Fall is dog walking time

Posted Oct. 07, 2013, at 11:17 a.m.

by Debra Bell

Critters columnist

Crisp fall weather and beautifully lit trees ushers in the start of fall. The cool fall weather also ushers in the perfect time of year to get out with your dog and enjoy the great Maine outdoors before snow flies.

So it’s no wonder that October is a busy time of year for the animal-lovers community. From final fall outings to festivals and special days, pup and you can enjoy the festivities of the season in relative comfort.

The first week of October is National Walk Your Dog Week. With obesity rates (both human and canine) on the rise, taking some extra time to get pup out of the house and on a “walkie” benefits both you and pup.

But there are more reasons than just exercise. Making time for regular walks can improve your relationship with pup, provides mental stimulation from scents (“doggie mail”) and provides a time to decompress.

If you go onto trails with your dog, make sure you first check that dogs are allowed off leash or must stay leashed. Not all dogs are friendly and not all people are either. Even the best dog can misbehave, so be courteous and know your dog’s limit before going off leash.

Conclude National Walk Your Dog Week by hitting the Bangor waterfront at 9 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, for the 20th annual Paws on Parade, Bangor Humane Society’s biggest annual fundraiser. Hit vendor booths before the walk, visit with other pet owners, then participate in Bangor’s biggest dog walk.

That same weekend, Leonard’s Mills Living History Museum, located at 5 Government Road in Bradley, will hold its Living History Days 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 5-6. Kick off the fall season by sampling bean hole beans, enjoying cider and hitching a ride on one of the horse drawn wagons. Learn more at leonardsmills.com. Admission is $10, $5 for children. Members are admitted for free.

If you’re heading south for the fall, there are several special events geared toward pet owners. Old Orchard Beach will hold its annual OOB Woofstock 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 13. This festival celebrates all things dogs with a parade, vendors, contests, a rabies clinic and plenty of time to enjoy the beach with other dog owners.

Get spooky at the Maine Wildlife Park, located at 56 Game Farm Road in Gray, when it holds Halloween Fest 6-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 18-19. The event features halloween displays, haunted hay rides, costume contests, games, contests and more. Admission is $10 to those 13 to 60. $5 children 4 to12 and 61 or older.

Get out in Maine’s natural surroundings and have a blast exploring while the weather’s nice and the leaves are gorgeous.

Debra Bell is a freelance writer and graphic designer and is the owner of Bell’s Furry Friends Photography, a division of Bell Imaging and Design LLC. She and her husband Bill, are owned by a Maine coon cat named Olivia and a greyhound named Laura. She is the author of the “Critters”blog. Find it online at critters.bangordailynews.com.

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