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Old Cahawba goes to the dogs Saturday

Old Cahawba is getting ready to host a “Canines, Camels, Cats and Critters” wagon tour on Saturday, when people and their dogs are welcome.

Jonathan Matthews, assistant site director for Old Cahawba Archaeological Park, said this is the first time the park is inviting pets to participate in the monthly tours of Cahawba, although the park is always pet friendly.

“I’m really interested to see the reaction from people, how they enjoy it,” Matthews said. “If it goes well, we’ll do it again next year.”

Not only will dogs be allowed, but the stories on the tour will focus on animals of the past in the park.

“We’re going to highlight some of the animal stories out here at Cahawba,” Matthews said.  “They’re not always cute, cuddly animal stories. Some of them are pretty strange. Some of them are kind of scary and creepy, and some are just unusual. But they’re stories that don’t really get highlighted during other tours that we do.”

Matthews said he is always receiving phone calls asking if the park is pet friendly, so he thought this would be a great opportunity to invite the public out for a tour with their beloved pets.

“I’ve been getting phone calls for months if not years of people just checking to see if we do allow animals to come down here. I thought, well, let’s do a tour where we encourage people to bring a pet,” he said.

“If you’ve got a dog that’s well behaved on a leash, go ahead and bring him down and he can take the tour too.”

It is a wagon tour, but they will be making stops where the visitors and their dogs can walk around.

“I’m really, really excited just to see people’s reactions to some of these stories that we’ve collected over Cahawba’s history,” Matthews said.

“It’s really exciting. We’ll get the chance to see some areas of the park where legend has it that dogs are scared to enter. I’m curious to see what will happen, if these paranormal stories will keep dogs from entering and whether there’s some truth to that or not.”

Old Cahawba is a property of the Alabama Historical Commission and is located at the confluence of the Alabama and Cahaba rivers. It served as the first state capital from 1819 until 1826.

The tour will be Saturday from 10-11 a.m. and tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for children. For more information, call the park at (334) 872-8058.