For the fourth straight year, Two Salty Dogs Pet Outfitters in Boothbay Harbor has won the coveted title of Best of the Best Pet Stores in Maine.
Two Salty Dogs Pet Outfitters owner Don Kingsbury and his wife Liana are thrilled to be the winners of the annual contest put out by Downeast Dog News.
The announcement in the tabloid-sized newspaper reads: “Two Salty Dogs Pet Outfitters in Boothbay Harbor is for people who truly love their pets. Don and Liana Kingsbury stock their little shop with pure dynamite, high-quality dog and cat foods, locally made treats and toys, and Maine-made collars and leashes. Large bags of food are stored in the shed out back, and they are more than willing to run a load out to a car. The Kingsburys are known as shop owners that always go the extra mile for their customers, which is one reason people who visit come back again and again.”
The next part was clearly written by Don Kingsbury himself, in his playful, always entertainingly wry humor: “Don and Liana got the idea to open a shop when their Black Lab “Max” began talking to them in barely audible tones, saying, '... build me a shop and stock it with all kinds of tasty things for me to eat...' That complete, Max's orders become more direct: 'Build me a Dog Army of hungry Labs that I might conquer the earth and impose my will upon all living creatures...' So Don and Liana acquired Auggie and Buddy, Max's friendly Black Lab Lieutenants. These days, the shop is ruthlessly run by Max and his two hench-dogs whilst Liana and Don obey Max's every order, however ridiculous.”
The dog lovers have also been sponsoring a fund drive and collecting needed items for the U.S. War Dogs Association. Don Kingsbury hosts the annual fund drive that runs until Veterans Day. He accepts monetary donations and/or specific items from a list on the War Dogs and Two Salty Dogs websites. “The military organization is good at providing food and protection, but not things like toys and treats,” Kingsbury said.
Kingsbury said he had collected two boxes full of items people had purchased or brought into his shop, “$600 worth of stuff.” Anyone who buys anything on the list on the War Dogs or Two Salty Dogs' website receives a 50 percent discount. “And any of the grooming supplies, chew toys, treats — anything that they need is 50 percent off, and I put it all in a big box and mail it to the organization.”
“People have been great — especially online. They have donated quite a bit and when they come in to buy their pet food, they'll buy a bag of treats to go to the War Dogs.”
Last year, $1,200 was raised for the cause.
Besides Two Salty Dogs winning Best Pet Store, a few other local businesses were recognized, too. Boothbay Animal Hospital won Best Vet Practice; Flagship Inn won Best Pet-Friendly Lodging and Lincoln County Animal Shelter won Best Rescue/Shelter.