Yesterday marked the end of a year long promotion of the arts in Ogunquit with PAWSitively Ogunquit – A Vacation Tail. For a year, ceramic cats and dogs that have been designed and painted by local artists have been on display throughout the town. Last night, at the Adoption Auction, those cats and dogs went to good homes – including our very own Chase.
For those of you who didn’t get to know Chase, he proudly stood in our lobby keeping watch over the indoor pool and greeting guests to our Ogunquit hotel. At the time we decided to sponsor a dog, the Meadowmere has just become Ogunquit’s first environmental leader hotel. Our local artist, Julie Twombly, was wonderful to work with – very excited about incorporating our eco-ideas into the doggie design. Ogunquit has its most famous environmental wonder – three miles of sandy beach. However, we want to also show the beauty of Marginal Way, the waterfalls in the Great Works Land Trusts, Beach Plum Farm, Laudholm Farm, Mt. Agamenticus, the marshlands and fishing. All of these are treasures and attractions in Southern Maine – all are important natural resources to preserve and enjoy. Julie went above and beyond – her design and final outcome were gorgeous. The dog had all of the these scenes and more – even the clear Maine sky, which is really quite spectacular if one is used to city ‘light’ pollution. The eco-dog had come to life.
The next step was to decide on a name. In the end, we picked Chase. The name could represent chasing one’s dreams, visions of how much fun a dog has chasing things or perhaps the more heavy idea of chasing the goal of environmental responsibility. Actually, it’s far more simple. Chase is named after Josias Chase, a local businessman who back in the early 1900’s developed properties along the ocean front. He was not particularly well known for philanthropy and many feared that his development would mean the natural beauty of the ocean front cliffs would be forever private property. Then, in a surprise to the townspeople, Josias Chase donated the track of land stretching from the end of Obeds Lane to Perkins Cove, running along the waterfront, to the town – with the surprise instructions that it forever be public for all to enjoy. Today, Marginal Way is enjoyed by over 2 million people in the summer and is home to spectacular crashing waves, ocean wildlife, unique geography and, for many, fabulous memories. For this remarkable and historic donation, our eco-dog was named in Josias Chase’s honor.
Chase helped educate people during World Ocean Day at the Resort, when we launched our Surf Ogunquit package and presented information and documentaries on environmental efforts near and far. He visited the Ogunquit Playhouse during its 75th Anniversary and welcomed guests to enjoy performances by Sally Struthers and Lorenzo Lamas. He even got to strut his stuff at the Animal Welfare Society’s Strut Your Mutt walk and made the York Country Coast Star, a local newspaper, for his eco-efforts! Last night, he was up on stage, with his PAWSitively Ogunquit friends, and went to a good home. We know that his new family will take good care of him and help spread the word on preserving Ogunquit’s natural attractions and beautiful sights. Good bye Chase! We’ll miss you!