Lake Norman Currents Magazine

Page 1

JULY 2020

ELLA THE THERAPY DOG finds purpose after pain

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from Where I Sit

The magazine by and for the people who call Lake Norman home

The Not-So-Secret Life of Pets


JULY 2020


don’t like to think about what my life would be like without my pets. I’ve had a dog for as long as I can remember, and most of them have been pretty small. I guess as a petite person myself I’m hesitant to get a pet that could potentially be taller than me while standing on hind legs. My husband and I started out with a small chihuahua I brought into the marriage, and while I’m sure Daniel was hesitant about Odie at first (we all know the bad rap chis can get) he eventually grew to love that boy. When Odie passed away after a long life in 2010, we swore up and down we would take a break from having a pet. We were too heartbroken and tried to convince ourselves that we would be able to take more last-minute trips, etc. without the responsibility of finding a dog sitter, etc. Two months later, I went to a local dog rescue for an article I was reporting on. I guess you can tell where this story is going . . . the first “person” to greet me was a wire-haired black terrier mix. There was something in his eyes that drew me to him immediately and I felt bad for him sitting in a crate out in the August heat. Within a few days, we filled out an application and had our home and yard inspected by

the rescue. Sonic came home with us and our kids (who were 7 and 4 at the time) were thrilled to have another dog in the house. That dog has become my faithful companion. We joke that he’s like a sheepdog and likes to herd me from room to room. He will sleep underneath my desk while I’m working, and when he feels like it’s time for me to get up, he will “herd” me to the couch, where he immediately curls up beside me. In the mornings, he herds us to the food bowls. He herds us to the side door when he’s ready to take a walk. We have no idea how old he is now, just that he was pretty young when we got him. It’s hard for me to see him start to walk a little slower and take longer naps, but we are grateful that he came to join our family. Six years ago, we started thinking about getting a puppy to join the family, and because I had secretly always wanted a dachshund, I started talking

to my daughter about getting one for her birthday. We found an adorable long-haired puppy we named Ruby and brought her home in 2014. As you can imagine, Sonic was a bit grumpy with that new arrival, but they eventually worked things out. Now I have two dogs that lie under my desk and have learned just how persistent dachshunds can be when they want food (which is 24/7 by the way). Their two personalities keep us pretty amused, because they both are completely different. She follows my husband around and will sass at him if she doesn’t get her way, something she never does with me. She howls when my daughter plays the piano. She also can be in a dead sleep and hear the refrigerator drawer that holds the cheese open and be in the kitchen in seconds. We keep saying we’re going to enter her in the Downtown Mooresville’s Weiner Dog Race (held each year in October), but I don’t know that we will ever follow through on that promise. Pets are such a fun and memorable part of our lives. I only wished they could be with us longer.


Publisher MacAdam Smith

Advertising Director Sharon Simpson

Advertising Sales Executives

Carole Lambert

Beth Packard

Trisha Robinson

Event Coordinator Alison Smith

Social Media Specialist Lauren Platts

Design & Production idesign2, inc

Contributing Writers Trevor Burton Sara Coleman Jill Dahan Aaron Garcia Grace Kennedy Bek Mitchell-Kidd Mike Savicki Lara Tumer


Contributing Photographers Lisa Crates Jamie Cowles Ken Noblezada Gayle Shomer Photography Emily Thomas

Mission Statement: Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine will embody the character, the voice and the spirit of its readers, its leaders and its advertisers. It will connect the people of Lake Norman through inspiring, entertaining and informative content, photography and design; all of which capture the elements of a well-lived life on and around the community known as Lake Norman.

We’re leading the way forward Every day, more than 32,000 people choose us for care. They choose us because we have the region’s largest number of cancer clinical trials, award-winning specialty care and our nationally ranked Best Children’s Hospital with the largest NICU between Atlanta and Washington, D.C. Whatever their reason, we remain strong in our commitment – setting a higher bar, pursuing a higher standard, to find better ways to care for all. JULY 2020


Carolinas Medical Center


Contents July vol. 14 No. 7

28 Young Leaders Lauren Wentz runs the show

30 Thoughts from the Man Cave

Bella the running dachshund and the human who loves her

35 Cover Dog Spotlight

Meet Ryder, the 2020 CURRENTS’ Canine Cover Contest Winner

42 All Things Pets Stories behind LKN pets and how to keep them safe

54 Trends + Style Products to help JULY 2020


you showcase your love for pets

64 Renee Wants


to Know

Why are fireworks painful for veterans?


About the Cover:

Special thanks to Veterinary Hospital of Davidson for being our Gold Sponsor of the Canine Cover Competition.

Channel Markers

Movers, shakers and more at the lake

19 Inspired at Lake Norman offers gifts, art and botanicals

20 For the Long Run — Rescue Ranch

promotes responsible pet ownership

21 We’re Just Crazy About —

The Field of Flags in Mooresville

22 Therapy dogs at NC Neuro & Sleep comfort patients

23 Live Like a Native — Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue

24 Bet You Didn’t Know — Davidson resident Rev. Brenda Tapia was a voice for equality

25 Kevin Clark is Lake Norman Fire/ Rescue’s New Fire Chief

32 Navigators

Marnie Schneider advocates for Alzheimer’s Awareness

Lake Spaces

How we live at the lake

48 Dwellings

Designers share their tips for creating pet spaces in homes

Dine + Wine

Eating, drinking, cooking and fun

56 Wine Time

On the Nines Bistro in Mooresville is on target

36 Top Dogs

A gallery of the top vote-getters in the 2020 CURRENTS’ Canine Cover Contest

58 On Tap

Hoptown Brewing Company to bring new vibe to Mooresville

59 In the Kitchen with Jill Dahan Dog-Gone Good Cookies

60 Nibbles + Bites

The Crazy Pig BBQ Taphouse fills niche

48 Homes for Pets

Making the most of your companion’s space

Subscriptions are available for $30 per year.

Send us your name, address, phone number and a check made payable to Lake Norman CURRENTS at the address above and we’ll start your subscription with the next available issue.

10225 Hickorywood Hill Ave, Unit A Huntersville, NC 28078 484.769.7445 |

Lake Norman CURRENTS is a monthly publication available through direct-mail home delivery to the most affluent Lake Norman residents. It also is available at area Harris Teeter supermarkets, as well as various Chambers of Commerce, real estate offices and specialty businesses. The entire contents of this publication are protected under copyright. Unauthorized use of any editorial or advertising content in any form is strictly prohibited. Lake Norman CURRENTS magazine is wholly owned by Oasis Magazines, Inc.

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FOOD, ENTERTAINMENT & LUXURY LIVING Eat. Drink. Indulge. Breakfast or Lunch at Langtree Lake Norman. 120 Langtree Village Dr. 704.997.2596

The Kilted Buffalo Langtree’s neighborhood sports pub offering over 40 domestic and imported beers along with great wine selection. 119 Landings Dr | 704.237.3592

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Helping you on your road to good health. JULY 2020


orth Carolina Neurology and Sleep is a comprehensive general neurology and sleep practice. We are an independent clinic that prides itself on an individual approach. Dr. Giallanza “Dr. G” was born and raised outside of Buffalo, NY. He obtained his medical degree at the University of Buffalo. He moved to North Carolina in 2003 where he did his neurology and sleep training at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Giallanza established the practice in 2010. Allie Sobin is our nurse practitioner and joined the practice in 2019. She has quickly become an integral part of our practice. Allie is a native of South Carolina and obtained her degrees at the University of South Carolina at Columbia and Clemson University. Some of our services include: neurologic and sleep consultations; in lab and home sleep testing; electroencephalograms (EEGs); nerve conduction testing and electromyograms (EMGs); minor ambulatory procedures. In 2019 NC Neurology and Sleep added two certified therapy dogs to our growing practice (Pepper- an Italian Greyhound and Lucy- an Aussie Labradoodle).

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Inspiration Awaits JULY 2020

Old Town Cornelius boutique offers botanicals and artful gifts



ith a background in retail, Georgia Ferguson’s artistic side made owning an artfocused gift store a long-time dream of hers. While the idea was tabled many times in the past due to life’s responsibilities, she and husband Mark Ferguson settled in Cornelius and opened Inspired at Lake Norman. The Fergusons felt strongly about the shop being within the walls of their own community. With a desire to be in a high traffic area and to avoid busy shopping centers, the corner of Catawba and School in Old Town Cornelius provided the perfect spot. With the Cain Center for the Arts unveiling

plans of a Cornelius venue, gallery and educational center around the same time, the Fergusons saw real potential for this area and the likelihood of it becoming an arts district in its own right. The fine art component sets this shop apart from other gift shops, featuring a handful of accomplished Corneliusbased artists including Lauren Bolshakov, who has provided both oil paintings as well as charcoal drawings to be sold, as well as Storey Ellis, an artist and interior decorator. Amy Weishaar is another widely recognized artist who is currently being showcased in the shop. In an effort to be accessible to all, not all of the art for sale

is fine art. The shop works with Greenbox to offer mass produced contemporary pieces that fall at a much lower price point. While art is a big component of the shop’s offerings, the Fergusons have carefully selected hundreds of gift options for every occasion in a number of other categories. As you enter the front door at Inspired at Lake Norman, the room is reminiscent of a fresh flower shop. The botanical gifts are meant to be permanent fixtures in the home with beautiful vases and vessels. Each additional room of the shop is dedicated to another category of gifts including a housewares room for fun and unique entertaining pieces, outdoor

serve ware, and the perfect host/hostess gifts. The jewelry showroom features products from five distinct jewelry designers. You’ll also find a men’s lifestyle room with growlers, bags and backpacks, passport holders, wallets, and more as well as a separate room for women’s lifestyle gifts. There are also carefully curated newborn baby gifts, as well as several lines for dog and cat lovers. Yogis will love the entire section of gifts devoted to meditation and wellness. — By Lara Tumer, Photography by Gayle Shomer Photography

The Scoop: Inspired at Lake Norman 21136 Catawba Ave., Cornelius 704.997.5500


Georgia and Mark Ferguson, who own Inspired at Lake Norman.


For the Long Run

Meanwhile, Back at (Rescue) Ranch Nonprofit in Statesville promotes education and respect for all animals

JULY 2020


Visitors to Rescue Ranch will meet a variety of Animal Ambassadors to learn more about responsible pet ownership.


hile Rescue Ranch, a 501 (3) (c) animal welfare nonprofit was founded by Ryan and Krissie Newman in 2012, it’s truly the Animal Ambassadors who are the stars of the show. Those Animal Ambassadors help educate visitors on all aspects of animal education, including responsible pet ownership. Rescue Ranch’s focus is humane education by offering programs for visitors that will develop and enhance the learning process of respect, empathy and compassion for animals. You can tell the animals are thriving in their roles—in fact, Education Director Stacey Foreman says the social creatures got a little lonely

during the first few months of the pandemic when visitors were restricted and the number of volunteers taking care of them had to be reduced. The ranch sits on a sprawling 87 acres and includes more than 85 critters, including cows, tortoises, pigs, rabbits, goats, reptiles, birds, guinea pigs, and much more. The team at Rescue Ranch know that kids are fearless and believe the best place to promote awareness of the unique care animals need is through them, says Foreman. That’s why hands-on learning is such a key factor in the education programs. The ranch offers school visits, Scouting and camp programs along with birthday parties. In May

2017, the Earnhardt Family Playground opened, providing 10,000 square feet of fun equipped so that children with special needs can also enjoy it. The property also features a nature trail with interactive STEM components woven into the experience. There are a variety of ways to support the ranch this summer. Rescue Ranch is still offering summer programming, appropriately titled “Critter Camps,” but the amount of attendees will be reduced and COVID-19 social distancing guidelines will be put into place. The camps involve daily interaction with the Animal Ambassadors, games, crafts, STEM activities and lesson on the best ways to care for

animals and promote humane animal care. As an alternative to in-person camp, Rescue Ranch is also offering takehome “Critter Boxes” that include age-appropriate STEM activities, a camp T-shirt, and all supplies needed for the projects. You can then have the box shipped to you or arrange a time to pick up at the ranch. All proceeds from the camps go directly back into the Rescue Ranch. They are also offering tours for small groups by appointment only. — By Renee Roberson, Photography by Emily Thomas

The Scoop: Rescue Ranch 1424 Turnersburg Hwy., Statesville 704.768.0909


We’re Just Crazy About THE 2020 FIELD OF FLAGS

photos courtesy of Cotton Ketchie


Mooresville/Lake Norman is a civic organization that focuses on three programs of service: Americanism, Youth Programs and Community Service. Their national project is the prevention of child abuse. The funds raised from the Field of Flags will benefit these programsas they support the needs of the community. Visit the Field of Flags display in the grassy field adjacent to the Lowe’s YMCA at 170 Joe Knox Avenue in Mooresville July 1-5 and all are invited to walk through the ordered rows of flags. Flags can be purchased for $35. To learn more, visit fieldofflags.

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JULY 2020

This year’s Field of Flags is displayed at Lowe’s YMCA in Mooresville.

here’s nothing like the power of a flag. The Exchange Club of Mooresville/Lake Norman is once again displaying hundreds of American flags dedicated to honoring veterans, active military members and first responder heroes. The Exchange Club of Mooresville/Lake Norman partners with local businesses and organizations to demonstrate our appreciation and patriotism for the United States of America and the soldiers who have fought, and continue to fight, for our freedoms. Flags are available for purchase by individuals and businesses. The Exchange Club of


Your Wish is Their Command

Pups help comfort patients with sleep issues

JULY 2020


From left to right: Dr. Giallanza, Pepper, Allie Sobin, Tish Simpson and Lucy.


atching some zzzzs in the summertime can be hard. It’s too hot, too bright, or the most ironic of all, you’re too tired to fall asleep. Led by Dr. Giallanza (or, Dr. G.), North Carolina Neurology & Sleep has introduced a new way to help lull patients into a more relaxed state with two team members, Pepper and Lucy. Pepper is a sweet two-and-ahalf-year-old Italian Greyhound, and Dr G.’s dog. Lucy, a oneand-a-half-year-old Aussie Labradoodle, is owned by office administrator Tish Simpson. “Pepper and Lucy are certified therapy dogs,” says Simpson. “They have learned so much working with different types of neurological disorders. They are focused, have incredible patience, socializing and communication skills, and provide the best

affection and support to our patients.” The dogs accompany Dr. G. and certified family nurse practitioner, Allie Sobin, throughout the day. Patients can request that the dogs are present during an appointment. “We are an independent clinic that prides itself on an individual approach,” says Dr. G. of the Huntersville practice. “Some of our services include neurologic and sleep consultations; in lab and home sleep testing, nerve conduction testing, and minor ambulatory procedures. The dogs have been a great addition to our practice.” So, how do you know if you have a sleep problem that may be worthy of a visit to a specialist? “If you are achieving an average sleep time (8-hours per night) yet still feel tired, or if you can’t fall or

stay asleep these can be warning signs of a sleep problem,” says Dr. G. “It’s important to listen to your spouse, friends and family. Are you a restless sleeper, or snore loudly? These too can be signs of something more serious.” Have a pup at home? Dr. G. says, “Dogs can help with anxiety-related sleep problems such as insomnia, and delayed sleep syndrome by requiring a more regimented sleep schedule and getting you up and out for a walk in the morning.” Dogs can also help establish a trusting relationship between doctors and patients. “We have patients that never show emotion or speak during appointments until Pepper and Lucy show up,” says Simpson. “During visits with the dogs, elderly patients with dementia are more verbal than usual and

children with autistic spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and oppositional defiant disorder have demonstrated increased social interaction.” Pepper and Lucy are so popular they even have their own Instagram accounts so patients and fans can get a daily dose of their four-legged fun away from the office. Simpson says “Pepper enjoys travelling and playing with the cat, Marshmellow. Lucy loves going to the beach, Lake Norman boat rides and hanging out by the pool with her best friend George, the Goldendoodle.”— By Bek Mitchell-Kidd, Photography by Ken Noblezada

To learn more about North Carolina Neurology & Sleep , visit Instagram: dr.pepper.blu lucille_ball_aussie_doodle


Live Like a Native The Bigger the Bark, the Bigger the Heart A look at a local dog rescue that strives to be different



Bottom: CBHBB Ambassador Nala.

until she gained her strength back. Now that she is healthy, Pinky has learned how to be a puppy once again, allowing her silly and playful nature to come to the surface. She also mentions Jilly, who after waiting four years finally found her a home a month ago with an amazing couple and as Schauseil puts it, “hit the jackpot.” Blocker emphasizes that, “the biggest thing we want people to understand when they adopt any dog is that they need a decompression period and some level of training.” She stresses to adopters the importance of maintaining patience as they integrate a new dog slowly into their home. Oftentimes the life of these dogs and level of neglect prior to their rescue remains unknown, making it essential to allow them time to adjust to new surroundings. Dog rescue is hard, but the dedicated contributors of CBHBB continue to move forward, learning to use challenges and mistakes as a way to grow and evolve. According to Haynes, in the first six months of the rescue’s operation they rescued 66 dogs and had 29 adoptions. Haynes proudly adds that, “Right now, we have 43 dogs in foster homes, and have had 117 adoptions so far in 2020.” To date, the rescue has adopted out 758 dogs, and intends to continue increasing this number for many years to come. To learn more about Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks rescue or to inquire about fostering, adopting or donating, visit their website at — By Emily Thomas, Photography by Jamie Cowles

JULY 2020

Top: From left to right: Patricia Haynes, Suzy Blocker and Lisa Schauseil.

hen the Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks dog rescue first opened its doors, Suzy Blocker, Lisa Schauseil and Patricia Haynes made a two-fold promise that they were eager to fulfill. They promised to do everything in their power to demonstrate how much they value their fosters and volunteers, and to recognize that nothing is simply black and white. They set out with an objective to think outside the box and embrace the grey areas that accompany pet rescue without passing a snap judgement. They did not want to be “just another rescue,” but instead set their sights on being different. The women pulled together their own experiences and developed a special program in which “every adoption is touched by many different hands,” says Blocker. Through a multitude of documents, suggestions and referrals, the rescue provides support to adopters in training their new dog while simultaneously building a strong relationship between pets and their owners. CBHBB was founded in July 2015 and is a non-profit organization that is 100 percent foster-based and run by volunteers. Their mission stems from their dedication to the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of large breeds, serving as a safe stepping stone for dogs in search of their forever homes. Schauseil says that the most rewarding part of working with this organization is “seeing happy, healthy dogs living their best lives!” She reflects on Pinky, a 3-week-old puppy her family nursed 24/7 on the brink of death


Bet You Didn’t Know

A Leader for Change

Rev. Brenda Tapia became a voice for equality

Rev. Brenda Tapia performing pastoral duties and with students in her Love of Learning Program. Photos compiled by Bill Giduz for News of Davidson.

JULY 2020


Rev. Brenda Tapia worked at Davidson College for nearly two decades beginning in 1985.


n Feb. 4, the Davidson community lost a treasured member who spent her life dedicated to helping others and being an active voice for equality and change. Born on Aug. 27, 1949, Rev. Brenda Tapia was one of three children raised by James and Dovie Howard. Her father, James, worked at Davidson College on the college maintenance staff and later as an assistant in the university’s chemistry department. Having grown up in the south in the 1950s and 1960s, Rev. Tapia experienced life during segregation and it made a lasting impression on her. She attended the Ada Jenkins

School, Torrence-Lytle School in Huntersville and was one of the first black students who attended North Mecklenburg High School as part of desegregation. When she was interviewed by UNC Charlotte 1996, she recalled, “I born in 1949, so I grew up in the early 50s and everything was still segregated . . . I remember seeing “White Only” water fountains and “Colored” water fountains. I remember going to the doctor and sitting on the black side of the office and not being able to sit on the white side. I remember riding the back of the bus. During those times, the church was the source of everything for us. It was a social outlet. We

couldn’t always go to parks and restaurants and other places of amusement, so the church was, was the source for everything.” She received a degree in psychology from Howard University, and was always drawn to counseling others. Her foundational upbringing in the church led her to pursue a career in the ministry in Atlanta and become ordained as a minister after 10 years of working in various counselor roles. She named her grandfather and uncle who was a teaching elder as the two who inspired her to pursue the ministry. “My grandfather thought two things were important,” she said in the interview with UNC Charlotte. “He felt that if you had a strong relationship with God and a sound education, no one could ever take your freedom for you, from you. That was, that was freedom to him because his mother was born in slavery and, just as slavery was ending. And so, he lived in a very segregated and oppressed time just as I did growing up.” Rev. Tapia returned to

Davidson in 1985 and accepted a position at Davidson College as a consultant for minority affairs, eventually working as a full-time assistant chaplain and minority student counselor. She had found her calling. While working with a task force at the college that was hoping to increase enrollment of minority students, Rev. Tapia came up with the idea to create an education enrichment program for high school students called “Love of Learning.” Love of Learning served as a year-round supplement to students’ regular school curriculum and included tutoring, leadership training and opportunities for spiritual development. The students, mostly black at first but eventually adding in white and Hispanic students, attended monthly gatherings, a summer residential session on the Davidson Campus. The college provided most of the financial support for the program. Students attended the program for five years, from pre-ninth grade to high school graduation. It is estimated that more than 500 students participated in the program over the course of 19 years. — Renee Roberson


Fired Up For The New Chief

Kevin Clark elected as Lake Norman Fire/Rescue’s newest Fire Chief


the ranks of fireman, Battalion Chief, Deputy Chief and now the Fire Chief. As the Fire Chief, Clark “wears many hats,” between his roles in educating, training, financing and managing the department, in addition to leading his team with a motivation, passion and professionalism that inspires them to carry out their roles in the most difficult situations. “The fire service is a brotherhood. I enjoy being with like-minded people who are dedicated to serving our great community,” he says. “Over the years I have been blessed to work with some excellent leaders and top-notch firemen,” says Clark. Since the establishment of the rescue’s current Lake Norman location

in 2006, Clark imparts that “no two days are alike, you have to be ready mentally and physically to respond at any time to an emergency situation.” Clark admits that this profession comes with its share of Kevin Clark, Fire Chief for Lake Norman tribulations. It Fire/Rescue. is never easy to deal with the loss his work in the field, but also of life — the task of notifying teaching fire education classes at loved ones of a tragedy. But with local schools. He hopes that one the challenges also come the day other 8-year-old kids may rewards. Clark views his work find their passion to serve, just helping those in need and saving as he did. — By Emily Thomas, lives as “a fireman’s calling,” and Photography provided by Lake Norman Fire/Rescue. not only gets great joy from

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JULY 2020

t 8 years old, Kevin Clark combated his first fire. During Thanksgiving dinner at his aunt’s house, his family received a call from a concerned neighbor alerting them of flames illuminating from their house. They rushed home to find that the couch had caught fire. After shoving it out the window, Clark ran down the block to activate the fire alarm box as his father fought the flames, thus beginning his journey leading up to becoming the newest Fire Chief of Lake Norman Fire/Rescue. Clark has now been with the LKN Volunteer Fire/Rescue for 24 years. Since moving to Lake Norman in 1996 from Victory, New York, where he served as an Assistant Fire Chief, he has held


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YOUNG LEADERS by Sara Coleman photography courtesy of Lauren Wentz

To Catch A Rising Star

JULY 2020

Lauren Wentz

How this young talent is turning passion into a career



auren Wentz is more than a recent high school graduate—she happens to know exactly where she’s headed in life. For several years, Wentz has acted as Stage Manager for the Davidson Community Players (DCP), a non-profit organization that produces their own theatre productions with a strong focus on the community. What’s more amazing is Wentz was able to do this job while carrying a full course load in high school and taking advanced classes.

From job to passion

Wentz recently graduated from Hough High, and even during the COVID-19 cancellations and unpredictability, her goals never waivered. She’s bound for Pace University, located in the heart of New York

City, later this fall. She plans to major in Stage Management in order to pursue her dream of working in theatre professionally. When asked about facing the uncertainty of living in New York City during this turbulent time, she’s quick to point out “whatever happens, happens” and it’s clear that very little will stop her along the way. It’s also clear Wentz doesn’t see her role as Stage Manager as an ordinary job, but rather her calling. She first found herself as a Stage Manager when she was in middle school and she was hooked right away. Once high school rolled around, an opportunity for a paid position as a Stage Manager for DCP came available. Surprised she could actually earn money for something she loved doing, Wentz quickly pounced on the opportunity. As her job as Stage Manager came to fruition, so did her dream of making this her

full-time reality. She credits the shows she worked on such as The Curious Incident of the Dog in Night-Time and Mamma Mia! as being instrumental in helping her realize she was meant to be behind the curtains. She hasn’t stopped dreaming of a career in stage management ever since.

Wentz on the set of last summer’s “Mamma Mia!”

Life lessons from the stage

For those not familiar with the theatre world, the stage manager organizes the day-today running of a particular show from rehearsals right through to performances and then postshow. They meet with and communicate with the cast, crew and director to ensure the smooth running of a production—the job requires countless hours of rehearsals, performances and working with many different schedules and minute details. Wentz’s role as Stage Manager requires her to work alongside other teenagers as well as adults. Not only does she work with people from all ages and backgrounds, she’s learned the importance of hard work at an early age. She has had to adopt the attitude of try and try again, until the desired results are achieved. While others might see the countless rehearsals as tedious, Lauren views it as a time when she can make mistakes and get better. As she likes to tell you, “It doesn’t matter how many times you mess up, you will get there,” and it seems she’s following her own advice. If you find yourself needing a little encouragement about today’s youth, look no further than Lauren Wentz. She’s showing us all how passion and hard work can take you exactly where you want to go in life.

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thoughts from the Man Cave

It’s Bella! A tale of a running dachshund and the human who loves her


JULY 2020


his is a story about a dog, her human, and a shared love of running that developed by happenstance. Happenstance? Of course, how else? After all, it defies all logic to even think of pairing a decades-removed athlete with a dachshund and sending them off running, right? By way of background, Bella is an eight-year-old dachshund who was rescued from under a trailer home and taken in by Kaetllyn Koldsbaek when her dad, Keith, the longtime former car chief and now mechanic at Hendrick Motorsports lovingly agreed. Bella was Kaetlyn’s dog until she headed off to college at Western Carolina. As part of their goodbyes, Kaetlyn said something like, as daughters often do, “Dad, will you watch the dog while I’m away.” Keith agreed. Coming home from work day after day, Keith would find Bella sitting on the couch and he began to feel for her. “Dogs are meant to be outside, running and playing in big yards,” Keith tells me as we sit and chat at the entrance of the Davidson College crosscountry trails, Bella chomping at the bit knowing they are about to go for a run. “Dogs need the interaction, they need the stimulation, and they need to be dogs, and Bella wasn’t getting that. “After work, I would walk Bella and the old athlete in me started wondering what might happen if we started running,” Keith, now 60, shares. “But she is a dachshund and I didn’t know if running was the right

thing to do so I began looking on the Internet.” That’s when things changed, and this beautiful story gets even better. Keith found testimonials, and data, too, that convinced him they could run together. Starting with a “Couch to 5k” plan, and researching the proper way to run, feed, hydrate and monitor a dog like Bella, they headed out the door and things just clicked. “Bella just never got tired,” Keith shares with a smile as wide as a Carolina mile. Their 5ks soon became 10ks, then half marathons and, yes, even marathons. Bella and Keith often run for charity, raising money for organizations like Furever Haus which provides respite care for pets. And on the day of our interview, coincidentally Global Running Day, they were putting in 10 miles to support Charlotte-based Running Works, an organization that helps men, women, and children overcome poverty, homelessness, and addiction. They train and race with an eye to safety and balance. Keith monitors his health and performance data through a wearable device and, yes, Bella wears a Fit Bark, so Keith can download everything from her activity levels to her sleep patterns. In the summer he has a cooling vest waiting for her at the finish, in the winter she wears a jacket, and whenever they run on pavement, he tapes her front paws to protect the pads. And Keith always carries water for Bella, ready to stop and give her a drink

by Mike Savicki

Bella on one of her many weekend hikes/runs. Right: Keith Koldsbaek and Bella.

when she needs it. Bella’s diet consists mainly of home cooked chicken and salmon. He puts their planned mileage on the calendar and treats their time together almost like a second job— second only to ensuring the Hendrick Cup cars are dialed in every week. If you happen to be at the starting line of a race and are looking for the pair, Keith and Bella always start at the back of the pack. It is there, Keith tells me, they can set off at their own pace, often running alongside novices who might just use them as a source of inspiration, reassurance, and motivation. They are never in too much of a rush not to stop when a child wants a photo or to pat her. And as they approach the finish line, of course, they get looks of amazement, disbelief, and wonder. Lots of congratulations, too.

“What’s an extra minute or two on your time,” Keith offers, “when you can help spread joy along the way?” Near the end of the interview I asked Keith if he ever runs without Bella and, if that happens, does he run or feel any differently? “Without her? No, never, there’s not a chance,” he tells me. “Her mileage is my mileage and my joy comes from being with her. She is everything.” Then Keith stands up and points to Bella, who picks up on the cue, focuses her eyes on the trailhead and begins wagging her tail. “It’s all about her,” he says. And off they run.

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When Every Day is

Game Day

JULY 2020


Growing up in an NFL family helped Marnie Schneider tackle life’s biggest challenges by Grace Kennedy photography provided by Marnie Schneider

Susan Spencer was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018.

Marnie Schneider and Susan T. Spencer created the Football Freddie and Fumble the Dog: GameDay in the USA children’s book series, with proceeds supporting their charitable foundations. Learn more at

Even with a full plate, Schneider made sure her game plan involved giving back. She had every excuse to focus on her own family’s challenges, but helping others is in Schneider’s DNA. Her grandfather founded Ronald McDonald House, and her mother created A Level Playing Field Foundation, which supports football programs in disadvantaged schools. Schneider herself founded the Keep


Marnie participating in the 2019 Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer’s.

Giving back is in her DNA

JULY 2020

Clockwise: Susan Spencer with Marnie and grandchildren Goldie, Leo and Jonathan.

sk Marnie Schneider how she handles the responsibility of being a single mom of three teenagers and the primary caregiver for her mother, who has Alzheimer’s disease, and she will go straight to a sports metaphor. Given her family history, it makes sense. She’s the granddaughter of Philadelphia Eagles owner Leonard Tose, and the daughter of Susan Tose Spencer, who made history in 1983 as the first female vice president, legal counsel, and general manager in the National Football League. “I speak in sports,” says Schneider, who grew up traveling around the country with the Eagles as the only child of an NFL general manager. When her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2018, Schneider’s unique upbringing helped her rise to the occasion. First she wrote a game plan. Then she assembled the right team. “I’m lucky that I’ve got great doctors, great cheerleaders, and great friends on my team,” says Schneider, who shares her Mooresville home with her mother and her three children, Jonathan, a college freshman; Goldie, a senior at Davidson Day; and Leo, a sophomore at Lake Norman High School.

Navigators on Playing Foundation, which helps underserved children learn confidence, leadership, and teamwork through sports. When Alzheimer’s disease affected her family, Schneider was determined to use the challenge to make a difference for other families walking the same road. She reached out to the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter, and became an advocate for the organization’s mission to accelerate global research, drive risk reduction and early detection, and maximize quality care and support. Susan Spencer used to say to Eagles players, “If you aren’t adding value, why show up?” It’s a guiding question for her daughter, who strives to add value to everything she does.

A record-breaking walk

JULY 2020


And helping the Alzheimer’s Association is no exception. In 2019, Schneider helped the Charlotte Walk to End Alzheimer’s meet its largest fundraising goal in history. To recognize her commitment to helping families affected by the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina

Marnie and Susan Spencer, who served as the first female vice president, legal counsel and general manager of the NFL.

Chapter will honor Schneider with the 2020 Award of Excellence at the Charlotte Memory Gala on August 29. “Marnie is a tremendous caregiver for her mother and goes above and beyond in raising awareness about and critical funding for Alzheimer’s disease,” says

Alzheimer’s Association - Western Carolina Chapter CEO Katherine Lambert. “We are fortunate to have her in our community and greatly appreciate Marnie for actively lending her voice, energy and spirit to the fight to end Alzheimer’s.” Schneider’s position as her mother’s primary caregiver gives her firsthand knowledge of how Alzheimer’s affects entire families. “Right now, there are so many things that are either red or blue, but Alzheimer’s is purple. It impacts every community. It doesn’t discriminate,” says Schneider. “My mom is not going to be cured but it is my intention to help find a cure for other people.” In the absence of a cure for her own mother, Schneider focuses on cherishing every moment they share. “I know I will never get this time back,” she says.

The Scoop: Charlotte Memory Gala Benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association Western Carolina Chapter The Westin Charlotte Saturday, Aug. 29, 6-11 p.m. Tickets and details at


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A Model

Contestant Meet Ryder, the 2020 CURRENTS Canine Cover Dog Winner by Renee Roberson photography by Gayle Shomer Photography

What are some traits of his breed that you can see in Ryder? Corgis are bred to herd. He loves to herd us and other dogs when he is playing. He is very energetic and quick to learn tricks; Corgis are known for their intelligence What are some of your favorite things about Ryder? and athletic abilities. We all Can you give us an overview know that Corgis are known for shedding, well, we enjoy all the of his personality? It is very hard to pick some of my favorite corgi glitter he spreads! things about Ryder because I What activities do you like to love everything about him, but participate in with Ryder in I love the way he loves me, his the LKN area? Well, of course sense of adventure, his playful we love a good dog photo or silly behaviors, and his contest. We have competed and intelligence. won several! We enjoy cruising His personality is very in the jeep looking for great outgoing. He loves adventure, places to photograph Ryder for loves the beach, loves jeep rides, and loves to snuggle. I feel his Instagram page. Also paddle boarding is one of my favorite like the best way we highlight

water sports so we definitely enjoy this as well. How big of a part does Ryder play on your social media accounts? Social media is a HUGE part of our life with Ryder. He personally has an Instagram page @ thelowryder. We have made a ton of special friends that we have made in our time on Instagram. Currently Ryder is a model for @pup_yeah_apparel, @mooseandlulus, and @ dapperdexter. We love all dog accessories and show them off as much as possible.

We love going on walks in the park, play dates with other dog friends, swimming in the pool, playing fetch, and after a long hard day of playing its time to sleep—Ryder loves his sleep!

Are there any pet stores, boutiques, dog parks, dogfriendly establishments that you’d like to give a shout-out to? Our absolute favorite dog boutique is Wagamuffins in downtown Mooresville. We have definitely gained a special bond with our friends at Shop Wags. Ryder also loves to go to Petsmart. They are always very friendly and helpful. I would Do you have any other pets? love to give a special shout-out to Mooresville Animal Hospital Yes, we actually have another pup named Lily, she is a rescued for taking care of Ryder and keeping him happy and healthy. terrier mix that has been with us for about 6 years and we love The last shout-out definitely is going to Lake Norman Chrysler her so much. She is just a little more timid and camera shy but Dodge Jeep Ram. I bought my Purple 2017 Jeep Wrangler from sweet as can be. Willie Brown and they have always welcomed Ryder at the What is a day in the life of dealership and let him hang out Ryder like? Play, play, play. while my Jeep is being serviced Ryder is an active dog and he needs all the exercise he can get. and cleaned.


his personality is through his Instagram. Since day one he has always loved to pose for the camera. It seems to almost be like he knows what facial expression he wants to have for that specific picture, it’s kind of hysterical!

JULY 2020

ricolored Pembroke Welsh Corgi truly rides in style around Lake Norman and has also garnered gigs as a canine ambassador for pet products. The furry best friend of Rachel Howard from Mooresville, Ryder is this year’s CURRENTS Canine Cover Dog Winner. We recently checked in with Howard to learn more about their relationship and how she and Ryder spend most days.

Congratulations to our Canine Cover Winner, RYDER, submitted by Rachel Howard

1st Runner-Up Nala Submitted by Suzy Blocker



2nd Runner-Up Walter Disney

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From Rescued to the RESCUER Tiffany Rivera could tell by Ella’s temperament that she would make an excellent therapy dog. Below: Ella on the job at Mooresville Police Department.

JULY 2020


How a special bond between a pet and owner turned into a chance to serve others

ears ago, Ella, a sweet American Staffordshire Terrier, was waiting on a new home away from the animal shelter. As fate would have it, Tiffany Rivera, a police dispatcher for the Mooresville Police Department, found herself at the same animal shelter for a work matter. Little did Rivera know her life would soon be forever entwined with Ella’s. Ella’s story isn’t an easy one to hear. She was brought to the Catawba County Animal Shelter after her previous owner was caught using her as “bait” in a dogfighting operation. She had to wait long five months to be “released” from the shelter, once charges were filed against

the owner. The shelter needed to place Ella immediately so they called Rivera to ask her if she knew someone who could take her until a permanent arrangement was made. Unable to find anyone, she agreed to take Ella for two weeks until a home could be finalized. This was four years ago. Ella hasn’t left Rivera’s side since.

Ella’s new home Once Ella came for her “temporary” stay with Rivera, it was clear a special bond was forming. At first Ella was shy, still healing from the scars of her painful past. But as the scars faded, Ella began to blossom. She soon began showing everyone her love and affection, from her family to complete strangers.

No longer a shy girl, Rivera saw how Ella insisted on “hugging” everyone, and realized Ella was meant to contribute more. She also knew Ella would have to become a permanent part of her own home. Six months later, she decided to have Ella tested as a therapy dog. When asked how she knew she could become a therapy dog, she says, “Once I started taking her out for socialization, I just knew she had the temperament for it. She absolutely loved everyone she met, and people seemed to gravitate towards her despite her breed or appearance.”

Ella goes to work Now Ella is certified and has officially joined Rivera at the Mooresville Police Department.

by Sara Coleman photography by Leigh Walther Photography

She spends her days at her owner’s feet, waiting to share her love with everyone. If an officer, detective or dispatcher has a stressful call, Ella is there to provide a little reassurance to them. She lets the workers take her for walks or comforts them by simply resting her paws on their lap after stressful moments. She’s rewarded with countless treats and no one is denied her affection. Ella’s former life of pain and cruelty is completely behind her, now she only knows love and affection. As Rivera points out, “her scars didn’t matter” and Ella has gone on to become an essential part of the police department—and of Rivera’s heart.


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Splash Into Summer Safety by Bek Mitchell-Kidd

How to keep pets happy and healthy during the warmer months

JULY 2020


rom tips on ticks, safe ways to take a dip, and yay or nay on sharing a lick of your ice cream… we’ve got what you need to know for a fun-filled summer with your pets.

Don’t forget to take a bowl for access to fresh drinking water on the boat and make a designated shady spot for your pet.”

Is the ‘summer do’, a summer don’t?

Many owners get their pets a summer buzz cut. Most experts Water, water agree that while a trim is a great everywhere idea, shaving your pet is not. Whether you’re on it or Think of your pet’s body like a drinking it, water is a key human head and if you were ingredient to a great summer. As suddenly bald, a sunburn would many Lake Norman-ers take to be guaranteed; dogs and cats’ the lake and pools, making sure coats protect them from the sun your pets stay hydrated and safe and overheating. is a top priority. Speaking of cutting— First up—not all dogs are summer is a busy time for lawn good swimmers. Leaving pets maintenance. Make sure all of unsupervised by the water is not your treatments, including often a good idea. Even if they love the hired services like mosquito water, dogs can become exhausted spraying are managed with quickly especially during times of your pet in mind. Commonly excitement—or stress. used rodenticides and garden Dr. Carrie Uehlein of The insecticides can be harmful to Veterinarian Hospital of Davidson cats and dogs if ingested and recommends, “A lifejacket should irritating to their skin and eyes. be kept on your dog at all times Mowing the lawn often when out on the lake no matter disturbs other backyard friends; their age or breed. Accidents can snakes are on the move, ticks are happen, and dogs can get tired on the uptick, and spiders are out swimming in the water; a looking for the best spots to spin. lifejacket will prevent drowning. Try not to leave your pet outdoors

unsupervised for an extended period of time—and keep a watchful eye early in the morning and at night when coyotes and foxes may be roaming around also taking care of business.

Is it a walk or a workout? Dr. Uehlein says, “In the summer, we typically see injuries such as torn nails, and strained ligaments from playing too hard … so, it’s important to just make sure your dog gets to rest.” Dr. Uehlein says, “Heat exhaustion and heat stroke typically first present as excessive panting and drooling, obvious fever, bright red or bluish gums, vomiting or diarrhea and weakness. The best way to cool them down is to wet their bellies and feet with cool water. Do not use cold water, just cool water. Get them into a cooler area (indoors) and call your vet!”

Cool treats beat the heat From cooling pads to baseball caps and matching boots, there are many accessories on the market touting ways to keep your

pets cool. Dr. Uehlein recommends keeping things simple. “Most dogs do not like to wear shoes etc., so I advise walking in the early morning or in the evening, stay in the grass, on trails or on shaded pavement.” One fun way to cool down is with a frosty treat and many owners like to share with their pets. But what’s safe and what’s not? “True dairy allergies are not that common so you can share a bite of your ice cream with your pet but always in moderation,” says Dr. Uehlein. “You can also give your dog fruit for a snack, just stay away from grapes. It’s become popular to make your own frozen treats by freezing Greek yogurt/fruit or peanut butter/fruit mixtures into ice trays,” she says. Most of us can’t wait to share the summer with our furry family members. Just remember that while they may be able to sense changes, understanding new schedules, smells, and sounds can be stressful. Incorporating your pet’s needs will make for a happy summer for your entire pack.

Pet Care Services

The Lake Norman area is full of great places that specialize in pampering your pets. Check out these local businesses who are there to make your pet feel special.


custom cakes and cupcakes

Visit to find the treat truck and follow us on social media to find our next stop @yappyhourbakery

Profile in Veterinary Medicine

JULY 2020



L to R: Christina, Emily, Dr. Carrie Uehlein, Dr. Carlen Ledain, Dr. Nicole Sheehan, Julie, Sara.


hile The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson performs all of the medical and surgical procedures you would expect from a full-service small animal hospital, the practice is known for its ability to integrate advanced alternative treatments within these services. This integration allows the practice to provide more options for pet lovers, discover and treat the origin of disease rather than treat symptoms, and promote optimal pet health. Each of the practice’s five veterinarians has additional training and certifications in various aspects of traditional and alternative medicine and surgery.

Dr. Nicole Sheehan and Dr. Carrie Uehlein are certified in acupuncture. Dr. Sheehan also has several advanced certifications in holistic medicine, including nutrition and herbal medicine. In addition, Dr. Uehlein and Dr. Sheehan have advanced training in ultrasound and echocardiography, while Dr. Zoe Forward is skilled in exotics medicine and surgery (think rabbits, reptiles, rodents and birds). Dr. Forward is also a Diplomate of the American Board of Veterinary Practitioners, a certification showing her advanced knowledge in veterinary medicine. One of the biggest changes in veterinary medicine over

the years has been how pets are seen and treated as family members. That shift motivates clients to do more for their pets’ well being, and in turn, veterinarians are encouraged to learn more intricate and highly specialized procedures for pets. “We enjoy bringing an advanced level of medicine to our patients and continue to further our education and certifications each year,” explains Dr. Sheehan, adding that all of the vets in the practice grew up with a love for animals. “We feel blessed to be a part of such an interesting and rewarding profession.” While the team at The Veterinary Hospital of

445 S. Main Street Davidson, NC 28036

Davidson is proud of its work in specialized medicine, it is most proud of the care and compassion that each member of the team demonstrates on a daily basis. Each vet and staff member handles your pet with kindness and patience, and they try to make certain you can stay with your pet at all times during your visit. From the beginning, the goal of The Veterinary Hospital of Davidson was to create a small animal hospital where people love their jobs as much as they love working with animals. When you visit the practice, it is evident that the team has fun while taking care of each other and their patients. The result is a happy and calm environment for all.

704-765-1171 •

lake Spaces How we live at the lake

JULY 2020


Photography by Dustin Peck Photography.


Learn how to design home spaces especially for your pets. p. 48


Where All are



Photo by Jim Schmid Photgraphy



ecause pets can play such an important part of our lives, it’s only natural that our home spaces be accommodating to them as well. With a little creativity, you can incorporate the perfect places to suit your lifestyle as well as your pets, whether renovating a home, changing up the décor or planning a new build. We reached out to a few area experts to learn some of their tips and projects they’ve worked on.


Top: This alcove discreetly hides a cat’s litter box from view.

JULY 2020

Left: Custom cabinetry provides a cozy place for the dogs to sleep.

Photography by Ken Noblezada.


Love Your Bath

These draperies have “tear-away” bottoms so they can detach for easy cleaning in the event of pet “accidents.” JULY 2020

Planning ahead


Creating Beautiful Kitchens and Baths

Visit our Kohler Showroom

HUNTERSVILLE 16235 Northcross Dr | Huntersville, NC 28078 704.892.6466 |

Jennifer Pippin, founder of Pippin Home Designs and a nationally acclaimed Residential Design Specialist, says she typically asks clients whether they have pets or are planning to have them in the future when discussing home plans and designs. “It’s very rare that we come across a client that doesn’t have a pet or grandpet,” she says. “We have several clients that have four or five “granddogs” that they watch.” Pippin has also worked on home plans with clients that have cats and the occasional bird or iguana. She once had a client who wanted a “bird room” built, and it had enough space for the cages and tree stumps so the birds could fly from tree to tree and feel like they were in their natural habitat. There are definitely benefits to working with design professionals when including furry friends into the décor

and structural elements. “As an interior design firm, we plan for pets every day in our designs and have worked through the nuances of what can be done and how it should be integrated into the design for best results,” says Starr Miller, president and principal designer for Starr Miller Interior Design. “We know the vendors, the materials and the do’s and don’ts of pet design.” Pippin says working with professionals ensures that clients think about how they organize their home to best accommodate their pets. Where do they normally have the pets? How is the house really going to function and what is the best scenario in terms of layout and design, currently and in the future?

Multipurpose spaces

“One of my favorite design elements is hidden under the attached bench,” says Wendy Yeakley, principal designer and

Materials matter

Pets play an important role when deciding on finishes and other materials for your home, such as paint and fabrics. Miller says she has planned “tear-away” bottoms of draperies to allow for the client to launder away any dog or cat “accidents.” These draperies Velcro back in place for an easy finished look. “For a family with a rambunctious pet, I always

Photography by Wes Stearns.

owner of Homestyles Interior Design. “Arlo is a very large retriever who loves to snack in the cat’s litter box. There is an opening to the laundry room for the cat located under the bench. Arlo cannot fit!” Pippin agrees that she’s helped design a lot of spaces to put litterboxes for cats. “If we can put a litterbox adjacent to the garage, [the homeowner] can actually go out and empty the litterbox right into the trash can.”

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@inspiredatlkn (704)-997-5500 21136 Catawba Ave Cornelius, NC 28031 JULY 2020

A room designed especially for one lucky dog named Bruno.

Designing dog wash stations has also become popular in recent years and can be built into drop-zone and laundry areas of a home. This makes it much more convenient to bathe your pet, and you can organize storage to have all the cleaning supplies, towels and a spraying wand nearby. Miller says a professional designer can really help during this type of space planning. Yeakley says often times during construction, her team designs spaces specifically for dog beds. “Whether it’s an opening under the stairs, or kennels built-in by the cabinet maker, we want to be sure our pet clients are as comfortable as their owners.”

suggest no high gloss on the floor finish,” she says. “If they are building a home, many floors are made to withstand water, scratching and dog oops.’” Miller recommends choosing the best-performance paint if your dog likes to rub up against walls. She suggests eggshell finishes such as Sherwin Williams Duration or Benjamin Moore Aura.

Building and renovating in the Lake Norman Community for over 20 Years!

Lot and home available for sale this summer

Bring in the professionals

“There are so many pet bed choices available at retail stores which makes it easy to spoil our furry friends,” says Yeakley. “But of course, they usually like the new sofa so much better. Because of that



From Design to Build


Photography by Wes Stearns.


These pets are right at home in a master bedroom.

JULY 2020

we recommend Performance or Crypton fabrics for stain resistance and easy cleaning.” The possibilities are endless when planning home spaces our pets can enjoy just as much as we do, whether finding a custom


dog gate to accentuate the style of your home, or an area of the house they can have all to themselves, complete with a comfy bed or cool tile floor. There’s no reason your pets’ needs can’t be included in the overall design and décor.


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Dine Out & Wine Down

Lake Norman’s Finest Restaurants, Pubs and Wine Bars


Gourmet New York Style brick-oven pizzas and calzones made from the best ingredients

[\ Serving the LKN community for 15 years

402 S. Main, Davidson NC 28036


Award winning wings, pizza and pasta in a warm, family pub atmosphere We deliver our own food! Mon through Thurs 4pm to 10pm Fri, Sat , Sunday 11am to 10pm Vote for Us for Best of Lake Norman CURRENTS Awards: Best Italian Restaurant and Best Pizza


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275 N Main St, Troutman, NC 28166 (704) 528-1204

Asian Kitchen • Sushi & Bistro • 704.997.9338 20822 North Main Street, Cornelius NC 28031

Dine + Wine

Wine Time

by Trevor Burton

On the Nines and on Target I dined on a couple of winners at On the Nines Bistro A comforting cassoulet.

JULY 2020



knew I was in for a great evening as soon as I sat down at Mooresville’s On the Nines Bistro with my wife, Mary Ellen, some friends and a favorite book. The favorite book was the bistro’s wine list and it had, on special, a Cabernet Sauvignon from the Paso Robles region in California. I’m a big fan of wines from Paso Robles. They are more gentle than the wines from California’s Napa Valley and so are their prices. These are great wines that are a great value. Getting a little nerdy, there are a couple major differences between the Napa Valley and Paso Robles; climate and soil. And that comes through in the wine. Paso Robles has California’s highest temperature swing from day to night. That’s helped by breezes that blow in from the chilly and relatively

close-by Pacific Ocean. And Paso Robles has calcareous, chalky soil compared to the volcanic stuff up north. Grapes can tell the difference. So, I like Paso Robles wines. The next objective facing me was what dish to have with the wine. And here I want to make a point. I’m sure there was a perfect dish on the menu to pair with the wine, but I was in the mood for one of the restaurant’s food specials that was offered that evening. I’ll get to the dish later but the point I want to make is that I never let perfect get in the way of good. I wanted that wine and I wanted the special dish. As long as the food and wine don’t clash, to me, that’s more than okay. Back to the dish, one of the many things I like about On the Nines is Chef Steve Jordan’s theme—a combination of the

best cuisine from the American South and from France. Right up my alley. His approach is, probably, best exemplified by his Poulet du Sud—southern fried chicken with a definite French influence. But that wasn’t what I had in mind. One of my favorite dishes is a traditional meal from the south of France, a cassoulet. Cassoulet is a rich, slow-cooked casserole containing meat, pork skin and white beans. I couldn’t wait to see how the chef had bent this French dish to his southern whim. The first southern whim clue was that the dish came out in a hot, very hot, cast iron skillet. The second was the seeming absence of white beans. This dish was swamped in a deep, dark gravy. The third clue came courtesy of my taste buds, the dish was flavorful and definitely

on the spicy side. It lived up to my expectations, the best of both worlds—France and the south of the United States. Very nice. Actually, I was in the best of three worlds—one has to include the wine. A result of serious luck rather than assiduous planning. As I said before, Paso Robles wines tend to the gentler side. A more tannic wine, like a wine from the Napa Valley, would have cranked up the heat in the dish for my taste buds. Not a pleasant way to spend an evening. In summary, at On the Nines I had a favorite wine and a dish that jumped out at me from the menu. Tough to beat. On the Nines Bistro 205 Golf Course Drive, Mooresville

Dine, Dazzle & Delight In Davidson

ho you buy from now will decide who’s standing later, Please support the Davidson businesses that you love.

JULY 2020


445 S. Main Street, Davidson, NC 28036 • Mon-Thurs 11-9 • Fri-Sat 11-10 Closed Sun 704-237-3040 •

North Harbor Club Restaurant and Bar is the perfect lakeside destination where you’ll always find an intriguing dining experience! Enjoy the ambiance of our dining rooms with views of the harbor from our wall of windows or on our lakefront patio. Conveniently located at North Harbor Place, by land right off I-77 at exit 30, or by boat in the Davidson Creek area at Marker T4. 100-D North Harbor Place, Davidson, NC 28036 704-896-5559

Dick Hay, MS, DVM, Dipl. ABVP

260 Griffith St., | Davidson, NC 28036 704-892-1992

Enjoy Lakeside Fine Dining at North Harbor Club. Boat to work? We offer exclusive Waterfront Office & Retail Space. Boat Slips for lease & convenient, downtown Mini Storage. I-77, Exit 30 (on the water) Davidson, NC 28036 704-892-4619


Offering fresh, sophisticated flavors served in generous portions made on location daily. Burritos, tacos, nachos, quesadillas, weekly specials and more. Full Bar • Signature Margaritas • Mexican Beers Pet-friendly patio seating

Compassionate & Comprehensive Pet Care

Dine + Wine

On Tap

by Lara Tumer | photo courtesy of LKN Images/Kathleen Martin

A Hop, Skip and a Jump Away


JULY 2020


Scott and Sandy Plemmons are bringing a new brewery experience to Mooresville.



fter retiring from their corporate jobs at Lowe’s Home Improvement, Scott and Sandy Plemmons embarked on an entrepreneurial adventure in the rapidlygrowing beer brewing business. What originally began as an at-home hobby for Scott evolved organically into a beer distribution business, with him selling his small batch brews under the name Hootenanny beginning in 2016. He started out by offering the beers to a handful of local tap rooms and bottle shops. Inspired by their loyal and supportive customers, the couple is now opening their first brewery and taproom. Scott had his eye on the former Brushy Mountain Outdoors building in Mooresville for quite some time, and when it was up

for grabs, he didn’t hesitate to take a leap of faith in expanding his distributiononly business into more. He says the location offers an ideal mix of commercial and residential access, and while several thousand square feet of space already exists, the couple plans to add an additional 1,000 square feet to make room for an on-site brewhouse. The existing Hootenanny brand was born from an in-house Lowe’s sales term and served as a clever and fun name for some time, but with the new expansion, the couple wanted a name that everyone could relate to. While the Hootenanny brand will continue, the taproom will go by Hoptown Brewing Company, which speaks a bit more to the community vibe they hope to establish in their

taproom. Creating a friendly, inviting, neighborhood brewery is a priority for the couple, who have brought on the expertise of designer Shauna Robinson to lead the charge. Saturday Brand Communications is helping the team with logo development and signage. “It’s all about having the right people on board,” says Sandy. The two share the business with 17 partners and investors who have championed and supported them through their journey. The completed taproom will feature both indoor and outdoor space, including a covered patio and an open outdoor area for games like cornhole and the like. The beer offerings will include six to eight standing beers on tap, which the Brewery will refer to as their “Main Street” beers. While some recognizable

favorites will continue to be produced under the Hootenanny name (such as Wedding Crasher IPA and I’ll Have N’Udder Milk Stout) they’ll also be adding some brand-new brews developed especially for Hoptown into the mix. Customers will also find another six to eight additional beers rotated seasonally as well as a handful of alterative alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages for any non-beer drinkers. While neither Sandy or Scott believed themselves to be an entrepreneur when they initially embarked on this undertaking, the continued success and growth of their business proves otherwise. “It was a now or never type of situation,” says Scott. Hoptown Brewing Company plans to open their doors at the end of 2020.

Dine + Wine Photography by Glenn Roberson

Photography courtesy of Jill Dahan

In the Kitchen with Jill Dahan Ingredients 2/3 cup coconut flour 1/3 cup peanut butter or other nut or seed butter (NO sugar) 1/3 cup extra virgin coconut oil, solid

Jill Dahan

2/3 cup pumpkin puree 3 tbsp coconut sugar (for half the batter and only for the not-so-furry friends)


2 responsibly laid large eggs


Melt the coconut oil and combine it with the rest of the ingredients except the sugar. Halve the dough and add the sugar to one half. Scoop tablespoons of each dough half onto different parchment paper pieces and flatten the sugar ones with a fork crossways to differentiate them. Bake both trays at 350F for about 13 minutes, remove, and let cool. Enjoy and store in airtight containers for up to three weeks.

Dog-Gone Good Cookies

These treats were originally created by Karen Hughes to support the charity Continue the Mission who raise and train dogs for veterans living with the challenge of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), and Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Find out more and see how you can help at https:// ill Dahan lives in Cornelius and is the author of Starting Fresh! Recipes for Life. You can J learn more about her at To learn more about her nonprofit, Sunninghill Jill Kids, visit

JULY 2020

Cookies are meant to be shared. What better way to share than to whip up a batch that you can share with both your friends and your four-legged friends? Have a party, make a batch or two, and watch tails wag when your guests bite into these!


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Welcome to more!

Dine + Wine

Nibbles + Bites

by Aaron Garcia |

photography by Lisa Crates

Down Home in Davidson


STATS Cuisine

Appetizers, barbeque baskets and platters, Southern-style side items, bottled & craft beer & other beverages

Price JULY 2020

lunch dinner


Attire Casual

The Two-Meat Platter with Grandpa Bob’s Fried Green Beans.


espite its name, the idea behind The Crazy Pig BBQ Taphouse makes perfect sense: to offer affordable, down-home barbecue in downtown Davidson. Opened in mid-June, Davidson’s newest eatery replaces former landmark Fuel Pizza in the highly visible corner of South Main Street and Catawba Avenue. The pizza ovens have been swapped for an indoor smoker that’s churning out a menu Robert and Eileen McCrary hope earns a regular following similar to their two Egg Café locations. “We wanted to make a place that was family friendly, very warm and inviting and it’s not

going to break your wallet,” says Robert.

If you smoke it, they will come The Crazy Pig’s story actually began in the fall of 2019 when the McCrarys visited the site. “This restaurant came available and it’s one of the coolest spots in town,” says Robert. The space was flush with foot traffic and highly visible, a no-brainer for the kind of neighborhood feel he and Eileen were hoping to build. Figuring out what to serve was another matter – Robert says he wanted the space, but at just of a half mile from The Egg

at Davidson, another expansion didn’t make sense. Fortunately, the building itself had its own ideas. “The restaurant sort of tells you what it wants to be,” says Robert of the building, built in 1926. “It’s got these big garage doors that open up, it’s got the patio, it’s right on the street. It’s all old brick inside from the gas station way back when. “It just cries out barbecue.” Aside from the building’s say-so, Robert says a barbecue restaurant was noticeably missing from Davidson’s downtown portfolio. Bigger than that, the omission was emblematic; while the local culinary scene has built an


Open and rustic with farmhouse flair

Group-Friendly Family-friendly Going Solo

PRICE KEY 15 and under


25 and under


50 and under


75 and under


This includes an entree and a non-alcoholic beverage.

Where the OLD is the new NEW

Sh oppi ng here iS SeW dar n eaSy! VISIT THE DEPOT

Top: Fuel Pizza formerly occupied the building. Bottom: The McCrary family.

The Crazy Pig’s menu is actually pretty sane; barbecue purists will find standards such as beef brisket, pulled pork and smoked chicken, all served in the ways they’d expect – platters, sliders and sandwiches. There is creativity to be found, though; the Wildcat sandwich tops its brisket, grilled onions, peppers and melted provolone cheese with a creamy barbecue ranch. The Beef Brisket Grilled Cheese, Buffalo Onion Rings and the BBQ Taco Platter offer new spins on old favorites. McCrary says he also thinks the Grandpa Bob’s Fried Green Beans will be a hit. The menu also includes an Open Face BBQ Shrimp Po’ Boy,

Farm with a flare The building’s transformation is evident from the street. The candy red and blue trim from the previous tenants have been replaced with more muted, darker tones. The interior, playfully described by Eileen as “industrial rustic with a farm flair,” makes use of exposed brick and wood to create the kind of warm environment she hopes The Crazy Pig becomes known for. “I’m big on community gathering,” says Eileen. “That’s not only feeding people through food, but through bonding and experience and friends.” Sounds reasonable.


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On the menu

Bacon Mac and Cheese Bites, Smoked Wings, and more. “We’ve got some good items,” says McCrary. “We put little twists on stuff.” Robert says he’d like for The Crazy Pig’s 12 taps to focus on craft breweries; local favorites such as D9, Cabarrus Brewing and Olde Mecklenburg were each featured during the restaurant’s soft opening. He added that he’s open to customer suggestions and is even considering a “Wish List board” to spark some ideas.

JULY 2020

exciting name for itself, the area’s turn toward finer-dining has trimmed the options for the budget-minded customer. The demand hasn’t dipped, Robert says; both of his Egg Café locations, including the one in Davidson, have grown rosters of regulars – despite not having any breakfast items more expensive than $10.50. “You can come in and walk out without busting your wallet,” says Robert. “We do the same thing here.”

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Family Medicine

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Iredell Family Medicine Jodi Stutts, MD Lori Sumner, PA Kristie Smith, MSN, FNP

8213 Village Harbor Drive Cornelius NC 28031 • 704 655 8298


PHC – Lake Norman Ear, Nose & Throat Megan Mathis-Webb, AuD Susie Riggs, AuD Del L. Hawk, Au.D 140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638


PHC – Cardiology Jips Zachariah, MD

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829


JULY 2020

PHC – Mooresville Dermatology Center Naomi Simon, MD Scott Paviol, MD Kristin Prochaska, PA-C Gina Noble, PA-C 128 Medical Park Road, Suite 201 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1827


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114 Gateway Blvd., Unit D Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-663-2085

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PHC – Nabors Family Medicine Emily Nabors, MD

142 Professional Park Drive Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-696-2083

PHC – Lake Norman Family Medicine Timothy A. Barker, MD Heather C. Kompanik, MD Bruce L. Seaton, DO Amanda H. Bailey, DO Sherard Spangler, PA Daniel King, PA-C 357 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-7328

PHC – Sailview Family Medicine Tiana Losinski, MD

206 Joe V. Knox Ave. Suite J Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-4801

PHC – Full Circle Family Medicine James W. McNabb, MD Ann Cowen, ANC-P Jacqueline Swope, FNP 435 East Statesville Avenue Mooresville, NC 28115 • 704-663-5056

PHC – Fairview Family Medicine Golnar Lashgari, MD Jennifer Scharbius, MD

150 Fairview Road, Suite 210 Mooresville, NC 28117 •704-235-0300

PHC - Troutman Family Medicine Amrish C. Patel, MD Amanda Honeychuck, NP Lauren Brannon, NP 154 S Main Troutman, NC 28166 • 704-528-9903


Charlotte Gastroenterology and Hepatology John H. Moore, III, M.D. Steven A. Josephson, M.D. Scott A. Brotze, M.D. Michael W. Ryan, M.D. Devi Thangavelu, M.D. Vinaya Maddukuri, M.D. Nicholas R. Crews, M.D.

Ears, Nose and Throat

Lake Norman Offices: 13808 Professional Center Dr. Huntersville, NC 28078 115 Commerce Pointe Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 Appointment Line: 704-377-0246 Locations also in Charlotte, Mint Hill, Matthews, and Ballantyne

140 Gateway Blvd. Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-664-9638

PHC –Northlake Digestive Care Carl A. Foulks, Jr., MD April Lockman, NP

PHC – Lake Norman Ear, Nose, & Throat Keith Meetze, MD Thomas Warren, MD Herb Wettreich, MD Fred New, Jr., ANP

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021

PHC –Comprehensive Digestive Care Center Vivek Trivedi, MD Tiedre Palmer, FNP-C

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-878-2021

Internal Medicine PHC – Internal Medicine & Weight Management Manish G. Patel, MD Julie Abney, PA Andrea Brock, PA-C

128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001

PHC – Lake Norman Internal Medicine John C. Gatlin, MD LuAnne V. Gatlin, MD 548 Williamson Road, Suite 6 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-660-5520

Stout Internal Medicine & Wellness Dr. Sam Stout Andrea Colvin, NP 444 Williamson Road, Suite B Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-360-9310


PHC – Neurology & Sleep Medicine Dharmen S. Shah, MD 359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-873-1100

PHC – Lake Norman Neurology Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD Roderick Elias, MD

124 Professional Park Dr, Ste A Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-662-3077

PHC – Lake Norman Neurology Andrew J. Braunstein, DO Ryan Conrad, MD Craig D. DuBois, MD Douglas Jeffery, MD Roderick Elias, MD

9735 Kincey Avenue, Ste 203 Huntersville, NC 28078 • 704-766-9050

NeuroSurgery- Spine Iredell NeuroSpine Peter Miller, MD, Ph.D.

544 Brawley School Road 28117 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-954-8277

Obstetrics/Gynecology PHC – Lake Norman OB/GYN James Al-Hussaini, MD Laura Arigo, MD Katie Collins, DO Grant Miller, MD James Wilson, MD Nicole S. Wellbaum, MD Coral Bruss, ANP-C

131 Medical Park Road, Suite 102 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-663-1282

Occupational Medicine Iredell Occupational Medicine Joe Wolyniak, DO

128 E. Plaza Dr., Unit 3 Mooresville, NC 28115 • 980-444-2630

Orthopaedic Surgery Iredell Orthopaedic Center Jason Batley, MD

544 Brawley School Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-0956

PHC – Piedmont Bone & Joint Scott Brandon, MD Brett L. Feldman, MD Alex Seldomridge III, MD Kim Lefreniere, PA-C Sherry Dawn Repass, FNP-BC

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829

Orthopedic Surgery – Spine PHC – Piedmont Bone & Joint Alex Seldomridge, III, MD

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1838

Physiatry –Interventional Spine Care PHC –Govil Spine & Pain Care Harsh Govil, MD, MPH April Hatfield, FNP-C

359 Williamson Road Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-235-1829

Primary Care

Iredell Primary Care for Women Eva Imperial, MD, FAAFP

114 Gateway Blvd, Suite B Mooresville, NC 28117 • 980-435-0406

PULMONOLOGY PHC –Pulmonology Enrique Ordaz MD Jose Perez MD Ahmed Elnaggar, MD

125 Days Inn Drive, Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-838-8240


PHC – Rheumatology Sean M. Fahey, MD Dijana Christianson, DO

128 Medical Park Road, Suite 101 Mooresville, NC 28117 • 704-658-1001

A PET FOR YOU! E-mail:

Carolina Big Hearts Big Barks Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming of large breed dogs. Visit their website and Facebook pages for contact information. To apply to adopt any of the pets featured here, visit the website and fill out an application.


Jackson is approximately 11 weeks old and would be good in a home with other dogs and children. This Pit Bull Terrier mix is active and playful, upto-date on vaccinations and has been neutered. Due to further required vetting Jackson will need to be adopted in the Charlotte area. Jackson is a typical puppy and is working on his manners and house training. Adoption fee is $225.


Looking for a devoted companion? Don’t want to deal with all the training that comes with a puppy or young dog? Then Finley’s the gal for you! Finley has a sweet, playful demeanor. This adult Shepherd mix loves playing ball and curling up with her humans. She’s a perfect walking partner as she loves walking the trails. House, leash and crate trained. She would prefer to be your one and only pet and needs an all adult home. Her vaccinations are up-to-date and she is spayed. Adoption fee is $225.


Meet buddy, a Husky and Labrador retriever mix who is approximately 1-year-old. Who can resist those ears? He is a little shy at first but quickly warms up and loves being around his people. Defluffing stuffed animals is one of his favorite things to do and he absolutely loves peanut butter. Buddy still has some puppy tendencies but takes correction well. He is treat motivated. If you’re looking for a sweet goofy boy, Buddy is the one for you. He prefers a home with no cats and is neutered and up-todate on vaccinations. Adoption fee is $225.


Savannah is an 11-week-old Pit Bull Terrier who is shy at first, but also a playful puppy. She is in the process of house training and would be good in a home with other dogs and children. She is up-to-date on vaccinations and spayed. Adoption fee is $225.


Why are Fireworks

Painful for Veterans? by Renee Roberson

F JULY 2020


11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring freedom have experienced PTSD in any given year.

or many, Independence Day brings to mind images of colorful parades, waving flags, picnics and . . . fireworks. While fireworks can be a festive end to the day’s events, there is a segment of our population who would probably rather skip the loud bursts of explosives, and those are our veterans. I was reminded of this when one of our readers, local photographer Emily Ngumba, sent us the image on the left that she created to show awareness of how fireworks can affect veterans with PTSD. “The message I want people to see is that there are veterans (and others) all around us who suffer needlessly from our celebrations every year, enduring extreme panic and stress from unannounced and/or illegal fireworks,” she says. “A lot of times, a talk with your neighbors before a celebration can help tremendously by giving them time to prepare, or by a joint decision to host your celebration at a different location.” Ngumba is the owner and founder of Lake Norman Furtography, where she tends to focus on taking photographs of pets and their people. She has recently begun working on a series of photographs depicting veterans with PTSD in the hopes of raising awareness of what they face after returning home from combat. After doing some reading, I

discovered reports of incidents with PTSD among veterans varies depending on which conflict the service member was involved in. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, 11 to 20 out of every 100 veterans who served in operations Iraqi Freedom and Enduring freedom have experienced PTSD in any given year. It is also believed about 30 percent of Vietnam veterans have had PTSD in their lifetime. If you go to the website www., you’ll see that there are a whole host of organizations, including VA offices and Veterans centers that give out free fireworks awareness signs to any verified veteran who would like one. The signs usually say something like, “Veteran Lives Here: Please Be Courteous with Fireworks,” and can be helpful in alerting neighbors. “Our veterans come home with PTSD and most are embarrassed to talk about it,” says Ngumba. “They don’t want to be seen having a panic attack, so they avoid outings to the point of feeling ostracized. It’s a very real problem and our veterans are suffering silently. This Independence Day, as we celebrate our freedom, remember to respect your friends or neighbors with PTSD. Especially veterans—the ones who risked their lives for your right to shoot those very fireworks.”