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Samaritan Village dog run opened
HUGHSON - Samaritan Village is going to the dogs.

Well, it seemed that way Friday morning as four-legged friends led their owners to dedicate "Annie's Place," a dog run yard on the senior citizen campus.

The project was the idea of Wendell and Jenny Jernigan who received support and a commitment from Samaritan Village administration to fence off a 12' x 40' grassy area west of the maintenance building at the southwest corner of the facility. The Jernigans funded the plastic picket fencing and bought a park bench for owners to rest on.

Many residents of the facility who have smaller dogs living with them often need a place to play outdoors without the confines of a leash. The dog run will allow them to play without running out into the parking lot area. It will also be able to accommodate visitors' pets, including those visiting the terminally ill patients at the Alexander Cohen Hospice House on the grounds.

The Jernigans became dog owners after visiting the Stanislaus County Animal Shelter and were drawn to a dog who had been skipped over a long time by potential adoptees. "We named her Orphan Annie since she was there so long because she was so ugly," said Jenny.

Annie - is a cross between a poodle and Bichon or just plain havenese - cleaned up well of the burrs and foxtails and even won the "most dignified" prize in a small contest that followed the ribbon-cutting.

A mishap interrupted the ceremony when Charlie Brown, a dachshund, tried to escape the pen through the slats and became trapped. A maintenance worker came by to pull up one slat to free the panicked and bruised dachshund.

Samaritan Village CEO Dan Aguilar said pets lend to the mission of the facility, which is to promote a healthy, active and caring community.

Also attending the ceremony was resident Marilyn Bell who brought her collie, "Bonnie Belle" and Gilbert Smith who brought down "Diamond."