At the first-ever Splish Splash Doggie Bash, the Denton Civic Center Pool will be for the four-legged crowd only on Sept. 7. People will get to dip their feet in, but the Denton Parks Foundation fundraiser will clear the pool for terriers, Labrador retrievers, Bichon Frisees and every breed in between.
Brooke Moore, the executive director of the parks foundation, said this is the first time a group has planned to let dogs have the run of Civic Center Pool.
“The new dog park over at North Lakes is under construction,” Moore said, “and the money we raise will go to tables, benches, shade features and some agility features, too.”
Moore said she was surprised to find that 44% of Denton households have dogs, with 27% of the city’s homes including children. Moore, who got her percentages from the United Way of Denton County, said college towns tend to be havens for dogs. With the summer heat spiking, and local residents and their dogs looking for ways to stay active and cool, a pool party was just the thing to raise awareness of both Wiggly Field, the longtime dog park located in the southern end of Denton, and the new dog park under construction on the north side of town.
“Our mission is to bring people together in our parks and play,” Moore said. “People might not know it, but dog parks create more community engagement. People at the dog park talk about vets, groomers and places to spend time with your dogs. They really get people together.”
The city will have some of its animal control officers at the pool in case of an emergency, and Moore said the city is also training a few lifeguards in rescue techniques for animals. Moore said she doesn’t anticipate problems, but wanted to prepare. A first aid area will be available if dogs or people need minor medical attention. Some tickets have already sold, and at least one family is planning to throw a birthday party for their pup at the event.
Moore said attendees should exercise basic dog etiquette at the bash, which means leaving puppies under six weeks old and any dog in heat at home.
Select vendors will be at the bash. Groggy Dog will have T-shirts, and Moore said CoServ and D&L Farm and Home will have tables at the pool party.
“The first 150 people through the gate will get a free beer token for East Side afterward,” she said.
East Side is beloved in town for its extensive craft beer menu, and a huge dog-friendly patio adjacent to the Austin St. Truck Stop food truck park.
The pool party happens in two sessions so that organizers can cap the attendance at 150 dogs. Session 1 will be 9-10:30 a.m., and the second session is 11 a.m. — 12:30 p.m. Each session can accommodate 150 dogs.