|Pug Play Date|
Best Pint-Sized Lotharios
Able to twist their heads 180 degrees to either side, pygmy marmosets at the Oregon Zoo (4001 SW Canyon Road, 226-1561, www.oregonzoo.com) do a pretty decent impersonation of Linda Blair in The Exorcist. These tiny, polyamorous climbers-about the size of a fist-spend their days in the wild grousing for nectar and turning heads in the trees of South America. In the Zoo's Amazon exhibit, Oregon's star pygmy marmoset, Miguel, is waiting with bated breath for his female mate to arrive from Texas.
Best Puppy Pool
Each September, the North Clackamas Aquatic Park (7300 SE Harmony Road, Milwaukie, 794-8080, www.pdxsurf.com) holds its beloved Dog Daze of Summer. Bring your pooch and your tolerance for chlorinated, odoriferous wet dogs and get ready for a day full of summer fun exclusively for your water-loving pet. This year's fiesta will be on Tuesday, Sept. 6, right before the park closes for its annual maintenance blitz. Here's a tip: Go to the first session (noon-2 pm, $6 per dog, $8 per multiple-dog family) if you want to avoid the hair- and feces-infested waters of the later ones (3-5 pm, 6-8 pm, $5 per dog, $7 per multiple-dog family). Don't forget a pooper scooper!
Best Date Night for Pampered Bitches
Dogs are so helpful and never demand much in return, so isn't it time you did something just for little Moshi? LexiDog Boutique & Social Club, (416 NW 10th Ave., 243-6200, and other locations) has just the thing: Doggie Date Night. Every third Thursday at Lexi's Pearl District shop, it's an opportunity for you and your dog to don your best collars and go out for a glass of wine, a little mingling, and a chance to meet that special someone for a little humping and butt-sniffing. Do you and your dog deserve anything less?
Best Play Date for Pug Faces
Screw all those searchin', rescuin' and fetchin' Lassies out there. Unlike other canines, pugs are bred for one thing: play. And in Portland, where the pug enjoys "it dog" status, they've even got pug play dates. The last Sunday afternoon of the month, Irving Park (Northeast 7th Avenue and Fremont Street) is host to a play date in its purest form: a bunch of pugs and an empty field. The squishy-faced gremlins snort, snuffle and run around in circles with the turning radius of a small pizza. They climb the owners like jungle gyms, leaping into their arms, diving under their knees, swarming like rats from a scene in Willard. Sheesh-who needs human offspring, anyway?
Best Vet to Make Your Dog Grin and Bare It
Is your pooch's overbite worse than his bark? You might consider bringing Bucky into the hospital that's home to the doc who was Oregon's first practicing veterinary dentist, Donald E. McCoy, DVM (North Portland Veterinary Hospital, 3000 N Lombard St., 285-0462). Canine dental appliances-which operate under the principle of the inclined plane, rather than the standard rubber-band-laden mouth of wires we humans suffer through-are "only done when absolutely necessary," the gentle-minded McCoy emphasizes, and average $1,000 for the two-week-to-six-month treatment. And as for trusting this vet's talents? He's been practicing the whole animal-tooth bit for years. "I once did a root canal on a bear at the Oregon Zoo."
Best Jolt to Make You Adopt a Kitty
On June 18, a member of the Washington County feline community climbed a telephone pole and stepped on a transformer box. Sparks flew, he fell to the ground, and a neighbor rushed him to Dove Lewis Animal Hospital, a trip that saved his life. The cat-now known as "Sparky"-is now in the hands of the Sherwood-based Cat Adoption Team (925-8903). A leg had to be amputated, but he's recovered to his old frisky self. "The vet told me he's jumping-which is amazing," says CAT executive director Marilynn Considine. In addition to the Sparkster, CAT is looking to place 500 other cats and kittens, and hey, they've all got stories.
Best K-9 Sketch Artist
When the Clark County Sheriff's office retires a K-9 patrol dog they turn to Portland native Marcia Macy to capture the dog's essence on canvas. As well as being the official portrait artist for Clark County's deputy dogs, Macy runs an online animal portraiture business (www.thesmilingdogcompany.com) from her home in Vancouver, Wash. She's painted everything from a sunbathing Australian Shepherd in Miami Vice shades to eight chickens on a 16 x 20-inch canvas, but her specialty is dogs-fans say Macy captures the soul of each pup in her work.
Best Class Action
After studying Manifest Destiny's impact on wildlife, sixth- through eighth-graders at Sunnyside Environmental Middle School wrote poems and raps as testimony this year for a public hearing in Troutdale on a plan to reintroduce wolves to Western habitats. The students, whose informed freestyling will appear in local filmmaker Vanessa Renwick's upcoming wolf documentary, Critter, formed differing opinions but agreed that involvement in the civic process, while considering viewpoints of ranchers, environmentalists and legislators, was good stuff. Wrote one student, "The best part was hearing what the ranchers had to say-it made me think. I hope what I had to say made them think, too."
Best Juice Bar for the Doggie-Dazed
At Northwest 21st Avenue's Beyond Juice (716 NW 21st Ave., 229-8300) humans get treated to a discount smoothie now and again, but it's the small, cheery shop's canine regulars who get the royal treatment. The dog-crazy staff constantly snaps Polaroids of their four-legged customers. They've proudly packed more than 200 snapshots of their favorite local pooches under the glass of the juice bar's bistro tables. On WW's last visit, we spied a collie named Sadie panting away happily next to a tiny terrier named Winston. Dude, a bulldog, stared up through the glass with a smug look while Romeo, a miniature poodle, struck a lothario pose. "It started about a year and a half ago," explains Beyond Juice's sunny server Kerri Dempsey, who often makes trips to Costco for more Polaroid film. "Everybody who lives in the neighborhood-or even if they don't-if they are regulars they get their pictures taken." That is-if they've got a tail. The only exception? Amid a sea of lolling tongues and pointed ears hide a few snapshots of "Beyond Juice Babies" like Ansel and Piper, whose moms enjoyed the juice bar's fruit drinks as a nutritional staple during their pregnancies. Who knew humans could also have such cute pups?
Best Spot to Fix Spot's Qui
Acupuncture, aromatherapy, Chinese herbs-these are now-common treatments for Portlanders as a city of folks seeking alternative health care in droves. But homeopathy for your dog? At Hawthorne Veterinary Clinic (1431 SE 23rd Ave., 233-2332, hawthornevet.com) your furry or feathered friends are treated like any opposable-thumbed biped with treatments all over the homeopathic map. Need to have your dog neutered? Set your conscience at ease knowing that after your best friend has been snipped he'll be treated with acupuncture and his system detoxed with crystals from all of those nasty anesthesia drugs. The staff will help you navigate treating your animal naturally without straining your hemp wallet.
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