Dogtober Fest

    Portland is known as one of the most dog friendly cities in the country. We have dog spas, dog hotels, numerous dog parks, and even dog friendly restaurants and brew pubs– like the Lucky Labrador.

    Speaking of the Lucky Labrador, September 18th marked the 22nd annual Dogtober Fest at Lucky Lab– a blood drive and fundraiser for local, no kill animal shelter, Dove Lewis.

    Perfectly timed at the end of Summer (when your favorite pooch is likely to be coated in a thin layer of dirt, sap, and variously stinky things), Portland’s largest dog wash is a fun and family friendly event for an amazing cause. Bath hatred aside, our dogs and kids always have a blast!

    So, we piled into the family Forester with our labradoodlle in tow. She had no idea what she was in store for: She was just happy to go along for the ride. She always is. If only I could be so unconditionally happy, but that’s neither here nor there. Sure, she was gonna hate the bath, but she would still have an amazing day.

    So, we drove through Downtown, across Burnside Bridge and into SE Portland, to the ultra hip Hawthorne Neighborhood. We parked as close to the Lucky Lab as possible and I heard our pooch whimper. I heard her tail thumping against the tail gate. She knew we had arrived and she was happy to be here. When I opened the door and heard the music and smelled the burgers cooking, I too was happy and if I had a tail, I would have been wagging it.

    Stepping onto the grounds of the Lucky Lab, I had arrived in Heaven. Dogs everywhere. Kids running and playing. Killer tunes and soon, a burger and a brew. I was doing this for a good cause? I had to pinch myself. Man, I love Portland.

    The labradoodle’s excitement waned when she saw the bathing occurring. This dog, that will jump readily into the Willamette River from Sellwood Park, or into the ocean blissfully ignorant of the sneaker waves, hates baths more than anything in the world. But, when we explained to her that her bath could help other dogs, she seemed to understand and she took her cleansing like a champ. Money well spent. Clean dog AND helping animals. No one loses in this situation, except maybe germs.

    Me? I was having a blast. I was eating a delicious hamburger and drinking some amazing microbrew (Wifey and I had RoShamBoed, she lost, thus, she was sipping an RC cola with her veggie patty.) And, of course, bath complete, our own lucky lab was enjoying the pets of passersbys and the new fragrances on her body. I could tell, too, that there was a little gleam in her eye. She knew she had done something unpleasant to accomplish something good. She’s a good doggy, and I proved it to her by giving her a big bite of my burger.

    See you next year!

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