Barks of joy, splashing and thumping paws could be heard at the A.D. Clark Pool on Sunday.
Dozens of dog owners brought their dogs to Chapel Hill’s only outdoor pool for the Dog Swim, hosted annually on the last day the pool is open.
“It’s just hysterical,” said Sarah Fallin, program coordinator for Orange County Animal Services . “It is so much fun to watch all the dogs here just running around.”
Fallin said this was the program’s eighth year. Admission was $5 per dog and free for people.
“Sometimes we have a whole family bring in one dog,” she said. “We just had a family of eight come in just to observe.”
Peggy Schneider, a Chapel Hill resident, said she was amazed at how friendly all of the dogs were.
Schneider said she loved to see her dog, a rescue dog named Freckles, play with the other dogs.
“They’re just having such a good time,” she said. “I love to watch them when they begin running around together.”
Volunteers from Orange County Animal Services stood around the pool, making sure no dogs escaped through the fence and helping any furry four-leggers who were stuck in the pool.
Volunteer Jim Alexander said it was his first year working at the swim.
“It’s dog crowd control,” he said.
Alexander said the dogs didn’t need much managing or cleaning up after this year.
“We’ve had one dump case so far, which is amazing for almost two hours,” he said.
Chapel Hill resident Rachell Underhill brought her 7-year-old dog Zeppelin because he loves to swim.
“We can actually swim with him here,” she said.
Zeppelin wore a life jacket, Underhill said, so he could have fun without his owners worrying.
“He would just swim until he sank,” she said. “And it gives us a handle so we can pull him out, that’s probably the best feature.”
Mitchell Luck said he came out to teach his 2-year-old Portuguese Water Dog, Prancer, how to swim.
He said Prancer picked it up in about five minutes.
“He doesn’t like to fight, doesn’t like to argue, just wants some friends to play with,” Luck said, as Prancer shook himself dry.
Luck said he definitely will come back again next year.
“Everybody’s here for the same reason,” Luck said. “It’s not for us, it’s for our dogs.”
Fallin said the money raised goes to Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation, aquatics and animal services.
“We don’t make a lot of money, but it’s not intended to,” she said. “It’s the deal of the century, I think. Or at least the decade.”
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