Fetch

Saturday’s Splish Splash Doggie Bash meant there were a lot of toys tossed into the Denton Civic Center Pool and then happily retrieved.

It’s not out of the ordinary for the Denton Civic Center Pool to come alive in the summer with swimmers splashing and having fun, but it’s not every day that it’s filled with dogs.

The Denton Parks Foundation organized the city’s first pool party for dogs Saturday morning. The $15 entry fee from each dog owner will be donated to help fund the new dog park in north Denton.

Brooke Moore, executive director of the foundation, said the money they raise will help add tables, benches, shade features and anything else that would benefit the park.

“We’re helping fill that gap of funds that tax dollars can’t fill,” Moore said.

While any kind of fundraiser could raise money for this, Moore wanted to have the Splish Splash Doggie Bash because the city hadn’t opened the pool to pups before.

After she got the OK for the pool party, organizers had two months to plan it out so the pool party would fall on the weekend after the city closed the pool to humans for the fall.

A few minutes before 9 a.m., people and their furry friends were lined up outside the gates. Dogs started to get to know each other while they waited for their owners to show proof of vaccination to get in.

Dogs lingered around the pool edge and in the shallow area for the first few minutes. A white Siberian husky named Snowy was the first dog to really go in and doggy-paddle around, and others soon followed.

Snowy’s owner, Heydi Vanegas, and her younger brother kept an eye on Snowy and followed around as he swam and played with other dogs.

“He’s a crazy dog so we just want him to be outside with other dogs,” Vanegas said.

Lifeguards who had been trained in animal rescue techniques kept dogs out of the deeper ends and kept a watchful eye on everyone.

Tennis balls were provided for people and their dogs to play with. One excited dog knocked over the bucket containing all the balls and set them free for the dogs to chase.

Although most of the dogs in the event’s first session weren’t small, two tiny pups named Lucy and Lola enjoyed some time keeping cool and chilling out with their owners, Luis Torres and Carina Villeda.

Torres said they’re glad a dog park is opening up in northern Denton, closer to their home.

“The only other dog park we know of is down south. ... To have one closer is great — hopefully sooner rather than later,” Torres said.

Moore said they’re hoping the park will open later this year.

ZAIRA PEREZ can be reached via Twitter at @zairalperez.

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