Wake Forest 27587 Magazine

Winter 2018

The quarterly 27587 MAGAZINE is a must-read, in-you-hands publication that strives to give a deeper identity to rapidly growing Wake Forest, N.C. It highlights in-depth stories, targeting higher-income households.

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Wake Forest 27587 Magazine | Winter 2018 15 PHOTOGRAPHS BY PHILIP M. READ For a decade now, Freckles has made the workday something special for a slew of staffers at a strip of businesses in Wake Forest. "It's so sweet to be greeted by Freckles," Tanya Midyette, a personal-training coach, said of arriving for work each day. D orothy had her Toto in "The Wizard of Oz." Timmy had his "Lassie." The Jetsons had their exuberant "Astro." Willie had his faithful "Skip," and Charlie Brown, as we all know, had his beloved beagle, "Snoppy." Then, there's "Freckles." You see, this bundle of part-beagle part-bassett hound has not just one, but many wrapped around his finger, or rather paw. "Oh, sweet Freckles. He's waiting for me when I get here in the morning," said Tanya Midyette, a personal-training coach at Red Dog CrossFit, one of a string of storefronts that Freckles has staked out, pacing back and forth ever so slowly from door-to-door, glaring inside, and waiting for the inevitable. "I stopped giving him breakfast because he gets so many treats," said Freckles' owner, Kevin Austin, whose Double Data printing shop is Freckles' workday home turf. The UPS delivery drivers. The FedEx carriers. All are at the ready to extend an outstretched hand holding, well, a morsel or two, no questions asked. "Every time he comes up here, he gets a biscuit," said Tommy Robinson, a staffer at Make-A-Key Locksmith along the strip off Wake Forest's busy South Main Street. They keep a supply handy, it turns out. "Just for Freckles. … He comes up here about 35 times a day. … It gets you a little crazy, 35 times a day, but he's a good dog." Once, a perfect "stranger" approached Austin outside his shop with a little something for Freckles. "He gives me a Tater Tot," he said of the little grated potatoes carrying that name. "I didn't even know who this guy is." As Austin tells it, it all started when Freckles, whom he adopted as a pup, was just a young canine of barely 4 years old. "He's been coming to work with me for more than 10 years," Austin said, "and he knows everybody." He wasn't so docile then, once darting off in pursuit of a deer across the street in a field that today is filled with an office park. But no more. "He knows his limits," Austin said. "He's just so laid back." And it's catching. One of Austin's favorite stories is of a mother whose son was fearful of dogs to the point, he said, of going into therapy. "Him and Freckles connected," Austin said. "She said, 'That's done more for him than anything she's ever done." The boy's confidence around canines, he said, grew. Back at "dog friendly" Red Dog CrossFit, coach Midyette wouldn't say whether she liked Freckles more than the gym's canine namesake, Rogue, the owner's companion. "I don't know if I can answer that," she said. But there was no holding back about her adoration for Freckles, who makes frequent eye-to-eye contact, even paying a personal visit inside when the twin doors are open. "He's sitting at the door, giving us a stare-down," she said. "There's scratch marks on the door." Freckles, too, can give treats as well as receive them. "He does some tricks," she said. "He sits up and speaks." And captures more than a few hearts, this little dog who turns 14 this year. "He's got everyone trained," Austin said. Our dog, Freckles How About That!

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