Dickinson area's furry four-legged friends will soon take over the outdoor pool in an end-of-summer splash bash complete with prizes and photos.
Dogs of all sizes are welcome to swim in the pool at the West River Community Center on Tues., Aug. 18, for Dickinson Parks and Recreation’s 5th Annual Pooch Pool Party.
The annual event was started by Alissa Karsky, programs supervisor with Dickinson Parks and Recreation.
“The humans love it just as much, so we have a large attendance. Many times we have a lot of humans as well because they each bring a dog or they bring their whole family, or people just come up there to see the dogs,” she said.
Small dogs can doggy paddle through the water from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., while large dogs can make their splash from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m.
“It’s a little bit calmer with our furry, small friends, and then the big ones come. Sometimes they combine together. It’s up to the small dog owners whether or not they want to stay and intermingle,” she said.
The annual pooch pool party marks the end of the summer pool season at the community center, which turns off the outdoor pool’s chemicals prior to the event for the safety of the dogs.
“We end the regular pool season on Sunday so that the pool has time to not have the chemicals circulating through there anymore so that it’s safe for them,” Karsky said.
New this year, owners can pose their pets with pool-related props for photos to raise money for Bakken Paws, a local animal rescue, in coordination with the Dickinson Area Animal Coalition. The suggestion donation for the photos is $5.
“That could be rather entertaining to watch,” Karsky said.
The event is free, but donations are welcome and will be used towards improvements at the Dickinson Dog Park.
Participants can sign up for prize drawings. Prizes will be awarded during the small dog hour and during the large dog hour.
“Some of the local (places) around town are so generous with their donations on some gift basket sets for small dogs and big dogs. We will have that drawing going on … Sometimes there’s other donations and stuff, too, so we draw all of that during the entire event, too,” Karsky said.
To participate in the event, dogs must be current on their vaccinations and be on a non-retractable leash of six feet or shorter until entering the water.
Dogs should be at least four months old, not in heat and not easily frightened, agitated or aggressive, to attend this event.
Owners may only enter the water up to ankle or calf depth due to health regulations and must clean up after their dogs. Bags will be provided.