Dog days of summer on Martha’s Vineyard

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The weather is hot and sultry, an indication that we are in the dog days of summer. In honor of these days, we should remember man’s best friend — our dogs.

An Island staple and dog lover’s paradise is Good Dog Goods in Oak Bluffs. Not only is your four-legged best friend welcome in the store, but he or she is encouraged to come in and pick out a favorite new toy. With so many to choose from — Kong’s to Louie the Lobster plush toy and recycled dog balls to leather tug toys — plan on being there a while.

Your best friend can also choose from a large variety of treats, including a colorful selection in the bakery case, which, it so happens, looks a lot like a tempting bakery.

Along with the animal products that range from food bowls to outdoor gear like leashes, weather jackets, and safety equipment, you can also find human products (that are animal-related with dog pictures) like coffee mugs, tee shirts, and picture frames to name just a few things. Keep in mind almost everything in the store is made in America, which according to Good Dog Goods is “Good for Dogs, good for the Planet.” You may visit Good Dog Goods at 79 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs or online at gooddoggoods.com.

SBS at 480 State Road in Vineyard Haven (across from the Black Dog Bakery) is another dog Mecca on-Island. Their back room is a dedicated spot to our four-legged friends. My dog’s favorites also reside there: the almighty, all-natural Bully Sticks. There is a large variety of all sizes and types to fit any dog’s size or appetite. Their tasty treats do not end with the bully sticks, but rather just begin. They have a whole line of Old Mother Hubbard treats, including the Minty Fresh Breath ones, to Charlie Bear training treats. Additionally they also have a full selection of grooming products, including Skunk-Off for those unfortunate run-ins. They even have tick repellents such as K9 Advantix, along with cleansers for your dog’s ears and eyes.

There are many other great places to buy your dog special treats and necessities, such as most of our veterinarian offices. Some bakeries, such as Vineyard Gourmet Café and Bakery and Mocha Mott’s, have treats dogs love.

If you love dogs, especially ones pictured being active on our Island, you are in luck. The 2012 Sea Dogs Calendar is out and ready for you to take it home. Lisa Vanderhoop, photographer and owner of Vineyard Seadogs, introduces this year’s cover dog. “The cover dog is an absolutely adorable Border Terrier, Ensign, who really is the epitome of a seadog. His owners, Ben and Maria, run the famous yacht owned by Maurice Templesman — the Relemar. Ensign lives onboard and really is the official mascot and first mate. He is pretty famous on the Island, particularly in Menemsha. He has his own fan club and, well, Maurice just adores him.”

As for this years most adventuresome dogs, Ms. Vanderhoop was quick to answer, “The bodysurfing dogs — Duncan, a Yellow Lab, and Jake, a Brittany Spaniel — pictured for July. Both definitely had that ‘yes we can’ Obama mantra attitude. They loved the surf and are the quintessential seadogs.”‘

You can purchase a Vineyard Seadogs 2012 Calendar at Bunch of Grapes Bookstore, Good Dog Goods, Rainy Day, Alley’s General Store, Cronig’s, Edgartown Bookstore, Craftworks, SBS, Menemsha Market, Tisbury Farm Market, the Menemsha Inn, the Aquinnah Shop, and The Bone Yard Shop. You may also order one ($16 plus S&H) online at vineyardseadogs.com or call Ms. Vanderhoop directly at 508-645-3201.