This month, the coastal towns of Lincoln City and Newport host celebrations dedicated to raising awareness and money for local pet causes. Both events take place the weekend of May 20, so circle the date and get there!
The day is chock-full of entertainment and dog-related mayhem, including a Frisbee contest, tail wagging championship, and the Sweetest Smoocher competition — perfect for those who love wet doggie kisses! In addition to the games, there will be plenty of booths, gifts, goodies and food for humans and dogs alike. A suggested donation of $5 or a donation of dry pet food gets you in; contributions go directly to the Lincoln County Animal Shelter.
In Newport, Rogue Ales Brewery hosts its 5th annual Brewers Memorial Ale Fest May 20-22. This celebration of “Dogs, Microbrews and Music” benefits the Central Coast Humane Society and Oregon Coast Therapy Animals. Named for Brewmaster John Maier’s late, beloved dog Brewer, the Ale Fest includes dog-happy events such as Doggy Musical Chairs, Celebrity Dog Look-A-Likes, and Dog Dancing. Accompanying humans will enjoy samples from more than 50 participating microbreweries, live music and more. This is a 21-and-older event, though the pups are not required to bring I.D.
If you’re heading for Newport but don’t plan on attending the festivities and you’d still like to contribute, stop in at the Lincoln County Humane Society’s small thrift shop — all proceeds benefit the organization. The shop’s Pick of the Litter offers browsers a variety of treasures. The store is located at 633 NE Third, adjacent to Newport High School.
Of course the pure pleasure of the beach is enough to make any coastal getaway with the canine co-pilot a memorable excursion. Steel “Marie” Fixler of Newport often heads to any number of local beaches with her two dogs, 5-year-old Chihuahua ChiChi Marie, and year-old Pomeranian Karma Marie. While the beach is a constant calling for Fixler, a frequent “agate-teer,”
ChiChi isn’t always so happy to greet the often chilly winds of the Oregon Coast. “She gets cold a lot but she hates to wear dog clothes. We make her wear clothes at the beach and she hates it, so she walks around all stiff-legged and stiff-necked, acting like it hurts,” Fixler laughs. Karma the Pom has a naturally furry sweater, but doesn’t mind the extra outwear. “Except she looks dumb,” Fixler says, “because the clothes smash all her fur in.”
These days, ChiChi and Karma spend a lot of time on the beach, clothed or not, helping Fixler look for agates from South Beach to Beverly Beach, sometimes even farther south to Yachats.
Fixler enjoys these leisurely coastal days, but also worries about her little ones playing close to the surf. “You know, it’s been an awful sneaker wave season this year,” she says. “I worry about the dogs a lot. ChiChi Marie stays on the leash, because she likes to take off, but Karma Marie has been trained since she was little so that when we say, ‘Run!’ it means you run away from the waves. I’m so worried about a sneaker wave grabbing her. You know, she’s little, and it wouldn’t take much of a wave to sweep her out there.” It’s a good reminder to always keep your dog leashed or within voice command distance on the beach.
Until recently, Fixler also fostered a dog named Koda Marie. “He was a big Golden-Doodle and the most perfect beach dog,” she says. “He would do giant figure eights around us. He was a great dog. We used to give him haircuts based on the seasons. For the 4th of July, I cut his hair to look like George Washington, and then in August I cut the hair on his legs to look like he had shorts on and a little band around his tummy like he was wearing this half shirt/shorts combination,” she says laughing. “I miss him.”
If you have a dog who allows you to do wicked things to his fur for fun, the Mutt Masters dress-up contest might be right up your alley. For details on this event, go to OregonCoast.org/mutts. To learn more about Brewer’s Memorial Ale Fest, visit BrewersAleFest.com.
Nikki Jardin is a Portland-based freelance writer who loves to write about people dedicated to making the world a better place for all beings. When she’s not writing, she’s either exploring the great outdoors, traveling, or volunteering with Fences For Fido, a local nonprofit dedicated to giving dogs freedom from a previously chained life.