By Susan Spisak
Grammy Rose Rescue & Sanctuary, Inc. in Acton has a mission to rescue adoptable dogs from euthanasia and provide them with quality care in a unique, homelike setting as they work to match them with forever families. It boasts a large campus that features an adoption center and six residential canine cabins for their rescues awaiting adoption. Each cabin, with individual living spaces for several dogs, is outfitted so visitors and canine caregivers are comfortable. An added, important plus—these surroundings help dogs quickly adapt to real home environments.
Grammy Rose Rescue & Sanctuary has an interesting backstory. The rescue’s namesake, Grammy Rose, aka Rose Kessler Wentworth, had a zest for life and loved all animals, especially dogs. She spoiled her own dogs so much she even cooked them scrambled eggs weekly. A descendant of Grammy’s and her husband, also pet lovers, became aware of a sanctuary with cabins for dogs called Our Companions. They shared all info on that successful undertaking with the Acton group, and they in turn tweaked the model to fit their needs. This Maine endeavor was privately funded by a member of the family that stewarded the land upon which Grammy Rose Rescue sits.
There are 63 acres of surrounding land with trails and play areas. And to honor Grammy Rose’s ice-cream loving husband, Ralph Wentworth, they named their on-campus ice cream parlor and 18 hole mini-golf course Wicky Ralph’s. They knew Ralph deserved this honor—besides being a real “character,” he was a Veteran with the Army National Guard, volunteered to go to France during WWI, was wounded twice, and was awarded two Purple Hearts.
The Grammy Rose Rescue and Sanctuary had their First Annual Acton Open in May to kick off Wicky Ralph’s season, and it was well-attended. A number of local businesses and groups fielded teams, they had trophies and t-shirts. The ice cream parlor and mini golf have been very popular this season—the season continues through Labor Day and beyond that on weekends if weather permits. (Visit it at 1542 Maine Highway 109, Acton. Hours, wickyralph.com/.)
Cindy Norwood, Dog Care Manager, (and also a Vet ER Nurse), oversees the rescue operations, the full/part time staff and 200 volunteers. She searches for dogs from shelters nationally (they have several partners in a handful of states as of now) and matches them to their forever family when ready for adoption. They have saved and adopted out about 350 dogs since July of 2021, which is a big milestone. There’s a Campus Manager as well, Larissa Day, and she oversees campus operations including the ice cream parlor and Wicky Ralph’s.
Ongoing rescue operations are funded in part by proceeds from the mini-golf and ice cream shop, and the balance is private donations, which are always welcome, and fundraising. For more info including all adoptable dogs and their Amazon.com and Chewy.com wish lists, grammyrose.org/. Check out their adoption successes, upcoming events, and more info on available dogs on Facebook at www.facebook.com/grammyrosedogrescue/.
Molly, 5 months
If you’re looking for a fun, energetic and spirited young puppy, Molly could be your girl. She’s a sweet, energetic 5-month-old who came to us via our good friends at Freedom Street Rescue in Texas. Molly loves the outdoors, loves to play, gets along with other dogs, and is very friendly with people as well. She is hoping for a family who likes an active dog, and we think she would benefit from a fenced-in yard. Like most pups her age, she is eager to learn, and a little training will help her settle in and become the loving family member we know she wants to be.
Jake, Plott Hound Mix
Jake reminds us of those old oil paintings of fox hunts, with hounds and horses jumping over a ravine in the woods, hot on the trail. Jake is a particularly handsome plott hound with a kind and gentle disposition. He walks like a dream on a leash, loves to sniff all the daily “news”, then when he’s all caught up, he comes back to check in with the humans and beg for head scratches. Jake would prefer a home without cats, and dog friends he would like to be around his size. He is house- and kennel-trained but does well left out as well. His previous caretakers say he is a spoiled house dog but also enjoys sunbathing and dipping his paws in the kiddie pool – though he is not a fan of baths! Jake walks well on a leash and is just an overall joy to be with.
If you’re interested in meeting one of these dogs, please call Grammy Rose Rescue & Sanctuary at
844-DOG-LIFE (844-364-5433) to make an appointment.