March 2014
Wags and Tags
Celebrating the canine-human bond!

          This newsletter is brought to you by Arlington Dog Owners Group (A-DOG), a 501(c)(3) community organization promoting the rights and interests of responsible dog owners in Arlington, MA.  

If you're not already a member, we hope you'll want to join A-DOG!

A-DOG logos designed by Lisa Berasi for Arlington Dog Owners Group, all rights reserved
Meet an Arlington Dog or "A-dog"!

Meet Annabel -- at 17 she has a puppy's spirit and smile!


Annabel is a bichon frise who lives in Arlington with us, her owners, Harold and Alice.  She has a coal-black nose and eyes, and pure white hair.  While she is a senior dog who just turned 17, she is very spry.  Annabel loves to go with Harold in his kick scooter in good weather, and you will see them on the bike path scooting along.   Annabel loves to walk in Robbins Farm Park and when she gets excited, she runs around in circles at top speed.  She is a cheerful, happy, outgoing dog who loves people.   


She is small for her breed, about 10 pounds. Her outgoing personality, and the fact that she often seems to be smiling, draws people to her.   When we're out walking with Annabel, people often ask how old our puppy is!   She is a beloved member of our family. 



"Crateful" Giving
Let's continue to support the work of Arlington's ACO



Our town's Animal Control Officer (ACO), Amanda Kennedy, plays a crucial role in our community.  Not only does she promote education and ensure that dogs are licensed and under control, for example, for safe off-leash recreation, but she expertly addresses all kinds of animal-related emergencies.  In recent weeks, she was called upon to help an Arlington resident whose dog had a run-in with a raccoon that turned out to be rabid. (Fortunately, the dog's rabies vaccine was up-to-date and he, and his family, are fine.)  On another recent occasion, Amanda, helped by the Arlington Fire Department, rescued a young swan who had become trapped by ice on the Mystic River one January day.  The young swan spent the night warming up at Amanda's home and then was stabilized at the Tufts Wildlife Center in Grafton (where she is shown in the photo below) and then had more supportive care in preparation for release back into her Arlington river home.  

Arlington is a town with a vibrant volunteer spirit and many of us want to know how we can help our ACO do her work on behalf of all of us who love animals.  Important ways to help include A-DOG's ongoing collaboration with Amanda on educational programs, dog licensing efforts, and meet-and-greet events with park user communities.  Another way A-DOG and our individual members can help is to donate small equipment and supplies, as suggested in her wish list, to facilitate Arlington's Animal Control efforts.  Shortly after the Arlington ACO wish list was publicized last December, A-DOG member Monica Bernstein immediately stepped up to donate a crate.  Our board of directors was delighted to vote for A-DOG's organizational donation of additional crates.  (The photo above shows Amanda picking up the crates donated by A-DOG.)  One of these donated crates was used to safely transport the young swan during her recent rescue!  Should you, too, like to buy a wish list item for the ACO through Amazon, please consider using the Amazon Smiles program (see Friends of A-DOG article below) to benefit A-DOG.  Or, if you have some potentially useful items not on the list, contact the ACO directly to see whether she can use them. And, please contact Amanda to discuss larger projects, if interested.


Save the date!  Arlington Patriot's Day Parade
March with your dog and your A-DOG friends on April 21!



These paws were made for walking and that's just what they'll do, as A-DOG plans its annual march in the Arlington Patriot's Day Parade!  Bring your well-socialized, leashed dog and march proudly with A-DOG!  


For now, save the date -- Monday, April 21, 2014 -- and stay tuned for participation details to be announced in the April Wags and Tags, on our website, and on our Facebook pages.  If you have ideas to put your own personal touch (costumes, etc) feel free to make suggestions and to let your dog express himself!  One year, "A-dog" Barkli was dressed as Arlington's own Uncle Sam.  Or, just show up with no pressure for preparation and enjoy the fun!  Parade begins near Arlington Heights (location of the A-DOG group's assigned meeting site will be available on Parade day) and will march through Arlington Center ending at Walgreen's in East Arlington.  Each year we have about 20 dogs with their owners and the dogs are always so popular, especially with kids along the parade route!  Contact A-DOG ( for details.  See more photos from last year's parade on our website.  



A-DOG Goals for 2014
 "New Years Resolutions" for Arlington Dog Owners Group

As announced in the December and January Wags and Tags, our monthly meeting in January, and a follow-up discussion at our February meeting, were focused on developing A-DOG's Goals for 2014.  

1. Develop an "infrastructure" for A-DOG; this would be a set of Committees/Working Groups with defined tasks, to help A-DOG advance its mission and to make volunteer opportunities clearer to members.


2. Engage members, especially board members and other interested volunteers, to get involved in these Committees;  a volunteer "menu" will be developed for distribution to our member volunteers.


3. Develop an A-DOG handbook to document administrative procedures.


We hope that many of our members will want to participate in helping to make this the best year ever for A-DOG!  To those ~150 members who have indicated an interest in volunteering on your application forms, you will be contacted to give you an opportunity to decide how you would like to help.  And, as always, please don't hesitate to contact us ( for more details and to bring your ideas and enthusiasm to our monthly meetings.  

Friends of A-DOG
Thank-you to our supporting businesses, including....


Most of our Friends of A-DOG are local businesses offering valuable support to help us help to keep Arlington dog-friendly!  


Recently, though, we were contacted by informing us that some of their customers have selected A-DOG as a nonprofit organization they'd like their purchases to support. Amazon supports nonprofit organizations through the Amazon Smile Foundation.

A-DOG is now registered through this program as "A-Dog The Arlington Dog Owners Group, Inc.".  This means that, if you do your Amazon shopping through the Amazon Smile link (, 0.5% of your purchases will be donated to A-DOG.  The first step is to go to, sign into your Amazon account and select A-DOG as the organization you'd like to support.  From then on, whenever you are planning to shop at Amazon, use the Amazon Smile link instead of the regular Amazon link. Ensure that, at the top of your shopping page, it always says "Supporting: A-Dog, the Arlington Dog Owners Group, Inc.". It's an easy way to help A-DOG help to keep Arlington dog-friendly!  

"Spring Thaw" Brings Challenges
Volunteer effort can help keep parks clean

Unfortunately, the spring thaw reveals more than pretty crocuses popping up under the snow. Most of us (certainly everybody reading this newsletter! :-) diligently clean up after our dogs. This is very important because dog waste is not only unsightly, but is also potentially unhealthy to us as well as our pets.  The sad reality, though, is that there are some dog owners who do not clean up, just as there are park users who leave all kinds of litter behind.  With dog waste, this seems to be even worse in the winter because the snow and cold preserves it.  Some volunteers, concerned about this issue, have taken the extra step of bringing additional bags and picking up a bit more than their own dogs' waste on their daily dog walks.  Please consider helping out in this way because even small efforts like this, if enough volunteers are willing to make it part of their routine, will help keep our parks cleaner and safer for all users, human or canine.  A-DOG has an ongoing campaign to ask park users to help with this effort, with a team of volunteers, regular users of the Arlington Reservoir and the Thorndike fenced dog park, currently working on new ways to publicize this issue. Contact us ( if you'd like to help organize clean-up and related education efforts in your favorite park.  Also, while the Town does supply waste containers in local parks, any effort to carry out waste helps to keep these barrels from over-loading, especially in the winter when they're more difficult to empty.  Charlotte Milan, Arlington's Recycling Coordinator, visited the February A-DOG meeting to explain that she will be seeking input from dog owners and other park users on the waste/recycling needs.  (We hope to have Charlotte contribute an article about this in an upcoming Wags and Tags, but feel free to contact her through the Department of Public Works with any questions.)  In the meantime, the photo above shows that A-DOG members can always be counted on to find creative ways to carry the waste home!  

Thanks to an A-DOG member for her car photo.

Arlington's 2014 Dog Licensing Contest
Final results coming soon...we promise!

Curious about the outcome of our 2014 Arlington Dog Licensing Contest??  The winning numbers have been selected and those dog owners identified.  

But, as of press time, we had not yet contacted winners and obtained their permission to announce their names and prizes.  (Plus, we hope to deliver the prizes and obtain photos!)  We expect to publish results in the April Wags and Tags and on our website.  The dog licensing numbers this year are excellent -- 1891 by the contest deadline and 1906 as we go to press.  This is higher than final numbers reported over each of the previous 11 years, ranging from 968 (2003) to 1807 (2013).  (Source:  the Arlington List)  We hope our contest, and our efforts to work with our ACO to promote dog licensing, played some role in this year's high number. And, we hope that the steady increase in numbers of licensed dogs over A-DOG's 6 year history reflects our efforts to encourage responsible dog ownership.  In any case, we plan to repeat the contest next year!  


The illustration for this article was custom drawn by artist Shunsuke Yamaguchi.  Mr. Yamaguchi's fee was generously donated to A-DOG by Joan Black and her family.    

Help Wanted: Your Dog's Face Here?
Wags and Tags Welcomes Your Contributions!

A-DOG Members and supporters, Wags and Tags is YOUR monthly newsletter!  If you have suggestions for an article, including one you'd like to write, for a future issue, please contact us ( with "Newsletter" in the subject line.   
Maybe you'd like your dog to be one of our "
Arlington dogs, or A-dogs", like Shinoo (November), Blarney (December), Sasuke (January), Donato (February) or Annabel (this month).  You don't have to live in Arlington, but can be a neighbor who enjoys Arlington's dog recreation benefits, or otherwise supports our mission.  You can also suggest a special Rainbow Bridge memorial tribute to a beloved canine family member you've lost, like the beautiful tribute to Isabel last month.  
Or, maybe you're a Friend of A-DOG Business and want to describe how you help A-DOG and what you offer to our community of dog owners and dog-friendly people.  Your business, too, can be featured like Bette Yip's Picture Perfect Pets (November), Menotomy Beer, Wine and Spirits (December), BlueSkyDogs (January) or GoPlay! (February).  
Suggested article length for the newsletter is 500 words or fewer.  We will also need one photo, preferably a jpg or gif format, compressed to a size of less than 1 MB.  Depending on the topic, you might want to write a longer version for our website, with a link in the Wags and Tags article.

The Irish Setter on the computer photo is reprinted from a website called "iget2work".



Join us at our next  A-DOG Meeting!
Tues, March 25, 2014, 7:00 - 9:00 pm at the Community Room of the Jefferson Cutter House, 611 Mass Ave (at Mystic, in Arlington Center).  The Community Room is accessible via the rear entrance at the municipal parking lot.
Reminder:  "Dog Park Etiquette" Workshop
Rescheduled due to February snowstorm:  April 23, 2014, 6:45 - 9:00 pm at the Robbins Library Community Room, 700 Mass Ave, Arlington, MA (Arlington Center).  More information here.



A-DOG 2014 Membership Drive Is On!
A-DOG's membership year runs from April 1 through March 31, so some full memberships will be up for renewal.  If your membership is expiring, you will receive a reminder letter and there is 2014 Membership Drive information on our website.  Stay tuned for more details from our membership team!


A-DOG members, Business Friends of A-DOG and other subscribers receive Wags and Tags each month.  If this issue was forwarded to you and you'd like to subscribe to Wags and Tags without joining A-DOG, click here or click the green sign-up button on the front page of our website.  

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Arlington, MA 02474