Gabe Gregoire

Gabe Gregoire

Therapy Dogs Becoming a Part of Hospice Care in Scarborough

In response to studies showing that cuddling or petting a dog can achieve health benefits, Gosnell Memorial Hospice House is launching a dog visitation program for its patients and their families.  

Pet programs can help achieve positive health benefits, including reduced anxiety, lowered blood pressure, lowered heart rate, and reduced depression. Anxiety and depression are of particular concern in hospice care, and animal visits can also provide comfort and socialization for patients struggling with isolation or loneliness.

Surveys show that the number one priority of people with chronic and life-threatening diseases is independence, which is impacted by admission to a facility.

“Hospice care is all about making the most of the time we have when dealing with end of life,” said Hospice of Southern Maine CEO Daryl Cady. “For our patients at Gosnell, connecting with trained therapy dogs can help normalize and reduce the anxiety of being away from home.”   

All dogs and handlers in the program must be approved through a national therapy animal registry before admission to Gosnell, and adhere to rigorous visitation procedures while on premise, in order to ensure the safety and comfort of all patients, visitors, and staff. 

  • Published in Pets

A queer-friendly book group for teens

A parent’s love for their child is unconditional. There is nothing they could ever do or say that would make you stop loving them. So in the end, most things aren’t that big of a deal. But LGBTQ kids still need a little special attention, because the world hasn’t quite caught up yet with the fact that it doesn’t matter.

To that end, the Portland Public Library, among its many other equality-promoting programs, offers the Teen LGBTQ Book Group, on the third Saturday of every month, including on July 16 at 2:30 p.m.

This month’s book is Symptoms of Being Human by Jeff Garvin. It tells the story of Riley Cavanaugh, a gender-fluid teen with a conservative Congressman father. PPL staff will help you locate a copy if you stop in, or call the Teen Area desk (871.1700 x773), or email Emily (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) or Harper (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

Refreshments will be served, and no kind of bullying or harassment will be tolerated. The Teen Area is along the Elm Street-side wall of the main floor of the library, between the copy area and the main fiction stacks. All LGBTQ teens and their allies aged 12-19 are invited, so bring a friend and spread the word.

  • Published in Kids

Four great rides in Maine this summer

“It’s like riding a bicycle.” It means you never forget how to do it. But it also refers to the sensation of freedom, control and just plain speed that riding a bike gives you. You never forget that, either. And if you’re lucky, you continue to have the opportunity throughout your lifetime to get on top of that frame, going longer distances, learning your own maintenance, and getting to know others who share the enthusiasm, never lost since our dads took off our training wheels.

So cyclists, make the road yours again during one or more of these four road trips this year in Maine:

  1. Seacoast Safari: This is the Cycle for Life, benefitting the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. It tours the rocky, beautiful coasts of Maine and New Hampshire, with options of 30-, 65- and 100-mile routes. Fully stocked rest stops and trained maintenance and repair crews will be in full supply, and you will be raising funds to combat a disease that affects many.

    1. Date and Location: July 16, Shapleigh Middle School, Kittery

    2. Registration Fee: $25

    3. Contact Information: Event Coordinator Chris Vlangas, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 603.598.8191 Ext. 405

    4. URL: http://fightcf.cff.org

    5. Additional Info: There is a mininum fundraising level of $295

  2. Maine Lobster Ride: Sponsored by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, with five distance options including the century, this ride tours the Maine coast and scenic roads. A lobster-roll lunch will be served, and at the end of the route, there will be live entertainment by the band Strait Up, and a beer garden for refreshment.

    1. Date and Location: July 24, Camden Snow Bowl, Camden

    2. Registration Fee: $25 to $95, kids 12 and under free

    3. Contact information: Go to www.mainelobsterride.com and click to register.

    4. Additional Info: Kids and families welcome.

  3. Great Maine Getaway: Bike MS offers distances between 25 and 100 miles on this ride to fight multiple sclerosis, taking place over two days. The route gives a closer look at Walker Point, the summer home of President George H.W. Bush. Also, there is a private beach at University of New England for relaxation at the end of each day.

    1. Date and Location: Aug. 13-14, UNE, Biddeford

    2. Registration Fee: $55

    3. Contact Information: Event Manager Sue Tidd, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., 800.344.4867

    4. URL: http://main.nationalmssociety.org

    5. Additional Info: Minimum Fundraising Level $250

  4. Maine Lighthouse Ride: This ride benefits the Eastern Trail Alliance, among whose goals is the construction of a 65-mile greenway from Kittery to South Portland. Riders will see up to nine Maine lighthouses (depending upon routes chosen), and people are still talking about the chili served last year.

    1. Date and Location: September 10, Southern Maine Community College, South Portland

    2. Registration Fee: $25 to $80, kids 11 and under free

    3. Contact Information: Visit http://www.easterntrail.org and click ‘Register Now’

    4. Additional Info: Great-looking jerseys available now

 Get out there and ride!

  • Published in Sports

Maine Pines Tennis Camps at Bowdoin College

Do you have a child between 8 and 14 years old who likes to be active, and shows signs of being ready to pick up what could become a lifelong athletic pursuit? Consider signing them up for the Maine Pines Tennis Camps at Bowdoin College (255 Maine St., Brunswick), offered from July 18-22, and again from Aug. 8-12.

The cost is $275 per child athlete. Camp runs from 8:45 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday, ending at noon on Friday with an awards presentation. Register at http://www.mainepines.com/maine-pines-tennis-camps/

Sarah Manter, Maine Pines receptionist, instructor and former camper, said, “The level of instruction is spot-on. It’s an equal combination of skill work and fun, combining top-level tennis instruction with common camp activities like swimming in the Bowdoin pool, field games, and a really fun competitive tournament with teams named after countries, just like in the Davis Cup.”

For more information, call Maine Pines at 207.729.8433.

  • Published in Kids

Keep up your pet's health and happiness

Do you have a beloved pet, but a tight budget? Coax the cat into a carrier or leash that hound, and bring them to the ARLGP’s Low-Cost Vaccination and Microchip Clinic (449 Stroudwater St., Westbrook) on Sunday, July 10, between 10 a.m. and noon.

In the state of Maine, a rabies vaccination for your cat or dog is legally required. For dogs, veterinarians recommend an initial shot as early as 12 weeks of age, with a booster the following year and every three years after that. For cats, begin at 12 weeks and follow up with a booster each year. (www.centralmainevethospital.com)

At the clinic on Sunday, distemper and kennel cough vaccinations will also be available, along with affordable microchips. Here is the schedule of rates:

  • Rabies vaccination: $15 per pet

  • Distemper vaccination: $10 per pet

  • Bordetella (kennel cough) vaccination: $10 per pet

  • Microchipping: $35 per pet

Services are first come, first served. Bring any existing vaccination records if you have them. ARLGP can be reached at 207.854.9771.

  • Published in Pets

Five upcoming 5K races near Portland

If  endorphins and adrenaline are your drugs of choice, there is no shortage of 5k races with spectular scenery minutes from Portland. It's a distance almost anyone can manage and a chance to visit the area while getting healthier. Below is just  a sample of upcoming 5K races just in the first couple of weeks of July from Westbrook to Boothbay Harbor:

 

1. Rocky Coast Road Race

Date and Time: Saturday, July 2 at 8 a.m.

Location: Boothbay Harbor

Website: https://racewire.com/register.php?id=6554

Phone: 207.633.2855

Highlights: Wooded roads and excellent ocean views along route, coincides with Windjammer Days festival

Benefits: LiveSTRONG at the YMCA

 

2. Goose Rocks Beach Association 5K Road Race & Walk

Date and Time: Monday, July 4 at 9 a.m.

Location: Kennebunkport

Website: http://www.gooserocksbeachassociation.org/road_race_info.php

Phone: 207.967.4115

Highlights: Goose Rocks Beach’s barrier reef and white sands

Benefits: Goose Rocks Beach Association

 

3. The 19th Edition Library Race

Date and Time: Friday, July 8 at 6 p.m.

Location: Kennebunk

Website: http://www.kennebunklibrary.org/roadrace_about.asp

Phone: 207.985.2173

Highlights: Scenic downtown, massage therapists for adult participants, team registrations

Benefits: Kennebunk Free Library

 

4. Shipyard Old Port Half-Marathon, 5K and Lobster Bake

 

Date and Time: Saturday, July 9 at 7:20 a.m.

 

Location: Portland

 

Website: www.oldporthalfmarathon.com

 

Phone: 207.210.8655

 

Highlights: Views of Casco Bay, Portland skyline, Back Cove; lobster meal

 

Benefits: Habitat for Humanity, Cancer Community Center, Portland Trails

 

5. Westbrook Strong 5K

Date and Time: Saturday, July 16 at 8:30 a.m.

Location: Westbrook

Website: https://runsignup.com/Race/ME/Westbrook/2ndAnnualWestbrookStrong5KandMattsMileKidsFunRun

Phone: N/A (use email link on website for questions)

Highlights: Scenic Riverbank Park

Benefits: St. Joseph’s College nursing scholarship fund in memory of Matthew Rairdon

A time of wonder

It’s no secret that literacy is the key to success for children as they grow and become interested in things that will shape their future as adults. From birth forward, kids are exposed to the written word everywhere their eyes fall, and parents know that it’s a good idea to channel their natural curiosity about reading and writing into true learning. It is indubitably a Time of Wonder.

That’s the name of a literacy program already underway at the Portland Public Library (Monument Square) this summer for their youngest readers: Preschool Story Times with Special Guest Readers on Tuesdays at 10:30 a.m., and Guest Presenters for Rhythm and Rhymes on Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m.

Preschool Story Time is for kids aged 3 to 5, and features scientists sharing their knowledge and fascination for the ocean, animals, state parks, the stars, and more. Here’s how the weekly lineup looks coming up:

  • July 5: Maine Audubon’s Kim Sanders (wonders of the natural world, including birdsong)

July 12: Hannah Colbert from Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park (tales of the vast Maine woods)

July 19: ARLGP’s Felicia Mazzone (real animal friends for story time)

July 26: Catherine Buxton from Portland Trails (generating excitement for being outdoors around Portland this summer)

Guest Presenters for Rhythm & Rhymes is meant for babies from birth to age 2, and brings specialists in such fields as music, yoga, baby massage and sign language to engage your favorite tiny people in fun literacy interactions. The week-by-week is as follows:

  • July 6: Jacqui shows us the union of research and the power of music and movement with a fun KindermusikConcert.

July 13: Mary, founder of Portland Doula Collaborative and a licensed massage therapist, will be our Baby Massage guide.

July 20: Melinda, an ASL Family Trainer and Deaf Mentor Coordinator, will present Baby Signing.

July 27: Ellie, whose philosophy for music with young children is “E-I-E-I-O,” or “Early Interactive Experience with Instruments and song Often,” will lead us through dance and song during her Interactive Music Show.

A Time of Wonder is a priceless gift you can give your young ones, so jump right in!

Contact the Portland Public Library at 207.871.1700

  • Published in Kids

Be a lifesaver

You’ve been to dog and cat adoption events. But you may not have been to a MEGA Adoption Event, like the one taking place at Petco in Topsham (131 Topsham Fair Mall Rd), on Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The event is sponsored by, and benefits, the Coastal Humane Society, and they promise that there will be "TONS of adoptable pets" available, from the youngest, fuzziest kittens and puppies to seasoned adult animals who are old enough to know better and need a "parent" who is, too.

As always, pet adoption is a double win, because not only do you gain a life-companion, but you also save a life. It’s an unfortunate fact, and one that many of us think about quite often: Thousands and thousands of feeling animals are euthanized each year in our country. If you feel a sense of duty because of this, let this be the time you make the journey.

Chris Wolff, director of programs and community relations for Coastal Humane Society, said, “We are thrilled for another chance to save lives with Petco. Those who plan to attend should prepare themselves for a super cute, large selection of animals looking for new homes. And, if you adopt this weekend, you’ll know you’ve helped the shelter to get a grant that will go to saving more lives at our shelter.”

Bonus: To see some of the pets-to-be that will be there on the 9th, click your way to CHS’s Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/coastalhumanesociety

 

Petco Topsham: 207.721.8680 | Coastal Humane Society: 207.725.5051

  • Published in Pets

'Dramatic' solution to a summertime conundrum

Every parent faces a challenge during school summer vacation: What’s a good way to keep the kids busy, in a safe, fun, educational environment? Well, your ship may have come in, with Portland Stage Company’s Summer Theater Camps. The week-long camps, based on popular age-appropriate stories, create a lively environment, stewarded by professional actors, directors, artisans and composers. Young imaginations are set ablaze. Personalities emerge. Parents are met with ear-to-ear grins at pick-up time.

This year, the five-day (four, the week of July 4) camps begin on June 20 and run until Aug. 5. Here is a list of camp titles and the stories upon which each is based:

  • WISDOM, COURAGE, ADVENTURE! (The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien)

  • HIGH SCHOOL CONSERVATORY (Hamlet by William Shakespeare)

  • MUSICAL MIDDLE SCHOOL MAYHEM!  (Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney)

  • CAMP RAMONA! (8 tales of Ramona Quimby by Beverly Cleary)

  • MIDDLE SCHOOL SHAKESPEARE CONSERVATORY (A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare)

  • 24-FOOT TALL TALES! (BFG by Roald Dahl)

  • CAMP HALF BLOOD! (Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan)

  • CAMP HOGWARTS! (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling)

  • COMIC CAMP! (All New X-Men by Brian Michael Bendis)

  • MAGIC TRUNK! (various)

  • FROM THE LANDS BEYOND TO THE CASTLE IN THE AIR! (Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster)

For more information, including scholarships and aftercare, and to register, go to http://www.portlandstage.org/education/summer-camps/ or call 207.774.1043 x104.

  • Published in Kids

Worry less about your dog this summer

Summer is the time for taking your dog out for longer walks, to new areas of the city and surrounding territory, even on trips farther out of town, or out of state, for hiking, climbing and other adventures. The long and the short of it is, the more your furry friend is outside, the better statistical chance the two of you have of getting separated. The danger is especially high, this time of year. During summertime thunderstorms or fireworks, a dog may become frightened, and bolt. Even the toughest grown man or woman can be struck with fear and near-debilitating worry when their beloved pet is lost.

There is no absolutely foolproof solution or preventive measure for this dilemma, but one step a dog owner can take for security and peace of mind is to microchip the pet. That way, if the lost dog ends up at an animal shelter or veterinary facility, they will be scanned, and the owner’s contact information will become available to the staff in question.

Some pet owners are leery because of the pain that the admittedly large-bore needle can cause when the chip is administered, but if you and your canine companion can tough it out, come to the low-cost microchip clinic at Planet Dog (211 Marginal Way) on Sunday, June 26th, from 2 to 4 p.m.

Planet Dog Company Store Manager Kristin Burgess has seen a lot of dogs get microchipped. “It’s becoming more and more common for dogs to be identified this way. It’s a valuable tool to identify your dog, as a lot of dogs will lose their tags or collar. What better way to protect your dog and also support our local animal shelter [The ARLGP]? Every dog that gets microchipped [next Sunday] will leave with a goodie bag full of treats, a Planet Dog sticker, and other surprises.”

Chips are $35 per pet. Planet Dog can be reached at 207.347.8606.

  • Published in Pets
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