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Pooch plunge/doggie dip

  • Dogs and people of all sizes enjoy the doggy swim Sunday evening at Lion's Park Pool, on the last day of the pool season. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • More than 75 dogs and twice that many people enjoy the cool water and nice weather Sunday evening on the last day of the season the pool is open. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • The dogs seemed to enjoy watching and meeting each other as much as they enjoyed swimming. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • Kal, a 3½-year-old Australian shepherd/Burnese mountain dog mix, gets good air chasing a tennis ball off the diving board at Lion’s Field Pool Sunday evening. Kal is owned by Ryan Vosecky of Charles City, who was tossing the ball. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • Cael Hemesath of Charles City holds his Boston terrier, Lego, who Hemesath said had only been swimming once before and didn't quite have the doggy paddle down yet. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • More than 75 dogs and twice that many people enjoy the cool water and nice weather Sunday evening on the last day of the season the pool is open. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • Meric Hagerty of Waverly, recently of Charles City, gives his golden doodle, Milly, some affection while swimming at the Lion’s Field Pool in Charles City Sunday night. It was the last night of the swimming season, when the pool has traditionally been opened to let dogs swim. Press photo by Bob Steenson

  • More than 75 dogs and twice that many people enjoy the cool water and nice weather Sunday evening on the last day of the season the pool is open. Press photo by Bob Steenson

By Bob Steenson, bsteenson@charlescitypress.com

More than 75 dogs and about twice as many people enjoyed the Lion’s Field Swimming Pool in Charles City for the last night of the season Sunday.

For several years the pool has opened its gates to four-legged as well as two-legged swimmers on the final night before the pool is drained and cleaned.

All admission fees go to help support PAWS Humane Society, which helps staff the evening.

Julie Taylor, the PAWS director who was being kept busy checking in a fairly steady stream of people and their pets, said the turnout was great and there were dogs of all sizes in the pool.

Reactions of the pooches ranged from enthusiastic leaping plunges into the various depths of the pool, to timid need-to-be-coaxed/pulled/pushed water entries.

Cael Hemesath of Charles City said this was one of the first times his tiny Boston terrier, Lego, had been swimming, and Lego was doing as much splashing as paddling while Hemesath kept careful hold.

“I’m just doing my best to keep her from attacking all the other dogs here,” he joked, apparently noting the size discrepancy between his pet and some of the larger dogs easily 10 times Lego’s weight.

Some of the canines limited their excursions to the wadding pool or the shallow end of the big pool where they could stand. Others fearlessly ventured into the deep end, paddling confidently or even jumping off the diving boards — often in pursuit of a tossed tennis ball.

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