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Event lets dogs on Hawk’s Tail course

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GREENFIELD — Face it: It’s been a tough winter, and nobody understands that better than the family pooch, who’s spent the past six months conducting business outside without a scarf.

Boomer gets a break this Saturday with the chance to air it out under the sun at the Hawk’s Tail Community dog walk to benefit Greenfield/Hancock County Animal Management at Hawk’s Tail of Greenfield golf course.

Golf course superintendent Scott Markle said Hawk’s Tail will open its back nine holes to area residents and their dogs for an afternoon of leg-stretching.

“Our entire back nine is about a three-mile walk,” Markle said, “so we’re inviting everyone out to experience the beauty of the golf course, get some exercise and enjoy the vendors.”

Leashed dogs can lead their owners along the cart path from holes 10 through 18, and there’s a shortcut available that will cut the trek down by about a third, he said.

There will be more to the afternoon than a good walk spoiled, as the game has been labeled, with members of the Greenfield Police Bike Patrol, the 911 emergency van and law enforcement K-9 units making appearances.

Additionally, the Hancock County Search Dogs, a local volunteer search dog organization, will perform by sniffing out and locating a hidden volunteer somewhere on the course.

Hot dogs and hamburgers will be served, and for those who can’t resist swinging something shiny for the new links season, golf demo equipment will be available for try-ons.

In addition to raising money for animal management on a free-will donation basis, Markle said the event will also highlight the course as it moves into the 2014 season.

Originally established as Greenfield Country Club in 1927, the facility changed ownership in 2009, took on an extensive facelift and became a public course.

For owners with dogs whose temperaments have grown itchy and irritable over the long winter, Shirley dog training specialist Steve Lackey will also be at the course Saturday to answer questions and give advice.

Curtis Dyer, kennel manager for the city-county agency, said it will gladly accept whatever support the public can give.

“We’re very happy,” Dyer said. “It all benefits the animals, and that’s what it’s all about.”

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