What makes Lookout Mountain home

Lookout Mountain will soon welcome the fireworks of fall color. That also means LMS Carnival, the Great Pumpkin, soccer at the Commons and camping at beautiful spots like Lula Lake

Speaking of "boo"tiful, Trick or Treating on Cinderella will be held on the actual day - Monday, October 31. Who will you be?

7 Tips for Making the Most of Fairyland Festival

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Fairyland Festival is THIS Thursday, April 30. If you haven’t lived on Lookout Mountain long, you may wonder what all the fuss is about. For nearly 60 years, the afternoon extravaganza has been THE spring event for anyone under 11.

It also raises a significant amount of money for Fairyland Elementary ($20,000 is this year’s goal) to fund such things as additional staff positions, a fine arts and music program, technology upgrades and other school equipment.

If this is your first festival, don’t worry. We gathered 7 tips from veteran parents such as PTO president Caroline Williams and Festival co-chairs Dawn Pettway and Kim Brock.

1. WEAR SUNBLOCK

Don’t get burned your first time around. Slather on the sunscreen – your kids won’t realize they’re picking up a nasty burn while rocking the “Topple the Teacher” booth or raining silly string on their friends.

2. HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE

Summer’s heat hasn’t set in yet, but make frequent trips to the Coke Truck for Dasani water or PowerAde. All your family’s favorites are also available like Coke, Diet Coke and Sprite. Don’t worry; the sugar and caffeine will burn off while your child takes their 20th turn at one of the bouncy houses.

3. TICKETS, GET YOUR TICKETS!

You can either buy your tickets beforehand (contact Kelly Paschall for details) or buy at the gate. Just bring LOTS of cash. Your kids will run through tickets faster than Jackie Joyner on race day. But each 50 cent ticket is money well spent when you get home with kiddos who have been fed and are begging to go to bed. You too will sleep well knowing you supported a great cause.

4. ALLOW FOR CLEAN UP TIME

Face paint and green hairspray stains can be tough to get off pillowcases and sheets. Factor in a little extra time for a quick dunk in the bathtub after the Festival. Vaseline or baby wipes work well to remove face paint, and fake casts can be cut off (carefully) with regular scissors.

5. GET THERE EARLY

Your kids will be itching to get there, and popular items such as silly string and blow-up swords go fast at the Emporium. Plus, an early arrival could help your case with an early(ish) departure (then again…don’t count on it).

6. DON'T MISS THE MINI-AUCTION

While Fairyland's main auction moved to August, Class Baskets and Class Projects will still be available to the highest bidder. The joint art projects from each grade level will be treasured forever, and the baskets are aimed at your summer survival. Each grade has donated goodies with a certain theme, such as “Beach Time” from fourth grade or “Family Movie Night” from Kindergarten. There are only seven baskets this year, so they will go fast!

7. COME HUNGRY

One of the best perks of the Festival is the amazing smorgasbord of delicious food! Mr. T’s Pizza and Bones Famous BBQ always generously donate, and dads take turns on the grill flipping hamburgers and hot dogs.

Mountain Spotlight: Lee Burns

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When Headmaster Kirk Walker of the McCallie School announced his retirement, the 112-year-old school had some pretty big shoes to fill. They launched a nationwide search in January 2013, interviewing some of the country’s top names in education. As fate would have it, one of those candidates hit close to home – McCallie alum and Lookout Mountain native, A. Lee Burns III.

I’m so excited to be back at McCallie – it feels like coming home again,” says Burns. “Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

As his first school year as headmaster comes to a close, Burns looks forward to steering McCallie into its next 100 years. In the upcoming school year he will engage the entire school community in a strategic planning process.

I see our biggest challenge moving forward is finding the balance between tradition and innovation,” he says. “McCallie enjoys a strong heritage and tradition. To preserve that, I think we must adopt a new mindset that’s anchored to the past yet nimble enough to adapt to our rapidly changing world.

Burns seems just the man to do it. Before McCallie he spent 14 years as headmaster of Presbyterian Day School in Memphis, transforming it into a school of national prominence. Under his leadership, he initiated a school-wide one-to-one laptop program and created an on-campus design and arts center that rivals a design room at Google, complete with 3-D printers and walls painted with white IdeaPaint™ for writing on the walls.

Impressive accomplishments for any school, it’s perhaps more notable that the all-boys school serves grades Pre-K through sixth. His impact at PDS is undeniable. They even named a street in his honor – Lee Burns Boulevard.

But while accolades have their place, Burns’ focus as an educator is as much on a student’s character as their academic performance. His dynamic leadership, combined with his deep love and appreciation for McCallie, promise great things on the horizon for the all-boys school.

I’m forever grateful and indebted to McCallie,” says Burns. “The opportunity to come serve alongside the teachers and educators that left such an imprint on my life is an honor, and serious responsibility that I approach with humility and awe.

Long before Burns set foot on campus as a student in the early ‘80s, he spent endless hours at McCallie’s summer camps and sporting events with his grandfather, Maj. Arthur Lee Burns (’20). “Maj” is engrained into McCallie’s culture, serving as a school administrator from 1925 to 1972, and even helping write the school’s alma mater.

McCallie has had a profound impact on my life,” he says. “It was tough to leave PDS. We loved our friends, our kids’ schools, neighborhood, church – we had planted some pretty deep roots. McCallie was the only thing I would have left for.

Another community close to his heart is Lookout Mountain, where he grew up as one of seven (all two years apart). Two of his siblings still live on Lookout, as well as his mother, Graham, a beloved member of the community and longtime realtor. While his position requires Burns to live on campus with his wife, Sarah, and their three kids, Lookout remains his “home away from home.”

I feel so blessed to have grown up there – Lookout Mountain is a magical place,” he says. “It’s such a beautiful and special community. I maybe appreciate it more now than I did as a boy.

Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding Gives the World Wings

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Spring has arrived, and that means thousands of hikers, bikers, cavers and rock climbers will flock to Lookout Mountain. But as pretty as our mountain is on the ground, it’s absolutely breathtaking from above.

If you think you could never try hang gliding, think again says Matt Masters, Hang 3 Certified Instructor at the Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding School. He’s entering his second season with Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding, but the School has been teaching ground dwellers the thrill of flying for nearly 40 years, graduating five times as many pilots as any other school in the country.

“People see hang gliding as unrealistic, but it’s really one of the easiest sports you can do – easier sometimes than riding a bike,” he says. “We’ve flown with folks aged 4 to 94.”

When the winds are right, you’ll see a gaggle of gliders lined up at the School’s mountainside launch ramp, located off Scenic Highway. There, certified hang gliding pilots run right off the brow…then soar above it like a bird.

While Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding is best known for these “foot launches,” first timers begin much lower at the Landing Zone – an expansive grassy field in Wildwood, Georgia. Here you’ll find cabins for overnight stays and a club house with pool, fire pit and volleyball court. The School’s 65- and 125-foot training hills are a short drive away.

The Landing Zone, or the LZ, is also where most of the staff hangs their gliders at the end of the day. A unique microcosm of hang gliding culture, pilots from all over the world now call the LZ home. The tightknit group celebrates holidays together and hosts weekly cookouts during warmer months. Anyone is welcome to join, whether they’ve just completed their first tandem or working on their Hang 4 certification (the highest level).

“There’s no hang gliding community like this in the US,” says Masters. “When I leave here on right day I can fly to my house.”

The fastest way to get airborne is to fly tandem with an instructor. The School offers several packages, which all begin at the LZ. You’re pulled to altitude by ultralight aircraft (much like a boat pulling up a skier) and can opt to soar either 1,500 or 3,000 feet above Lookout Valley. If you complete the School’s Introductory Experience, they’ll even let you steer a while.

More involved training is required for launching off Lookout Mountain. The process can take anywhere from six to 10 days depending on how in-depth an experience you want and whether you want to fly solo or tandem.

You must complete up to 50 flights on the training hills, and the School highly recommends doing them in consecutive days when possible. There are numerous lodging options at the LZ, ranging from cozy cabins to bunk houses.

No matter which option you choose, Masters encourages folks to try something, even if it’s just coming out to watch a foot launch. Just be warned, many curious bystanders end up strapping into a glider eventually.

“A lot of launch-time lookers end up signing up for a tandem,” he says. “But we really try to encourage folks to become pilots. Once they see how easy and attainable it is and they have that first experience, they’re pretty pumped. It’s not a hard sell.”

Masters is also reaching out to the Lookout Mountain and Chattanooga community, working to embed hang gliding into our already thriving outdoor culture. He’s helped set up a program through University of Tennessee Chattanooga that provides class credit for becoming hang gliding certified.

“Hopefully next year we’ll open it up to several more schools in area,” he says. “Hang gliding is a niche sport, but we want to open it up to more people. I’m super enthusiastic to give the world wings.”

I’m super enthusiastic to give the world wings.

Lookout Mountain Hang Gliding
7201 Scenic Hwy 189
Rising Fawn, GA 30738
(706) 398-9546
www.hanglide.com

Heavy Rains Cause Flooding and Put Damper on Weekend Activities

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Exceptionally heavy rainfall in the area has caused flooding on Scenic Highway, particularly at the intersection of Ruby Falls and Cummings Highway. Commuters were caught in the surprise downpour earlier this afternoon, which swept water, rocks, trees and other debris into the road.

The wet week has also put a damper on the annual Baseball Parade and first annual community block party, planned for the area in front of Tennessee stores. Soggy fields have made the game impossible according to Coach Rick Dockery, Tennessee Director of Parks and Playgrounds.

“This is disappointing but our goal is focus on trying to get the fields ready for the first of next week,” he writes in an email. “We will try to have the parade next weekend, but if for some reason we cannot get it in on the 25th we will have to cancel so we can concentrate on the games.”

Keep checking back to LivingOnLookout.com or our Facebook page for updates.

The block party – “April on Lookout” – will definitely happen next weekend says organizer Erick Wood, chef/owner of Talus Restaurant. The all day celebration, originally planned for April 18, will be held April 25 from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Sponsored by Talus, Yessick’s Design Center and Mountain Escape Spa, the outdoor festival will feature a plant sale, pet adoptions, live music and family entertainment. Native plants will come from Reflection Riding, and proceeds will benefit DART (Dade Animal Rescue Team).

The parking lot in front of the stores will be cordoned off, featuring craft vendors selling everything from handmade bird houses to jewelry. Yessicks will offer 20% off everything in the store (except bedding plants and hanging baskets).

Mountain Escape Spa will offer 10% off all products and gift certificates. You can also enjoy an in-store makeup demonstration while the kids take advantage of the video game truck just outside.

Talus will set up tables and chairs in front of their restaurant, offering live music by Courtney Daily and a keg truck featuring local brews. They will also debut a new gourmet burger featuring ground pork belly.

“It’s a great excuse to get people out of the house,” says Wood. “We’ve all been stuck inside for months with snow and rain. I think we’re more than ready to celebrate warmer weather.”

Why I Love Lookout: Sanna and Lee Danley

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When Sanna and Lee Danley first moved to Chattanooga, living on Lookout Mountain was the furthest thing from their mind. Not only were they used to their fast-paced lives in Nashville, Sanna gets severe motion sickness. They rented a house on the Northshore for a year before house hunting.

We looked everywhere but the mountains,” she recalls. “But I really wanted a cottage and we couldn’t find exactly what we were looking for. Northshore was wonderful and fun, but we never felt part of a community.

When their agent convinced them to look on Signal Mountain, Sanna realized she could handle windy roads after all. They decided to give Lookout a chance…and the rest is history.

“We immediately fell in love,” she recalls. “Being from Dalton, I was used to a town where everybody knew everybody. Even though we don’t have any family here, we immediately felt at home.”

Even though we don’t have any family here, we immediately felt at home.

Working in all aspects of the music business – from promotion to touring with artists – Sanna never imagined leaving Nashville. She and Lee met in the Music City when he was a law student. But when he got offered a position as in-house counsel with the Chattanooga Housing Authority, it meant starting a new chapter in the Scenic City.

Things moved quickly for the couple - marrying in May 2012 and moving in June. Happily, they both fell quickly in love with Chattanooga. Sanna found a job with WDEF Radio (Sunny 92.3 and Hits 96.5) as an account executive. She also does voice over work and jingles for a local ad agency.

While Chattanooga felt like home, it wasn’t until moving to Lookout Mountain in 2013 that they truly set down roots. They found their dream cottage and completely renovated it, adding personal touches such as restored 1960’s pastel appliances.

“We love our house – it feels like a bed and breakfast to us,” smiles Sanna. “We both have pretty stressful jobs so this feels like a getaway even though you’re about 10 minutes from downtown.”

Lee agrees. “I love the feeling of safety,” he adds. “There’s such a peace of mind, especially being from a big city like Memphis.”

I love the feeling of safety..there's such peace of mind.

Working as an intern for Disney, Sanna is immediately drawn to charm and character – one of the main attractions she has to Lookout Mountain. While she never expected to give up the glamour of Nashville’s music industry, she and Lee both feel certain the move was the right choice.

I’m a big believer in fairy tales and happy endings,” she says. “That’s what I felt when I came up here – it felt like a fairy tale to me.

Mountain Update: News from March Town Council Meetings

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SOCIAL

We’re one step closer to improved cell phone reception. At the Tennessee commissioners meeting this month, town consultant Dwight Montague stated the first draft of a lease – including drawing of the facility and a request for proposal – has been sent to the two companies competing for the contract, Crafton Communication and Wireless Properties. After a review period in which both companies can suggest modifications, the town expects sealed bids to be opened July 1 with the contract awarded the following day.

The annual parade celebrating baseball and softball season will be held April 18, followed by a community block party from about noon to 6:00 or 7:00 p.m. Sponsored by all businesses on the mountain, “Spring-fest” will take place at the shopping area on Scenic Highway. Parking areas and sidewalks will be blocked off, allowing for outdoor food and beverage service as well as activities for children. Vendors will set up booths, selling everything from honey and fresh fruit to jewelry and art.

Brooke Pippinger, TN commissioner of parks and playgrounds, gave a friendly reminder to observe the rules surrounding use of the LMS gym, or “skating rink.” The area is open to anyone by checking out a key at TN Town Hall, but parents are required to supervise children while there. Failure to follow this rule could result in losing the privilege of using the gym as a community center.

SAFETY

The ice may be gone, but residents are urged to slow it down on the roads! Due to a large number of speeding vehicles, Lookout Mountain police departments on both the Tennessee and Georgia side will be dedicating extra resources to enforcing the mountain’s 25 mph speed limit. Lookout Mountain, TN has received $5,000 from the Governor’s Highway Grant program and plans to purchase movable, unmanned radar that can be attached to different speed limit signs. The Georgia council approved the purchase of a new police vehicle out of allotted SPLOST funds. Also be aware of increased enforcement of parking restrictions around the Sunset Rock lot.

Tennessee Police Chief Randy Bowden reported in the commissioner’s meeting that his department will be participating in advanced training classes this month, including leadership development, training for dealing with the elderly, and in mercy vehicle operations. They will also receive additional education in tactical firearms training and child sexual abuse.

The Public Works departments were lauded in both the Georgia and Tennessee meetings for their exceptional work keeping roads clear during last month’s snow and ice storms. Both departments now turn their attention to cleaning up brush piles, and the Georgia side is excited to announce the arrival of their new leaf machine. Paving on Bartram Road will be completed when the weather allows, and the dumpster at Tennessee’s public works will be available April 3.

SERENITY

The beloved Lookout Mountain hemlocks may be in serious trouble. The Hemlock Wooly Adelgid – a pest that has decimated old-growth trees in the Great Smoky Mountains– has been found on Lookout Mountain. Local experts have been concerned about the threat for several years, but the confirmation of the pest has doubled efforts. It is treatable, and landscape architect Jimmy Stewart is organizing a plan to help people identify and develop a treatment strategy. If left untreated, the hemlocks will die in as little as two to five years. Stewart recommended hiring a licensed contractor or calling the county Cooperative Extension Agent if you want to do the work yourselves.

While mountain gardeners work to save one species, another they could do without is kudzu. A “Kudzu Coalition” has been formed and will undertake a spraying plan expected to take three years. In further beautification efforts, the Laurelwood Garden Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary by planting 50 trees on the mountain. They are currently asking for suggestions from residents for locations.

SCHOOLS

Last month’s “Night Out for Lookout” was a success, raising $47,000 for Lookout Mountain School according to TN Commissioner of Schools Don Stinnett. The entire community supported the event including LMS parents, grandparents, alumni and community members from both Georgia and Tennessee. Another recent LMS fundraiser, the PTA’s White Elephant Sale, netted over $3,000.

The electrical system for a new security door has been installed at LMS and the school is waiting for the door to arrive. Principal Ruth White thanked the TN police and fire department for conducting training sessions at the school.

At Fairyland Elementary they’re gearing up for their annual Fairyland Festival April 30 and the Art Show April 9. Students and teachers are also preparing for the Georgia Milestones Standardized tests in April. The last day of school is May 15 for Fairyland, and May 20 at LMS.

Upcoming Meetings:
Tennessee Commission Meeting, April 14, 5 p.m.

Georgia Town Council Meeting, April 16, 5:30 p.m.

Dr. Chris Moore Accepts New Position at Baylor School

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Outdoor adventure has profoundly shaped Dr. Chris Moore’s career. This spring, he returns to Baylor School as director of Baylor Journeys, a program he hopes will inspire everyone to get outside.

His resume reads more like a best-selling novel. Chris Moore, M.D., has lived with an Amazonian tribe for eight days, whitewater rafted in Siberia and was with one of the first medical teams to land in Haiti after the earthquake.

Since graduating University of Virginia in 1972, he’s served as Chief Medical Officer at Hutcheson Medical Center, founded Outdoor Chattanooga, launched Baylor School’s Walkabout program, and developed one of the nation’s first environmentally focused subdivisions, Long Branch.

“I’m cursed with having a lot of interests,” he humbly laughs.

But it’s more like many talents.

The common thread knitting it all together is his love of adventure – particularly outdoors. In fact, it was his time leading high schoolers in remote locations on Walkabout expeditions that prompted his decision to go to medical school at age 33.

“I felt the need to know more about taking care of people remotely,” he says. “I started taking courses in wilderness medicine. They piqued my interest, which led to a desire to know more and more.”

Today he’s a national figure in the field, bringing the first wilderness medicine conference to Chattanooga in the late ‘90s. Before then, experts in the field scoffed at the idea of a national conference anywhere but out West.

“That event shed a great light on Chattanooga with physicians and medical personnel from as many as 22 states,” he says. “First time visitors were always blown away at what our area has to offer.”

Many of those amenities lie on Lookout Mountain, where Moore grew up and now lives with his wife Ellen. Moore has a deep appreciation for his hometown – a place that not only sparked but also nurtured his career.

We are incredibly blessed on Lookout Mountain with immediate access to the outdoors,” he says. “I remember climbing the rocks and hiking the trails near West Brow as a kid. Later those same areas had everything to do with the early success of Walkabout as well as the wilderness medicine conference. You can offer hands-on workshops in rivers, caves, rocks all in one place.

In fact when welcoming his colleagues to his hometown, he had such a hard time organizing activities for the off-time he decided the city needed a clearinghouse of information for outdoor amenities. That led to him forming Outdoor Chattanooga, a for-profit entity he later gifted to the city.

“That first year I had whitewater trips, caving, hikes – all through friends I called up,” he says. “There was no liability insurance or anything. I started Outdoor Chattanooga somewhat naively, thinking I could do it on the side and still keep my regular work as a physician and work on the conference.”

The entity quickly took on a life of its own. One winter during a backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail with then-mayor Bob Corker, Moore started talking about how the city should support the organization. This led to one of Corker’s now-famous charrettes, a community planning process like Vision 2000.

“It was clear to me the bigger beneficiary of Outdoor Chattanooga was our community rather than someone like me owning it,” he says. “I remember the first meeting was held at the Chattanoogan with over 900 people. It was one of the most highly attended charrettes, which shows the city’s interest in the outdoors.”

While Moore spent nearly three decades practicing “traditional” medicine – starting in family practice then transitioning to sports and emergency medicine – his career path has been anything but standard. This spring, he has accepted a position back at his alma mater as director of a new program, Baylor Journeys.

As an offshoot of Walkabout, the new travel program is aimed at alums, parents, past parents, and friends of the school (young and old). While Moore is known for more “hard core” excursions, he promises something for everyone – offering cultural trips, thrill-seeking outdoor adventures, and everything in between.

I’m excited at the opportunity to create another program that spurs a love of adventure,” he says. “I think we’re evolving as a society to where it’s not about what you have, but what you do and what you’ve experienced.

While numerous colleges have started similar programs, Moore has yet to come across any high schools doing it. With his extensive outdoor and travel experience, coupled with his expertise in wilderness medicine, it’s certain that the program’s future is in good hands.

Fairyland School Art Show

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“It took me four years to learn to paint like Rapheal, but a lifetime to paint like a child.”
- Picasso

On April 9, Fairyland Elementary School will celebrate the creativity of all mini masters with their annual art show, held at Lookout Mountain Methodist Church. Everyone is invited to participate.

“We’ve been holding the Fairyland Art Show for years, but this year we really wanted to encourage the entire community to participate,” says Organizer and PTO Board Member DeAnna Willingham.

The show is a celebration of arts on Lookout Mountain, welcoming all mediums and ages. Past entries have included pottery, sculpture, quilts and even pillows in addition to traditional “wall art.” Held from 3:00 until 8:00 p.m., there will be hors oeuvres as well as live guitar from FES piano teacher James Glass.

Cash awards and other prizes will be given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, with categories for Fairyland students, community students and community adults. This year the show will also pay tribute to artistic FES parents such as Amy Ball and Stephanie Hardin.

While adult artwork is welcome, the show is centered on younger artists. All kids are encouraged to enter, no matter how comfortable they are with a paintbrush.

“There’s something really special about a child seeing something they created hanging on the wall,” says PTO President Caroline Williams. “Their eyes and expression…it’s really a neat thing to see.”

Each person is allowed two entries, submitted between now and the week before the show. Art collections will be held at Fairyland Elementary before and after school (7:30 to 8:00 a.m. or 2:30 to 3:00 p.m.) or by contacting Willingham at 423-593-7505 or Deanna@willinghamemail.com.

“I’m happy to collect artwork anywhere on the mountain, then deliver back after the show,” she says.

Paper paintings need to be ready for display, either framed or mounted on cardstock or construction paper.

Fairyland School Art Show
April 9, 3:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Lookout Mountain United Methodist Church

Mountain Spotlight: Roddy Reynolds

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Whenever someone on Lookout Mountain sees an exceptionally well-behaved dog, one question comes to mind: Is that a Roddy Dog?

Roddy Reynolds of Blowing Springs Kennels has been breeding and training dogs for more than 30 years. Walking his nearly 50-acre training facility at the foot of Lookout Mountain, the difference is immediately clear. His climate-controlled kennel is spotless and quiet, even when at its 45-dog capacity.

That’s because Reynolds employs a unique “flushing system,” air circulation, humidity control and his famous “no-bark” policy. He doesn’t train every dog he boards, but he quickly nips any bad habits in the bud such as chewing, incessant barking and digging.

Training doesn’t take long if you’re speaking their language,” he says, surrounded by half a dozen chocolate labs in his indoor training area. With one word, all of them leap onto a high bench and wait patiently for their next command. Their eyes trained on Reynolds, they would sit for hours if he asked them to.



But that’s not all. His proteges can dive to the bottom of a lake to retrieve something, “drive” golf carts, leap over 5-foot fences and even walk each other on a leash. Relying on praise and pressure, his methods aren’t too far from raising a child – start early, be consistent, use effective communication.

If one of his pups does something Reynolds doesn’t like, he responds with a “bite” – a quick nip with his hands at the dog’s shoulder, much like his or her mother would do.

"People like to talk a lot about positive reinforcement in animal training, but name one animal who uses treats to train their young?” he asks. “The animal learns to do something for the treat, not because you told him so."

His methods are intentional but far from punishing. Instead of lying food and water out all day, dogs learn to follow the trainer to eat. They don’t chew their toys to pieces; playtime is high energy and interactive, and dogs are expected to wait patiently until that time.

“Giving your dog food and toys and expecting nothing in return is like humans getting a paycheck no matter what,” he explains. “If you act like a maid, you teach your dog that you are his servant.”

If this seem opposite of everything you’ve ever known about dogs, that’s exactly the point. Even so, Reynolds is far from a drill sergeant with his dogs. His three personal pets are his constant companions, lounging on cots in his office every day.

“I’ve done field trial training and while those dogs do an exceptional job, they aren’t the kind to hang out in your house,” he says. “I wanted both a hunting dog and a pet, which is how I developed my approach to training.”

It’s also how he approaches breeding. There’s a long checklist when finding a mate for his long-time pet, Chief. Head, ears, coat and facial features all have to be just right. He’s looking for exceptional hunting dogs – mostly field champions – but with sweet dispositions.

“It can take years to find the right match,” he says. “Sometimes I can’t really put into words what I’m looking for, but I’ve driven as far as Montana and Texas to find the right mate.”

Since puppies are a rarity, his bread and butter business is training. In a relatively short amount of time, Reynolds and his staff can accomplish anything from breaking bad habits to training service dogs. His focus, however, is “Gun Dog” training.

Blowing Springs welcomes any medium to large size pup under 2 years of age, and draws dogs from all over the Southeast. It’s also one of the only facilities in the nation to work with aggressive dogs.

The most comprehensive program is Reynold’s all-inclusive boarding option. For $1,200 ($1,000 for puppies) dogs spend one month at Blowing Springs, learning everything from basic obedience to dock jumping and retrieving. Private and group lessons are also available ($100 for private; $200 for four 1-hour group classes).

There’s just one requirement – owner involvement. Reynolds strongly recommends visiting as often as possible to understand how to speak their dog’s language.

The hardest part of my job is training the owners,” he says with a smile.

Blowing Springs Kennel is located at 370 Chattanooga Valley Road, Flintstone, GA. Open 7 days a week from 7 a.m. until 9 p.m., the facility is open for tours during business hours. For more information, visit their website or call 423-413-2314.

mARkeT Madness this Saturday

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March Madness is coming to Lookout Mountain. This weekend, the monthly artist’s market – mARkeT Above the Clouds – invites all ages to vie for top spot in their obstacle course competition. Held on the front lawn of Georgia’s City Hall, you can show your skills in the three legged races, bocce ball, bean bag tosses, egg races and more.

While you’re there, enter to win the grand prize of dinner for 4 at the Chattanoogan’s chef’s table. To enter, simply buy an item from any vendor and receive a ticket for the drawing (held that day at 3:15 p.m.).

Vendors this month include Grace Ratchford with “Graceful Art,” Ashley Roe with “Roe’s Garden,” Emily Bradford with “Coyote Cove Farms” lotions and soap, Beth Spear with “Thirty-One Gifts,” Heather Droke with her air plant and succulent arrangements plus Jim & Allyson’s hotdog with all the fixin’s cart.

March will be one of the last indoor markets, set up in the four-bay garage behind City Hall. As truly a community event, becoming a vendor is absolutely free and can be done by calling organizer Grace Ratchford at 423-991-9940.

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