Dog paddling encouraged

Some canines need gentle nudge at annual Doggie Dive swim

By Emily Gillespie, Columbian Breaking News Reporter



Standing on the edge of the pool, Carole and Dick Lewis laughed and offered a running commentary as they watched dogs splash in the water, bite at soggy tennis balls and shake their fur dry.

“Look at that little guy. Is he going to go in?” Carole Lewis asked as she pointed to a small dog across the pool.

“No, he’s too overwhelmed,” her husband replied. “He’s contemplating,” she added.

The Lewises have always had a dog until their last dog died about two years ago. But when they learned of the Doggie Dive, an annual event held on Saturday at the Lake Shore Athletic Club, they decided they had to go.

“We just came out to watch,” Carole Lewis said. “It’s amazing that they’re not fighting, they’re just playing.”

More than 100 pet owners attended the event, which allowed dogs to swim, or whimper at the ledge of, two outdoor pools before the club does its annual cleaning of the pools.

The Doggie Dive costs $15 per dog, with proceeds benefiting the Humane Society for Southwest Washington.

“It’s always a really fun event,” said Sam Ellingson, one of its organizers. “I started getting emails for this in May. … People look forward to this event every year.”

Lisa Roduner brought her 3-year-old boxer Lucy to the pool to enjoy the water on the sunny Saturday.

Though Lucy resisted, Roduner picked up her four-legged friend by her doggie life jacket and tossed her into the kids pool.

“She needs assistance,” she said. “She loves it once she’s in it,” she said as Lucy swam around picking up toys.

Xavi, a 3-year-old goldendoodle, spent about 15 minutes at the edge of the pool barking at dogs retrieving tennis balls, before he finally walked onto a small platform built for the event to allow dogs a ramp into the water.

“He wants the ball so bad,” Xavi’s owner Ashley Vizcaino said as her dog pawed at the water. “If he wasn’t such a scaredy cat.”

Then, either by accident or on his own accord, Xavi plopped into the water.

“Oh, yay!” Vizcaino yelled. “Go, Bubby, go”