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Pooches, people in the pool
Early Sunday evening, Pool Director Craig Carlson jokingly said the event started out with “two dogs and a rat.”
By 8 p.m., the fourth annual Dog Days of Summer Swim had more than 80 dogs accompanied by their owners splashing in the water at John Vanderzicht Memorial Pool, trading and retrieving tennis balls and water toys while barking joyously.
Sponsored by Island Pet Center, the yearly dog swim is the last event of the summer at the pool. After the swim, the pool is drained, sanitized and painted as part of the yearly maintenance schedule.
Dogs of every size and description were seen with Labs and Lab mixes being the most popular breeds, however, more “exotic” breeds were observed as well.
An Italian Greyhound, a little reluctant to join in the water sports, spent most of its time on the pool’s deck, but a Boston Terrier and a pair of European Great Danes were having a good time.
Natalia Resendez was shepherding the two Great Danes named Casper and Whisper, along with Nikita, a Rottweiler/German Shepherd mix.
“They aren’t even my dogs, I brought them here for a friend who may be here later,” Resendez said.
At a massive 215 pounds Casper was a handful, but all three dogs were well behaved.
Gee George, a Basset Hound belonging to Corinna Seith, took one dip in the kiddie pool while being held on a leash by Thane Seith and then proceeded to drag the 8-year-old out of the water.
“Gee, George got a bath before we came here and we had to drag him into the plastic pool at home to do it,” Corinna Seith said with a laugh. “He doesn’t like the water very much.”
One of the dogs who did enjoy time in the water was Beth Cole’s Yorkie/Teacup Poodle, Annabelle. “The rat” as described by Carlson, spent time on a floating raft in the adult pool under the supervision of Cole, who is a lifeguard at the pool.
Adrianna Royal from Coupeville and her friend, Carley Hall from Oak Harbor, were swimming together in the kiddie pool with their dogs Dream and Hans. Both girls are 4-H members and said they will be taking their dogs to the state fair for competition.
Tuffy, a Boston Terrier belonging to Stephanie Yates, was having a great time at his first Dog Days swim. Tuffy’s coat was thoroughly soaked and he was having fun trying to catch droplets of water people were splashing at his open mouth.
Kyle Peterson said he wasn’t sure his Pomeranian, Chi Chi, who was also experiencing her first swim in the pool, was having a good time.
“She’s probably not,” he said, as he guided her around the pool on a float.
Observed wandering around the deck was a full grown English Bulldog wearing an orange life jacket. Nobody seemed to know who he belonged to, but the dog appeared to keeping an eye on the swimmers to ensure their safety.
Carlson said he was trying to keep track of all the dogs who entered the pool complex.
“I’m not sure whether I counted all the dogs or not; I tried,” he said.
LauraJean Krueger from Oak Harbor said she was having a great time with her German Shorthair, Sage.
“We are really into the dog parks here in town and we had so much fun at the dog swim last year, we just had to come back,” she said. “It’s a really great event.”
Just like Krueger, the majority of the dog owners said they and their animals enjoyed a fun time and would definitely be returning next year.