Homeside Financial - August 2019

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1051 13th St. SE, Hickory, NC 28601 • 828.229.7877 • THE STORY OF FRECKLES How a Rescue Dog Changed My Life

A ugust is sometimes called “the dog days of summer.”What better time to talk about my gentle giant of a dog, Freckles? He sometimes comes with me to the office, where some of you have probably met him. For those of you who haven’t, he’s a 13-year-old, 110-pound Boxer- hound mix, named for the freckle-like spots on his fur. We found him chained up in a trailer park when he was 3 months old, with no sign that his owners would return. I didn’t know he would be a part of the family for 13 years and counting.

my million dollar dog. Big dogs don’t often make it to 10 years old, but, even with his surgeries, Freckles has just kept going. Freckles loves riding in the backseat of my Mini Cooper. He takes up almost the whole thing for himself, and he’s back there so often that it’s almost like his second home. He rode with my husband and me all the way down to Florida, and he was happy as a lark the whole time. Whenever we’re stopped at a stoplight, people would smile at this huge dog in my tiny car.

When getting a dog, a rescue might not be your first choice — but I think Freckles is a testament to just how worthwhile a rescue dog can be.

Over the past 13 years, Freckles has definitely had his fair share of adventures and developed a distinct personality. He may be built like a coffee table, and he can act scary when he wants, but he’s really just a big sweet baby. He likes to think he’s a lapdog, and, even though he’s bigger than I am, he’ll just sit in my lap on the couch until my legs go numb. If I want him to get off the couch, though, I have to help him, because he’s had seven surgeries in his lifetime. His back right leg is titanium, he’s had a few eye surgeries, and he had to get all patched up really early in his life after he was run over by a mail carrier. I sometimes call him

He’s pretty easy going in most situations. The only things he doesn’t like are cats and snakes, and, while he just thinks cats are pesky, he’s scared of snakes. He and Sparky, another dog we had at the time, once cowered behind me while I used a hoe to chop the head off a snake that had gotten in our vacation house. In any non-snake related cases, Freckles is a faithful protector of me and any other dogs around him. If he saw a mean dog picking on another dog, he would break it up. He always makes sure he’s the toughest of the bunch. Even later in life, he’ll still get protective of me when I’m around people he doesn’t know.

Sometimes I think about the people who left Freckles behind. Look at the great dog they missed out on having by keeping him chained up! But, I’m honestly glad they did because it meant he could be a part of my life instead. When getting a dog, a rescue might not be your first choice — but I think Freckles is a testament to just how worthwhile a rescue dog can be.

-Jamie Harrington



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Gone Camping 4 Things to Keep in Mind on Your Next Family Camping Trip

While summer is winding down, families are looking to go on a few end-of-season adventures, camping trips included. Before you head out into the wilderness with your family, it’s important to be prepared. In fact, “be prepared” is the best piece of advice when it comes to braving the great outdoors. But what does being prepared entail? Here are four key tips. Have a first-aid kit nearby. A good rule of thumb is to keep one in your car at all times. You never know when you’ll need it. Kids may get a few bumps and scrapes while out hiking, or you might encounter poisonous plants, such as poison ivy or poison oak. Having quick access to cold water, soap, antiseptics (hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol), and calamine lotion or hydrocortisone cream can keep infections at bay. Teach fire safety. When you build a fire, especially with kids, teach them about fire safety. This includes building the fire itself. Pick a spot away from brush and overhanging branches and create a pit surrounded by rocks. Before lighting a fire, have a

bucket of water and a shovel nearby so you can quickly extinguish it when ready. Finally, remember to only build a fire as big as you need. A larger fire can be difficult to manage and keep under control. Keep an eye on the sky. Weather can change at a moment’s notice, and sometimes, it doesn’t give notice at all. Keep a close eye on the sky and monitor the weather on a radio. If a storm appears, seek shelter immediately and stay out of low-lying areas. When you’re in mountainous or hilly terrain, a little rain is all it takes for flash floods to occur. If you’re in a ravine when it starts raining, get out immediately. Always stick together. It’s a good idea to hike with a buddy and keep a whistle around your neck or in your pack. You never knowwhat you might encounter or when you’ll need help. Hiking with kids is also a great time to teach them to recognize landmarks and be aware of their surroundings. If you have a digital camera or smartphone, show kids how to create a trail of digital breadcrumbs or pictures to help them find their way back to camp.

Dogs With Jobs Appreciating Our Good B

Being a K-9 handler is the absolute best job in law enforcement. I don’t know if there’s another job where you can go from busting drug dealers one night to tracking down a runaway kid on another. There are four canines on the Hickory Police Force, all of them trained to sniff out narcotics, track and trail, and recover evidence. I handle the youngest dog on the K-9 Unit, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois with just a couple of months of service under his collar.

I’ve been a K-9 handler for a little over five years. Being chosen to be on the K-9 Unit is a huge testament to how responsible you are on a daily basis in the department, so I was honored when I was first asked if I was interested. When I saw the kind of work I would get to do as a handler, I knew in an instant that it was the job for me. Not long after that, I went through training with K-9 Ronnie, a big German Shepherd who kept it all business. As someone who has had dogs as pets his whole life, training with Ronnie was a whole different experience. He wasn’t a dog that needed to be loved on like pet dogs do. All he wanted to know was what he needed to do to get the toy that was in my hand. That’s how it is with K-9 officers though — they’re there to do a job. Part of the responsibility of training them is giving them structure and control, while still making sure they can be social. While training Zip, I took him to grocery stores, hardware stores, and even an airport to make sure he could operate different environments and with different people. I worked with Ronnie for five years, until he died unexpectedly in March. It was tough losing a dog I had worked with for so long. Even though he didn’t show affection like a normal dog would, he would always stay right at my feet when I was walking around my house. I think that was his way of saying


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Jamie Harrington and the whole Homeside Financial team was incredible to work with. We’ve used Jamie and the Homes for Hero’s program for 2 home purchases now, and each time Jamie has made it an easy, stress-free process, answering all our questions along the way. The Homes for Hero’s program has saved us 1000s of dollars buying, selling and then buying again. I love that our local homes for hero’s program has an amazing lender and realtor, that truly put the heroes first. Thank you Jamie for helping us get into our dream home!

With all this late-summer sunshine, it’s the perfect time to take your dog out for some fun. And while spending time basking in nature’s beauty can be a great source of fun and exercise for you and your pets, it’s important to keep a careful watch on your dog’s core temperature to prevent heat exhaustion. There are several detectable signs of heat exhaustion that you can watch for, including abnormal lethargy, vomiting, or a brightly colored blue or red tongue. Here are some tips to keep your canine cool this summer. Water in All Its Forms While certain dog breeds thrive in hotter climates, all pups need a little extra care when it comes to staying hydrated during the summer. For starters, always make sure they have ready access to drinkable water. If you are going on an adventure, consider bringing a collapsible water bowl. If you are doing some backyard chilling, consider filling up a small wading pool with water for your pooch to splash or lounge in. Some Invaluable Inventions There are many contraptions to help you keep your canine cool in the summer heat. Booties to insulate their toes and protect their paw pads from the hot asphalt, cooling vests that reflect sunlight off darker fur, and pressure-activated cooling pads are just a few of the gizmos you can purchase to stave off those scorching temps. The Dog People, a website powered by, also recommends making frozen “pupsicles,” a yogurt-based frozen treat that can satisfy doggy cravings while keeping them cool. Time Is of the Essence While fun water toys and helpful cooling inventions are great, the best thing you can do to keep your dog cool is be careful about when you decide to go outside. Taking your pup out in the early morning or later in the evening, when the sun isn’t at its highest point in the sky, will help keep them cooler in the long run. Additionally, keep in mind that some breeds deal with the heat better than others. If you’re unsure, do a little research to determine your dog’s susceptibility to heat exhaustion. Just because the heat is sizzling doesn’t mean your dog should be! Keep these tips in mind before taking your canine out in the summer sun. They will thank you for it!

-The Scotts

ys in Blue

he loved me. I enjoyed working with him, and I knew I wanted to do it again. Every K-9 is different, and each one becomes an invaluable asset to the department and the community. Now that I have Zip, I’m looking forward to building some memories.

-MPO C. Berry

Officers with their K-9 Partners: MPO J. Moore with K9 Shaggy, MPO C. Berry with K9 Zip, MPO C. Albrecht with K9 Riky, andMPO T. Rothlin with K9 Ninja. Photo credit Montana Canter Photography



Mortgage Made Easy!

1051 13th St . SE Hickory, NC 28601



The Story of Freckles


Stay Safe While Camping From the Files of the Hickory Police Department K-9 Unit


Homes for Heroes Staying ‘Cool’With Your Canine This Summer


The Art of Stargazing

The Art of Stargazing

Helping Humans Slow Down and Look Up

Modern humans are stuck in a routine of expected and constant industriousness. But with all this rushing, people often drag themselves home at night with no energy left to enjoy the most splendid show nature has to offer: the wondrous night sky. Most people go through life looking straight ahead, but if they would stop and peer skyward, they’d bear witness to a massive, unexplored frontier made up of the moon in all its phases, burning stars sailing through the sky, constellations with epic origin stories, andmeteor showers bright enough to warrant sunglasses. If you’re looking for a hobby to help you slow down and appreciate the world around you, stargazing is a great option. Here are some tips to get you started. 1. The Higher, the Better If you’re a city dweller, meander a little way out of town or try to find a tall building to keep the light pollution to a minimum. 2. Extra Set of Eyes While novice stargazers often want to immediately throw their money at a new telescope, astronomy experts recommend starting with binoculars instead.

You’ll need to identify several anchor planets or constellations to help you navigate the sky before using a telescope.

3. Utilize Assets Put your phone to good use by downloading apps like Stellarium, Starwalk, and Google Sky Map. Each of these apps offers a unique benefit for aspiring stargazers. For example, Starwalk lets you point your phone at the sky to see stars, constellations, and planets in real time based on your location. 4. Mark Your Calendar In 1972, beloved singer- songwriter John Denver wrote about a meteor shower he witnessed during a camping trip in Colorado. He describes the scene by singing,“I’ve seen it raining fire in the sky.”The“fire” he recounted was actually the Perseids meteor shower, the most recognized shower on Earth. This astrological wonder takes place every year from July 17 to Aug. 24. During this time, viewers should be able to see shooting stars associated with the Perseids, but the shower reaches its maximum rate of activity on Aug. 12–13 this year. Grab some friends and family, and head outdoors to put your newfound stargazing knowledge to work.


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