Dogs swim out of summer

Cooper, a golden retriever, holds onto the side of the pool while Salvatore, Gabriel and Jonathan watch. 

Labradors, dalmatians, poodles and more came to Neshannock’s fifth annual Dog Swim to swim out the ending of the summer season.

“This is the fifth year we’ve done this, and we’ve got some returning customers,” said Marie Harvey, member of the Neshannock Swimming Pool Association and organizer of the event.

The pool closed to the public on Labor Day, but the pool association opens the pool for dogs on the following Sunday before they close it entirely for the year.

“They (dog owners) look forward to this day,” said Harvey. “In fact one lady came in and said she, ‘This is our favorite day of the year.’” 

More than 25 dogs and their families attended, and according to Harvey. She expected a good turnout for this year’s fundraiser since the Pittsburgh Steelers weren’t playing.

Cooper, a golden retriever, was scared of the water when he first arrived. His parents and siblings had to coax him into the water, but after a while was swimming willingly with the other dogs.

Brody, a lab, was no stranger to swimming as he swam almost the width of the pool only to shake the water off on nearby bystanders.

Goblin, an American bulldog who has around 900 likes on her public figure Facebook page, strutted around the pool in her pink life vest.

Dobby, a Dalmatian, and Summer, a lab, stuck together and swam together too.

Owners had to pay $10 per dog for the event, which included three hours of doggy swim time and the chance to participate in a Chinese auction. Baskets from vendors such as Reed’s Services Inc. were available to win. 

All of the funds from the event went to the pool association to maintain the pool for seasons to come.

Harvey says issues with aggressive dog behavior hasn’t been in an issue in years past even when more than 30 dogs have attended at a time.

“I think they all just come to see each other and play,” said Harvey. “They’re all running around and having a good time with each other.”


Maria Basileo is a news reporter. She covers Laurel and Shenango school boards and municipal government.

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