Two Fun Pet Stores in Maine

During our recent trip to Maine, I stopped in two great pet stores – one in Bar Harbor called Bark Harbor and the other in Boothbay Harbor called Two Salty Dogs. These two stores stood out among others I saw on the trip because they featured many locally made products, and they carried high-quality treats and food.

Bark Harbor

Bark Harbor is located at 150 Main Street in Bar Harbor, ME right across from the Village Green in the center of town. They carry toys and treats for both cats and dogs. There’s even a counter set up like a bakery filled with delectable treats for your canine friends. They also carry lots of gifts and collectibles for humans including a great selection of t-shirts and breed-specific gift items.

They also have a very wide selection of collars and leashes, offering over 30 different designs ranging from seashells to bees to moose, among others. They also carry what they call “Paw’tery” that includes pet-inspired mugs, food and water bowls, and dishes. If you find yourself shopping in Bar Harbor, it’s worth a visit. Take your favorite pooch with you as Bark Harbor and many other businesses in Bar Harbor are dog friendly.

Two Salty Dogs – Pet Outfitters

Two Salty Dogs is located at 22 McKown St. in Boothbay Harbor, ME. We were drawn to the store by the colorful sign outside and met by two very friendly black labs upon entering. They have a great selection of toys, food, treats, collars, leashes,  and other items for cats and dogs. They also carry a number of Maine-made products. I loved the selection of collars with Maine-inspired motifs and chose a burgundy collar with blue crabs on it for Kendall. She’s been due for a new collar for awhile. The collar is made by a company called The Belted Cow Co. out of Yarmouth, ME. It just so happens that the collar I chose for Kendall is the one that you see if you click the link.

They also had some fun cat playhouses. I don’t know that big ol’ Rico, our cat, would fit in there but it looked like it’d be fun for the right cat.

Speaking of houses, Two Salty Dogs is the only retailer in Maine to carry the K-9 Crooked Houses. These dog houses are adorable! They look like something out of a story book.

I recommend stopping by to see their large selection of fun toys for dogs and cats. If you find yourself with some extra tennis balls that have lost their oomph, there’s a barrel out front where you can donate your tennis balls. One man’s dead tennis ball is one dog’s fun new toy.

Our Dog-Friendly Back Yard is Filling In

Back in April, we had our back yard redone by the great folks at Rain Country Gardens. Now that things have had about three months to grow, I thought it would be fun to show how it’s all filling in.


The path to the other end of the yard


Things are filling in nicely


I love how inviting it all looks.


Looking back toward the rock wall


Little plants just waiting to grow


Nice and lush

The only thing that didn’t do well were the plants with the little purple flowers that were supposed to spread up by the deck and by the patio. I think only about 5% of the plants made it. If I were a gardener I might know what kind of plant they were, but…

Keeping the weeds under control has been fairly easy. I just weed in chunks and do it after it’s been watered. The weeds come out easily.

We love spending time in our back yard this summer. We added some little lights along the gutters on the house and some solar lights along the path, so it’s like a little oasis back there in the evening.

A Visit to Willakenzie Estate

After stopping by Bald Peak and taking some awesome photos, we headed on down the hill toward Carlton, OR. On our way to Carlton, we stopped at Willakenzie Estate to taste their wine. We’d never been there before. The grounds were beautiful, as was the tasting room. There are sweeping views from the floor-to-ceiling windows looking out over the vineyards.

The tasting room at Willakenzie Estate

There are places to sit out on a multi-tiered patio and enjoy a bottle of wine and a picnic. There’s also a fire pit. It was a bit too cold to sit outside yesterday, but it looks like somewhere that would be very enjoyable on a nice day.

The view from the deck.


Another view from the deck

I asked if their deck was dog friendly and was told that you could bring your dog as long as your dog was on a leash at all times and your dog was friendly towards people and other dogs. In other words, if you have a well-socialized dog and are a responsible pet parent, then you can bring your dog. I’d like to think that anyone taking their dog along with them for the day would have a well-socialized dog and would keep them on a leash, but you know how it goes. Remember, dogs aren’t usually allowed in the tasting rooms at the wineries – just on the grounds. Always make sure you ask, just to be sure.

We liked their wines. As we made our way through the flight, it just kept getting better and better. It always amazes me how wine made from grapes that are grown in a different block can taste so different from one grown in a different location but in the same vineyard. We first learned of this when we tasted Sokol Blosser’s Goosepen Pinot Noir at a cellar club event.

We chose a Willakenzie Estate 2008 Pinot Noir Kiana  and added it to our collection – to be opened some time in the future. Here are the tasting notes from the winery’s web site. “The aromatics are mostly of red fruits persisting with tart cherries, and floral tones such as rose petal. There’s a beautiful balance to this wine with bright acidity, upfront sweetness, and soft, round tannins that add viscosity and creaminess to the rich mouth feel. The wine will benefit from 2-3 years in the cellar and age well for 8 to 10 years from its release date.  We recommend that you open the wine an hour before serving. Pair with guinea hen, quail, or salmon — this wine is very versatile with food.”

We’re having built-ins put in on either side of our fireplace, and I’ve asked for wine storage on one side. It’ll be away from the fireplace opening. I’m starting to collect some things to store there. I’ll be sure to post pictures when it gets installed in the next few weeks.

Giant Pumpkin Regatta

Saturday turned out to be a beautiful fall day in the Pacific Northwest. After running some errands, we decided to stop at the Giant Pumpkin Regatta in Tualatin, OR. There’s a little man-made lake there in which they often hold events like kayak and canoe days and remote control boat races.

Face painting, pumpkin carving, and food galore

There were lots of families there and lots to do. It seemed like everyone was out with the kids and their dogs.

Costumes and dogs were everywhere


The view from the other side of the lake

Around the other side of the lake from the festivities, there’s a bronze statue. Kendall paused to appreciate the art.

Enjoying the local art

The Tualatin Riverkeepers had canoes you could rent to paddle around the little lake. This was early in the day and only a few of the giant pumpkins were in the water.

Giant pumpkins and canoes
There were even train rides!

This little Cocker Spaniel was not happy to be out among other dogs. Maybe it was the costume he was wearing. He was quite barky.

A cute little Cocker Spaniel pumpkin

They were bringing in the giant pumpkins on pallets and then picking them up with a fork lift and moving them to the lake. They stopped just before putting them in the water to weigh them. The one we heard being announced was just over 1000 lbs.

Giant pumpkins waiting for weigh in


So, how does one qualify to be a pumpkin judge?

Once the pumpkins were in there, they were using little remote controlled tug boats to move the pumpkins around in the water. We didn’t stay around for the afternoon, but my understanding is that they were going to put people on top of these pumpkins and then use them as boats to maneuver around the lake. Hence, the Giant Pumpkin Regatta.

Giant pumpkins ready for the regatta

Kendall didn’t really care about the giant pumpkins. All she wanted to do was to meet all of the little kids that were running around.

I’m glad I took along the good camera, because I’m happy with the way the fall colors turned out.

Flat Kendall and I are off to the great state of Nebraska on Tuesday. I hope I’m more successful at getting some pictures there than I was when she went to Anaheim with me. Notice there were no Anaheim pictures? I flew there straight from New York a week or so ago, but I never made it out of the hotel to get any Mickey pictures.

A Quick Trip to Oregon Wine Country

We are lucky to live within a half hour’s drive of Oregon wine country. Last Sunday, after a long week of business travel, we decided to head out to wine country to pick up our fall wine shipments from a couple of the wineries to whose wine clubs we belong.

Visiting Kramer Vineyards

Our first stop was at Kramer Vineyards. It was great to see the Kramer girls and the Kramer wine dogs. The harvest starts this week. I sure hope the weather holds out for them. It’s been a rainy, wet year, which isn’t good for wine makers.

If I remember right, these are Muller-Thurgau grapes just about ready for harvest.

Our next stop was at Elk Cove Vineyards just down the road from Kramer Vineyards. We’d never stopped there before. We didn’t have any wine to pick up here, but that didn’t stop us from doing a little tasting and taking some pictures. They make a great Pinot Noir that is available in most states.

Elk Cove Vineyards

They have a great deck that overlooks the vineyards, and it’s dog friendly.

I just loved these purple flowers. It was like a breath of spring in the middle of fall. I found out that they’re called Naked Ladies and they’re part of the crocus family. Their leaves come up in the spring like most crocuses, but they die back during the summer. Then, in the fall, these beautiful purple flowers emerge.

Naked Lady crocuses at Elk Cove Vineyard

As we made our way down Oregon 47 through Yamhill and Carlton, we stopped at another new place for us, Cana’s Feast Winery. I’ve always been intrigued by all of the outdoor seating. Turns out that this place is a bit different from many of the others in area. They get most of their grapes from Eastern Washington and most of the wines they produce are big, bold reds. We did some tasting while Kendall hung out in the car. There’s a restaurant there and the outdoor dining area is dog friendly.

Bold reds at the Cana's Feast Winery in Carlton, OR


Bocce courts at Cana's Feast Winery


Outdoor dining at Cana's Feast Winery

From there, we headed down to Sokol Blosser Winery. It was much more crowded there, but we were able to get a seat on the deck where we enjoyed a nice glass of pinot noir. We picked up our wine shipment and a few extra bottles and headed home.

As you can see from the pictures, fall hasn’t really arrived here in the Pacific Northwest. The leaves are just starting to turn color. We hope to get back out there in a couple of weeks for more fall wine pictures and to see some of the harvesting going on.



A Doggone Great Giveaway and a Fun Run

THE POWER OF PETS™ is bringing a “Woof Walk” Fun Run to the Portland area on Oct. 15!

THE POWER OF PETS™ is partnering with the YMCA of Columbia-Willamette to host a community walking event for dogs and their owners in the Portland area complete with FREE activities including:
•             2k community dog walk
•             Free pet health screenings by veterinarians from Banfield® Pet Hospital
•             Pet Caricaturist sessions
•             Fun for the whole family, with free arts and crafts and face painting
•             Music and dance party
•             Healthy snacks for pets and people!

Here are the details:
WHEN:                 Saturday, Oct. 15  9am – 11am
WHERE:              Greenway Park
SW Greenway & SW Parkview Loop
ADMISSION:      Dogs – Free
Owners – Free
MORE INFO:       Visit

What’s even better is the great folks at THE POWER OF PETS™ has provided a goodie bag for me to give away to one of my readers! The bag includes

  • Pedometer
  • Bag Dispenser
  • Water Bowl
  • Keychain
  • Dog Food Sample
  • Mars Petcare Booklet
  • And of course…the bag!

If you’d like to win this great goodie bag, leave a comment telling me about your favorite fall activity with your dog. I’ll choose the winner randomly and announce the winner next Friday, October 14th.


Dog-Friendly Events for Labor Day Weekend

Looking for something fun to do this Labor Day weekend? Here are some events in the Portland area that you may be able to enjoy with your dog.

Carlton Wine Country Half Marathon and Carlton Crawl

This running event takes place on Sunday, Sept. 4th. It starts at Stoller Vineyards and ends in downtown Carlton with a wine and music festival. Not a runner and still want to enjoy the festivities? The Carlton Crawl takes place on Sunday and Monday. Participating merchants will be offering discounts and tastings for those participating in the run or the crawl. Be sure to stop by the Noble Pig tasting room in Carlton and say Hi.

Kramer Vineyards End of Summer Pinot Gris & Jazzy Labor Days

Each afternoon this Labor Day weekend, enjoy wine tasting on the lawn accompanied by live jazz from the Greg Ernst Duo. $10/person, $5/Cellar Door Club Members and their guests. Open 11-5, including Monday. Their grounds are dog friendly. Be sure to keep your dog on a leash.

Columbia Gorge Wine Region Weekend Open House

More than 30 wineries and tasting rooms will be open for this Labor Day weekend open house. Follow the link to see the festivities happening at each location. Be sure to stop by MaryHill Winery for some great wine and music. I posted about our trip there in July. Their grounds and patio are dog friendly. You may see Potter, the resident wine dog, strolling around.

Annual Dahlia Festival in Canby, OR

Check out the acres of dahlias in bloom at Swan Island Dahlias. Note that Swan Island Dahlias is in Canby not on Swan Island. I know, it’s confusing, but it’s worth the drive. Dogs are allowed on the grounds on leash, but they’re not allowed in the indoor display rooms.

Also happening this weekend is the Portland Pirate Festival and Art in the Pearl. No matter what you decide to do this weekend, I hope you have fun.



A wonderful evening at Kramer Vineyards

Last night I was invited to spend an evening at Kramer Vineyards in Gaston with food and wine bloggers and members of the Kramer family. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect for an evening in Oregon wine country.

All set for a wonderful evening
Sunset put a golden hue on everything

The sun cast a golden glow over the vineyards as we shared appetizers and tasted wines from the Kramer’s collection as well as other notable wines that some of the guest brought with them. I had the opportunity to sample some very good wines while learning a lot at the same time.

A perfect spot for an outdoor event
Great wine and good company

Guests were asked to bring something to share. Food bloggers brought food and wine bloggers brought wine. although I think some people brought both. Not being a food or a wine blogger, I decided to bring figs with goat cheese drizzled with peppered honey. It’s something that can be made entirely with local Oregon ingredients, and it travels well.

Anna and Justin - Anna blogs over at Banana Wonder
Discussing wines - Lisa Shara Hall, Kim Kramer, and Christopher

In addition to the figs, I also made frozen yogurt, blueberry, and peanut butter treats for the Kramer wine dogs.

Brody - One of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs

Cosmo – One of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs
Missy - another of the Kramer Vineyards wine dogs

Becky cooked some wonderful steaks on the grill. All of the food was awesome as were the great wines and the award-winning beer we sampled. Thanks for a perfect evening in Oregon wine country.

Barbecuing some awesome steaks

As promised, here is the link to the tomato jam.

Dog Events for August 20-21

Better late than never.

AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day – Saturday, August 20th

Today is the Responsible Dog Ownership Day at the Beaverton Petco. I completely forgot this was happening until we went in today to pick up some dog and cat food and there were food reps throughout the store. I picked up our usual Natural Balance cat and dog food as well as lots of samples of other flavors of Natural Balance and even some dog treats. When I checked out I was given a gift back of dog treats, pamphlets, and a tennis ball.

Also happening today

Dove Lewis Multnomah Days Dog Wash – Saturday, August 20th

Held at the Lucky Lab Public House on Capitol Hwy in Multnomah Village, this dog wash (10 am – 2 pm) benefits Dove Lewis.

And tomorrow

Dog Days of Summer Happy Hour – Sunday, August 21st

This event is held at Farmington Gardens on Farmington Rd. west of Beaverton. It’s a fundraiser the Oregon Friends of Shelter Animals. (2 pm – 5 pm)

Jake’s Dog Days of Summer Dining Out Event – Sunday, August 21st

Have you always wanted to take your dog to a nice restaurant. Here’s your chance. At Jake’s Dog Days of Summer event you can dine with your dog at Jake’s Famous Crawfish on SW 12th in Portland. You need to make reservations. This is also a fundraiser for Dove Lewis. Check out the link for details.

Anyone know of anything I’ve missed?

More Cavalier Camping – Vintage Style

We spent last weekend camping with our teardrop trailer and vintage trailer friends for whom I do the newsletter. There were 49 trailers there at last count. The weather was almost perfect. It did sprinkle toward the end of the trip on Sunday, but it wouldn’t be camping if there weren’t a little rain. I think it’s rained every time we’ve been out camping in the last three years.

There were a lot of dogs on the camping trip. Some we’ve met before and others are new friends. I was able to get a few of them with their trailers. Spike, who was featured in our Wordless Wednesday post, was camped right next door in a nice little teardrop trailer.

A few of the teardrop trailers
Camping in style
A Cozy Cruiser teardrop trailer

Many of the teardrop trailers are home built while others are built by manufacturers. It’s a lot of fun to see what people have put into them. The traditional teardrop trailer is 4′ x 8′ and has a hatch in the back that lifts up to expose the galley. Two people can fit inside to sleep just fine, but it gets a bit cramped when you add a dog or two.

Some of the tow vehicles

Many of the teardrop trailers are pulled by antique or classic cars. They usually weigh less than 1000 lb, so they’re easily pulled by most cars.

Another tow vehicle and trailer
An Airstream Bambi and a Scamp (I think)
Colorful camping
A beautiful combination
A teardrop trailer from the 1940's
A cute dog named Libby camps here
A great little Frisbee dog
Another camping Cavalier
Live music cowboy style

There was even live music on Saturday afternoon. The Cow Chips played for about 2 hours.

It was all just a little too much to handle

Later that evening we had a huge potluck dinner. Many of us cooked in our Dutch ovens. I made chicken enchiladas, which was enough for about 20 people. I’m hoping that someone who was camping with us took some pictures of all of the Dutch ovens lined up before dinner.

All of this was followed by THE BIGGEST BONFIRE I have ever seen. The camp out was on private property and they had been saving up all of the debris on the property in a giant burn pile. It was a sight to see! It was so hot there wasn’t any chance of roasting marshmallows on it. Someone built a smaller side fire so that people could make s’mores. A big thanks to Spike’s mom for the bonfire picture.

The biggest camp fire I've ever seen

If you’re in to vintage trailers or teardrop trailers, be sure to check out the web site for The Teardroppers of Oregon and Washington, or TOW for short.