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Dressed in his red, white and blue bandanna, this four-legged friend enjoyed participating in Presbyterian Village North's dog parade.

The residents and staff at Presbyterian Village North celebrated Independence Day by unleashing their patriotic pride in a red, white and blue dog parade. This was the senior living community’s seventh year to host the dog parade, and each year the event has been bigger and better. The residents and staff enjoyed dressing themselves and their dogs head to toe in Fourth of July attire and marching around campus to patriotic tunes.

“My wife Rosie started the dog parade in 2007 when the dog park at Presbyterian Village North first opened, as a way to celebrate this new area of campus as well as a fun reason to dress up our dogs for the holiday,” said Presbyterian Village North resident Joe Nall. “Now, seven years later, all of us residents still enjoy dressing up and walking our dogs in the parade. Some of our men who golf even decorated their golf carts and drove them in the parade too. It has turned into a huge event for us.  We especially appreciate how dining services prepared root beer floats for us and homemade dog cookies and dog popsicles for our four-legged friends to enjoy at the end of the parade in the dog park.”

Nall spent his career as a civil engineer and is the mastermind behind the senior living community’s dog park. He found a beautiful area on campus with shade trees one day while walking his dog. He decided that it would be the perfect spot for a dog park.  Nall researched and reviewed other dog park layouts for ideas. He then got a materials list, researched the cost of materials and fencing and presented the idea to management. In no time, the senior living community built the dog park, and because of Nall’s instrumental efforts on the project, his wife wanted to find a way to celebrate the park’s grand opening and incorporate it with a Fourth of July celebration.

“My jack russell terrier, Molly, has participated in the dog parade for many years,” said Nall. “She is a rescue dog from the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and she goes with me everywhere. I enjoy taking her for walks during the day.  After dinner, a group of us residents meet up in the dog park and talk while our dogs run around and play together.”

“We are very proud that so many of our residents have dogs that live on campus with them,” said Lisa Englander, independent living life enrichment manager at Presbyterian Village North. “Dogs truly are man’s best friend and our residents consider their pets as part of the family. Research shows that seniors with pets have less anxiety. One of our residents here had her blood pressure taken, and then we let her dog sit in her lap. We took her blood pressure again while she petted her dog, and it went down! We love all of our animals here and are excited that the residents and staff got to share their love of pets in this special Fourth of July celebration.”