Story and photos by Andrea Sutherland
Greyhounds, American Eskimos, retrievers and terriers doggie paddled through the clear waters of the Fort Carson Outdoor Pool Monday, officially ending the outdoor swim season at the Mountain Post.
“This is a Labor Day to remember,” said Family member Carrie Haze as she waded through the pool holding Frank, a miniature schnauzer and pug mix she called a “schnug.”
Haze said it was her first time bringing Frank to the pool.
More than 160 canines came to the pool, some more enthusiastic than others.
“It was very successful,” said Jennifer Pearson, assistant aquatics manager. Pearson said there were no problems or issues and that everyone seemed to have fun.
“This is the funniest thing I’ve ever seen,” said Amber Mason, a lifeguard at the outdoor pool. “Some of these dogs have no fear and some look like they’ve never seen water in their life.”
While some dogs leapt into the water to chase tennis balls and dog toys, others took a timid approach, easing into the pool. Many received help with a push from their owners.
Sgt. Chris Lee, 4th Battalion, 42nd Field Artillery Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team, 4th Infantry Division, coaxed his Jack Russell terrier, Sarge, into the water.
“If there were ducks out there he would dive right in,” Lee said.
Sgt. Michael Poole and his wife, Sara Poole, brought their cocker spaniel, Abbie, to the pool for her first swim lessons.
“She’s only 16 weeks old,” Sara Poole said, watching the puppy dog paddle in the shallow wading pool.
Other dogs didn’t take to the water as naturally.
Luna, a labradoodle, attempted to walk on her hind legs as she slapped the water with her front legs. “It’s fun,” said Barbara Roy, Luna’s owner.
“I just can’t get her to swim.”
As the sun set behind the mountains, many owners corralled their canines, dodging the water shaken off by the hounds.
Family member Tiffini Holtmeier rounded up her pack, accepting the inevitable.
“I’m going to smell like wet dog,” she said.