Jumping into a pool with the family on a hot summer day is the best way to beat the heat, but this past Sunday the Burbank YMCA extended that invitation to the family dog as well! The YMCA hosted their third annual Dog Swim event, sponsored by Bark n’ Roll Canine Care, a full service dog training facility in North Reading.
Before draining the therapy pool for the season, the YMCA invited members and folks from the community to swim with their dog, or in some cases, multiple dogs. The pool was filled with tennis balls, small footballs, and lots of dog toys. Families swam along side their four-legged friends in 30 minute sessions. This year’s event drew 45 dogs, which is the largest number of attendees for the event.
Dogs of all sizes, breeds, and confidence levels seemed to enjoy themselves, with some of the dogs experiencing the enjoyment of a pool for the first time. This type of environment can be stressful because of the tile surface that surrounds the pool as well as the smell of the chlorine and the sounds of the many dogs communicating with each other. Dogs entered from a ramp at the side of the pool for a slow transition into the water, but once they were comfortable, they were jumping in without hesitation.
There was a small donation of $25 with all the money raised going into the YMCA annual fund for members who would otherwise not be able to take advantage of some of the many programs offered such as child development (preschool), day camps, cancer survivor programs, and swim lessons. Damian Vega, Director of Operations for the Burbank YMCA, explained “[this is] what we’re supposed to be doing and it’s exactly what the YMCA likes to do. So for us, this is a win-win. We raise some money to help our own cause and to help our members, and at the same time those same members come here and have a good time as well.”