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‘Dog Days of Summer’ Return to Reston Town Center

“Dog Days of Summer” sessions are back again at the Reston Town Center pavilion starting today (July 11).

The pavilion will be transformed into an off-leash play area every Wednesday through September 26.

Treats, toys and pet-friendly giveaways will be offered during the sessions.

Sessions take place from 4-7 p.m. The series is sponsored by Healthy Hound Playground, a dog daycare and boarding kennel and a grooming salon and spa located at 45910 Transamerica Plaza.

Photo via Reston Town Center

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School is in Session for Four-Legged Family Members

Fairfax County parks are offering classes to socialize and train four-legged members of the family.

The classes, known as Puppy Kindergarten, will begin June 23-28 at Frying Pan Farm Park. Puppies between 10 to 23 weeks will learn the fundamentals of discipline and socializing, as well as chewing and jumping.

Dogs who are advanced can participate in Dog Obedience I or II. The first class features management, discipline, problem-solving, affection and restraint. Dogs must be at least six months old to attend. Classes meet from 10-10:55 a.m. for eight weeks.

The level one class must be completed prior to taking the level two class. Dogs must be eight months old and will learn how to perform the AKC Canine Good Citizen Test.

Each class costs $109. Humans who participate must be at least 14 years old.

File photo via Chesapeake Dock Dogs

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Reston Town Center to Welcome ‘Pet Fiesta’ on May 5

Calling all pets and pets owners: The Pet Fiesta is coming to Reston Town Center on Saturday, May 5 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m..

Sponsored by RTC and NOVADog Magazine, the outdoor festival brings together business, rescue groups and pet owners for activities and demonstrations. The event, which is open to all, also includes face painting and onstage entertainment. Animals will also be available for adoption. 

This year, a dog walk around Reston Town Center and the Washington & Old Dominion Trail was cancelled due to a lack of registrants.

Volunteers can sign up online. More information is available online

The event benefits GoodDogz, a non-profit organization that aims to educate future dog owners on dog selection and supports rescue groups.

Photo via Gooddogz.org

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Photo Contest: Reston Dogs in the Snow

With another snow day upon us, we asked for some great dogs-in-the-snow pictures for a photo contest.

Here are some of the best entries.

Reston Now picks Syd at Lake Newport as the winner. Congratulations to owner, Anna Atkinson, who wins a Reston Now water bottle.

But let’s pick a fan favorite too. Scroll through the pictures and tell us your favorite in the comments. We’ll count the comments by 9 a.m. Friday and give a second lucky dog owner some swag too.

Thanks for playing!

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Dog Park Group Raising Money For Legal Defense

Sign at dog park at Baron CameronReston Dogs Inc., the volunteer group that helps maintain the county-run off-leash dog area at Baron Cameron Park, is in the midst of a fundraising effort to help pay for legal expenses related to saving their dog park.

In March, a group of homeowners in the Longwood Grove subdivision filed suit against the Fairfax County Park Authority and Reston Dogs. The injunction calls for the park to be shut down because of excessive noise.

The dog park, which is open during daylight hours, is the only off-leash dog run in Reston. The neighbors that filed the suit in Fairfax County Circuit Court call it a “private nuisance.”

“The dog park noise, mainly from unruly dogs barking and fighting, has grown to intolerable levels over the last two years and is likely to become even more severe in the spring and summer months,” reads the court document.

Reston Dogs Inc. administrators are trying to raise $3,500 to pay for attorney’s fees. The group has retained Reston lawyer Michael Horwatt.

As of Friday morning, the group’s Go Fund Me page has $1,880 in donations.

“If we fail to defend ourselves the case will be won by the plaintiff by default and the dog park will be closed and removed from BC Park,” administrators said in an email to dog park regulars. “Since we certainly do not want this to occur, we have no choice but to defend ourselves. We, the litigation committee for Reston Dogs, have retained an experienced lawyer to represent us, one who actually attends the dog park. …”

“Since the case is about to enter a more intense period of discussion during the next month as we try to find a mutually agreeable solution, this will probably be the most critical month of the lawsuit. What this means is we are in desperate need of an injection of funds totaling about $3,500 during the next month to retain our attorney.”

The suit alleges that the noise from the park is often incessant and “disrupts the Longwood Grove plaintiffs’ reasonable use and enjoyment of their properties.” There are 100 homes in the Longwood Grove subdivision, but the complaint was brought by seven individuals representing five households.

In the complaint, it states that the Longwood Grove homes are 300-400 feet from the dog park. However, Wiehle Avenue, a busy, four-lane main road, along with a buffer of trees and a noise-reducing fence, separate the homes from the park.

Baron Cameron Park recently went through a master plan revision. There had been a proposal as part of the master plan process to move the off-leash area farther into the interior of the park. However, the draft, which was approved by the park authority board in June, keeps the dog park in its current location at the edge along Wiehle Avenue.

Reston Dogs said in its email to users “we are currently evaluating possible alternative solutions that might avoid having the case go to trial. Some of those possible options are methods to reduce the noise at the current location or a possible move of the dog park to a different location within Baron Cameron Park.”

Park Authority Chairman Bill Bouie said the county has asked for the case to be dismissed and that the county attorney is handling the park authority’s defense.

“The county attorney’s office is handling the situation and it is going through the normal process of the judicial system,” said Bouie . “In the meantime, the park authority will continue to try and mitigate any issues that arise and are documented at the dog park, but it is an essential part of the community’s assets and used by a lot of people.”

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