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Max finds health and joy on turner lake trails
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Max with Samantha Yost and Josh Feeney at Turner Lake Park. - photo by Submitted Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. - Max is a German shepherd mixed breed dog. In November 2018, when fiancées Samantha Yost and Josh Feeney were looking to adopt a pet, Max was an owner-surrender in the Gwinnett County Animal Shelter.

Yost and Feeney moved to Covington late last fall. She is an intern at Antares Group, a Conyers accounting firm. He is an engineer whose work brought them here. 

According to Yost, “It was obvious that Max’s previous owners showed their love with food and treats; the card on his pen listed his weight as ‘obese.’ The poor pup looked as though he had never been properly nourished or groomed.” She and Feeney had to wash their blackened hands after their first meeting with Max.

“Looking into his puppy eyes and taking in how much extra attention this guy needed, we had to have him,” Yost said. 

Max was 115 pounds the day they adopted him. They immediately put him on a dog food-only diet and kept him away from the table scraps he craved. They also started taking regular walks around their neighborhood, with Max trailing slowly behind. 

“But then we decided to check out Turner Lake Park and it was the best decision we could have made for Max,” Yost said. “Out in nature, Max really opened up. He started taking initiative on his walks, running ahead to the length of his leash and exploring all of the wonderful scents nature has to offer.” 

He also became more fit. Max currently weighs 100 pounds and they are confident that he can lose another 20 pounds if they stick to their regimen. 

Max and his family love Turner Lake Park and the Rob Fowler Trail System there. 

“I discover something else to love every time I visit," Yost said. "I am grateful that we live so close to the park and discovered it so quickly after we got Max. He would not have dropped weight as easily walking in circles around our neighborhood and he definitely would not have enjoyed his journey to health nearly as much.”

This is the third in a series of stories about how local citizens use and appreciate Newton County’s recreational trails. If you know a regular trail user or someone with a good “trail story,” please drop Newton Trails a line at