Dog Days of Summer: Time for A Swim

Where I live, one pool remains open the day after the city pools close for the summer so we take our dogs swimming for the day. It’s the annual “Pooch Plunge” and a ton of fun!

Controlled chaos - everyone was having fun
Controlled chaos – everyone was having fun – from Newfies to Yorkies!

If you have never been to a city pool filled with dogs you need to try it some time – it was an adventure! I loved the fact that everyone was engaged with their animals. Cell phones were only used to take photos! People wanted to share how much fun they were having and how awesome their dogs were!

How many balls can I hold in my mouth while swimming?

The pool gave away tennis ballsand there were plenty to go around. Some dogs made no secret of their desire to have at least two or three balls in their mouth at one time!

Come on in the water is nice
Come on in the water is nice

As one dog was getting ready to jump in another dog was holding on for dear life! The dog in the middle of the pool was uncertain in the water and it took her most of the day to learn that she could swim. I’m not sure who felt a greater sense of accomplishment – the dog or her handlers! Once the dog figured out how to swim on her own she was a swimming machine!

just how deep is the water here?

It sure looks like this dog is trying to decide whether or not to take the plunge! In the meantime she decided a drink was a good idea. Oh so cute.

Did you know a dog can climb a ladder - even when wet?
Did you know a dog can climb a ladder – even when wet?

Did you know that you can teach a dog to get out of the pool using the ladder? Pretty impressive! This dog was in the deep end and showed no hesitation as she climbed up and out of the pool. Her routine was to take a lap, get out, shake off and then jump in again! If this dog isn’t already enrolled in an agility class I hope they get her enrolled soon.

You go first, no you go...
You go first, no you go…

What do you think? Are these dogs using telepathy to move the ball closer so they don’t have to jump in? I wonder if we put a thought bubble over their heads if it would read something like  ” get over here you @#%! ball” or maybe “I’m gonna have to dunk you” or maybe it’s more like “go ahead, stay you where you are, make my day. You know I want to pounce on you and dunk you!” We’ll never know for sure. I enjoyed watching these dogs as they decided how to get the ball that’s for sure!

We're just hanging out on a hot summer day
We’re just hanging out on a hot summer day

Meanwhile at the other end of the pool bunches of dogs and people hang out together.

Newfoundland - swimming with grace
Newfoundland – swimming with grace

You can’t tell how big the dog is from the photo – it is a Newfie – one of the larger dogs at the pool.

I may be little but I'm really, really fast!
I may be little but I’m really, really fast!

And the littlest dog – a Yorkie… it took him about 10 paddles to cover 1 glide of the Newfie’s! Seriously this little dog could swim a thousand miles a minute. He zipped in and out, around and through all the big dogs. He had a heart of gold and wanted to keep up with all the big dogs.

There was a spray station too! This little girl loved dancing in the spray while the dogs ran around her.
There was a spray station too! This little girl loved dancing in the spray while the dogs ran around her.

Dance like no one is watching… I love this picture. It’s hard to see all of the dogs in this photo, but there are at least 4. The spray station was a lot of fun and the dogs loved playing chase games through the “rain” drops! The little girl danced with such joy.

Jade retrieving dummy
Jade retrieving dummy

I couldn’t resist putting in a photo of Jade working in the water. Whether our dogs are swimming for fun or working in the water it is important that we remember whatever we do with our dogs, everyone should enjoy it. Jade would have enjoyed the Pooch Plunge, but I would not have been able to keep an eye on her and help others at the same time – that breaks my rule of take care of your animal first. Don’t worry, Jade gets to go swimming even if she didn’t go to the Pooch Plunge.

What I loved most about the Pooch Plunge was everyone was so happy. The joy people had when their dogs were swimming was evident to everyone present. When their dog learned how to swim they glowed with joy.

My goal in the coming weeks is to find a new trick to teach each of my dogs. I want to find something that brings joy to both my dogs and those around them.  What about you? Will you me and find a new skill that makes you and your dogs happy?

I hope y’all have had a wonderful summer.

Related Links/Stories – with more photos and video
Durham pool goes to the dogs

Dog Days in Durham

Pooch Plunge Closes Out Season

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