Blu and The City – My Favorite “PIT” Stops in Jacksonville’s Best Kept (Dog-Friendly) Secret: Historic Springfield


Blu and The City – My Favorite “PIT” Stops in Jacksonville’s Best Kept (Dog-Friendly) Secret: Historic Springfield

As seen in Unleash Jacksonville, Issue #24, HEART
by / Blu Beauregard (with help from mum, Alaina Mitchell)
Follow on Instagram @blu_the_pit_about_town

Springfield is one of Jacksonville’s most walkable communities and boy do I know it! With beautiful sidewalk lined streets, gorgeous historic homes, lots of parks to visit, and the friendliest neighbors around, its easy for an energetic pup like myself to stay busy. But what a lot of dog parents don’t know is Springfield is full of amazing restaurants and shops that love to roll the red carpet out for their four-legged guests! Here are a few of my favorites…

Hyperion Brewing Company
Bad to the Bone! Hyperion Brewing Company is a family-owned brewery and comes fully-stocked with lots of belly rubs and kisses. Mum and I always feel like family when we visit—I’m always offered a seat at the table, a bowl of fresh water, and lots of attention. There’s comfy, shaded seating in the front with a wonderful view of main street, as well as a huge, covered beer garden in the back with lots of room to roam. When mum and I go out for a night on the town it’s important for her to know I’m comfortable and having fun, so she can enjoy herself, too. In that regard, Hyperion scores a 5 out of 5 bones! Be sure to have your PAWrent check out their event calendar on Facebook because there is always something fun brewing!

I’m a sucker for places with great music, like Hyperion Brewing.

Crispy’s Springfield Gallery
I’m the kinda pup that likes a seat at the table, and at Crispy’s there’s always a special spot for us fur-babies! The seating out front is shaded and cooled with fans. They always have bowls full of water for their most important of guests, and the team there stays on top of keeping it full, in fact I usually get ice and a lemon in mine—because dogs are people too, right? My favorite part is how special I feel! Everyone swoons over me and makes certain that I am entertained so mum can have a good time. She always orders me the meatballs and I must say they are the best! Mum says “the drinks are generous and the food is to die for!”

How adorable is my grammy? She loves taking me to Crispy’s.

Social Grounds Coffee
Us dogs LOVE making our Humans happy, right? Next time you want to make your Mum or Dad smile take them out to Social Grounds!! As soon as you walk in you will find a big bowl of fresh water (because they have their priorities straight) which is fabulous after a stroll in this Summer heat! The team there is always happy to see you and, best of all, they have a treat stash behind the counter! According to Mum, they make the best frapps in town and they have a great assortment of snacks too!

See how happy mum is at Social Grounds?


Must Attend Event: Second Saturday Market Nights
This is a fun monthly event, featuring great music, food trucks, local vendors, cocktails and more, is held behind Bobby K Boutique and Bark on Main! It’s a true “Who Let The Dogs Out” kinda night! (For more info check out the SPAR event calendar on Facebook.)

Springfield is a lot like me—fun, friendly, and really good looking! The people of this community are proud of its history and they work hard to make it a beautiful place to visit. From spacious parks to tasty dining and hip breweries, there’s no shortage of things to do with your furry family members.
Come enjoy Springfield with me soon! •

Just me bein’ cute.

Don’t forget to follow Blu on Instagram – @blu_the_pit_about_town . He’s the most adorable ever.

A Gift Of The Heart

A Gift of the Heart / Jessica Caplette
As seen in Unleash Jacksonville / No. 24 HEART Issue

“There will always be that dog that no dog will replace, that dog that will make you cry even when it’s been gone more years than it could have ever lived.”

(MD ‘The gift of a great dog’)

I cried when asked to write a story for the HEART issue of Unleash Jacksonville. Just the mention of a heart dog was enough to flood my face with tears (in public…again). I lost my heart dog after a two-year fight with lymphoma.

But this story is about beginnings…

Remi was a black dog who wasn’t doing well in a rural shelter. Fur Sisters stepped up and gave her the break she needed. She had two failed fosters and was back in boarding needing a savior. So why not me?

Remi was on kitchen counters, sailing over couches, digging, chasing cars, jumping on people and scaring the crap out of anyone on a bicycle. She was a disaster! There was no way anyone was going to adopt her! Luke hadn’t been home all week, but Thursday night he got to experience our new foster first-hand. That night he slept on the couch with her and Remi was immediately smitten.

We sent our unruly foster to training the next day at Jet Set Pets. She came home a few weeks later a manageable dog! Luke worked with her every day for a few more weeks and Remi was finally ready for her first adoption event!

I vividly remember watching Luke take her into the yard at Brewhound and her looking at him like he was the only one in the park. With the grin on his face, I knew he found his heart dog. When we left that night, he asked if we could talk about keeping Remi. My heart was still shattered from losing Max, I wasn’t ready for a new family member.

A week later Remi was headed back down to Brewhound for a meeting with potential adopters. Luke was furious that I wouldn’t even discuss keeping Remi and I was forcing him to participate. “It’s not fair that you’re going to deny me experiencing with Remi what you had with Max!” Words true enough I had to choke back tears. I don’t think anyone should be denied the privileged experience of a heart dog.

We arrived and Kelly from Fur Sisters asked Luke to fill out some information on Remi that might help the adopters. He took the pen, likely cussing me out under his breath, and started to read the questions:

1. Would you love Remi forever?
He shot me a dirty look.

2. We hope you answered yes because she is yours forever!

Tears welled up in his eyes as confusion became understanding that this “adoption meet and greet” was all for him. Remi knew, because in that moment she jumped on him frantically kissing him…and wouldn’t you know it but there just so happened to be a photographer handy (thank you Layla Neal)!

I love dogs. I’ve loved all my dogs deeply. But I think you only get one heart dog. And I’m so grateful that Luke found his. •

ROCCO – I call him my puppy soulmate


My Heart Dog / Gina Pape
As seen in Unleash Jacksonville / No. 24 HEART Issue


It alllll started two years ago in July. Before I met my boyfriend, I was living alone and I missed our family dogs—we’d always had a dog (or three) running around. A house is just not a home to me unless there’s a dog running around! I went to the Jacksonville Humane Society three times in one week. The third time was the charm! I saw Rocco (previously Dixon) posted as a new dog that morning. I walked up to his cage when I got there and he looked completely exhausted. He let out a little tail wag and smile. That was it. I chose him. I brought him home and was completely in love right away. I wanted a dog who would never leave my side—that’s what I got, and so much more! As much as he’s attached to me, I’m just as attached to him. My family calls him Shadow Boy, as I trip over him on a weekly basis. I’ve had six family dogs throughout my life, but never one of my very own—Rocco is my first. I’ve never shared a bond or connection with a dog as I do with Rocco. He’s so special. He truly is my everything and will forever hold a piece of my heart. I honestly can’t put into words how much he means to me. He’s on my mind all day, every day—yes, I’m obsessed! I call him my puppy soulmate … he’s everything and more I could ever want in a best friend.

Photos: Woof Creative Photography


My Kylo – It hurt my heart to let him go

My Heart Dog / Laurie Fowler
As seen in Unleash Jacksonville / No. 24 HEART Issue


We were fostering three 7-to-8 week-old puppies for Fur Sisters Furever Urs Rescue for several weeks—two little girls and one boy who were taken from a bad situation. I was personally going through an extremely difficult time and fostering, along with my own pups, just helped ease the pain. The girls were quite hyper and would pick on the little boy. He just wanted to cuddle and be next to someone and usually that was me. He (Kylo) became a huge comfort for me. He helped me through many hard days.

Fast forward a few weeks … we’d pre-planned a vacation so another volunteer was going to take over fostering the puppies. I helped to get the girls get settled, but I just couldn’t bring myself to hand Kylo over, so I had my husband do it as I went to sit in the car crying. We’d fostered before and, although you love them all, you’re happy for them and their new lives. This time—with him—all I wanted was for his new life to be with us. But I knew my husband didn’t want three dogs. I was just so connected to him, it hurt my heart to let him go. The exchange was over and our drive home was rather quiet, minus the sniffles from my crying.

The whole time on vacation, and even when we got back home, I just felt lost.

Two days after our return, I was having a particularly bad day, and it just so happened that my husband told me that he had a meeting and would be coming home late. That just sent me deeper over the edge.

I was laying in bed when he got home. I didn’t turn around to acknowledge him, and before he said anything I felt the familiar sensation of excited little feet on the bed. I turned around to see the beautiful little puppy face I missed so much running up to me, ready for snuggles and kisses! Needless to say I burst into tears! Once composed, I asked my husband what made him bring him home and he said, “It was more important that you had him, then me not wanting a third dog.” He had planned the day after our return from vacation to pick him up after we got back. 🙂

Photos by Woof Creative Photography. See Kylo’s entire gallery!