Doggies take a dip in Aquatic Center pool

Dogs enjoy the large dog portion of Doggie Dip Day at the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center.

Pups barked and pranced playfully around the parking lot on their way to the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center Oct. 11, anxious for the adventure that awaited them at Doggie Dip Day.
Dogs big and small, rookies and veterans of the event, came out with their owners to frolic poolside in the sunshine.
Gemma, a Queensland heeler/border collie mix who attended last year’s event as well, jumped in the deep end with a no-holds-barred attitude. Owner Val Wood, of Morgan Hill, watched as she cuddled with her other dog, a poodle-mix named Griffin.
“Any excuse to come out and play,” Wood said. “It’s too much fun. It’s Doggie Dip Day!”
A family from San Jose saw the flyer advertising the event during their son’s swim race at the Aquatics Center on Condit Road and decided to trek down to southeast Morgan Hill.
“Our family likes swimming,” said Mopo Okazaki, while his son played in the water with their toy poodles, Poko and Opie.
According to Lisa Rick, Aquatics Coordinator for the Morgan Hill Aquatic Center, 21 pups under 50 pounds attended the early-afternoon small dog session, and 66 dogs attended the large dog session in the late afternoon. Due to the high demand generated by last year’s event for the large dog session, when the line for signing up and entering the aquatic center stretched into the parking lot, staff encouraged participants to register early online. This strategy appeared to have worked Saturday, as the line to get into the pool area was short.
In a world of leash laws, dogs reacted in a frenzy once they heard the click of the leash unhook. With tails wagging, excited barking echoed throughout the swim center as rambunctious pups jumped in and out of the water or waited for the toss of a tennis ball.
Bullitt, a 6-year-old Labrador mix, anxiously waited for his owner, Angela, to throw a ball.
“They loved it last year,” Angela said, referring to Bullitt and his Siberian husky friend, Lani. “He loves swimming and loves the water.”
Laura Killen, of Campbell, played with her yellow Labrador Hanna, tossing a toy into the deep end of the pool. A chocolate Lab attempted to steal the toy, but dropped it after Hanna gave him a “that’s mine” signal.
“You get a lot of Labs together and it’s chaos,” Killen said.
Among the Labradors, golden retrievers, boxers, Rottweilers and Australian and German shepherds playing in the water, there was Raja.
A long-haired German shepherd, Raja tentatively touched the water in the shallow end with his large paw and looked at his owner for reassurance. After his owner Diane, who didn’t want to give her last name, encouraged him, he joined his fellow pups in the pool.
Doggie Dip Day was a celebration for Raja, who had just passed the Canine Good Citizen test earlier that day. Raja was rescued months earlier and has been in training for the test since then, Diane said.
“He was left in a backyard his whole life,” Diane said. “We adopted him at 5 years old and he had never been socialized like this.”
Did you and your best friend miss out? Find more information about the popular event at facebook.com/mhaquaticscenter.

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