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MAY 25, 2016 · VOL. 30 · NO. 21 · FREE
The Pet Issue
Honoring Athens’ Furry Friends pp. 6–13 School Discipline p. 5 · Blacknerdninja p. 14 · Chris Cohen p. 15 · Movie Reviews p. 17 · Advice p. 27
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Cooking Demos Âˇ Gardening Workshops Âˇ Health Screenings Local Food Vendors & Artisans Âˇ Childrenâ€™s Activities & Fun! Located at the West Broad School 1573 W. Broad Street Athens, Georgia 30606 www.athenslandtrust.org 706.613.0122
Saturday, May 28 Âˇ 9am-1pm Vendors Farmers Amy Talarico & Frank Beatty Farm Baker Springs Farm Iron Lion Farm Sungate Farm West Broad Farm Williams Farm
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to the market for
Visit athenslandtrust.com Crafts BROAD FARMERS for MARKET complete route Bendzunas Glass schedule which Products includes Johnnyâ€™s Mushrooms 22 in-town stops
Prepared Foods Abrahimâ€™s Parlor Hankie Pie Hand Pies Icook_iefor you Rasheâ€™s Cuisine Soul Food with a Twist
Staples & Specialty Chris Young Blueberries Golda Kombucha Independent Baking Co. Protein Co-Op (Beef, Pork & Chicken) Pearson Peaches Sweet Grass Dairy
9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. Bugs! With Meredith Dempsey
Master Gardeners Composting Workshop
10:30-11:30 a.m. Tai Chi Easy
DJ Segar Repunza Brown
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Cooking Demos Âˇ Gardening Workshops Âˇ Health Screenings Local Food Vendors & Artisans Âˇ Childrenâ€™s Activities & Fun! Located at the West Broad School 1573 W. Broad Street Athens, Georgia 30606 www.athenslandtrust.org 706.613.0122
this week’s issue
O-PE T T E T By Appointment
House Calls for Dogs & Cats Dr. Paula Loniak Great for multi-pet households, pets who don’t travel well, housebound pet owners & hectic lifestyles
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Pub Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Chris Cohen . . . . . . . . . . 15 This Modern World . . . . . . 4 Threats & Promises . . . . . 16 City Dope . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Movie Reviews . . . . . . . . 17 Service Dogs . . . . . . . . . . . 6 The Calendar . . . . . . . . . 18 ACC Shelter . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Bulletin Board . . . . . . . . . 22 Dog Parks . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Adopt Me . . . . . . . . . . . . 22 Kids and Pets . . . . . . . . . . 9 Art Around Town . . . . . . . 23 Oscar Bites . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Classifieds . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 What Cats Do . . . . . . . . . 11 Crossword . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Reader Pet Photos . . . . . 12 Sudoku . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25
from the blogs
Pet Art . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Local Comics . . . . . . . . . 26 Blacknerdninja . . . . . . . . 14 Advice . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27
HOMEDRONE: Check out new music from Arbor Labor Union and Orca Mug. GRUB NOTES: The Fresh Food Bus, which offers free rides to the Athens Farmers Market, is back. IN THE LOOP: CCSD is cutting funding to pay students to garden, but the Athens Land Trust is stepping up to keep the program going.
athens power rankings: MAY 23–29 1. Athens pets 2. ACC Animal Control 3. Eugene Willis 4. Robin Taylor Riley Human: M 5. Cindy Jerrell yla Neal Athens Power Rankings are posted each Monday on the In the Loop blog on flagpole.com.
EDITOR & PUBLISHER Pete McCommons ADVERTISING DIRECTOR & PUBLISHER Alicia Nickles PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Larry Tenner ADVERTISING SALES Anita Aubrey, Jessica Pritchard Mangum, Carey McLaughlin MANAGING EDITOR & MUSIC EDITOR Gabe Vodicka CITY EDITOR Blake Aued ARTS EDITOR & DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Jessica Smith CLASSIFIEDS & OFFICE MANAGER Stephanie Rivers AD DESIGNER Kelly Hart CARTOONISTS Lee Gatlin, Missy Kulik, David Mack, Jeremy Long ADOPT ME Special Agent Cindy Jerrell STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Joshua L. Jones CONTRIBUTORS Bonita Applebum, Andy Barton, Hillary Brown, Adam Clair, John Huie, Nathan Kerce, Kat Khoury, Gordon Lamb, Kristen Morales, Drew Wheeler CIRCULATION Charles Greenleaf, Emily Armond, Will Donaldson, Thomas Bauer WEB DESIGNER Kelly Hart EDITORIAL INTERNS Madeline Bates, Kat Khoury, Maria Lewczyk COVER ART of Olive Tree Rose Carnes by Cindy Jerrell (A special thanks to Olive’s human, Jill Carnes) STREET ADDRESS: 220 Prince Ave., Athens, GA 30601 MAILING ADDRESS: P.O. Box 1027, Athens, GA 30603 EDITORIAL: 706-549-9523 · ADVERTISING: 706-549-0301 · FAX: 706-548-8981
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VOLUME 30 ISSUE NUMBER 21
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Family Dog Tippy Took His Duties Seriously, No Matter the Cost By Pete McCommons email@example.com I knew what Tippy’s heroic defense of Tippy was our first family dog, a small our home cost him personally. He could brown and black rat terrier. This was at a open the screen door from the inside but time and place when pets did not come not from the outside. Once he commitinto the house. Everybody was still counted to his watchdog persona, there was try enough that dogs lived outside—cats, no going back to his warm box. The threat too. Tippy ate well off table scraps and the vanquished or more likely found to be nonoccasional can of dog food. He would have existent, Tippy had to pass the rest of the turned up his nose at dry dog food in a bag. night in an outbuilding that had functioned How could that compare with steak fat, in the past as a combination smokehouse, scrambled eggs, turnip greens, cornbread? laundry room and woodshed—too far Tippy, like all dogs of his era, was lowremoved from our home to catch any of its maintenance, low-cost. His only visit to the warmth. To go down and let Tippy back into vet was his once-a-year 75-cent rabies vachis warm box would cination, administered have awakened the generally at a public He was who he was, entire household, so clinic on the courthouse and noises in the night Tippy, who had made grounds. He got some his bed, could not lie flea powder from time were going to get him up in it. to time and baths durand barking, regardless. As I lay in mine, I ing the summer, but reflected on why Tippy he was generally on couldn’t stay in his, why his routine had to his own and pretty much hung around our include the rushing forth. I didn’t underbig backyard, where he was always ready stand why Tippy couldn’t figure it all out to be the pet of whatever child was playing and resist the urge that cost him his warm outside and always ready for a walk in the bed. nearby woods. They say pets teach kids about life. Tippy Tippy slept inside our back screened certainly showed me the consequences of porch, sheltered from the night wind, giving in to random urges, throwing away within the ambience of our heated home comfort and safety for momentary gratifiin a cozy cardboard box lined with old towcation. I also eventually came to understand els. There he remained for the duration of that Tippy couldn’t help it. He was who he the night, unless… Unless Tippy heard a was, and noises in the night were going to sound or caught a whiff that might mean get him up and barking, regardless. Life is an intruder, throwing him into watchdog like that: knowing when to play it safe and mode. Tippy would never lie in his warm when to just go for it, doggone it. f box barking at intruders real or imagined. Tippy’s routine was to leap from his box, jump up and push the screen door open Don’t worry: Tom Crawford’s Capitol Impact column with his paws and rush out barking to can be found online and will be back in the paper confront the threat, while the screen door next week. We had to rearrange things this week to banged shut behind him, waking me in my make room for all the stories in the special pet secwarm bedroom upstairs above the porch. tion that follows.
Keep Atlanta Highway Snellville Plus, School Discipline and More Local News By Blake Aued and John Huie firstname.lastname@example.org
high schools here, and I’m telling you they’re going to have different problems,” he said. One issue that surfaced in the wake of a student’s sexual assault at Cedar Shoals earlier this year, though, was the almost total lack of discipline at the Eastside school compared to Clarke Central. Interim principal Derrick Maxwell has since announced that he’s cracking down on attendance, but according to state Department of Education statistics compiled by Karen Sweeney Gerow, a former CCSD teacher who’s been critical of the district, Central students were several times more likely to be suspended than Cedar students during the 2014–2015 school year. There were 621 attendance-related disciplinary actions at Central, compared to just 39 at Cedar. Maybe Jaguars are that much better behaved—or maybe someone was looking the other way to boost the school’s all-important College and Career Readiness Index score. But the policy committee didn’t talk about that. [BA]
citizens expressed a desire for an explanation and better Athens-Clarke County officials are considering ditching understanding of the respective roles of the superintendent a ban on parking in front of stores on the city’s suburban and the board of education.” commercial corridors to spur more development, especially Elementary and middle schools “do not punish kids for on Atlanta Highway and Lexington Road. being tardy” because parents are responsible for getting Both corridors are widely considered eyesores, and in an them to school on time, Superintendent Philip Lanoue told effort to make new commercial development more attracthe school board’s policy committee last week. Students tive and pedestrian-friendly, for the past 15 years ACC has with excessive tardies may be referred to a social worker, he required parking to be on the side or back of the building. said. But with big-box stores and chains opting to locate (or Growlers: Under a new state law, Athens’ Copper Creek At the high-school level, from a student’s point of view, relocate) in Oconee County—and ACC Commissioner Jerry brewpub will be able to sell beer to go in growlers—and “it makes more sense to skip altogether than to show up NeSmith beating the drum to try to out-Oconee Oconee— any other packaged beer or wine, if it gets a separate packtardy,” board member Sarah Ellis said. The Code of Student officials are considering lifting the front-parking ban. age license, ACC’s attorney has confirmed. “In my personal opinion, we’re suffering It will need a few tweaks to local ordinances, from 20 years of a no-growth policy,” develBill Berryman told commissioners on the oper Carl Nichols told ACC planning comLegislative Review Committee (which conmissioners last week. “We’ve got to get rid of siders new ordinances), but the Georgia that. We’ve got to get people coming back to Department of Revenue says there’s no reaAthens.” son brewpubs can’t hold both types of alcohol Chain stores and restaurants have a onelicenses. (A package store must still be at size-fits-all model and don’t want to change least 300 feet from any school or college, it to meet ACC codes, Nichols said. Not only but that does not appear to be a conflict for that, but seeing parking in front draws in Copper Creek.) drivers, and customers find it more conve“There’s only one brewpub here” as defined nient, he added. Nichols and real estate agent under state law, Berryman told Flagpole. A Charlie Upchurch cited a couple of big-box brewpub cannot distribute beer to retailstores that opted not to build on Lexington ers, as a brewery like Terrapin Beer Co. Road, as well as CVS, which complied with does. Berryman proposed clarifying ACC’s the law by adding a hallway to the outside alcohol ordinance to avoid any conflict with of its newer Athens stores rather than move state ordinances; commissioners could vote the front doors. The new shopping center on the modified ordinance in July. Then, on Highway 72 had no choice but to turn its “Copper Creek can simply apply for a Class B back on the street. “It’s burdensome on the license—a package license—and can then sell developer to have to build these buildings growlers, and I guess other kinds of package the way we’re asking them to build them,” beer or wine,” he said. [John Huie] Upchurch said. An Urban Land Institute report on reviAnd More Growlers: ”There’s nothing that talizing Atlanta Highway doesn’t mention produces a line at city hall like any animal the front-parking ban as an impediment. A issue,” Commissioner Kelly Girtz commented, similar report on Lexington Road recombefore the committee went on to discuss elecmends allowing two rows of parking in front. tronic dog fences. In ACC, dogs are required Planning commissioners seemed open to that to be fenced (and they cannot be tied up or idea, as long as it came with some require“tethered” when the owner isn’t present). ment for landscaping and connectivity, such Some dog owners use an “invisible” electronic as sidewalks and access roads. fence, in which the dog wears a batteryThe parking rules can’t be too onerous, operated collar that will shock it if it crosses though. Upchurch and Nichols’ code critiques an underground wire. Mostly, that works, but ignore the fact that development is happenit’s not as secure as a physical fence, Animal ing along Athens’ commercial corridors noneControl Division Administrator Patrick Rives theless—just look at the pharmacies and told commissioners. But it’s allowed, since a dollar stores and giant Krogers popping up court decision accepted an electronic fence on every corner. Does the community really as a legal barrier. “Our ordinance is ambiguwant any development we can get our hands ous at this point,” though, Central Services on? Should we resign ourselves to having to Director David Fluck said. drive everywhere, or do we want to continue The dog Normaltown deserves, but not the one it needs right now. A squirrel guardian. A watchful pooper. A And there can be problems: The battery the (unfortunately, agonizingly slow) process dark feist. She is BatFran. can die; the dog can get excited and charge of encouraging walkability bit by bit and fixout of the fence despite the mild shock (and then will be Conduct doesn’t outline specific punishments for skipping ing the mistakes of the past? Athenians have often said shocked again if it comes back in); a power outage can shut class, and some administrators apparently have been lax in that we don’t want Athens to turn into Snellville. Is that off the fence. “Typically, they also rely a little on the trainthat regard. It could also be beneficial to rewrite the code still the case? [Blake Aued] ing of the animal,” Fluck said. And unless signs are posted, in plain language, rather than legalese, to make it easier for passers-by may not realize that the dog is even confined. students and parents to understand, board member Linda School Discipline: Feedback from parents and teachers ”Sometimes that creates fear or apprehension,” Fluck said, Davis suggested. from an April town hall meeting on school discipline has and calls to Animal Control. In one case, a deliveryman got That most infractions in the code don’t carry specific been cataloged, and Clarke County School District board bitten, not realizing he was intruding on the dog’s space. members and administrators are working on policy changes penalties is something that bothers many parents and If the local ordinance is tweaked, commissioners seem teachers. The district used to have such a matrix—it was with the goal of having them in place for the start of the likely to at least require posting signs; already any dog with added in response to black parents’ complaints about next school year. a proven history of causing injury would not be allowed in harsher punishments—but Lanoue got rid of it, Hardaway “First, there is an expressed concern that discipline polian electronic fence (but that can be hard to prove, especially explained to the policy committee. A racial discrepancy still cies are applied inconsistently across the Clarke County if neighbors aren’t willing to testify in municipal court persists: Out of 285 disciplinary hearings last year, 90 perSchool District,” board President Charles Worthy wrote in about a troublesome dog, and they often aren’t). “There cent involved African American students, Hardaway said. an introduction to the report, which is available at clarke. are some dogs that my officers know by name,” Rives said. Worthy (formerly the principal at Cedar Shoals) cauk12.ga.us under the “board of education” tab. “Secondly, “There’s going to have to be a little more citizen involvewe saw a repeated suggestion that teachers would like more tioned against tying principals’ hands and said they should ment to make some cases,” attorney Berryman said. [JH] f have the ability to “enhance” district policy. “You have two support and training on management of discipline. Finally,
MAY 25, 2016 · FLAGPOLE.COM
Future Guide Dogs Make Fast Friends
How Training Service Puppies Brought Together Two UGA Students By Kat Khoury email@example.com
ext time you see a puppy in a little yellow vest relieving itself on the sidewalk or chilling in a restaurant, you might want to refrain from muttering under your breath something about bad dog etiquette. That pup is probably better behaved than your average 10-year-old kid. Roughly 100 puppies in vests that boldly state â€œFuture Guide Dogâ€? roam the sidewalks and classrooms of UGA and elsewhere in Athens every semester. The dogs are part of a puppy-raising program through the Guide Dog Foundation, an organization thatâ€™s been around for 70 years helping to provide assistance dogs to those in need.
when they need to go out of town. Co-raisers share the load of raising a puppy between two people. The most involved is being a full-time raiser. Raisers like Markle and Ramesh typically raise dogs from the time they are 8 weeks old until they are ready to head back to New York for formal training 14â€“18 months later. â€œWhen you get into it, you really donâ€™t know what youâ€™re getting into,â€? Markle says. She and Ramesh reminisced about their first years with their pups, saying it was like having a baby to take care of. â€œWe all talk like weâ€™re moms.â€?
Puppy Love Gabbi Markle and Sanjana Ramesh were strangers when they drove to Deana Izzoâ€™s kennel, Happy Tails Playhouse, on Nov. 3, 2014 to pick up their long-awaited puppies, which had just arrived after a 19-hour drive from New York. After being handed their 8-week-old pups and given the puppy-raising essentialsâ€”food bowl, leash, collar and some foodâ€” they realized they were parked next to each other, then Sanjana was in front of Gabbi all the way home to their apartment complex off College Station Road. From that night on, the two were inseparableâ€”the sister puppies, Barbie From left, Barbie, Gabbi Markle, Elsa and Sanjana Ramesh. and Elsa, demanded it. â€œThey were â€œTheyâ€™re human. Are you kidding? Please,â€? Ramesh obsessed with each other,â€? Markle says. insists. The Guide Dog Foundation offers several ways a volBoth girls discovered the program during their freshman unteer can be involved. Buddies can watch a dog for a few year, after seeing the dogs all over campus. UGA dorms hours a day, essentially babysitting. Campers can house donâ€™t allow dogs, though, so they had to wait until their dogs for multiple days in a row, helping out puppy-raisers
sophomore year to volunteer. Raising a guide dog starts long before you hold the furry pup in your arms. A six- to seven-month process determines your eligibility. â€œWe have an extensive application process to be a puppy-raiser,â€? explains Izzo, the Athens field representative for the Guide Dog Foundation. â€œThis ensures we get raisers that have good communication, a good understanding of what they need to do to better ensure the dog they will be raising will be a guide dog and a good history of meeting attendance.â€? Aside from the in-depth application process and 80-page manual (complete with quiz), before theyâ€™re qualified to raise a future guide dog, applicants have to camp adult dogs, hosting at least one overnight stay, to make sure itâ€™s something they really want to take on. When Markle and Ramesh found out they were getting puppies, they both wanted male golden retrievers. However, a specific breed or color isnâ€™t guaranteed, and both were handed female black labs from the same litter. It didnâ€™t really matterâ€”they adored the puppies and memorialized them with tattoos and keychains bearing their ID numbers. The breed choices are slim. The foundation currently breeds labs, golden retrievers, lab/golden crosses and standard poodles. Having a limited selection and breeding them based on temperament and medical history in their own breeding department helps to ensure that the dogs have a high rate of success, according to Izzo. Names are out of raisersâ€™ hands. â€œIâ€™m pretty sure the sponsor family had little girls,â€? Markle says, â€œsince their names are Barbie and Elsa.â€?
FLAGPOLE.COM âˆ™ MAY 25, 2016
Sponsors sometimes raise, but mostly they choose where the dogs go. They also name them, and somewhere there are two guide dogs named Honda and Odyssey sponsored by the car company.
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Work and Play Once raisers receive their pup and supplies, the hard work begins. A guide dog has to be exposed to everything. You name it, the dog needs to know it. Buses, cars, bikes, bars, tall people, short people, large people, children, all the different human races, all the kinds of animals, phones ringing, sirens wailing, wood, metal, plastic, thunderstorms, drunk people. It may seem strange to give your dog â€œexperiences,â€? but the importance is easy to understate. A scared dog or a shy dog canâ€™t make a good guide dog. â€œThere are a variety of reasons a puppy may be released from our program, like fear of cars, fear of metal grates and medical [reasons], too,â€? Izzo says. And as for that little puppy marking his territory on the sidewalk? Most guide dogs, according to Markle and Ramesh, go on to live in urban settings and have to be accustomed to using concrete. It takes a village to raise a good dog. â€œYou learn a lot from the people around you. I learned that through the prison program, because she would learn so much there,â€? Ramesh says. Elsa, Rameshâ€™s puppy, spent 10 months in the prison program at Arrendale State Prison in Habersham County. The foundation trained women in the prison to keep dogs, and they would switch between prisoners so the dog could meet different people. Elsa spent her weekdays in the prison and lived with Ramesh on weekends. (The specific prison program that Elsa was a part of has been discontinued, according to Ramesh.) â€œThe support system is really important,â€? Markle says. Both Elsa and Barbie had litter problems. In addition to having each other, â€œwe had monthly meetings where you got a lot of advice and help,â€? Ramesh says. Sometimes groups of raisers and puppies will work on training their dogs together around town or on campus. After puppies are raised, they leave the home theyâ€™ve known for a year and a half to go back to New York. Think of it as a sort of guide-dog college. Back at the Guide Dog Foundation, the adult dogs start their formal, months-long training. Most of the dogs go on to be guide dogs for the blind, but if a dog shows potential in another field, the foundation works with other detection schools such as the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives National Canine Division or the MSA Explosive Detection Canine Training, according to Izzo. A person in need of a seeing-eye dog fills out an extensive application and, if approved, goes to New York for two weeks of expenses-paid training. â€œWe match a personâ€™s walking pace, strength for corrections, lifestyle and other factors to a dog that we feel will be a good match,â€? Izzo says of the matching process of dog to new owner. Not all dogs go on to be guide dogs. While in training, dogs who may have medical issues or behavioral issues will be detected. â€œI believe the numbers Iâ€™ve heard in the past is that 60â€“70 percent of the dogs go on to be guide dogs,â€? Izzo says. So while most puppies go on to fulfill their destinies, some, like Barbie, donâ€™t quite make the cut. â€œI know this dog,â€? Markle told the foundation. She fought, knowing Barbieâ€™s potential and wanting her to succeed. â€œThere was a lot of back and forth,â€? she says, â€œbut [the decision] shouldnâ€™t be made overnight, so I get it, but itâ€™s hard.â€? Markle struggles with Barbieâ€™s rejection. â€œThe feeling of her not going is worse than her leaving,â€? she says. â€œI love her with all my heart, but knowing I was going to keep her because she couldnâ€™t be the thing we had worked for was hard. Itâ€™s not because I didnâ€™t want her or love her, because I do, but I raised her because I wanted her to be something good.â€? Ramesh agrees: â€œNot being able to get answers is the hardest part,â€? she says. Elsa is still in training, and while Ramesh gets updates and pictures, she wonâ€™t know if her dog made it through training until later in the summer. Both friends will raise dogs for the foundation again, they say, but not right away. As Ramesh says, â€œyou want to give them stability.â€? f
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Inside ACCâ€™s Improved Animal Pound By Blake Aued firstname.lastname@example.org
thens-Clarke Countyâ€™s animal shelter is undergoing a $620,000 renovation and expansion that will provide a better life for dogs, cats and Animal Control workers and volunteers alike. As part of the SPLOST project, approved by voters in 2010, ACC has moved its cat shelter, previously located in a dilapidated building off Buddy Christian Way near the airport, to the existing dog pound just down the street. Additional cat cages and dog kennels have been added, as well as cat interaction rooms, a food prep area, a dog-grooming room, spaces to quarantine suspected feral cats, sick animals and those that bit people, and special rooms for puppies and kittens. â€œThe tops [of the cages] will be open so you can actually reach over and interact with them,â€? says Animal Control Division Supervisor Patrick Rives. â€œItâ€™s a nice temperature-controlled environment for the little guys. What it also allows us to do is free up kennel space for the bigger dogs.â€? Understandably, Rives is especially excited about the new office space in the buildingâ€” what he calls â€œthe bullpen.â€? Previously five animal control officers had to share two computers and one phone. Now all have their own workstations with a phone and a laptop that allow them to file reports from home when theyâ€™re on call. Thereâ€™s also a secure room to keep evidence from animal cruelty cases. Outside are six additional dog kennels and several new, larger pens where potential adopters can play with dogs auditioning for their forever homes. â€œThe dogs have a lot of room to run, so we encourage people to bring toys, throw the ball, that sort of thing,â€? Rives says. Many of the improvements are already complete, and the rest could be finished as early as next month, Rives says.
hen my wife and I adopted an approximately oneyear-old lab/fiest mix, we quickly realized that, for her, literally no amount of walking was enough. Walks around the block quickly turned into epic two-hour slogs on the Greenway, and she was still rarinâ€™ to tear up the couch when we got home. While walking your dog is good exercise for both of you, Athens is lucky to have several places where canines can burn off energy without wearing out their owners. In addition to any number of informal play spotsâ€”ranging from friendsâ€™ fenced-in yards to unused church ballfieldsâ€”the Athens-Clarke County Leisure Services Department and the University of Georgia run four official public dog parks where leashes can (legally) come off. [Blake Aued]
Oconee Forest Park
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by the state, including Athens Canine Rescue, Pawtropolis, Circle of Friends and others. â€œThey check athenspets.net [a volunteer-run website] or come by and say, â€˜Make us the last chance,â€™â€? Rives says. Itâ€™s not just dogs and cats that find their way to the animal shelter, though. â€œWeâ€™ve had goats, horses, emus, cows,â€? says Rives, and the shelter now includes a special pen for livestock. Recently Animal Control took in an albino red tail boa that lost its home in a fire. Its owners could not take it back, but another family adopted the snake. f
Athens Dog Parks Let Pooches Roam Free
293 Gran Ellen Dr. â€˘ Open daily 8 a.m.â€“sunset Located just south of Five Points, Memorial Parkâ€™s 1.5-acre dog park is the smallest and probably the most popular in townâ€”and, to be honest, itâ€™s a bit worse for the wear. The upside is your dog will always be able to meet some new buddies; the downside is, when it gets too crowded, the hounds can get a bit salty. (And if you have a bird dog like me, have fun dragging it over the pond past the ducks.) But itâ€™s conveniently located, shady and stocked with lots of benches and picnic tables. Bring a book and let your furry friend frolic.
One benefit of the expansion will be to reduce ACC Animal Controlâ€™s already low euthanasia rate. According to department records, just 55 out of more than 2,000 dogs that came through the shelter were euthanized in 2015. Few were put down because of lack of space; most had serious behavioral or medical problems, Rives says. One myth Rives is eager to dispel is that UGA students often drop off their pets or turn them loose when leaving school. Animal Control doesnâ€™t ask people if theyâ€™re students, but anecdotally, they donâ€™t see a lot of college-age people come in, and their numbers donâ€™t spike at the end of semesters. â€œIf itâ€™s happening, itâ€™s happening in some secret way we donâ€™t know about,â€? Rives says. County policy requires that animals be kept at the shelter for at least five days before being euthanized, but in practice some stay far longer unless the shelter becomes overcrowded, in which case rescue groups often step in. Animal Control works with any rescue group thatâ€™s licensed Joshua L. Jones
This one is a hidden gem, and when I say hidden, I mean hidden. Drive all the way through the UGA
Intramural Fields off College Station Road and park at the end. A ways down the trail through Oconee Forest, youâ€™ll find a 15-acre (somewhat) enclosed area where you can let Fido off-leash (and even swim in a pond). Warning: The fence is pretty spotty, so if your dog is prone to roam, this may not be the place for you. If not, thereâ€™s lots of cool stuff to explore.
Southeast Clarke Park
4440 Lexington Road â€˘ Open daily 8 a.m.â€“sunset Leisure Services recently completed a brand-new, larger Wiggley Field off Whit Davis Road (out past the Walmart) to replace the old one, where the grass was chronically worn down from overuse. The new Wiggley Field is divided into three zonesâ€”one for all dogs, one for big dogs and one for small dogs, which is great if youâ€™re worried about a Rottweiler mistaking your Chihuahua for prey or vice versa. (One of the zones may be closed to recover from the trampling.) Parts of the park are left unmowed to create a natural meadow environment.
Sandy Creek Park
400 Bob Holman Road â€˘ Open Tues.â€“Sat. 7 a.m.â€“8 p.m. Up Highway 441 near the Jackson County line is Sandy Creek Park, which has five two- and three-acre dog pens that are perfect for fetch or Frisbee. Four require reservations and cost $1 per hour; the fifth is free and doesnâ€™t require a reservation. (Reservations can be made at the gatehouse or by calling 706-6133631 up to 48 hours in advance.) Admission to the park is $2.
The Furriest Family Member Tips for Raising Kids and Pets By Kristen Morales email@example.com
courtesy of the Athens area Humane Society
perspective. And that works out in the long If thereâ€™s one thing I think kids should term, because you better understand why do before they graduate from high school, the dog is doing that crazy thing (jumping, itâ€™s be responsible for a pet. Thatâ€™s partly licking the floor under the high chair, digbecause I grew up with a menagerieâ€”cats, ging in the back yard) and youâ€™re less likely dogs and fish, yes, but also parakeets, turto say, â€œHey, this relationship isnâ€™t working tles, a hedgehog and even an ornery, single out.â€? lovebird named Chester. While some aniThinking like a dog is also a common mals taught better lessons than others (parmistake that dog lovers make when the dog akeets are messy but can learn the â€œAndy is the first â€œchildâ€?â€”and then a baby comes Griffithâ€? theme song; cats usually just want into the fold. One of my biggest peeves is to be left alone), the experience of taking when a couple has a dog, then gets pregcare of a living creature is one of the most nant and decides they have to get rid of the valuable lessons a child can experience. dog. Sure, there are times when the dog is That said, now that Iâ€™m a grownup with genuinely unsafe around kids, but if you children of my own, itâ€™s not nearly as easy donâ€™t have any evidence of this, why assume to say yes when asked for a new pet. We the first member of your family now needs already have a cat and a dog, for example, to leave, making and now my daughroom for a human? ter is angling for Again, it goes back to something elseâ€” trainingâ€”and also something thatâ€™s thinking like a dog. truly â€œhersâ€?â€”like a Because dogs know hamster or a rat. I say when something is the dog and cat are up. fine for now. Also, I donâ€™t mean It makes me wonto be picking on dogs. der how my parents but when thereâ€™s a handled the ask. class for hamsters or Although, Iâ€™ll admit cats, let me know. I that once we got to may consider getting high school, my sister a hamster. and I stopped asking There are lots of and just came home private dog instrucwith random creators around town, tures (and I have zero and Athens-Clarke recollection of how County also offers a Chester the lovebird dog obedience class came into our pos(athensclarkecounty. session). Cats were com/1970/dog-obemy familyâ€™s gateway dience-class). If you animalâ€”we adopted Education is a big part of owning a pet, whether adopt from a shelter a series of ill-fated itâ€™s obedience training or teaching your child how like the Humane barn cats when I to take care of one. Society, ask about an was in elementary â€œovernight option,â€? which allows you to take school. But by middle school, my sister a dog (or cat!) home for a trial run. That way had her heart set on a fluffy, bouncy dog you get an early indication if things may or called a keeshond, a Dutch breed. When we may not work out, personality-wise, with brought home the puppy weâ€™d call Panda, your family, before youâ€™ve bonded with the my mother, it turns out, did one of the best pet. Stewart said staff can also help you figthings she could do: She signed us all up for ure out which animal has a personality that obedience classes. Yes, all of us. Dog obedience was a family best matches with your family. And if youâ€™re not ready to make the affair. Once a week, my mother, sister and I commitment but your child is dead-set would head to puppy class and note how to on having an animal, the Athens Area make our little dog walk on a leash, sit on command and come when called. (Somehow Humane Society offers camps that teach kids about animals and how to handle them my father got out of this duty.) Later on, (the Junior Vet camp, June 13â€“16, had when we took in Labrador puppies that a few openings as of press time). And all would eventually be trained to be seeinglocal shelters are happy to have kids come eye dogs, we also went through the rounds to volunteerâ€”Iâ€™ve seen birthday parties of classes. By the time I graduated from where, instead of presents, kids asked for high school, I had a pretty good idea of how donations of newspapers and food for their to run a dog training class. favorite shelterâ€”or they can schedule a I say this was one of the best decisions time to simply come by and play with the she could make when we got a dog because, animals. from what Jane Stewart tells me, itâ€™s the Just like having a baby, having a pet is an simplest way to get a dog acclimated to a investment of love and time. But it pays off family and vice-versa. If you are a family down the road in your childâ€™s ability to care thinking of bringing a dog into the mix, for another creatureâ€”or simply take on signing up for an obedience class is the best responsibility. Or, in the case of my childway to break the ice. Not only does it give hood, the ability to give a cranky old loveyou a foundation for good behavior, but it bird a place to hang out for its final years. f also helps you to see things from the dogâ€™s
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