How to Find Love on the Road: Adopt a Dog on Vacation

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Caldwell makes a new friend at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine
Caldwell makes a new friend at the Inn by the Sea.

Call it the ultimate souvenir. Some guests at the Inn by the Sea in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, are going home with more than a seashell or a locally purchased trinket. They are taking home a new member of the family.

The inn partnered with a local dog rescue firm in May 2015 to help rescue dogs find permanent homes. A dog comes to stay at the inn and hangs out behind the front desk of this charming New England inn. Guests can take the dog out to frolic in the large grassy area in front of the hotel, or even down the boardwalk for a walk on the mile-long Crescent Beach in the charming coastal town.

It doesn’t take long for someone to fall in love and check out with more than just the bill for their stay. Since starting the program, more than 63 dogs have found permanent homes.

On my recent trip there, I met Caldwell, a young puppy who looked right at home snoozing on his bed behind check-in. I saw him later running around in the front yard, and heard one guest lamenting that if she had driven there, she would adopt him. My guess is he’s already found his new home, to be replaced by another young pup.

I love this idea – it’s gives unwanted animals a change to be discovered and taken home to a new family. And until they do, they have a temporary family with plenty of guests coming and going to give them love. Even if you aren’t traveling, adopting a dog is a wonderful way to add a new member to your family. All of our family dogs have been “society dogs.” Adopted from the Atlanta Humane Society, and they’ve been healthy and happy animals.

Check dates and availability for Inn by the Sea at

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