Capitol Hill is teeming with all manner of dogs: muscular pit bulls, relentless bloodhounds, preening poodles. But enough about politics. The real pups of the Hill -- those who live just a tennis ball's throw away from the marble corridors of power -- are the four-legged ones. The tree-lined streets surrounding the Capitol building are a pooch's paradise: plenty of parks for jaunts, well-stocked pet boutiques and services galore. Here are five stops where canines are kings of the Hill:
CHATEAU-ANIMAUX. In business since 1994 (formerly as Doolittle's), this hub of the neighborhood dog-lover community recently relocated from cramped quarters near Eastern Market to sparkling digs on newly-chic Barracks Row. The selection of practical merchandise remains a standout, including an impressive range of all-natural pet food products as well as grooming, dental and medical-care items. And for those in search of dressy doggie duds, the store offers polka-dot rain slickers ($79.99-$99.99), collars studded with funky flower-child or biker-inspired charms ($16.99-$38.99), and, yes, pj's for pups ($6.99). 524 Eighth St. SE. 202-544-8710. www.chateau-animaux.com.
CONGRESSIONAL CEMETERY. Of all the green space on the Hill where dogs can play, this privately-owned historic cemetery is a standout. The place is not the least bit creepy and its lush views of distant hills create a country-in-the-city feel. A $125 tax-deductible annual membership to the cemetery's nonprofit association as well as a $40 per dog fee earns Fido the right to frolic among the headstones of such illustrious figures as John Philip Sousa and J. Edgar Hoover. The annual fees fund a plan to restore the aging grounds and buildings. 1801 E St. SE. 202-543-0539. www.cemeterydogs.org.
DOG & CAT GROOMING. Bonnie Peregoy and her staff win high marks for their gentle touch with even the most skittish pups. Show dogs and scruffy hounds alike line up for professional trims, rinses and nail-clipping, and prices range from $50 for smaller breeds to $130 for larger ones. Or try the do-it-yourself option, with washtubs and potions provided for $15. The convenient corner location right next to the neighborhood grocery store makes this an easy stop amid weekend errands. 1364 E St. SE. 202-548-0044. www.healthydogstore.com.
DOG-MA DAYCARE FOR DOGS. On-the-go Hill staffers love the friendly service at this dog-boarding and dog-sitting facility that boasts a pebble-banked exercise yard, nap rooms and playground equipment. During the day, dogs of all breeds show off a comity their owners would envy, happily socializing with nary a woof about blue states or red states. Owners can drop off four-legged charges for $29-$35 per day or $48 for an overnight "bed and breakfast" stay. 821 Virginia Ave. SE. 202-543-7805. www.dog-ma.com.
PAWTICULARS. This light and airy pet stop, also along the Barracks Row corridor, offers plenty of luxe and novelty items, like baseball chew toys and dog cookies in honor of the Nats. The gourmet confections (mmm, sausage biscotti) make perfect rewards for well-behaved pups. And the Up Country dog beds ($53.50-$64.50) come in traditional checks, a retro country scene and mod dots. Pawticulars will also be opening a gift shop in Reagan National Airport in September. 407 Eighth St. SE. 202-546-7387. www.pawticulars.com.
-- Emily Heil