Cheesecake and Cassie did not let concerns about the coronavirus ruin their St. Patrick’s Day celebration. They are alpacas after all. A nice stroll on Windsor Parkway in Sandy Springs was all they wanted.

Robin Conklin, a local real estate agent, and her friend, Sallie Duncan, were walking the two animals just east of High Point Road on March 17. Conklin wore a green beret to commemorate the day and Duncan donned a curly green wig. The alpacas were celebrating, too. Cheesecake wore a green bridle and Cassie had green tufts of hair sticking out of her own fur near her perky ears

Robin Conklin and Sallie Duncan wanted to bring joy to neighbors by walking alpacas along Windsor Parkway in Sandy Springs on St. Patrick’s Day. (Dyana Bagby)


“We like to wind through different neighborhoods and people are always amazed,” Duncan said. “We just thought, especially now, this would bring some joy to people during this time.”

Robin Conklin and Sallie Duncan walk alpacas Cheesecake and Cassie along Windsor Parkway in Sandy Springs on St. Patrick’s Day. (Dyana Bagby)

And it worked. People slowed their cars to snap photos. Sometimes people stop to chat, they said. And it takes people’s minds off the grim news making headlines in metro Atlanta, Georgia and throughout the world about the spread of the coronavirus.

“We think they may be pregnant, so we were wondering what to name [the babies] and joked about ‘Corona,’” Conklin said.

Conklin has a farm on south High Point Road off Windsor Parkway and has had the alpacas for about two years, she said. She and Duncan have been regularly walking them throughout the area the entire time.

“The neighborhood is really getting to know them,” she said.

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.