Monday, September 15, 2008

First Annual Dog Swim at Chemka Pool

When the announcement came of the First Annual Dog Swim at the Butch Chemka Pool, I knew immediately that I would go. With the dogs. Well, there was some vacillation about whether not to bring Bruno who doesn’t really like swimming, or didn’t until this past August when he voluntarily swam at Pleasant Pond. (It was an aberration.) CSB considered the idea extremely silly and had no intention of spending a Sunday afternoon watching strange dogs frolic in a chlorinated pool to the accompanying obbligato of their owner’s encouragements. He mentioned the potential havoc to be wreaked upon the filters by all that dog hair.
So I took Daisy and Bruno myself. Yesterday was brutally hot and humid, unseasonably so, and the idea of being near a body of water, even a body of water filled with salivating dogs, was enticing. The event did not come without a set of rules, to wit:
* All dogs must show proof of current rabies vaccinations to enter the pool.
* Dogs must enter and exit pool facility on a leash.
* Dogs must be within view and voice control of owners at all times.
* Your dog must remain under your control at all times. If he/she acts aggressively, please wait until he/she calms down before unleashing. If dog continues to act aggressively, you and your dog may be asked to leave.
* No puppies under 6 months allowed.
* Any dog showing aggression or a female in season will not be allowed to enter the pool.
* Please be courteous to other participants and clean up your dog’s accidents.
* Dog Swim is for dogs only, owners and onlookers are not permitted to swim.
So I arrived at the pool with 2 dogs, 2 certificates of their up-to-date vaccinations, 2 leashes. No one checked our certificates. Nor was there any gatekeeper determining if my female was in season. (A job I would rank right up there with sexing chickens.)
I expected to see the town pool (whose gate I have not darkened in lo these many years since my children were young) full of frolicking canines. But no, in all that blue water there was one lone dog in the shallow end. Over in the deep end was a Sargasso sea of something yellowish and suspicious. No one was in the deep end. Around the pool were dozens of young parents and their young children and their dogs, most of which had no intention of getting wet.

Not so Daisy, the Gertrude Ederle of Springer spaniels. She jumped in after a tennis ball thrown by some child encouraging his black lab to take the plunge. Daisy mouthed the tennis ball and kept swimming. The only problem was exiting the pool as Daisy had no intention of taking the easy way up the steps in the shallow end and the aluminum sides made it impossible for her to get a grip and pull herself out. I helped. Bruno looked on, wondering about all the fuss.


Becky said...

I love the word, obbligato, which
I confess I had to look up, as well as the description of the pool as a "Sargasso Sea."
What a wordsmith you are, transforming the most bizarre event into a literary frolic.

Good dog!!!

WRZ said...

These dog-swim events are usually MUCH better when they are done as a fundraiser for a dogpark fund orr an animal shelter but some towns see neighboring pools doing this without figuring that part out.

Let me know, if you want to pursue this further.

Thanks for writing this useful summary.

I have also found a couple of videos of this event that I will add to the folder above

Bill Zardus
ccdogpark at