Puppy Snuggles

Vandalia Cassel Hills Pool Soggy Doggy Dip 2018

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At the end of summer, several pools in my area host dog swims before they empty the pools for the winter. One such pool, the Vandalia Cassel Hills Pool, hosts this event on Labor Day each year. This particular pool calls their event the Soggy Doggy Dip.

Cassel Hills Pool’s Soggy Doggy Dip is affordable - only $5 per dog. Humans are free. Of course, there are rules: a maximum of two dogs per owner, all dogs must display and valid license and be current on their rabies vaccinations. Owners are responsible for cleaning up after their dogs, and aggressive dogs are not allowed.

Cassel Hills Pool is large, z-shaped public pool operated by the city of Vandalia. The area is also fenced-in, so we didn’t have to worry about our dogs running off. There is also plenty of grassy area for our dogs to do their business when they needed to. The entry to the pool is through separate male/female shower rooms you’d expect to see at a public pool, although for the Soggy Doggy Dip everyone entered through the female shower room.

My wife and I have two dogs - Princess, a pit bull/golden retriever mix who absolutely loves swimming, and Niko, a cockapoo who isn’t so sure about the water.

As soon as we entered the pool area and Princess immediately wanted to swim in the pool. Unfortunately for her, we had to sign in first, and she did not like waiting in line while in view of the pool - she whined the whole time.

Niko, on the other hand, was more stressed by the crowd of people and other dogs. He’s very protective of his mom (aka my wife) and, although he won’t admit it, the other members of his household as well.

After we signed in, I let Princess off her leash, and, not surprisingly, she went straight to the pool. She doesn’t exactly know how to jump in a pool - she just sort of falls in. However, by the end of our visit, she would jump in whenever I through a ball into the pool.

Princess swimming. Princess swimming.

Princess spent most of her time in the pool. She’s a much better swimmer than I am and was able to swim all the way across the pool. She even had no trouble getting over the pool safety dividers between the deep end and the rest of the pool. She did need a little help getting out of the pool the few times she wanted to get out - although she only wanted to get out so she could get back in.

Me and Princess. Me and Princess.

Although the swim was for an hour and a half from 6 PM through 7:30 PM. we only spent about 45 minutes at the swim. Although she didn’t want to go, I could tell Princess was getting worn out. Also, she’s about to turn 11 years old in October, so technically she is a senior dog. As far as she is concerned, she’s still a puppy.

I haven’t forgotten about Niko. He spent all his time with his mom. Being a cockapoo, he’s a much smaller dog - under twenty pounds. So they spent some time at the kiddie pool section.

Niko in the kiddie pool. Niko in the kiddie pool.

They did come over to visit me and Princess in the larger pool, and I carried him into the pool some. I don’t know what he liked less - being in the pool or being separated from his mom.

Me and Niko. Me and Niko.

Does your dog enjoy swimming? Have you ever taken your dog to a public pool in order to swim?

10 comments for Vandalia Cassel Hills Pool Soggy Doggy Dip 2018

  • That is such a great idea to let the dogs swim before draining them for the winter! Our dog doesn’t like water at all, ocean or pool! But it would be fun to do this with him if he did. Love the photos, too!

  • avatar for Hindy Pearson Hindy Pearson

    I’ve never heard of this, but I think it’s such a great idea!! Why not let the dogs have a fun day at the pool before it’s emptied…it’s brilliant. The pictures are adorable. I’ve never had a dog who liked the water, so when we go down to the beach he runs around the grass and we end up watching all the other dogs running in and out of the sea having a blast.

  • avatar for Talent Hounds Talent Hounds

    What fun for Princess and other dogs that love swimming. Kilo the Pug is not a fan of other dogs or getting wet, even in mid summer. He does not enjoy bath or shower time or peeing outside in the rain. I have taken him to the dog beach we have in Toronto and he paddled briefly but then backed away quickly. Luckily there was enough space to keep clear of other dogs that day. I took him to my friend’s pool and held him on the steps and let him dog paddle a tiny bit. He couldn’t wait to get out and I am nervous with his a squishy face that he might get water up his nose and have issues or sink as so top heavy. He has a life jacket in case he comes to the lakes with us but he hates wearing it.

  • What a great idea! I love that your dogs were able to enjoy a nice swim, especially seeing as the end of the summer season is near. I’ve never tried this with my pets. The closest I’ve gotten is taking them to the beach in their carriers.That was enough to freak them out for life so never again. LOL I’m glad your crew had fun though!

  • avatar for Beth Beth

    Sounds like a fun afternoon, at least for Princess! My dogs don’t like swimming, but they love to float on the raft in the pool.

  • Ah, yes, Jasmine would have headed straight for the water too. Cookie would go look whether there are any frogs. If there are no frogs, she prefers not to get wet ;-)

  • How fabulous that they open the pool to dogs at the end of Summer! What a great idea. My dogs don’t love the pool, but they do enjoy the beach - I wish they’d open the local beaches to dogs for one day a year. I’m glad your furkids enjoyed it! Love & Biscuits, Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

  • What a wonderful way to end the summer! I know of a Husky group in Long Island that does this at a local water park, and oh, the photos show just how much fun the dogs and their humans have! Love your pics - wonderful memories to hold all through the seasons, until next year’s Dip!

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