Local canines invade pool for ‘Doggie Dip’

Published 12:01 pm Monday, August 15, 2011

Libertee Smalley, 9, paddles with Molly, Jack Russell terrier, 9, at the Austin Municipal Pool’s third annual Doggie Dip Sunday. -- Trey Mewes/trey.mewes@austindailyherald.com

They came in droves, drooling and smiling. They caroused around the pool, some running full out, some afraid to jump in. They were big ol’ lovable canines, and they ruled Austin Municipal Pool Sunday night.

The third annual Doggie Dip took place at the municipal pool Sunday, to plenty of fanfare.

Smoky, right, looks at other dogs while fellow pooch Shayla tries to get out of the pool with owner Everett Carlson.

“I’ve been coming here since it first started,” said Jan Smalley, who was there with her granddaughters and Molly, her Jack Russell terrier.

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She wasn’t the only multiple-time participant. Jessica Holty brought her cocker spaniel-black lab mix Winston to play fetch as well, which he he didn’t mind.

“He loves the water, so any chance we can get to get him in, we do,” she said.

Some dogs didn’t want to swim, like Shayla, the 5-year-old Alaskan husky. She’s a strong swimmer, according to owner Everett Carlson, but she wasn’t a fan of the water Sunday.

Eric Uher, left, walks with Bella, 16 months, in the pool at Austin Municipal Pool’s third annual Doggie Dip Sunday.

Her friend Smokey, also owned by Carlson, loved the water just fine, swimming laps once she had a little help getting in. They were still adjusting, as it was their first time here.

“I’d never done this before, but I always wanted to try,” Carlson said.

Sparking interest

S.P.A.R.K., the group who wants to “Start a dog Park for Austin’s Respectable K-9s”, was on hand at the pool to collect signatures for an updated petition and mailing list, according to volunteer Megan Burroughs. Since the Austin City Council passed a resolution in support of a dog park in town in June, the group has worked with the city Parks and Recreation Department to identify potential sites for the town’s first dog park. Though nothing is set in stone yet, the group is moving early to collect support, as members expect to start fundraising for a dog park very soon.

“We’re going to need (residents’) support fairly quickly,” Burroughs said.

There’s no word on whether Parks and Rec have identified a site yet, according to Burroughs.