DURANGO, N.M. — “HIGH SEASON DOG WEEK.”
That was the motto at the high school district of Atascocitas, Colo., as students and teachers went out to dogs for their “Dog Day.”
The high school had no dog-related classes this week, but that was okay with principal Mike Sperry, who wanted to get the district covered by dogs.
Dogs at school aren’t the problem.
It’s a “sport of a different kind,” Sperrry said.
The dog-owning community is “just a very important part of what we do.”
The dog’s presence at the school was more than symbolic, he said.
It was a chance for the kids to “see what it is like to be a kid with a dog.”
“It’s a very positive thing,” Sporry said, adding that he has been teaching his kids since kindergarten.
“The dogs are part of the kid.
They’re part of our culture, and we’re proud of that.”
Dog-owners are a big part of Atacosa County, and the city is home to a dog-loving community, too.
The high schools are home to many dog-friendly clubs and groups.
Atascosas Dog Club, which has about 70 members, offers classes and “dogs in the yard” opportunities.
The club was formed in 1998 and has since grown to include about 1,000 members.
The clubs membership has more than doubled in the past five years, said club president Chris Krasner.
“People have been wanting to learn more about dogs, so we’ve been working with our members to make sure we have as much information as we can for our community,” Krasners wife, Julie, said.
Dog-friendly places are a dime a dozen in Atascosa County.
The town of Ataclos has a pet store and a pet-friendly community center.
In Atascoca, a dog shop has been open since 2015.
But it’s the community dog group that has been the focus of attention.
“We’ve been doing outreach to the community to get dog owners and people who live nearby to join our dog clubs,” Krosner said.
There are also dog-themed restaurants, including a local restaurant called The Dog Locker in the town of Oroso, which offers dogs on a leash and has a dog spa.
In the city of Atlas, dog-lovers can attend the “Dog School” at the town’s dog park.
The Dog School has been offering classes in the dog world for years, and students can bring their own dogs and walk with them to learn dog-keeping skills.
There’s also a dog park on Main Street, near the city’s dog-walkers, and there are dog-walking clubs in Ataclas High School, Atascas High and at Central High School.
“Dogs are part and parcel of our life,” said John Lopes, a canine social worker at Central.
“If people want to get a dog, there’s always a dog there.”
For those who don’t have a dog and don’t want to take the plunge, there are many dog clubs in the country that teach kids how to walk a dog.
There is also the Doggie Training School in New Orleans, which specializes in teaching dog owners how to care for their dogs, such as spaying and neutering.
“There are people who can’t afford a dog or can’t even afford to have one,” said Lopes.
“But there are other people who are very much in the business of helping people who want to help people who need help.”
There are other ways to show support for dogs in the city, too, and that’s what the local dog club, the Dobermans Club, is doing.
The Doberman Club was founded in 1994 by David Stearns, a retired U.S. Marine.
The group has about 50 members.
“When I started, we weren’t a club,” said Stearnes, who now lives in the San Antonio area.
“I just got involved after reading the book The Dog Whisperer by Peter Singer.
I’m really proud of the D.C. Dog Club.”
The club hosts a monthly dog walk, which is a chance to meet other dog owners who want their dogs involved in the community.
“They all come together and walk together and help each other out,” Stearne said.
“It has been a huge success.”
The D.O.D. club also is involved in a nonprofit called the Dog-Safe D.U.I.E. (Dog-Safe Umbrella Initiative), which is focused on protecting dogs from abuse and other threats to their well-being.
It started a shelter and is trying to expand its reach to the broader community.
The Dogs Alive initiative, a program that helps dog