Everyone out of the pool... except the dogs at the Dartmouth YMCA

Aug 31, 2019

With summer coming to an end, the Dartmouth YMCA was not filled with people on August 31. Instead, the pool went to the pooches. 

YMCA staff invited man’s best friend to take a dive in the pool at its Gulf Road location, before it was covered until next summer. 

The “Pooches in the Pool” summer party is an annual staple at the YMCA to mark the end of summer. 

“It’s our end of the summer pool party,” said YMCA Membership and Programming Director Rochelle Whalen. “People ask for it every year.” 

Whalen estimated at least 45 dogs and plenty of human owners showed up to enjoy the hot summer day. 

At the ladder, Valerie Bassett tried to coax her rescue Winnie into the water. After dipping her paws into the water, however, Winnie dashed away from the water and retreated into nearby bushes.

“She’s been swimming before, but never in a pool,” Basset said. “She’s a little anxious but her tail is wagging and she’s having a good day.” 

Dogs of all shapes and sizes dived into the water, including Louise Tapper’s tiny bichon, Phoebe. 

“She loves it, even if she’s so small,” Tapper said as Phoebe paddled along the water.

Barkley, who shares a name with the famed NBA star Charles Barkley, spent most of the party relaxing in a corner. Like his basketball namesake, Barkley chased after tennis balls tossed into the water. 

“This is his favorite day of the year,” said Christina Sobran. “We come here every year and he loves it.” 

Odin, a golden retriever, dashed from the edge of the water to the deep end to fetch tennis balls from Matt and Lauren Stevens. 

“We saw an ad for this on Facebook and this dog is obsessed with the water,” Lauren said.