17 years, is using her 4-year-old pooch from West Virginia to create art that can engage her students while distance learning is in place, according to FCPS.

So far, they have recreated two dozen famous artworks, including “Girl with a Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer, “American Gothic” by Grant Wood and “Creation of Adam” by Michelangelo.

More from FCPS:

“I saw the challenges being posted by various art museums to recreate master works and to share on social media,” explains Walter. “I was just in the middle of an instructional unit on appropriation in art with my Art 2 students, so I thought this would be a great way for them to make art without the need for special art supplies.”

Students enthusiastically responded to Walter’s project… Neirin is a four-year-old retired racing greyhound from West Virginia who raced for three years…

“Since I teach art, and my goal is to help students connect with their own unique form of creative expression, I try to learn about and appreciate a broad range of art styles,” she states.

People who want to see the greyhound art can head to the Instagram for Neirin.

Photo via Neirinthegrey/Instagram

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Happy Friday! In our last installment this week of reader-submitted pet photos, we have lots of adorable pictures of cozy cats and dogs.

Recently, we shared photos of animal companions helping their humans work from home. Our photo galleries have been filled with pooches and cats wearing clothes.

Several people sent in pictures of their pets sleeping or getting comfy in bed.

At least one pooch is eagerly awaiting football season this fall.

Check out the gallery above and revisit the ones from earlier this week. Thank you to everyone who submitted photos!

One more cat photo:

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Local pets are hanging out with their owners more as they follow Gov. Ralph Northam’s stay-at-home order.

To help provide some light-hearted content during the pandemic, Tysons Reporter recently asked readers to share us their photos of their furry companions.

Yesterday, we shared some of the many photos we’ve received from local residents of their pets. We’ll continue to highlight pet photos through Friday.

Several pet parents sent in pictures of their dogs and cats wearing everything from hats to bowties.

Check out the gallery above and come back tomorrow for more photos on our website.

Have a photo you want to submit? We’re still taking submissions. Tag or direct message us on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) or email us at [email protected].

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Happy Hump Day! People around Tysons have some adorable furry friends keeping them company while they stay inside to reduce the risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Tysons Reporter received a ton of submissions after soliciting photos of pets, so we’re publishing some today, more tomorrow and the rest on Friday.

Several dog parents sent in pictures of their pups lounging around and getting fresh air outside.

We also got photo submissions of some feline friends — including one that has decided to be the Easter Bunny.

Check out the gallery above and come back tomorrow for more photos on our website. Have a photo you want to submit? We’re still taking submissions (note: horizontal photos are preferred).

Tag or direct message us on social media (FacebookTwitterInstagram) or email us at [email protected].

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A puppy is now back home with its owner after local Fairfax County firefighters helped catch the roaming dog.

“Engine 401, McLean, B-Shift was driving along local street when they were flagged down,” Fairfax County Fire and Rescue tweeted earlier this week. “A resident was worried for a puppy that was roaming around alone.”

Captain David Hessler was able to get the pup, which did not have tags, by using webbing, the tweet said.

The dog’s owner got in touch with the fire crew and is now reunited with the dog.

Photo via Fairfax County Fire and Rescue/Twitter

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