For many of us, August is a bittersweet turning point in the calendar year. Summer freedom is drawing to a close, and the school bells will be ringing any day now. While the lazy days of sipping cool beverages poolside may be numbered, this month brings a sense of renewal. New routines, new clothes and new school supplies often come to mind in August.

And because we dedicated an issue to both the men and women of our community earlier this year, it would only be right to celebrate some of our cutest residents: kids and pets! There’s no doubt we have some serious pet lovers in Bowie. Meet a few of them (and their four-legged friends) and you’ll find what makes the bond between humans and animals so special. We also whipped up a recipe for homemade dog treats so you can spoil your loyal companions.

We’ve also included inspiring stories from hardworking students on our area as well as tales—see what we did there?—about amazing therapy pets.You will also get to enjoy stunning animal portraits and a take look at the best place for kids to play, explore and celebrate learning.

Cheers to another wonderful month ahead, Bowie. We hope to see you around.