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Communication Studies


Pannell-Meadowview hosts pool party for pooches

by Chason Wainwright
Capital Campus News
Nov. 10, 2004

Bosco, a 2-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, is a swimming veteran. He steals toys from the other wet dogs, dropping them off in the nearby grassy area.

Bosco is a regular at “Doggie Dip Days” at the Pannell-Meadowview pool.

The third annual “Doggie Dip Day” was held at the Pannell-Meadowview pool on Oct. 30.

More than 120 dogs and their owners frolicked in the pool during the four-hour event.

Dogs were in and out of the pool, chasing each other, fetching tennis balls and sliding down the three-story corkscrew waterslide with their owners. The dogs were wet and they were everywhere.

“Doggie Dip Day” is a great opportunity for the dogs to have fun in a controlled environment, Kim Metcalf, facility manager at the pool, says.

“It’s awesome,” Metcalf said. “A lot of people can’t take their dogs to the river because of leash laws.”

For the past three years, the City of Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation has opened the Pannell-Meadowview pool to dogs and their owners on the last day of the season.

Tom Del-Bon, aquatics coordinator, said he got the idea for “Doggie Dip Day” from an article in an aquatics trade magazine called “Aquatics Today.”

The article was about a similar event at an indoor pool somewhere in New York, Del-Bon said.

The first year there were 40 dogs, last year there were 80 and this year there were 123 dogs.
“There will be some cleaning of dog hair out of the pool’s filters,” said Terri Matal, aquatics program supervisor. “Some of our older pools definitely couldn’t handle it.”

The Pannell-Meadowview pool has been open for four seasons and has a modern filtration system that cleans the water every five hours.

The pool is also equipped with a “beach entry” – the water coming right up on to meet the pool deck, as the water does at a natural beach - which makes it very easy for the dogs to run in and out, Matal says.

Naomi and Brian Medley of Elk Grove brought their 7-month-old German shepherd, Skeeno, to the “Doggie Dip” event after seeing it advertised at a dog park in Folsom.

The Medleys said they have taken Skeeno to the river, but have had a hard time finding nice places for him to swim.

“We’ll definitely be here next year,” they said. “We want to send Skeeno down the slide.”

Louise Shroeder of Carmichael brought her 1-year-old chocolate Labrador retriever, Coco, to the “Doggie Dip Day” after reading about it in the Sacramento Bee.

“It’s wonderful,” Shroeder said. “What is amazing is that there are so many dogs here and they are getting along so well.”

Hector Cazares, manager of Animal Care Services for the City of Sacramento, was attending “Doggie Dip Day” as part of a remote animal adoption event put on by the city shelter in the parking lot of the Pannell-Meadowview pool.

“It’s a really fun event,” Cazares said. “We tend to see so much of the negative side of pet ownership at the shelter. It reminds people like me why people have pets and what joy can be derived from owning them.”

The Sacramento Department of Parks and Recreation maintains three dog parks in Sacramento, so the Pannell-Meadowview pool is seen as an extension of those parks, says Matal.

Del-Bon says that they relied mostly on word-of-mouth advertising for the event.

“Next year we are going to invite more people,” Del-Bon said. “We’re going to get a radio station involved and make it a much bigger event.”