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{ Booooyah. }


{ n. } An assigned task, occupation, or place of service


The DUTY Issue ON OUR COVER MODELS Robert + Liberty Bell

LOCATION Naval Station Mayport

I’m just going to come out and say it. Yah. I’ve decided not to go outside for number two any more. I’m old and I’m tired. Outside is far and dirty and I just don’t see the point. {Errrrm ... George ... this issue is DUTY, not DOODY. Please don’t talk about your bathroom habits.} What? How did I not know this? I’m still the editor, am I correct? {Sometimes you sleep through staff meetings, George.} I’m feeling multiple layers of embarrassment here. Let’s talk about this off record later, shall we? I have an image of prestige to uphold. Please accept my apologies for the earlier bathroom talk; I feel I was misinformed. Unfortunately, I don’t know a whole lot about DUTY. I’ve never been called up to do much in my life except clean up kitchen spills—which I’m more than happy to do, by the way, especially ice cream. I’m very able-bodied when it comes to licking the floor. Beyond that, up until now, I’ve just been a super-handsome half-man half-dog with no oppressive responsibilities—carefree and untethered. I could hop a plane to Minnesota right now if I wanted to. Ack, but that seems super far and cold—and now that Prince is gone (RIP Prince), what’s the point of going to Minnesota? So I just kinda chill and hang, you know? It does sound appealing to be needed, though. Really needed, not fake needed, like when people tell you you’re the editor but really you’re just a poster boy. People don’t even take the time to make sure I understand the focus of the issue, for crumps sakes. To have a mission where I could really help someone—that sounds very fulfilling! I do have several questions about having a duty, though. One: What if, on a particular day I’d just rather sleep? Is that allowed? Two: What is the pay? I’m saving for a new laptop. Three: Is it okay that I don’t walk very well, hear very well, see very well, and I have accidents in the house quite often? If someone could get back to me with those answers, we can get the paperwork started. I’ll start packing my manbag in the meantime. I so look forward to being appreciated. auf Wiedersehen, (that’s German) GEORGE

“I re-named her Liberty Bell because she gave me liberty. She gave me confidence to go out and do new things.” Whhhy, YES! We did change our logo!

Thanks for noticing. Change is growth. Our logo and tagline now reflects what’s become most important to us!


Of course we love all dogs, but our main objective is to end suffering and let people know how great adopted dogs are! There are so many amazing wiggly waggly butts with the cutest faces just waiting for love. When you adopt a pet, you’re saving a life and they are forever grateful. We’re want to help you find a dog that’s a great match for your lifestyle.


We love to get out and enjoy Jacksonville! There are a ton of dog-friendly events and woof-welcoming bars, restaurants, stores, parks, beaches, and other businesses that make this theeee best place to frolick with your dogs! We want to help you get out to play.


Everything we do starts with a wee ‘lil seed of love. Boop! Planted. Hopfully that’ll help someone somewhere. We’re gonna spread delight and all things positive, healthy, and good for our community, and you can’t stop us. In fact, join us, why don’t ’cha? It’s way more fun than being a self-absorbed grump.

Unleash Wee e e e ! !




Publisher: Woof Creative, Inc. Atlantic Beach, FL Amy Olivieri | amy@unleashjax.com Editor-in-chief: King George I woof@unleashjax.com Contributors Snout Scout Thérese Pedersen Samantha Epstein Davi + Rebecca Miller Tasley Wheeler Melissa Murphy Oakleaf High School Rockstars Advertising We distribute to over 80 veterinarian offices from St. Augustine to Amelia Island and many other dog-friendly places all over Jacksonville. If you want to reach Jacksonville’s dog lovers, raise your hand ... and then contact us. woof@unleashjax.com

It goes without saying (we hope) that all Unleash content is property of Woof Creative, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction in part or whole will result in immediate neutering. ©2018woofcreativeinc

An exclusive website connecting the Jacksonville dog community. Don’t mind having dog hair on everything you own? You’re in.

List your business today! Unleash Jacksonville magazine is available FREE at distribution points, you can thank our super duper advertisers for that!

Please support the fantastic dog-loving businesses that support us— and let them know you saw them in Unleash! NOTE: Unleash Jacksonville is for entertainment + information purposes only. We do not take responsibility for the content of our contributors, and ask that you always seek professional help when necessary.

snout scout

scout scouted Your has been

See more at unleashjax.com/snout-scout

Just totally partying our head bows off @Veterans United Craft Brewery Shepherds-n-Shamrocks benefiting K9 Services German Shepherd Rescue

Helix, trying to take a nap in front of Poe’s Tavern, but the lady with the camera won’t go away.

Topper hiding out @Green Room Brewing Chili Cook Off benefiting FOJA

Sunkist, taking door security very seriously @Redbones Dog Bakery and Boutique

Sinner, just chillin’, watching marathon runners pass in Neptune Beach.

Baxter was spotted at Paw Prints in the Sand 5k with his fostermom. Benefiting Saint Francis Animal Hosptial

It’s been confirmed. This is the last photo of this family... Remi, enjoying a bowl of sweet sweet Duval water @Hovan, 5 Points

Look into my eyes and give me some chickums. You can’t resist. Yappy hour @Atlantic Beach Brewing Company

before they became a TWO-hound household! They adopted another hound from The London Sanctuary. Huge congratulations and thanks for adopting!

Follow @unleashjax on Instagram to meet more local dogs caught by our Snout Scout! 6 | No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks. / James Allen

APRIL | 2018

April 16 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm HAMBINGO - HOSTED BY FOJA Hamburger Mary’s JAX | 3333-1 Beach Blvd, Jax Get in the spirit of Mardi Gras support the animals of Jacksonville. $1.00 from every beer sold donated to FOJA. friendsofjacksonvilleanimals.com

April 15 @ 2 pm - 5 pm YAPPY HOUR SPRING FLING Jacksonville Landing | Downtown

April 21 @ 7pm - 10:30 pm COMEDY FOR CRITTERS Hotel Indigo | 9840 Tapestry Park Circle, Jax Laugh with the gang of Mad Cowford Improv Comedy as we raise money for the shelter animals of Jacksonville. Huge silent auction, raffle, and improv show for a full night of fun with friends. $25 Tickets: madcowford.com/comedyforcritters.html

April 22 @ 9am - 11pm K9’S FOR WARRIORS PATRIOTS POKER RUN All proceeds benefit K9’s for Warriors. Kickstands up at 11am. $20 driver and $5 rider. Vendor booths, raffles, 50/50, silent auction and much more. First 100 riders will receive a t-shirt and a free fish dinner provided by Whitey’s! If you can’t join in the bike run you can enjoy all day envertainment by our MC Wayne Tarrant. Something for everyone and every age! www.facebook.com/events/329963620748016/

April 28 @ 1pm - 4 pm BARKS & BREWS Engine 15 Brewing Downtown Tap Room & Biergarten 633 N Myrtle Ave. | Downtown $1.00 from EVERY beer purchased from 1-2 pm supports Swamp Haven Rescue! swamphaven.org FIND OUT WOOF’S HAPPENING IN JAX! Dog-friendly, nature + compassion-based Jacksonville events delivered to your inbox! UNLEASHJAX.COM/woofsup

April 29 @ 1 pm - 4 pm Sign up deadline April 20th PAINTING WITH A PURPOSE - PAINT YOUR PET


Painting with a Twist | 1525 San Marco Blvd., San Marco Benefits Pit Sisters to help dogs in their TAILS program & vet expenses. Please send a high resolution headshot image of your pet to studio086@paintingwithatwist.com by April 20th for us to pre-sketch your fur baby before the class! $55 tickets - paintingwithatwist.com/studio/ jacksonville/event/1471736/



MAY | 2018

May 6 @ 1 pm - 4 pm DOG DAY AFTERNOON Hosted by BrewHound Southern Swells Brewing Co. | 1312 Beach Blvd. Jax Beach

May 12 @ 7 am - 2 pm HELP A HOUND CHARITY GOLF OUTING, BENEFITING SWAMP HAVEN $65 per person - includes range balls, green fees, cart, coffee/donuts, and a hot lunch with an adult beverage! Many great raffles and prizes! 7AM Registration Opens / 8:30AM Shotgun Start Tickets: facebook.com/events/150257505673740

May 12, 2018 FOJA Adoption Event @ 11 am - 3 pm Pet Supermarket | 609 Beach Blvd., Jax Beach friendsofjacksonvilleanimals.com

May 20 @ 2 pm - 5 pm 10TH ANNUAL KING & QUEEN OF YAPPY HOUR Jacksonville Landing | Downtown

ADD YOUR EVENTS + SEE MORE AT unleashjax.com/events

8 | RESOLUTE, adj. Obstinate in a course that we approve. / Ambrose Bierce


The 2018 Team Navy Trials More than 100 athletes participated in the 2018 Team Navy trials, held at Naval Station Mayport in February. Throughout the trials, active duty and retired We’ve been wanting to do an service members with upper-body, issue focued on dogs with jobs for lower-body, and spinal cord injuries, awhile, so when a good friend of Unleash serious illnesses, traumatic brain injuires, visual invited us to The Navy Wounded Warrior—Safe imparment, and PTSD competed in archery, cycling, Harbor Program 2018 Team Navy Trials to meet shooting, sitting volleyball, swimming, track and field, three warriors and their service dogs, we jumped and wheelchair basketball. The purpose of these trial up and down, then jumped on the opportunity! games was to identify potential athletes to represent Dogs hold all kinds of jobs, but talking to these three 2018 Team Navy during the Warrior Games in June wounded warriors was an amazingly eye-opening (dodwarriorgames.com). We very much appreciated experience. The impact that a service dog can them taking time out of their weekend to chat with us! have on someone who is ready to give up on life Read on, friends >>> truly can’t be measured—it’s not just a job, but an Navy Wounded Warrior—Safe Harbor coordinates the honorable duty—as you’ll find out by reading the non-medical care of seriously wounded, ill, and injured following pages. Sailors and Coast Guardsmen, their families and caregivers We met Robert and Liberty Bell; Abbie and (navywoundedwarrior.com). The program provides tailored Kona; and Will and Jack Daniels in between their assistance to optimize the success of recovery, rehabilitation, competitions. The interviews were raw and open— and reintegration activities. If you know of a Sailor or Coast and all three mentioned they think of their dog as an Guardsman that could benefit from the services of Navy extension of themselves, a prosthetic of sorts. Wounded Warrior Safe Harbor, please refer them.

Duty m | 9

duty duty

Robert, Carrie + Liberty Bell Crestview, FL

“If we don’t train the next generation how to act around the dogs and their handlers,

there will be plenty of situations that won’t be good.”

10 | Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough. / Og Mandino

“The night I got Liberty Bell I stuck a 45 in my mouth. I wanted a

permanent solution. Now that I have Liberty in my life—the way she acts and responds to me—I no longer have that propensity.”

to the same places. With Liberty, I’m confident in new situations. Three years ago, I would’ve told you service dogs were bunk ... just a way for people to take their pets out. But a dog who is trained to perform these specific tasks is actually an extension of that person—a prosthetic.”

Robert is very passionate about invisible wound There’s nowhere Liberty doesn’t go with Robert. awareness. Over his 30-year Naval career, Robert “She sleeps in my bed. She goes to the shower, the suffered multiple TBIs (Traumatic Brain Injuries), bathroom, movies; she’s always on duty. While in and just by looks alone, you wouldn’t know Mayport for the trials, she even went on a Naval Robert is a wounded warrior. Doctors haven’t ship; up and down the ladders. They’d never had a been able to pinpoint exactly what’s causing his dog on the ship!” progressive debilitating symptoms, which adds to the frustration. “We didn’t A passion to see people live free. do a great job in the ‘80s The Florida panhandle, where Carrie A recognizing concussions and and Robert live, is home to the service dog brain injuries, and there just country’s most dense population of isn’t enough awareness or veterans with PTSD and TBIs. It’s gives a funding for the 379,500+ also home to the second-highest service people who are wounded populous of active duty military. “We now suffering. That has to have a lot of service dogs in our area.” warrior change.” Carrie and Robert have been working

a purpose passionately in the last year to make Robert met Liberty Bell at it easier for service members to get a time when his symptoms to get up the right dog. They work closely started progressing and he with the Pawsitive Love Foundation was having seizures. His (pawsitivelovefoundation.org), service dog, Gracie May, an which works to provide individuals amazing German Shepherd, and families the gift of freedom of access, was doing her final in-house training with What’s independence, and the ability to live the most Up Dog Service Animal Training. Robert got to normal life possible. “Currently veterans can get a “borrow” a dog named Sasha (who was also being prescription for a dog and they have no idea how trained at What’s Up) while Gracie was away. to “cash it in”. We’d like to see it get much easier.” During that time, Robert had three major seizures back to back. Sasha knew—she just instinctively Educate so we can integrate. knew. She immediately started taking care of Robert and Carrie also helped to pass the Robert, nearly pushing his wife, Carrie, out of the Pawsitive Love Bill—a pilot high school program way. Carrie was a little nervous, wondering what the that introduces students to service dogs, teaches dog was doing, but Sasha had the situation under them why we have service dogs, why they’re control. She was trained for PTSD (Post-Traumatic important, and how to act around them. “Our Stress Disorder) and mobility assist, but she goal is to bring it to the elementary level. There wasn’t trained for seizure response or detection. is such a need to educate kids. There is a ton of “Dogs either have the ability to detect seizures or service dogs coming, vets can’t stay locked in their they don’t. This isn’t a trainable task. Unfortunately, houses, losing themselves. If we don’t train the as awesome as she was, my Gracie didn’t have next generation how to act around the dogs and that capacity. And it’s what I came to need as my their handlers, there will be plenty of situations disability progressed. I didn’t want to re-assign that won’t be good. We need to set these veterans Gracie. But I had to.” Carrie knew pretty much right and their dogs up for success in society.” • away, “Sasha was perfect for Rob.”

every day.

Sasha became Liberty Bell. “I re-named her Liberty Bell because she gave me liberty. She gave me confidence to go out and do new things. I did go out with Gracie, but always

Pawsitive Love Foundation

You can make a difference! Become an advocate for the simple freedom you enjoy every day. It takes funding to transport, house, train, support service dogs and their handlers. Share our mission with your friends! pawsitivelovefoundation.org

Duty s | 11

cover duty

“I’d like to tell people to not make any assumptions ... It’s very easy to judge.”

Abbie + Kona Huntington Beach, CA 12 | The truest wisdom is a resolute determination. | NAPOLEON BONAPARTE

Abbie was grasping at what she could do to help herself cope with PTSD due

to military sexual trauma, and also a TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) from an accident while on leave from the Navy. She started researching service dogs and realized she’d have to wait upwards of three years to get one from national military service dog organizations. She took matters into her own hands and started looking for a dog that could help her handle her symptoms and reintegrate. While stationed in Hawaii, she found a breeder who had dogs with a service lineage. She met Kona when he was 12 weeks old and had him trained as a service dog. They’ve been taking on the world together now for three years.

There are so many reasons to have a service dog and many of those reasons are for disabilities you can’t see.

What does Kona mean to you? He’s everything. He is my sidekick and my partner. He’s helped me through so much. Kona makes me feel safe and he makes me able to go out into the community, where before I didn’t want anything to do with anybody. I stayed inside and I could not handle being around men. I get severe panic attacks, Kona will sense them and lean on my leg. That’s a sign for me that I need to check myself. When I have a full PTSD attack he comforts me.

Kona’s most important job is to respond to my symptoms. He’s also my companion. I’m alone a lot, so it’s nice to have him with me. When my symptoms come up it can be very scary. Having him there is just the biggest thing. He also helps create space behind me because I don’t do well if someone comes up behind me. What is Kona’s favorite reward? Going to the beach is his favorite down time reward. He loves playing in the water! What do you notice about people when they see you with Kona? I notice one of two reactions; people either light

up and I get a lot of questions or, every now and then, I get someone who is really rude ... they see me, someone who’s young and no visible disability ... and they make assumptions. It’s true, I don’t have a visible disability ... until it’s too late. And then it’s very visible. Ever since I got my last uniform made into a vest for Kona, it’s gotten a little better. But, I actually had someone on the plane coming here say to me, I need to talk to the flight attendant because I’m not sitting next to that thing. I’d really just like to tell people to not make any assumptions. There are so many reasons to have a service dog and many of those reasons are for disabilities you can’t see. Also, I wish parents would educate their kids a little more. Some parents won’t correct their kids all.

Service dog fraud makes it really hard for people who need them. Especially me, as a young woman with a disability you can’t see by looking at me. I get flack when I don’t think we deserve it. I carry Kona’s paperwork everywhere with me when I travel, but I wish there was a national registry. There needs to be more education differentiating service animals and emotional support animals. When are you most proud of Kona? He adjusts to everything so well. I’ve taken him on a hot air balloon ride, surfing, and he goes everywhere. He’s low maintenance and he just rolls with everything. And also his positivity! He’s never sad or upset, which helps me keep a positive attitude. When are you most proud of yourself? When I’m scared and I get out and do something new. You can give in to the fear ... I’ve done that. It’s dark. It’s very dark. It helps when you have a good support system. When I’m terrified of something but I still do it ... that makes me proud. And Kona is right there helping me every step of the way. • Duty m | 13


Will + Jack Daniels Memphis, TN “...in the darkest of times a service dog can convey love that can bring someone back from the deepest darkest places.�

Will dropped 30 feet, breaking his neck and both legs. As you can imagine, he also hit his head, which resulted in a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI). After 26 years in the navy, Will was injured on board the carrier USS Enterprise when a storm hit the ship as it was docked in Norfolk. He was crossing the brow as the ship pushed away from the pier when the brow collapsed. His right leg was crushed. After 20-some surgeries and four years later, he was still in constant pain and his mobility was severely limited—Will made the decision to have his leg amputated after watching the paralympics. “I’d always been athletic and couldn’t play sports with my leg as it was. Having my leg amputated was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. It has opened up so many doors and let me re-engage in sports.” But Will is still left with both visible and invisible wounds. Two years ago, Will was in Kentucky helping a farmer harvest tobacco to return a favor. On his way to the farm, he noticed a house with three German Shepherds in the yard. Will stopped in to meet them. “Jack was the first to come up and put his paws on my shoulders and lick my face.” Jack had been rescued from a situation where he was in a crate almost all day. After finding out that Jack loves to ride in the car, Will asked the couple who rescued him if they minded if Jack rode to the farm with him. Will and Jack rode back and forth to the farm together for two weeks. After the two weeks, Will got the nerve to ask if Jack could spend the night. They said, absolutely! So Will and Jack watched movies together and hung out in Will’s RV. “He laid his head on my shoulder and that was it. We were bound at the heart from that point.” Will adopted Jack and back home to Memphis the boys went together! During the time Jack was being trained at West Tennessee Canine to be a PTSD dog, his trainer found out that he also has the innate ability to alert to emotional situations. “Just today, we were in the gym and, although Jack was paying attention to me, he kept alerting to Paul, a fellow wounded warrior. He’d lift his head and just stare at Paul. He was saying, Dad ... there’s something wrong with that guy. So, I took Jack over, and we found out Paul was having a bad day. Jack laid down next to him, put his head on his

shoulder, and licked Paul’s face. Jack could sense the difference in emotion, and knew exactly what Paul needed.” Will became emotional and unable to speak for several moments when asked what Jack means to him. “Jack means the difference between staying alive and not. He’s given me so much more than I’ve given him. He’s given me a reason to get up in the morning. He inspires me to get out and re-integrate into society. He’s become a permanent fixture in my heart. There’s no doubt about it—he saved my life. Jack is with me 24/7. I feel like I’m not fully dressed if I don’t have him beside me. The psychological support and the friendship that he offers is incredibly satisfying. And to know he will take care of me and love me unconditionally is comforting.”

Jack means the


between staying alive

and not.

Will wants people knew how much service dogs mean to their owners—how in the darkest of times a service dog can convey love that can bring them back from the deepest darkest places. “People need to know that a service dog isn’t a dog ... but an extension of that human being’s persona. Service dog fraud upsets me. People who order a ten-dollar vest online just so they can take their dog with them places invalidates the reason behind the program.” When are you most proud of Jack? “Every day of my life. Just to see his calming nature and to see what he can do for myself and others—he came from being a farm dog to an instrument in saving lives.” Will struggled to try and talk through strong emotion again after being asked when he’s most proud of himself. “Every day that I can wake up and realize that I came close several times to not being here, and realizing that I’m far stronger than I gave myself credit. Each day that we face a new day, we get stronger and are better because of it. I can’t let my injury define me. I may have to put parts on in the morning, but I’m still the same guy they rolled into the ER. It’s not how hard you fall ... it’s what you do when you stand back up that makes a difference. •

If you’d like to volunteer your time locally in training a puppy for a Wounded Warrior, please contact K9 for Warriors—they’re looking for puppy-raisers! k9sforwarriors.org. Please share these stories to educate those around you about the different needs a service dog may provide for visible or invisible wounds.

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A Selfless Service: Why Raising A Future Service Dog Is A Priceless Gift SAMANTHA EPSTEIN


asked to name a few of the most selfless people of all time, you’d likely think of Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, and Martin Luther King, Jr. Most of us will not be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize and our good works will not inspire millions of people the world over; you know what though—that’s ok. I know as a hardworking mother and public relations professional, my life is hectic. I give when I can and volunteer when I can. I always feel, however, that I should do more.

continue to fight a battle long after they return home from war. PTSD is consuming our veterans and robbing them of their ability to live happy, productive lives. Many turn to prescription drugs and therapy, but for the majority … that’s not enough. Not only are they struggling with the unforgettable sights, sounds, and smells of military trauma, but they also feel completely out of place. Once a decorated member of the best military in the world, they are unable to find their fit in the civilian world. I imagine it to feel broken and worthless times a million!

When I learned of the opportunity Having to make temporary life changes to become a to accommodate a puppy is not that puppy raiser challenging when I looked at the for K9s For bigger picture: saving the life of a Warriors, I honestly veteran. didn’t think I could take I decided that was enough to dedicate myself on such a lifeto this cause. Then, I saw my puppy’s face … altering commitment. Puppy-proofing my home, that was all I needed. My puppy, Slider, was a caring for the dog 24/7, attending training seven-month-old black lab. He was surrendered classes, and bringing a dog with me in public, by his original owners. As if I needed any other that just seemed too overwhelming. But, then I sign that this was meant to be, I learned that had a realization: one of my greatest regrets in Slider was sponsored by Fletcher High School’s my life thus far has been that I did not serve my Interact Club … the very same service club I was country. Although, it is too late for me to put on in when I attended Fletcher High. a uniform, I can still support those who have. I took care of Slider for five months before I There’s something very beautiful about giving handed his leash back over to K9s For Warriors. back to someone who wrote a blank check to A month or so later, he was paired to a Navy America—that’s quite a sacrifice. veteran. The sense of pride and love that I felt We’ve lost so many service men and women on when the team graduated was something I will the frontline, but here is a dismal fact: we lose never forget. Was it an emotional experience? so many more to suicide. Why? Because they You bet it was. But nothing worthwhile comes 16 | Character is doing what you don’t want to do but know you should do. / Joyce Meyer

easy. You may be asking yourself if you have what it takes to raise a future service dog. You have to determine that on your own, but in order to help you do that, I’ll share what I learned during the experience: • Raising Slider was good for my son and me because it reminded us how to put others before ourselves • Having to make temporary life changes to accommodate a puppy is not that challenging when I looked at the bigger picture: saving the life of a veteran • Taking a future service dog in public required positive interaction with strangers (even

when I was in a bad mood) • Attending puppy training classes was always something I looked forward to • Having Slider surprisingly gave me more energy • I created some really awesome memories for my son’s childhood You are needed! To learn more about puppy raising and fostering for K9s For Warriors, please visit k9sforwarriors.org.

urry and human). We will ght to you Kim. Peace to or the dogs Kim loved so help Kim’s husband Erik Please make a donation t a time <3 Please like the making a difference one gether to keep pressing on, all make sense. Until t one thing I know for just never make any sense the obstacles. Too young of Jacksonville Animals us to never give up on the s live; they live in the treach in our early days n the here and now. Like ever be remembered. Kim be more like Kim while ouse, that she founded he person most qualified. s she rescued through the dogs over the Rainbow ALL the rest. Her impact We all will eventually get l was like a twinkling ed that many of them ven gained one of those . They probably checked ving and compassionate e who would put their derate, humble, sincere, king for someone who n need of a caretaker. sed over the Rainbow The Old Dog House. All the recent passing of Kim

We are a proud supporter of K9s for Warriors

$1 from every pet memorial will be donated to K9s for Warriors

Duty m | 17

law A service animal means any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA (American Disabilities Act). It does not matter if a person has a note from a doctor that states that the person has a disability and needs to have the animal for emotional support. A doctor’s letter does not turn an animal into a service animal.

businesses will be able to ask questions and gauge if an animal is really a service dog, but at the same time, it ensures that people with real disabilities are not being persecuted without cause. Those who are caught breaking the law face a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail. Being a dog, I do have a certain amount of sympathy for the smugglers. I would love to be given carte blanch to travel the world with my mom or just go to the grocery store— anywhere you go would be even better if your dog were there, right?

But there’s a simple reason why I don’t have one of those vests: I am not a service dog. And I don’t just mean that it’s wrong to lie—of course it is. But also: adata.org I am not trained as a service dog. I’m an These days, 11-pound dachshund it’s not unusual who jumps at the to see shoppers sight of a squirrel and diners with and whines at the DAVI + REBECCA MILLER their leashed smell of freshly service dogs in stores baked cookies. Vying for and restaurants. These attention from every passerby, disrupting food animals are trained to provide their human service, and generally making a nuisance of handlers with all kinds of emotional and myself is not something I should do just because medical support. The problem is, some people I can probably get away with it. Even worse, if are passing off pet dogs as service animals. I see a service dog, a real one, I’ll likely be over there like a shot, wanting to say hello—or bark, Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, and could distract that service dog, putting the it’s a federal crime to use a fake service dog. person who needs it in danger. Masquerading pets as service dogs is not only

Imposters BEWARE

extremely disrespectful, but also harmful. They can put real service dogs in danger, since these untrained dogs may attack service dogs, which are trained to be submissive. Plus, phony service dogs may exhibit negative behaviors in public, including barking, jumping up on people, and distracting others—AKA dogs being dogs.

Rules exist for a reason and when it comes to service dog law, too many people have come to view them more as guidelines. Unless your dog is trained as a service dog, it’s wrong—really wrong, not just mildly illegal—it’s a federal crime. Imposters beware.

A law was passed in Florida that will make it much harder for people to get away with having their dogs falsely registered as service dogs. Now, 18 | Do not forget duty. But choose love when you can. / Cinda Williams Chim

Davi and his mom, Rebecca Miller, contribute to Unleash Jacksonville from time to time when they’re not out and about on the town sniffing out fun things to do. Davi is also a regular canine columnist for Folio.

Duty m | 19


My mission to Train Heros TASLEY WHEELER

“I was able to sleep for a few hours … for the first time in years!” “My husband and I went out on a date for the first time since he got back! In public! We haven’t had a date since 2014!” “I hate using that walker, it’s big and bulky and when I fall IT HURTS! Although my dog is big and bulky, I don’t fall as much and I have someone to help me get up, get around, and be active. I feel normal again!”


these statements hit you right in the heart, you understand why I got into dog training. It surely isn’t for the glamour—they don’t spell poop, P-R-A-D-A do they? (Nope! At press time, they currently do not.) I got into it because it changes peoples’ lives. I started with Upstate Guide Dog Training Academy at a young age scooping prada—I mean, poop—and worked my way up to my training certification. Now, after 20 years focused on behavior modification and rehabilitation, I’ve worked with a lot of challenged dogs; dogs that were afraid, dogs that were terrified, dogs that didn’t know any better—you name it. My clients and I talk about modifying their human behavior, as well as the dog’s, to better communicate, understand, and work together. We focus on the fear and needs of the dog to get them to a better place. In September, 2016, I finally, got my own place to train and develop the next generation of training and dog enthusiasts. With my husband, Ryan, and my friends and staff by my side, we opened Homemade Hounds Bed & Biscuit. Jumping into the brand new world of kennel ownership was a dream come true! Life was good.

Then everything changed. Four short months later, my husband was in a motorcycle accident, leaving him paralyzed. As you can imagine, the life change seemed insurmountable. As a previously extremely active guy, Ryan was thrown for the loop of a lifetime. Knowing that he wouldn’t stay “down” for long, I decided to help him get his independence back. I went back to my roots in service dog training for him. Mag—aka, Magnet Scooby Do Anderson, if you’re feeling formal—came into our lives through a rescue, and I knew he would be perfect! The bond between Ryan and Mag was instant and the smiles were one-thousand watt. After seeing my honey happier and more independent, I had a new mission. With a long history in rescue, I pulled together a great group of people who were eager to both help save dog’s lives and do some good in the world, and we founded Helping Hounds Project. The crew from Homemade Hounds Bed & Biscuit has developed not only a fantastic training plan, but also a dog training internship based around service dog training. Then, through Helping Hounds Project, we take that training and apply it to rescue dogs to help with needs such as walking/wheelchair mobility and psyche support. Our dogs and program participants are matched and work together to make amazing teams! Homemade Hounds Bed & Biscuit and Helping Hounds project are now working together to change lives of both dogs and humans! We work with both veterans and civilians, and we’re helping dogs become heros. A trained service dog makes the world not just a little bit brighter and more independent for their handlers, but it makes all the difference in the world! For more information: homemadehounds.com • helpinghoundsproject.info

20 | We must find our duties in what comes to us, not in what might have been. / George Eliott

Duty m | 21

Everyone ... meet unleashjax.com {unleashjax.com ... meet everyone!} Hey everyone, it’s nice to meet you! If you haven’t yet checked me out yet ... what you’re doing with your life? I mean, honestly. No one wants to see another photo of you doing shots. I’m pretty hot, for reals. I can tell you total insider stuff about dog-, nature-, or compassion-based events. You can post your events for FREE, unless you want more exposure, then I’ll have to make you pay just a ‘lil bit. Looking for bars, restaurants, housing, shops, and parks that welcome you and your dog with open arms? What about a great dog-friendly realtor? Yah, I got you there too, boo. OMG, my dog-friendly listings are choice. The best places, trainers, groomers, veterinarians, local artists—PLUS recommendations from your good neighbors (you can even leave a recommendation, too—yes I want to know what you love. Tell me, I’m totally listening.) Looking for a job or volunteer opportunity working with/for animals or for an animal-friendly boss? I’ll be honest ... I’m working on that and will be adding more of those as I get rolling, but I’ve got a few! Looking to adopt? I’ve collected breed-specific rescues and shelter information for you. And I didn’t forget magazine stuff—read the latest digital edition of Unleash Jacksonville (and see locations where you can find a physical copy). Want to send in a photo of your bad ass dog or an article idea? Go to magazine >>> your voice and shazim, shazam, magic, baby. Magic. I’m running out of room describing all my awesomeness and I still have to mention that good businesses need to get listed now or else. Or else what, you may be wondering? Are you threatening me, unleashjax.com? Yah, you don’t want to find out.

22 | Duty eats free will for breakfast. / Daryl Gregory

Enjoy this Baby Bandit montage

Duty m | 2323

glam life

Hü Poupe´d


We’ve recently started using this adorable little french phrase in our home, Hü Poupe´d. I don’t expect you to be able to pronounce it—it’s ratha fancy-pants—but, roughly, it translates to who pooped in English. I personally like to say it three times in a row, while looking at my suspects directly into their eyeballs. Surprisingly enough, in our house, the one who doesn’t look away is most often the one hü poupe´d (he’s a brazen boydog and uses the “But I’m Paralyzed” card every. single. time.) We don’t really need to ask this question. It’s always that same guy. We ask it, hoping for some sign of remorse, as he will stare back at me—through me really—as if to say, Yah, I did it and it was awesome. And guess what? In about three hours ... gonna do it again. {shrug} Let me know if you wanna watch. So ... I mean ... I’m not sure if you’ve ever allowed anyone to go number two in your home consistently, but if not, I’ll give you an insider’s perspective—it makes you feel downright disgusting. It makes you want to wash your feet sixteen times a day, that’s for sure, and it makes you not want to have Pastor Pat over for a nice lasagne dinner. {And diapers aren’t really a great option, for those of you with that suggestion.} During a recent storm, I was looking for one of our pups who tends to be frightened, and I took a little look-see under my bed. That’s when life changed forever. I did find him there, curled up in his safe zone. Right next to a—well, let’s see—imagine the biggest turd you can think of. Go ahead and multiply it by two and add six. It was massive, it was

impressive. Huh. I wonder how long that’s been there, I whispered out loud to no one. And then, crouched there, gazing under my bed at the silhouette of a massive turd ... I wondered how I got here. Not knowing how long this thing has been under my bed?! That’s ludicrous. I’ve always known how long turds have been under my bed. When did this happen to me and is this how it’s just going to be from now on? How did I not smell it and am I still a good person? (It feels really good to talk about all this—my stinky little secret. Go ahead—tell all your perfect friends that Anonymous is absolutely hideous.) Since starting to care for this dog who can’t help but accept—nay be proud of—what he can’t control, I’m begrudgingly learning the same. Ugh, life lessons are so dumb sometimes. I don’t like it. But I do like him. As part of our System of Containment, there is a garbage bag-sized bag of dog poop on my front porch. You do what you gotta do. What of it? It keeps the peeping Toms from staying to long. (shrug) I’ve come to realize the answer to my questions, following the discovery of MegaTurd (except how did I not smell it). This has happened to me because, as much as I may want to just take off in a jet plane some days, I’m not a deserter. I love my dogs through thick and thin; barf piles and endless mounds of poo-nami; even old age, I know that’s a crazy notion for some—yup, ‘til the end. So, accepting what I cannot immediately change, rest assured, I’ll invest in a super steamer and, yah. I do think I’ll check under the bed more often, too. •

24 | If your lifeguard duties were as good as your singing, a lot of people would be drowning / Simon Cowell

How do YOU wanna change the world?

Oakleaf High School Students Step Up to

Help Shelter Animals #ohsk9karnival

One day our Global Perspectives teacher, Mrs. Baldwin, asked ... So how do you wanna change the world? We got into groups to discuss ideas—some of the topics included: Lowering college tuition, saving the bees, helping animal shelters, and helping the homeless. After a few votes (and arguments) we decided on animals and, since the runner up was helping the homeless, some people in my class put together a coffee stand at our school to raise money for the homeless. - Taylor Garis How do you want to change the world? At first, none of us were really sure! I mean, there are hundreds—if not thousands—of things wrong with the world that could use change. - Andrew Bevis The K9 Karnival was designed to have dogs adopted and to help out the shelters. We had multiple games and a raffle which you paid for in money, food, and/or supplies the shelter needs. All that was given evenly to the two shelters. One of my friends, Vraj (aka Lil Veggie), DJ’ed the event and he did an amazing job! Two shelters that brought 12 dogs and 7 of them were adopted! I believe that my class’s mission to make a difference was a success. - Taylor Garis Mrs. Baldwin’s class has always been different and exciting. The Karnival was held in Eagle Landing and was an event where people could come and adopt animals. In total, we raised around $1,500 to be given to various shelters. The K9 Karnival was a great way to make a difference and it brought us all together. I truly believe we have made a difference in the world. - Grace Hejmanowski We created the idea and worked our butts off to get the final product. This includes doing things like staying after school for hours on end, giving out flyers, and buying things for the carnival itself. It took weeks of this hard work but there was tons of fun and friendship involved, too. We made those hours of after school work into hours of after school fun by ordering pizza and jamming to boy bands (whilst making posters and working, of course). These are the moments we’ll never forget and knowing that we changed the lives of not only the dogs, but also the owners is one of the most satisfying parts of the whole thing. - Chloe Dupree I hope we can do this again and save even more animals from kill shelters and get them adopted. - Felipe Acosta It felt good to benefit others instead of focusing on the one in the mirror. - Kayla Church

26 | Our duty is to be useful, not according to our desires but according to our powers. /Henri-Frédéric Amiel

Photo by Jade Austin

The whole idea of this event seemed far-fetched to me at first, but it slowly came together. The small project blossomed into a massive event that all of Oakleaf had heard of. Those dogs might have never been adopted otherwise. - Kaleb Callipo

All three of Mrs. Baldwin’s pre-AICE global perspectives classes came together to help each other do things we never would have thought were possible. The day of the Karnival arrived, and we were all so nervous, but it was a success! I felt so proud at the end of it. Knowing that this whole event was put together essentially by one teacher and a whole lot of teenagers still amazes me! - Lilly Justice With so many people admiring, helping, and most importantly having fun with these animals, it was an eye-opening experience, and I was honored to have “pawsed for the cause.” - Terrell Spencer

I wanted to thank Mrs. Baldwin so much for this. We couldn’t have done it without her. We had seven out of the 12 dogs brought adopted! - Hannah Ferreira Mrs Baldwin gave all of her students a chance to go volunteer at one of the shelters participating in the K9 Karnival. Doing so, we got to really connect with the animals and really understood why were doing all of this. My initial thinking—My teacher is freaking crazy—turned into a huge appreciation for her and anyone who volunteers their time to make a difference. - Taylor Lawrence

Changing the world by helping pets has been without a doubt one of the highlights of my freshman year and maybe one of the highlights of my life. - Isaac I never thought that we could do something to have such a big impact, and I didn’t think so many people would help out or come to the carnival. The whole thing ended up so much bigger than we thought it would. It’s all been an amazing experience, and it’s shown us that we can actually change the world if we try. - Maggie Davis

Editors note: We wish we could’ve printed all of the write ups we received from these amazing kids, they are all so inspiring. Thank you so much for making a difference!

Duty m | 27

time for a



Dog friendly all year • 24/7 Dogs are allowed on the beach

Dogs ARE allowed on the beach at any time!

at any time!

April 1 - September 30 Dogs are NOT allowed on the beach

Dogs must be on a leash at all times unless both adult and pet are in the water

9 a.m. - 5 p.m., 7 days a week

Dogs must be leashed at all times, as in all other public places.

FERNANDINA + ST. AUGUSTINE BEACHES Pet friendly all year! Leashed dogs are allowed on the beach at any time!

KATHRYN ABBEY HANNA PARK Pet friendly all year!

(unfortunately, this doesn’t include

Enjoy the 1 1/2 miles of seashore and a 60-acre freshwater lake.

walking in the surf).

Watch for gators!

Make sure to bring shade for your friend who is wearing a fur coat, plenty ‘o water, and poo bags! Watch to make sure paws don’t get burnt on the hot sand. If you can’t go barefoot, neither can your dog.

28 | Duty is what one expects from others. / Oscar Wilde

Duty s | 29


On Duty with Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office

K-9 Unit

JSO K9 Handler Cheth and Huk, a 2-year-old Malinois-Shepherd mix, who unlike you, is excited to go to work every day!

Police dogs aren’t service dogs, but when they are on duty they are nothing short of amazing! I sat down with Sergeant Byrd and K-9 handler Cheth (along with his impressive K-9, Huk) from the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office for a quick Q-and-A session.


build up to make their jaws strong. This is done at night, so they use their nose and not their eyes.

Q. how does a handler connect with their dog? A.The pair goes through two weeks of bonding, which includes driving around and getting used to the car, then they start K-9 school.

Q. what breed is best for police work? mixes because they are big dogs A. Malinois-Shepherd Q. where does the K-9 stay when with a high drive. he/she isn’t working?

Q. where do JSO K-9s come from? We get our dogs from Shallow Creek Kennels in A. Pennsylvania. The owners go to Europe 1-2 times a

month and bring 50-60 dogs back. Then they test them with full medical screening to make sure they get the best dogs.

Q. what are the patrol dogs’ disciplines?

A. All the dogs are patrol dogs and have 2 disciplines— Bomb and Narcotic.

Q. what type of training is required for dogs to become K-9s?

A. It takes eight-and-a-half months for a JSO K-9 to

finish its training. Detector School happens first. This is where they teach and imprint the dogs to smell drugs and bombs, as well as obedience. They test the dog’s hunt drive. The dogs can’t stop looking even if they don’t find what has been thrown out for them to get. Patrol School happens next. They’re given a courage test, as well as a slipping the sleeve test to make sure they engage and stay focused. They also focus on bite

A.They’re kept outside in a kennel to stay acclimated to the environment. Day shifts are harder on the dogs because of the heat so they get fatigued quicker.

Q. why did become a handler? not an easy unit to get into but it is the purest A.It’s form of law enforcement, in my opinion. We locate

and apprehend some of the worst criminals in the city, and that wouldn’t be possible without a patrol dog. A well-trained patrol dog takes you out of the equation—the team is only as good as their K-9. The coolest part is the dog thinks it is all a game. They have no idea how important their role is and the amount of support and protection they give the citizens and officers of Jacksonville.

Q. how long do these dogs serve? It depends, but if not injured in the line of duty, until A.they are 8 or 9 years old. Q. can anyone adopt a police dog after they retire? A.No, because if they were to bite, you cannot get them off! They normally retire to the handler.

Thank you Sergeant Byrd, Cheth, and Huk for all you do to keep us safe!

30 | Honor is honesty to what is, not blind duty to what you wish to be / Terry Goodkind

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Give w| 31

thou shall adopt, thou shall not shop.

Meet your Match S P O T L I G H T

Woooohoo! Three cheers for



Well, thanks for that warm welcome, guys! I guess you already know I’m Tank. You up for a little more information about me and then we’ll talk about you? I promise I’m interesting. I am a healthy 6-year-old lab mix. I have all my shots and take monthly medicine to prevent fleas and heart worms, I’m very responsible like that. My hobbies include: Sun bathing, walks, rolling in the grass, and swimming. I don’t want to brag ... but I do know some cool tricks—I can sit, shake, and lay down. Do you love the water? I do! So much! I have even been known to jump in the shower with my human! Personally, I think there’s nothing better than chilling on the couch watching Netflix. Oh, dogs aren’t my only friends, I’m not bias. I have two kiddos that I play with. They love to give me kisses and cookies. Hey—did I mention how handsome I am? I guess you can see that for yourself from my photo. I’m no stranger heartbreak. Heartbreak is the worst kind of break. I spent one long year in the shelter after my owner dropped me off. I was so depressed and lonely. Luckily, I landed a great foster mom who helped me get adopted again. I spent two glorious years with my new human that I loved SO MUCH. I know he loved me, too, because he would tell me all the time, and we became best buds. Very sadly, he had to go into assisted living and was unable to take me with him. He didn’t want me to go back to the shelter because I’m a sensitive soul. He knew my heart would break all over again. So, now I’m back with my foster mom. I’ve been patiently waiting for my forever home. I’m a simply guy. I’d just love a home where my human will be my best friend forever. Hey! Wanna see if we’re a match? I like just about everybody, so it’s a good possibility. Can you can email Chrissy about me? My email is down. She’s really nice and would love to hear from you! >>> c_vanorsdale@yahoo.com <<<

32 | Duty is a done deal. / Lailah Gifty Akita

I’m really looking forward to it! Much love, Tank

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34 | Duty is dedication. / Lailah Gifty Akita

Smitten | 35

Deliah Morrisseau, 6

36 | We rise by lifting others / Robert Ingersoll

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