Many who come to Jacksonville State University, come to be educated. In line with that, JSU hosts a variety of programs that seek to help educate those who take advantage of them.

As an example, this Saturday, August 30 beginning at 10:30a.m., JSU Field School will host Dog Daze, an effort to help dog owners to become more aware of the life their dog leads.

Pearl, a 4 month old Terrier mix available for adoption at Dog Daze.
Pearl, a 4 month old Terrier mix available for adoption at Dog Daze.

The JSU Field Schools promotes the “comprehension of Alabama’s natural and cultural significance, celebrate diversity, and foster stewardship of the natural world,” says Renee Morrison, the assistant director for JSU Field Schools.

Dog daze, which will happen at the Little River Canyon Center near Fort Payne, Alabama, seeks to help educate those with dogs what it means to be a dog. Morrison, also one of Alabama’s National Storytellers, will first start by telling of her own experiences growing up on her grandfather’s dairy farm and believing herself to be a hound dog named Midnight, followed by the moving stories of Haley Conroe and her service dog, Indy, who traveled to the Vatican and met the Pope.

While there are many opportunities for humans, there is also many fun things for canines to do, such as a tricks station and a sniffing path. This path will have scents from different animals. Each scent will intrigue the dog into sniffing around, and there will be hints for the humans to understand what their dog is seeing with their nose.

Renee Morrison says of dogs scenting their surroundings, “When we don’t allow a dog to finish its sniff during a hike, it is similar to your reading an incredibly interesting scene in a novel when suddenly someone jerks the book out of your hand. To help humans better understand, I’ve developed a Sniffing Hike… Humans can watch their dogs stop, sniff, and observe the canine reaction to different scents. For example, most dogs wag their tail when they smell a rabbit or squirrel. However, most dogs tuck their tail and flatten their ears when they smell a raccoon or a coyote.”

Also in line with Dog Daze, the DeKalb County Humane Society will be in attendance with some of their dogs in order to offer on-site adoption. There is an application that must be filled out and approved in order to adopt, similar to going directly to an animal shelter.

Buster, a 3 year old dachshund waiting to go to a forever home this weekend at Dog Daze.
Buster, a 3 year old dachshund waiting to go to a forever home this weekend at Dog Daze.

JSU Field School provides different programs year round for anyone who would like to participate and relies heavily on the donations from generous visitors in order to fund the more than 400 programs a year, with themes ranging from environmental education and outdoor recreation, to cultural heritage and the arts.

Anyone who would like to donate while at Dog Daze, can donate either to JSU Field Schools or to the Dekalb County Humane Society, which will accept monetary donations or dog food.

If you’d like to have a booth or volunteer for Dog Daze, contact Renee Morrison at rmorrison@jsu.edu or 256 – 782 – 8010.

All photos used with permission from the Dekalb County Humane Shelter.

Christiana Tyler

Arts & Entertainment Editor

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