Pooches take over pool

Published 10:33 am Monday, August 25, 2008

It was a dog day of summer at the Austin Municipal Pool Sunday, an occasion filled with tennis balls, barking and slobber.

The annual Doggy Dip was held from 6:30 to 8 p.m., giving residents a chance to bring their canines for a swim before the pool gets drained for the winter.

“We love it,” said Megan Lockie, who brought her two dogs, including her 9-year-old Greyhound “Zucco.” “We did it a couple of years ago, too.”

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Pool manager Tina Strauss said the end of summer event, which cost $2 for one dog and two humans, has been going on for several years and is hosted by Austin Park & Recreation.

“So far, I’m impressed,” she said. “In 11 minutes, we’ve already had close to 40 dogs. That’s impressive.”

Close to 80 pet owners took advantage of the deal, blowing the previous record of 35 out of the water.

As for the swimmers, they came in all shapes and sizes.

There was “Kaja” for example, a 2-year-old Norwegian Elkhound, who’d rather stay far away from the water.

“She wants absolutely nothing to do with it,” owner Andy Gray said. “We’re mainly here for the socializing. We don’t have a dog park, so we have to do this.”

And there was “Dizzy,” a 4-year-old Black Lab, who was content with his toy disc and his owner throwing it to him.

“He’ll do this the whole time, in and out, in and out, in and out,” said Helen Jahr of her dog. “I think it’s wonderful. That’s why I’m so supportive of the Doggy Dip.”

The evening also featured door prizes and a concession stand that offered everything from popcorn and, of course, hot dogs.