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Deb Collins

Deb is a New Zealander, aka Kiwi, who lives in Maine with her husband, Mike, and her happy-go-wiggly Labrador Retriever, Ted. In 2011, Deb launched her own online business. HappyME, to celebrate happy Maine stuff and exploring Vacationland with your dog. Deb will be blogging about everything dog and sniffing out fun things to do with your wag. More at | On Facebook at | Follow on Twitter @happyMEstuff

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The Maine Wag with Deb Collins
Posted: July 10, 2014

5 dog-friendly summer events in southern Maine

Do you want to get your paws on the pulse when it comes to this summer’s dog friendly Maine events? There’s something special about wagging your tail for a furry good cause, hanging out with fellow dog-lovers and getting the inside woof from the local dog community.

Here are five dog friendly Maine events that will guarantee lots of wags and laughs this summer while you help raise much needed dollars.


1. Bark in The Park

3:45 p.m gates, 5 p.m. game Saturday, July 12 | Hadlock Field, Portland | $10 (toddlers under 2 are free)

Hadlock Field goes to the dogs with Sea Dog mascot, Slugger, leading the fundraising fur parade around the warning track.

Your wag will get to cheer on The Portland Sea Dogs in the reserved bleacher section as they take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. Your dog can splash around with other Dog-fans in the wading pool and then bring home an Orbee-Tuff baseball so you can continue to hone his fielding skills. All proceeds benefit Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland. This is a Planet Dog fundraiser for Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland.

Tickets can be purchased at or at The Planet Dog Company Store, 211 Marginal Way, Portland or by calling 1-800-381-1516. (All dogs need a chaperone age 21+).


Slugger at Bark in The Park. (Photo courtesy of Jennifer Mills).

2. Martinis For Mutts

5:30-7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 30 | Portland Regency Hotel and Spa, 20 Milk St., Portland | $25

There’s a reason there’s a tail in cocktail; this is a high-tail happy hour affair at the historic Regency Hotel’s Milk St Garden Cafe, in Portland’s Old Port. This dog friendly sips’n’wags style fundraiser for Animal Refuge League invites you to hob-nob with other dog-lovers and their canine companions. The Regency is serving up Twenty 2 Vodka Cucumber Mutt-tinis, hors d’oeuvres and local yappetizers from Gourmutt Beastro and Barkery. Donated raffle prizes from local dog loving businesses give people and their dogs a chance to win tail-wagging prizes.

Full disclosure, I have on my HappyME hat as an event sponsor. I teamed up with Portland’s Martinis for Mutts instigator, Carolyn Ferraro, Restaurant Manager at The Regency Hotel and our friends at Animal Refuge League to help bring this to fruition last year. 2013 was a sell out event with 125 people and about 50 dogs. Dog-lovers sipped mutt-tinis while their 4-paw dates posed for the “pupparazzi” and made new friends.

Dogs are welcome (people must be 21 and over and should be leashed to their dog).

Our Maine Wag, Ted, is undecided as to whether he’ll bring a 4-paw date or play the field.

3. L.L. Bean Dog Days of August / Paws For a Cause

All day Saturday, Aug. 23 | L.L. Bean Freeport campus | $25 to run/walk

Slated to be a day of “fun, fitness and fundraising” for the whole family including your fur-kid. Paws For a Cause is the biggest fundraiser of the year for The Coastal Humane Society and serves as a kick-off to the days canine antics at L.L. Bean’s flagship campus. Register or raise funds at

At 8 a.m., the fun begins at the Paws For a Cause 5K race at Freeport Memorial Park or for those who like to sleep-in, you can arrive at 10 a.m. for the more leisurely stroll down Main Street, Freeport — costumes are encouraged. It’s $25 to run or walk the 5K.

At 10:30 a.m., the race award ceremonies begin at Discovery Park. You can join in the  woof ‘n’ wag action with canine contests including: best kisser, best owner/pet look-a-like and best tail-wagger which I think my happy-go-wiggly dog, Ted, will be a strong contender for.

At 11 a.m., The L.L. Bean Dog Days of August kick-off with dog demonstrations, adoptable animals and other dog-worthy vendors and services.

Agility action at L.L. Beans Dog Days of August.

4. 20th Annual Strut Your Mutt

9 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 7 | Mother’s Beach, Kennebunk

A chance for you and your dog to enjoy a late summer stroll at Kennebunk’s popular dog friendly Mother’s Beach, along with a few 100 animal lovers. It’s a two mile walk and you can choose to strut on the beach adjacent sidewalk or your dog might be prefer the sandy route with ocean dip opportunities.

This is Animal Welfare Society’s largest fundraising event and it is sponsored by Kennebunk Savings Insurance. Funds raised benefit the Sadie Fund – a pledge fund named after a surrendered Shih Tzu with multiple medical issues who won the hearts of the shelter staff. The Sadie fund now helps pay for medical care for A.W.S. homeless furry friends in need.

Register or Donate at

Strut Your Mutt event Mother’s Beach, Kennebunk. Photo courtesy of The Animal Welfare Society.

5. Pet Rock in the Park

11 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 7 | Deering Oaks Park, Portland

Rock your four-paw socks off at an all day, outdoor music festival fundraiser for Chase Away K9 Cancer, an organization that raises money to help with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of canine cancer. You can wag to the beat of local live music and get immersed in everything dog through local advocates and vendors.


If you have other wag-worthy Maine summer dog friendly events to share that are for a furry good cause, then comment on this post and share the good woof.

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