For many of us, August can be 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.

Since 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! And there’s no doubt we have some serious pet lovers in Knoxville. In our feature “Companions for Life,” read about how Smoky Mountain Service Dogs are paired with veterans who struggle with mobility. This organization is doing great things for our veterans, and we should thank them.

Artist’s Palette presents “For the Love of Dogs (and Cats),” which tells how a local artist Tiffani Mensch started her pet portrait side business, Goodnight Squirrel.

Ever wonder how to throw a kids birthday party? In “A Heart for a Party,” Amanda Adamson offers tips on how to throw a unique themed party. In Financial Buzz, Eric Foster’s “Suburban Farm Life Takes Work,” he talks about how pets can teach kids about hard work and empathy.

With summer winding down, don’t miss “One Last Hurrah” where That Knoxville Girl picks five places to grab an ice cream before summer is gone.

Cheers to another wonderful month ahead, Knoxville. As always, please explore what our marketing partners have to offer, and feel free to reach out with comments.

We hope to see you around!