I get so excited when I “find” things. It can be the re-emergence of something I’ve misplaced, tasting a new wine, or successfully reaching my destination in the car W/O the assistance of OnStar! In this particular case, it was the “hidden gem” of a bakery. It was the Dogma Gourmet Dog Bakery & Boutique that got me excited.

Nestled in a tiny section of Northern, Virginia – a stones throw away from the hustle and bustle of our Nation’s Capital, sits this incredible village. It’s called the Village of Shirlington, and I love it.


Only a few blocks long and several blocks wide it caters to many – offering much. Restaurants, boutiques, art and culture, live music and theater. To top it off, it’s very pet friendly making it a favorite with us!

Amazingly after all these years, walking down this street I never noticed this hidden treasure. Harley found it for me…


I gasped and shouted the name of the store aloud when I saw the sign on the door…


When Fidose of Reality hosted Hollywoof in September I remembered a gift card with this same logo.

I ran to the car and ransacked the secret compartment under the arm rest. SIDE NOTE: Have you emptied out your secret compartment lately? I hadn’t, it was mind blowing how much “dog paraphernalia” I found:

  • Poop bags
  • Poop carrying containers
  • MORE poop bags
  • a zip lock bag of treats
  • sanitary wipes
  • a collar?
  • three disposable water bowls
  • a clicker training tool (why?)
  • a half eaten best bully stick
  • the one glove I thought I lost last winter…

You get the visual by now I’m sure.


So I found the gift card and ran back to Harley and Doodle Dad. In between wheezing, huffing and puffing, I managed to utter “let’s go inside.” #gottaworkoutmore

What a welcoming place! Super friendly, and the lay out entices you to walk in further. I liked it immediately! There isn’t an abundance of merchandise to overwhelm you, yet there’s just enough to make you look longer and touch more.

Harley was free to roam and smell to his furry hearts content…


While he did – I chatted with the employees, and here’s what I found out:

  • They opened in 2000
  • They bake their treats in the store – using only human grade ingredients minus salt, sugar and preservatives
  • And they also support local rescues and shelters hosting adoptions and fundraisers regularly #Ilikethat

I squealed a tiny bit when I saw his dry kibble on sale – it’s never on sale – EVER! Once Harley decided on his “one item” I placed everything on the counter and realized this little Doodle shops “a little too much”


As we said our goodbyes – Harley waited patiently in front of a lawn sign. I thought about getting it for the neighbors on the corner, they are so abused when it comes to poop violators…


I know DOGMA will be a familiar place for us. Ladies, I’m coming back soon to get that wall plaque I had my eye on as we were leaving. I so choose Harley…


Have a great Friday, and click on over to Harley’s “favorite things” page. He’s added some great “stuff” this week.

Be kind to someone and as always, thank you so very much for sharing me with all your friends!

  • Yvonne Smith
    December 12, 2014

    Who new must go visit this wonderful place thanks Harley for the new info

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2014

      Yes Yvonne, take your “grand-dog” there, you would like walking around all the neat shops and Piper would enjoy being out! PS: Pawhaps your hubby would like to go one afternoon 🙂

  • It's Dog or Nothing
    December 12, 2014

    What a cool store! I wish we had cute places like that near us!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2014

      It’s so much fun locating cool places like that!

  • Emma
    December 12, 2014

    What a fun place! Mom loves to find fun spots like that. In Germany, dogs can go in most stores, and Katie learned at an early age that the checkout counters often have treats, so she still jumps up on any checkout counter in hopes of a nice treat!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2014

      Emma, it was such a friendly place, I know you, your mom and your sisters would have a blast in there. Wish you could come and visit!

  • DashLilly
    December 12, 2014

    Love this post!! Made me laugh and smile so many times. You are right, that little doodle is a shopper!!! Dash and Lilly wouldn’t have such good shopping etiquette.

    (By the way, I used to live right near Shirlington! Love the Chinese food restaurant and the movie theater there!! )

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2014

      Oh Deirdre – Harley & Leo are regular’s at that same Chinese place! The one on the corner right? Great Spring rolls and red wine 🙂 My daughter frequents the theater there – she’s big on “indie” films.

  • M. K. Clinton
    December 12, 2014

    We definitely need a gourmet dog store in our city! I love this! ♥

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 12, 2014

      Oh M.K. whenever you get the chance to visit our fair city, this place is a definite must on your list. Such a quaint village and the bakery is off the chain – wonderful!

  • Sheila Raebel
    December 12, 2014

    Ms. Bennett, and Harley,

    Thank you so very much for your unbelievably kind words about our store. And Harley, thank you for finding it!

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and admire your writing style. It’s great!

    I really appreciate your thoughtfulness in how you described our store. I think you covered everything we try to do, be friendly, welcoming to people and their pets, have just enough merchandise so it’s not overwhelming and crowded, but just enough to keep you interested. It’s hard to do, so thank you so much for noticing!

    We try very hard to support our local rescues in any way we can. I’m proud to say we helped two rescues raise over $2800 In the last two weeks by holding Santa photo sessions. We had over 150 dogs and a few cats too! (Sorry Harley). So next year, we hope you two can make it, or to our Halloween Trick or Treat in the Village (just for Harley, not human kids), or any of the other events we hold throughout the year.

    Come visit again soon. You will have to check out our grooming area so our groomers can see what a great haircut you have Harley! See you soon and thank you again!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 13, 2014

      Sheila – we will certainly be back again soon (as in before Christmas) – there were a few things we saw that we know will make great gifts to some of our four legged furrends. We look forward to see you again…

  • Jan K
    December 14, 2014

    What an awesome store, and I think I would love to walk around that whole little village. I love places like that.
    Harley certainly does look like an expert shopper!

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 14, 2014

      Jan, perhaps it’s my age BOL but I remember when shopping malls didn’t exist and you walked the streets from store to store shopping. I gravitate to places like that and Shirlington really reminds me of those days. Yes, Harley is a shopping aficionado for sure!

  • Cathy Armato
    December 14, 2014

    Wow, what a great find! I love stores like this, there are so few of them. Harley is quite the shopper! Thanks for sharing (-:

    • Cathy Bennett
      December 15, 2014

      You bet Cathy – I hope to return again soon… Have a great week!

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