If we had to choose the quintessential American dog, it would have to be the Labrador retriever. With their patience for children, gentle demeanor, solid large size, and enthusiasm for jumping in the car and going to play, they’re the all-around Everyone’s Dog. But above all, it’s their loyalty that is the key. We’ve all heard the stories of a lab skittering out onto thin ice to drag a child out of a wintry life-threatening situation, or drawing a high-spectrum autistic kid into his or her first teen vocalizations using the aura of placid affinity that only Labs are the masters of.

We imagine that’s why the Windham-based Maine Lab Rescue has specialized in the breed as they save retrievers and other dogs from southern high-kill animal shelters and other unmentionable situations, and bring them to Maine to recover in foster homes until they can be permanently adopted. Guess what? Several of those adoptable dogs will be at the Planet Dog Company Store (211 Marginal Way) on Saturday, September 9 from noon to 3 p.m. Staff from Maine Lab Rescue will be there with all the requisite papers, and of course, Planet Dog is stuffed with everything else you’ll need for your new pup. Dog lovers who want to volunteer to be a Maine Lab Rescue foster home can find out more by emailing foster@mainelabrescue.com.

Oh, one other thing labrador retrievers are good at: swimming. If you’ve got one that wants to jump in the pool at Sunset Ridge golf course (771 Cumberland St, Westbrook) with a bunch of other doggies, haul them over on Saturday, September 16 between noon and 4 p.m. With a donation to the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland, your canine pal will be granted full access to the closed-to-humans pool, and you yourself will be the recipient of some cool swag giveaways. Check out the event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/1322192111240403/. So don’t forget, you need to get that Lab work done.

Maine Lab Rescue: http://www.mainelabrescue.com/

Planet Dog: 207-347-8606

Sunset Ridge: 207-854-9463

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