On Valentine’s Day, a couple drove over 180 miles from Calais to Boothbay Harbor for the love of a dog. The couple was determined to adopt a Chiweenie, a mix breed of Chihuahua and Dachshund, during Midcoast Humane’s Feb. 15 pet adoption in Boothbay Harbor. The couple arrived Friday night, spent the night at the Flagship Inn and arrived at Boothbay Region YMCA three hours before the adoption. “They arrived at 6:45 a.m. and we didn’t get here until 9:15 a.m.,” said Community Resource Coordinator Tammy Walsh. “They were first in line and so they had the first application and got first choice.”
The Chuweenie was one of 10 dogs adopted on Saturday. Midcoast Humane has its headquarters in Brunswick and has a shelter in Edgecomb. The organization holds monthly off-site adoption services. It brought 13 homeless dogs to Boothbay Harbor. On Sunday, the three remaining dogs found homes during an adoption service in Brunswick.
Despite Boothbay Harbor being an out-of–the-way place on the Midcoast peninsula, other dog-seeking families traveled great distances to find a new best friend. Walsh reported a Massachusetts family was in a 10-person line about 30 minutes prior to the adoption. The line had a few Mainers, too. Greg and Toni Hallee of Lisbon Falls adopted a 3-month-old mix Dachsund. The Hallees were looking for a playmate for their own mix-Dachsund dog. “It’s a pretty ‘chill’ dog,” said Toni Hallee. “Our dog is 4 and we’re looking for a playmate for him.”
The couple searched Midcoast Humane’s website and found a good fit for their family. “We’d rather adopt than buy so we came here,” Greg Halle said.
The adoption lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Prospective adoptive families took a number and Midcoast Humane staff and volunteers guided them through the process. The first step is establishing whether or not a dog is a good fit for a family. “We ask a lot of questions,” Walsh said. “There needs to be a match of personality and energy levels because an active dog with a ‘couch-potato’ family wouldn’t be a good fit.”
The event also attracted a local family in search of a new dog. The Goodwins of East Boothbay are looking for a Catahoula. Their Catahoula died last year. The breed is a medium-large short-haired dog with varied coat patterns. At the adoption, one of the dogs was a Catahoula. But the timing isn’t right for the Goodwins to adopt. “Today, we’re just looking,” Dave Goodwin said. “ I told the boys we’d come and have a look, but right now we’re juggling work schedules and it just wouldn’t be fair to adopt right now.”
Besides Walsh, the pet adoption had six volunteers who assisted families with questions and cleaned the occasional mess left by an excited dog meeting their potential new family for the first time.