Dogs celebrate end of summer with pool party

Dogs of all sizes and breeds enjoy their pool time adventures. Ashley Miller/Daily

WINCHESTER — It was a doggie day at Jim Barnett’s pool on Sunday. Dogs of all sizes, shapes and breeds came to end summer with a splash at the Fourth Annual All Paws on Deck Canine Swim.

Hannah Stewart, aquatics coordinator for  Winchester Parks and Recreation and this year’s organizer, decided after the destruction caused by Hurricane’s Harvey and Irma that all proceeds from this year’s event would go to the American Red Cross’s aquatics programs.

Ted Barker said he and his wife Faye, of Winchester, brought their dog Chloe because she simply loves water.  “Plus, we wanted to support Hannah and the cause,” he added.

Gnarly Bob Marley Haverhill and his owner Doug Wann, of Berryville, splashed in the children’s pool while playing catch with Haverhill’s favorite toy.

“If he sees his toy, he knows its time to play,” Wann said.

Elizabeth Collingwood and her daughters Berkley, 12 and Brooke, 17, of Winchester, said they had more fun than the dogs. "It's something we plan on doing every year, even if our dog is a little wimpy," Elizabeth Collingwood said. Ashley Miller/Daily

“He’ll sleep well,” he added laughing.

Four years ago the dog swim started simply because “we’re all dog people,” Stewart said. “I have my own rescue dog, so I’m a big advocate of helping the four legged.”

The end of summer canine swim seems to become more and more popular as the years go on, she added.

“This is only my second year organizing the event, but the community and dogs really seem to enjoy themselves,” she said.

From 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. the outdoor pool was open to canines to swim and play. All non-dog park members had to show proof of rabies vaccinations for entry. A $2 entry fee was charged, while Winchester Dog Park members were let in for free.

Miss Betty swims as her owner Rose Lucas, of Arlington, watches from the pool's edge. Ashley Miller/Daily

Rose Lucas drove in from Arlington because “this is the only event I know of that you allows you to get into the pool with your dogs” she said. Lucas and her corgis attended last year’s event, but came back this year more prepared than last.

Abigail Scott, of Winchester, was one of the lifeguards on duty in case a four-legged swimmer needed saving.

“It’s a lot of fun,” she said.

This was Scott’s first year life-guarding for the canine swim.

“It’s a nice thing that we get to do for the community on the last day of the pool being open,” she added.

Brier Hale and his dog Herald enjoy this year's canine swim. "She loves the water" Brier said. Ashley Miller/Daily

The event raised $280, and there were 77 non-park members and 30 dog park members attending.

Catch was a popular activity among the dogs and their owners. Ashley Miller/Daily