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Looking for a furry friend? One of these cuties—all available at Washington-area rescues—might be your match. By Marisa M. Kashino

Ralphie (above) was surrendered by his owner to a shelter in Rutherford County, North Carolina. Rural Dog Rescue got to him before he could be euthanized, and since then, he has blossomed into a happy, energetic, silly dog, full of love and energy. Ralphie loves toys and would make a great running partner. He is great with all dogs, but is often fearful of new people, so a home without kids would be best. For more information on Ralphie and Rural Dog Rescue's adoption process, visit the rescue's website.

Nala is an intelligent, two-year-old boxer/Plott hound mix rescued from western Virginia. She would love a family to give her plenty of love, exercise, and a cozy bed to call her own. She loves curling up for a cuddle after romping around in the backyard with a doggie pal. She would prefer a home without cats, and because new situations and sudden movements may make Nala nervous, she would do best in a home without children under the age of 15. She's available through Rural Dog Rescue.

Ruby, a three-year-old rat terrier, is a treat connoisseur, loves to play, and is one of the smartest dogs around. She loves training and is very focused. She's available through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Trevor is a four-year-old playtime champ who particularly loves chasing wand toys. He's also passionate about chin scratches and keeping watch out the window. He's currently in a foster home (that he shares with two dogs) through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington. To learn more about him, e-mail tvillatoro@awla.org.

Hank and Reba are a bonded pair of adult cats who are about to lose their foster home, since their foster mom is leaving town. They would love a quiet home with a human to call their own. They are friendly, healthy, and gentle, and both are declawed. You can learn more about them at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Nugget is an active, two-year-old border collie/walker hound mix. He is very smart and playful, and loves nothing more than snuggling with people. Nugget would do well in almost any type of home. He's available through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Phoebe is a five-year-old, 11-pound, female miniature pinscher. She is cuddly, curious, playful, and a very quick learner. You can find her at City Dogs Rescue.

Bixby is a three-year-old, 12-pound Dachshund-mix. He is happy, friendly, sweet, snuggly, goofy, affectionate, playful, energetic, eager to please, trainable, and smart. You can find him at City Dogs Rescue.

Valerie is a happy-go-lucky pit bull terrier-mix. At four years old, she's past the puppy stage but still has lots of energy. She's looking for a home without young children, and would like plenty of exercise in addition to lots of attention and affection. You can meet her at the Washington Animal Rescue League.

Cari, a domestic short-hair, has a heart-tugging story. One of her elderly guardians passed away, and with the other in declining health, they thought it was wise to surrender her to the Washington Animal Rescue League. The good news: As an eight year-old, Cari qualifies for WARL’s Boomers’ Buddies program. Under the program, adoption fees are waived for any adopter over the age of 50 who adopts a pet over the age of five.

Fancy is a Chinese Shar-Pei/Staffordshire Bull mix who was found as a stray in Maryland, then brought to a shelter in Virginia, and has recently relocated to DC. Now she is ready to settle down with a family of her own. Fancy is a very polite girl who will cozy up to almost anyone after she gets to know them. You can meet her at the Washington Humane Society's Georgia Avenue shelter.

Posted at 01:35 PM/ET, 10/24/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This elegant brick estate offers a half-acre of land and more than 7,200 square feet of living space. By Kay Wicker

Built in the late 1920s, this Embassy Row Georgian mansion combines a dignified exterior with a tasteful, classical interior, including such details as decorative moldings and wall paneling, curving staircases, French doors, arched entrances, and elaborately carved fireplace mantels and display shelving. A sunny conservatory offers walls of bright picture windows, and thereʼs both a cozy study and a library lined with built-in bookcases. Outside, a fenced-in yard and plenty of greenery lends privacy to a swimming pool, balcony, and terrace on the homeʼs manicured half-acre plot.

The six-bed, seven-bath mansion is listed at $8.1 million. Take a peek below, then go to Long and Foster for the complete details.

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Posted at 02:18 PM/ET, 10/23/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Every week, we get an expert to answer your pressing pet questions.
Photograph via Shutterstock.

Have a question you'd like to ask a vet? Send your query to pets@washingtonian.com with the subject line "Vet Q."

Q: We have an 18-year-old cat who seems distraught after the death of our 15-year-old golden retriever. The cat keeps walking around the house, looking in closets, going from room to room. We never had the sense they were all that close, but is this kind of seeming attachment between a cat and dog fairly common?

Dr. Chris Miller, AtlasVet DC: For years, science has told us that our pets do not have the ability to reason, to feel emotion, or have the ability to mourn. However, recent research has shown that animals can respond to familiar stimuli in ways much like humans can. And when their daily routine is altered, our pets notice. Many argue that animals like dolphins, elephants, dogs, and cats have feelings that parallel those of human emotion, and anyone who has owned a pet would agree that such things are possible. It is for these reasons that when your pet loses a longtime housemate that abnormal or new behavior may be noted.

That said, there are many other potential causes for behavior change, especially in an 18-year-old cat. Possible health problems such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and cognitive dysfunction are just a few diseases that affect geriatric cats that could explain behavior change. Any sudden behavior changes in your pet should be discussed with a veterinarian to help rule out possible illnesses.

In our experience, a pet that seems confused or even appears to be grieving after losing a companion is not uncommon. Much like humans in periods of sadness, you can help your four-legged friend by keeping the mind stimulated, increasing physical activity, and ensuring regular exposure to familiar faces. These may assist your pet in bouncing back from a loss.

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 10/22/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
This week, meet readers' pets Moe, Daisy, Theodore, and Kennedy.

Want your pet to be featured on our website? E-mail your pet's name, location, a brief bio, and a photo to pets@washingtonian.com, and use the subject line "Reader Pets."

"This is SlowMoe Oczypok-Phillips (above). We call him Moe for short. He lives in North Bethesda and loves his memory-foam dog bed, getting lots of petting and love from every human he meets, and his mom and dad, Kate and Brad. His favorite pastimes include begging at meal times, licking ears, and overlooking his kingdom from his apartment balcony. Moe is a rescue from Lost Dog and Cat Rescue in Virginia."

"Daisy is an Alapaha Blue Blood Bulldog who lives in Alexandria. She loves to go on walks, take long naps, play with other pups, and go to work with her mom. She also loves to play soccer, and is a pretty good defender! She might look like a tough girl, but she's really just a big mush."

"My name is Theodore George Fuss, and I live near Rock Creek Park in Chevy Chase, DC, where I am an avid bird-, squirrel-, and critter-watcher. I'm into napping, resting, relaxing, dreaming, and climbing pricey drapery. In my spare time, I enjoy car rides, belly rubs, and the music of Billy Joel."

"Meet Kennedy! Born in Baltimore on April 3, 2014, this Boston Terrier is a true native. She and her mom, Liz, live in Southwest DC and love it. Kennedy loves long walks on the National Mall, playing at the Southwest Dog Park close to her house, meeting new friends wherever she goes, and, of course, posting selfies on her Instagram (@kennedythebt)."

Posted at 04:00 PM/ET, 10/21/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Tell us who you trust with your pets.
Photograph via Shutterstock.

In an upcoming issue, Washingtonian will update its guide to pet care, which includes listings of the area’s best veterinarians, emergency clinics, groomers, pet-sitters, kennels, trainers, and more.

You can help us by taking a few minutes to fill out our survey, which asks whom you would trust with your pets. Answer as many questions as you can. Please take care to spell all business names correctly; otherwise, your answers may not be tabulated.

Thanks for your help! Click here for the survey.

Posted at 01:00 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Three decks, a garage, and a wet bar-equipped carriage house. By Caroline Cunningham

Just a stone’s throw from Logan Circle, this recently renovated three-story rowhouse is practically begging for a party. The 2,272-square-foot home has three bedrooms and three and a half bathrooms, plus a handful luxe upgrades, such as hardwood floors, exposed-brick walls, and a sleek modern kitchen, decked out with a white subway-tile backsplash, a marble waterfall island, and built-in wine shelving.

But the real assets of interest are around back: There’s a one-car garage—extra-valuable in this neighborhood—and a petite second-story carriage house, complete with a wet bar and its own deck. Plus there’s another deck accessible through French doors off of one of the main house’s bedrooms and a balcony off of the third-floor master suite. Throw in a few other fun features, such as the charcoal-gray, open spa shower, and we’re sold.

The property at 1420 12th Street, Northwest, is listed at $1,289,900. Peek inside below, then go to Beasley Real Estate for all the details.

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Posted at 12:57 PM/ET, 10/20/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
Looking for a furry friend? One of these cuties—all available at Washington-area rescues—might be your match. By Marisa M. Kashino

Beaetta (above) is an adorable senior Border Terrier mix. She weighs about 15 pounds and is an ideal pup for apartment/condo living, since she's quiet—except when she tells you it's time for a walk—and she loves to cuddle. Beaetta is good with everyone, including other small dogs, but she would also be fine as the only dog if she gets lots of love. She is blind, but she doesn't know she has a handicap. She is available for adoption at Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Charmin and Gloria are a beautiful, bonded pair. He is a Flamepoint Siamese, and she is a Himalayan mix. He is very playful; she is more laid-back. Both are around two years old and are available for adoption through Homeward Trails Animal Rescue.

Pumpkin Spice is a handsome and charming ten-month-old guy. He is always down to play and go on adventures, and he loves to snuggle up next to you when he’s tired. Pumpkin Spice is smart, too, and has learned many commands in a short amount of time, including "sit," “down,” and "focus." You can meet him at the Washington Humane Society's New York Avenue shelter.

Kayla is a gorgeous, two-year-old, long-haired cat whose owner gave her up because of landlord issues. She is friendly, playful, gentle, and affectionate. Kayla enjoys her scratching post and toys that squeak. And when she’s done playing, she likes nothing better than to curl up in your lap for some quality time. Stop by the Washington Animal Rescue League to meet her.

Kohana is an adorable two-month-old, hound-mix puppy. She's friendly, playful, curious, energetic, and always up for a good time. Kohana is one of almost 20 puppies currently available at the Washington Animal Rescue League. So if you are interested in adopting a puppy, now is the time!

Marshmallow is a sweet four-year-old Mini Rex rabbit. He is gentle and loves to play and be petted. Marshmallow is available for adoption through the Animal Welfare League of Arlington, but you can currently visit him at Pet Supplies Plus in Falls Church, where he is helping to educate people about the wonderful bunnies available for adoption at the shelter. He was given up because the children in his previous family were not caring for him. With that in mind, a quick disclaimer: Though wonderful pets, rabbits are not low-maintenance and children younger than teens should not be expected to manage their care.

Palm and Beach are a pair of three-year-old blue and white Budgies. They're both girls and are good friends. You can find them at the Animal Welfare League of Arlington.

Posted at 09:48 AM/ET, 10/17/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
The designer, collector, and TV personality visits the Building Museum next week to sign her new book. By Michelle Thomas
Lisa Roberts, her new book, DesignPop, and Joris Laarman's Polygon Maker Chair. All photographs courtesy of Lisa Roberts.

Usually, it's a book that inspires a TV show. Not this time: The inspiration for Lisa Roberts's book was sparked by her 2011 docu-series My Design Life, which followed the design expert and her team as they visited museums, exhibits, trade fairs, and shops to hunt out only the most unique of high-design finds. The result is the newly released DesignPop, a neon-pink-vinyl-jacketed tome that offers a glimpse at 82 game-changing contemporary designs dreamed up since 2000, ranging from the unusual (Marcel Wanders's otherwordly Zepplin chandelier) to the everyday (Nest's smart thermostats). Roberts visits the Building Museum next week to present and sign the new book, and we caught up with her to get her insider take on the world of contemporary design.

DesignPop presentation and book signing. Tuesday 12:30 to 2 PM. National Building Museum, 401 F St., NW. RSVP online.

What's the secret to great design?

There is no magic answer to that question, but great design succeeds in form, function, and emotion. Functionality is objective: How well does the object perform its task? Form and emotionality are subjective: How pleasing is the form, and does it speak to you on an emotional level? Since both of these depend on your point of reference, there really isn’t a singular formula for great design.

Which up-and-coming designer is most interesting to you right now?

The Dutch designer Joris Laarman. He works with some of the most advanced production technologies of 3D printing, CNC milling, robotics, and advanced software. As an artist as well as designer, he often incorporates hand assembly. A great example is his Polygon Maker Chair. It’s composed of mathematically designed CNC milled pieces that are assembled by hand [see bottom-right photo above].

Who's your personal design hero?

Michael Graves. He started out as an architect creating some of the most iconic postmodern buildings of the 1970s and '80s. In 1985, the Italian housewares manufacturer Alessi asked him to design the quintessential American product. He created the Whistling Bird Tea Kettle, which, arguably, has become the most successful architect-designed product in history, selling more than $300 million dollars worth of tea kettles. He then went on to design products for Target, bringing high design to the masses and making him a household name. After an illness left him a paraplegic, he has devoted much of his design practice to creating well-designed objects for people with disabilities.

What's the best place to find high design on a budget?

Museum shops are great places to find high design without paying museum prices. Also, I like Target. They have programs where they invite high designers to work on their budgets.

You have a huge collection of contemporary design objects. If you had to just pick one, which is your favorite?

I love the Vermelha Chair by the Brazilian brothers Humberto and Fernando Campana. Early in their careers, they were inspired by the discarded and leftover materials of Brazilian manufacturers. They used these to make their prototypes, although once in production, the materials were new. This chair incorporates 1,500 feet of rope that is wrapped and woven to provide a structural and very comfortable chair. Mine is sitting in my foyer. I love its bright color, enveloping shape, and soft seat—form, function, and emotion!

What's the next frontier in modern design?

That frontier is already here: wearable technology. It will sit on your wrist, be incorporated into your clothing, and even be attached directly to your skin.

Posted at 01:15 PM/ET, 10/16/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
It has 16 bathrooms and gilded crown molding. By Kay Wicker

Grandeur and luxury are in no short supply at this Potomac mansion. Just the numbers alone are impressive: The Montgomery County Colonial has nine bedrooms, 16 bathrooms, two kitchens, and three dining rooms spread across more than 16,700 square feet. It’s on nearly four acres of land. There are eight fireplaces. The master suite involves not only a sitting room and balcony, but also enormous his-and-hers bathrooms and dressing closets. There’s a finished basement large and fancy enough to rival most people’s entire homes, including a wine cellar and tasting room, another kitchen, a home theater, and a sauna. Outside, there’s a decadent fountain, a terraced patio, and a massive pool. And then there's the laundry list of ultra-extravagant decorative detailing—magnificent spiraling staircases, inlaid-marble floors, carved fireplace mantels, huge palladian windows, and opulent gilded crown moldings.

The home is now listed at $9.75 million, down from the original price of $15 million. Take a peek inside below, then check out Long & Foster for the complete details.

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Posted at 01:37 PM/ET, 10/15/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()
We asked for your cute pet photos, and boy, did you deliver. In our inaugural post, we meet Gus, Tom, Brinkley, and Mischief.

Want your pet to be featured on our website? E-mail your pet's name, location, a brief bio, and a photo to pets@washingtonian.com, and use the subject line "Reader Pets."

"Meet my cat, Tom Michael (above). He goes by his formal name, Thomas William Michael. He was adopted in Frederick and now lives in Glover Park. Tom is overweight, extremely lazy, and a picky eater. He loves to cuddle (but on his own terms) and enjoys visits from family and friends, especially his Nana. His favorite toy is his catnip rainbow. I'd tell you his favorite game, but he doesn't have one. He's doesn't like fun. This is a candid photo of Thomas saying, 'Hey, ladies!'"

"Gus, a French mastiff puppy (four months), lives in Bethesda. His favorite place to sleep is on a glass coffee table. Once he grows to full size—160 pounds—that won't be possible. He makes frequent appearances at Quartermaine Coffee and Olazzo in Bethesda."

"Brinkley is a very happy, energetic four-year-old chocolate Lab residing in NoMa. She loves anything that involves a tennis ball (ideally at the beach) and enjoys every type of food (especially baked goods left cooling on the counter). When she's not chasing squirrels, eating, or fetching, she can be found snoring on the couch with her legs up in the air."

"Mischief cheated death twice: first when she was rescued from a high-kill shelter in North Carolina, and then when she contracted distemper when she was two months old. She just celebrated her first birthday, and is the happiest and most playful cat. She runs around our apartment in Alexandria carrying her favorite toy mice in her mouth and begs for attention in ways that make it seem like she thinks she is a dog. Another favorite past time of Mischief's is drinking milkshakes."

Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 10/14/2014 | Permalink | Comments ()