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Greenburgh pools invite dogs to dive in
Get ready for the furry set’s social event of the season. This Sunday, the canine crowd is expected to pack Greenburgh’s eighth annual “Dog Days of Summer” dog swim in two side-by-side municipal pools – one for the bigger pooches and another for the little guys.
Each four-legged guest will be charged $5, with their humans admitted free to Anthony F. Veteran Park at 11 Olympic Lane in Ardsley. Since the town officials consider dogs to be waterproof, the 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. event will be held rain or shine.
Last year, 198 pets attended and about the same number are expected Sept. 9. Resident and nonresident dogs are allowed as long as they are up-to-date on their licenses and vaccinations.
“It's just amazing to watch because people are more proud of their dogs than their children,” said Paul Feiner, town supervisor for Greenburgh, which encompasses Ardsley, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, Irvington, Tarrytown, Hastings-on-Hudson. “Then there’s some people who are almost in tears when their dogs won't go swimming.”
Water-loving dogs are in for a treat because while other municipalities also hold doggie swims before they drain public pools for the season, this event offers the rare option of two 25-feet-by-50-feet pools of varying depths. One of the swimming holes is 1.5 feet to 2.5 feet deep while the other is 3 feet to 5 feet.
Dogowners watch as their furry friends enjoy a dip in the pool during the 2011 "Dog Days of Summer" swim hosted by the town of Greenburgh. Photo Credit: Handout
For the water-wary and water-weary, there is also the fun of running around leash-free on the fenced-in, two-acre property, said Gerard Byrne, Greenburgh’s commission of parks and recreation. “It’s usually a lot of fun,” he added.
Byrne said that the town has been preparing for this party for the past two weeks, when the pools closed for the season. Since then, only a minimal amount of chlorine has been added to keep the water clear “because dogs don’t like chlorine,” he noted.
The event is a fundraiser for the East Rumbrook Dog Park Association, a four-year-old, 160-member nonprofit group. Last year’s doggie swim proceeds were used to buy new benches and plant trees in the dog park, which is in Hartsdale’s East Rumbrook Park, said association president Trudy Holland.
The dog park already features separate sections for dogs over and under 30 pounds, a 1.25-mile walking trail with a waterfall and stream and a three-level water fountain for dogs of different heights. After the dog swim, Holland said the association will meet with Greenburgh officials so see what amenities should be added next.
Of course, both she and Howie will be there Sunday. But, she admits, the three-year-old puggle doesn’t like to swim. “My Howie isn’t a water dog so he will run around the pool,” she said. “Over the years, I’ve seen all types of dogs in the water but I haven’t seen a puggle yet.”