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Today's guest post is by Karen Hartman
I live in a small village in northern Virginia that is especially popular with dog owners. It’s called the Village of Shirlington, and it has all kinds of things for dogs and their owners to enjoy!
In a previous guest post, I mentioned one of the local pet shops, Dogma, is in the area. This bakery and boutique has established a solid niche in the village, where pet-friendly condos and apartments abound.
Other neighborhood stores also cater to the pooches. Many restaurants provide outside seating that you can share with your pup. Stores also place water bowls on their sidewalks so furry friends can grab a refreshing drink as they walk by.
|Petunia (center) and friends enjoy outdoor dining and other amenities|
|Village socials make for a relaxing daytime break|
And you’ll see people walking dogs around town almost any time of day. Some people take their dogs for a stroll along the tree-lined bike/jogging path that runs along one of the main streets on the perimeter of the village.
Others stop by the local dog park to let their dogs run off leash. The park offers a quarter-mile or so stretch of land for dogs to roam around, release some pent-up energy, and socialize with other dogs. It even has a smaller section cordoned off for puppies and smaller dogs to play without being intimidated by bigger dogs.
|Off-lead fun at the dog park|
|Dog park entrance (left) and puppy park (right)|
The park also provides access to a local creek where water-loving dogs can swim, play, and fetch. Buttercup is not a fan of water, but there are plenty of dogs that absolutely love this feature!
When you’re done playing in the dog park, you might need to rinse your dog off before you head home. Conveniently enough, there’s a shop just a few steps from the park called The Muddy Mutt that offers self-serve dog washing as well as professional grooming.
The village also hosts annual events, such as Wags and Whiskers – an outdoor festival where you can bring your pet, visit a variety of pet-oriented vendors (pet-sitters, trainers, rescue organizations, animal food/treats, etc.), enjoy live music, see demonstrations, participate in a trick-or-treat contest, and even get a pet portrait.
|Wags and Whiskers annual festival|
Don’t have a pet? You’re in luck – the Animal Welfare League of Arlington is just around the corner! This nonprofit humane society offers a variety of training and clinics, such as Helping Community Cats Workshop, Dog Obedience Classes, and Microchip Clinics. It also sponsors events like Walk for the Animals and Dining Out to raise money for its cause.
With all of these dog-friendly amenities, it’s easy to see why Buttercup and I like living in Shirlington. Maybe you can stop by to visit some time!
|Buttercup hopes you can visit soon!|