Boothbay Harbor's last Saturday in July will be Mutt Scrub-less for the second year in a row, Two Salty Dogs Pet Outfitters owners Don and Liana Kingsbury announced. The nearly decade-old event has brought in around $4,000 for animal shelters every year through raffles of business products and services and on-site grooming across the street from the 22 McKown St. business.
Don Kingsbury said a lack of store employees has hindered TSD’s ability to meet the manpower required for anything other than business as usual. Even the volunteers who typically help at the event are too few to run it, he said. However, the deciding reason for canceling is consideration for the effects the pandemic has had on local businesses.
“I mean, going to restaurants and asking them for raffle donations after having just such a hard year last year – I just felt really bad about going in … because the raffles are about 80% of what we raise and only about 20% is from the actual washing … And the businesses have always been so great about (the raffles).”
Anyone who wants a good reason to go out, support the restaurants and pubs and has an itch for free TSD merchandise can still participate in the annual coaster challenge, said Kingsbury. The challenge is to order drinks from enough establishments around town to collect five coasters spelling out “S-A-L-T-Y.” The prize is a free TSD T-shirt; only one shirt per person can be claimed.
“Don’t be that guy,” said Kingsbury. “Every establishment gets only one letter and that's because I don't want the bartenders to get driven crazy by people going, 'is there an “L” in there?' I've have people who've done it in an afternoon and I've had people say it was a total hoax and fraud … We gave away over 100 T-shirts last time, so it can be done.”
The only clue Kingsbury would give is Robinson's Wharf and Tugs Pub is the only place where you can find the Y. Other letters can be found at Brady's, The Tinnery, Tugboat Inn and Restaurant, Mine Oyster, Boothbay Harbor Inn, Taka Mediterranean Bar and Grill, Whale's Tale and Seafarer's Pub, Fisherman's Wharf Inn, Thistle Inn, Ports Pizzeria, Harborside 1901 Bar and Grill, Pier 1 Pizza, Footbridge Brewery, Carriage House Restaurant and Newagen Seaside Inn's pub.
Kingsbury said the coaster challenge may not be the consolation Mutt Scrubbers were looking for, but like the many events, openings and stirrings coming about from the waning social restrictions of the pandemic, it is a good sign.
Said Kingsbury, “There are other things, too, but next year we're going to hit it hard and we're going to try and focus on doing it a little bit earlier.”