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Tag: dc

The fuzzy — and not so fuzzy — sides of the federal government furloughs

justwalkPoliticians aren’t happy about it. Americans aren’t happy about. But there may be one group can see a bright side in the federal government shutdown.

Dogs. (Then again, they see the bright side in pretty much everything.)

With their owners spending more time at home, the pets of furloughed federal workers are likely getting more attention, more dog park time, more time to snuggle while watching daytime TV on the couch.

Let’s just hope no one gets too used to it.

The shutdown, while already hurting some pet-related business, is helping some others. The  Huffington Post reports that business is booming, for example, at Muddy Mutt, a self-serve dog wash next to Shirlington Dog Park in Northern Virginia.

“I’m getting more business because people aren’t working,” said Andrew Low, owner of the Muddy Mutt, where dog owners commonly bring their dogs in after romping in the river. Low said the business is usually quiet during the week. But since the furlough? “Twenty-five on Monday, 14 on Tuesday, 23 yesterday… We don’t even ever come close to that.”

The furlough might be bad news, though, for professional dog walkers in the DC area.

Christina Bell, owner of Doggy Daze DC,  said that business is down by about half since the shutdown went into effect. JJ Scheele says her business, Dog Walking DC, has also taken a hit.

“All the walkers are down anywhere from one to three dogs,”  Scheele said.

At Just Walk DC, a dog-walking cooperative, Meg Levine said the decrease of customers, three days into the shutdown, has been slight. But between government-employed pet owners having more time, and less income, a protracted shutdown could hurt dogwalkers badly — not to mention the rest of the country.

“There certainly is a sense of frustration from a lot of my clients, who feel that this is just needless roadblocking,”Levine said. “For the most part, we are continuing to chug along and feeling very hopeful this will end soon. I like D.C. when it functions. Oh, this town.”

(Photo: Dog walker Meg Levine, courtesy of  Just Walk DC)

Fundraiser in D.C. for dog found in Dumpster

The Friendship Hospital for Animals in Washington is hosting a fundraiser today for Trooper, the dog who was rescued from a dumpster after losing a dog fight.

The event will feature tours, games for children, face painting, raffles and more. It starts at 11 a.m. at the Friendship Hospital for Animals, 4105 Brandywine Street, NW.

The dog was found barely alive, duct taped inside a trash bag. Washington Humane Society officials said the dog had apparently been discarded after being used in a dogfight.

Dog found in DC dumpster slowly recovering

Veterinarians in Washington DC are nursing a dog back to health after it was found barely alive, duct taped inside a trash bag and tossed into a dumpster.

Dubbed “Trooper” by the Washington Humane Society’s Eve Russell, the dog was found swollen, scarred and bloody, apparently having been dumped in a trash receptacle outside an apartment complex after a dogfight.

The dog was taken to surgery immediately, and veterinarians say more could be required.

“I was in a bit of disbelief when the dispatcher was describing to me what it sounded like the witnesses were seeing. And when I got to the scene it was even worse than I had been expecting and I was shocked. It was probably one of the most pathetic things i’ve ever seen,“ said Russell.

The Washington Humane Society is offering a $1,500 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible.

How Charles got his Spark back

A 92-year-old Washington man whose dog was stolen says he feels like he “hit the $50 million lottery” after being reunited with his Sparky.

Police believe that two youths ran off with the poodle-shih tzu mix Tuesday evening, the Washington Post reported. 

After the theft drew widespread media attention, an unidentified man familiar with the dog and his owner found Sparky on Saturday and returned him to his owner, Charles Boyd, of Columbia Heights.

“Sparky means my life to me,” Boyd told NBC news in Washington. “He’s like a child to me. I don’t have any children, so he’s my son.”

Boyd, who has had the dog for about five years, said two teens took the dog while a friend was watching him.

Aging and nursing a broken leg, Boyd said he was unable to sleep after Sparky was taken.

Police in Washington plastered the neighborhood with flyers to help Boyd find his dog, and a $1,000 reward was offered. The man did not tell Boyd who he was, but said he’d seen two kids playing with Sparky and decided he needed to get the dog back to its owner.

(Family photo)

McRude: D.C. bus driver punches crime dog

A Metro bus driver in Washington D.C. stepped out of his bus and punched McGruff the Crime Dog.

Driver Shawn Brim, 38, told police he thought his act was funny, but children who witnessed it were reportedly horrified, according to the Associated Press.

Brim got back on his bus and drove away after taking a whack at McGruff, who was actually police officer Tyrone Hardy. Hardy, dressed as the crime dog, was handing out fliers to children.

Brim was later pulled over and charged with simple assault. He will also undergo drug and alcohol testing and his future with the agency is under review, a public transportation spokesperson said.

NOVADog magazine debuts

A new magazine, devoted to dogs and dog owners in Northern Virginia and metro DC, has hit the newstands.

NOVADog Magazine will be published quarterly, and subscriptions are $17 a year, but if you input coupon code “NOVAD2″ at checkout, you can bring it down to $16.

Regular features will include “Destinations” to take your pooch, “Eco Dog” for Earth Friendly dog products, “Expert Advice”, “The Source” which details must-have products and local news, “The Scene” featuring local dogs, “Hit the Trail” for great dog-friendly hikes, and “Wags to Riches” with heart-warming adoption tales and more.

The Winter 2009 issue has articles on why visiting Mount Vernon with your dog should be on your to-do list this winter, an insider’s hiking guide to Scott’s Run Nature Preserve and a winter calendar of upcoming doggie events.