My name is Andrew Sterling, I am a 19 year old male who grew up in Toledo, Ohio. I enlisted in the Army two years ago and am currently stationed in Arlington, Virginia. I have grown up with dogs my entire life, most of which were large breeds (currently a 90lb Golden Doodle named Louie). I have had experience dog sitting with neighbors and family and have had interaction with many different foster dogs with my grandmother who works with the DLRR (Desert Labrador Retriever Rescue). I also work very closely with many military working dogs as an MP and have experienced dogs with a wide range of temperaments. I enjoy being in the presence of dogs and all around just love their companionship.
Fort Myer is right at the heart of the United States, just across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., and this army base is the perfect home for military pet owners. The closely surrounding neighborhoods of Arlington, Virginia are full-to-bursting with dog fur-riendly parks, hiking, dining, hotels, and even shopping!
There is plenty of open grass to enjoy on-leash in Fort Myer at Summerall and Whipple Fields. Remember to bring your leash, water, and clean-up bags for both fields for the best experience. Head to Whipple Field, bordered by Jackson Avenue, Grant Avenue, and Washington Avenue for some simple walking or jogging. Add a little history to your day at Summerall Field across from the headquarters of the Army Band on Hospital Lane. You may even catch a parade! You and your leashed doggo can also explore the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial, located just at the northern edge of Fort Myer. Unfortunately, Arlington National Cemetery recently changed their rules and dogs are no longer allowed.
You can ensure your furry friend stays in good health with the Fort Myer Veterinary Services, or choose from ten nearby clinics and animal hospitals in Arlington for the best care in the area. The community of friendly faces is a great location for any pet owner.
Across the northern border of Fort Myer is the Arlington neighborhood of Rosslyn. Head there for some exercise on a segment of the Potomac Heritage Trail on the George Washington Memorial Parkway. The whole trail covers 710 miles winding through the entire Washington D.C. area, though this section has about 10 miles of trail along the Potomac River. Keep your doggo on a leash and bring water for a nice long hike. Rest after your walk at the pup-friendly Residence Inn by Marriott or the Global Luxury Suites just off Clarendon Boulevard and recharge at the many restaurants that welcome your little yapper. Options range from Kanpai Japanese, Pancho Villa Mexican, and Cosi Sandwich Shop among many others.
Just to the south of Fort Myer, Penrose offers some outdoor entertainment at Towers Park. Located at the end of South Scott Street, the park offers four acres of open space, but the highlight here is the dog park portion. A large fenced park has separate areas for large and small dogs to keep everyone safe, both with lights for nighttime romps. There are water spigots to fill bowls and bottles and it is stocked with tennis balls for all! Penrose Park is also nearby for a good on-leash walk through grassy playgrounds, and you can round out the day with happy hour or dinner at William Jeffrey’s Tavern.
One of the largest Arlington neighborhoods, Lyon Village is just one neighborhood away from Fort Myer. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from when you want to bring your four-legged friend out for date night – Thai, Cajun, and Southern cuisine, just to name a few. When you want some exercise, the hot spot is Clarendon Dog Park, also known as James Hunter Dog Park. Owners rave about the size of the off-leash park, though there is just one large area for paws of all sizes. The water fountain will keep your pup hydrated during play while the many benches allow you to watch from a comfortable spot.
South of Fort Myer and the Pentagon is the urban neighborhood of Crystal City. Don’t let all of the highrises discourage you – there is room for your fur baby! Between 13th Street South and 14th Street South, you’ll find some welcome green space at Millenium Dog Park. It’s small, but a great place to stretch the legs. Crystal City also features the Mount Vernon Trail. The trailhead at Crystal City has parking and restrooms just off of the George Washington Memorial parkway. Head north on the trail for the best views of the Potomac River and of Washington D.C., just across the river.
The heart of Arlington is in Clarendon. This neighborhood is just a neighborhood away from Fort Myer and offers endless opportunities for tail-wagging fun. Visit Kriser’s Natural Pet to stock up on high quality, organic food and treats for Fido as well as all of your other doggo essentials such as shampoo, vitamins, and dental care. Don’t forget their pawsome selection of toys, too! Rocky Run Park is the perfect place for a good walk in the city. There is some parking available on Barton Street, but try 11th Street North as back up. Bring along your leash and pick-up bags to enjoy the grassy picnic areas and the lighted field for your nighttime strolls.