A dog runs, leaps and splash-lands full tilt into a pristine pool.
Now repeat—200 hundred times over.
On Monday, the City of Saskatoon hosted its third annual Dog Day of Summer, where members of the public can register their pooch for a free hour of swimming at Mayfair Outdoor Pool.
The first group starting at noon was also the smallest—a handful of service and therapy dogs accompanied by their owners.
One of the first to dive in was miniature black poodle Pint, who works full-time as hearing ear dog for his companion, 55-year-old Vera Rosin.
“He works very hard for me, he deserves to be pampered,” said Rosin, who has been paired with Pint since June 2014.
“He’s so much fun to be with and he loves his swimming.”
It wasn’t always that way—three-year-old Pint was not a fan of pools when the pair first attended the public swim last year. But after a few doggie swim lessons, Pint has clearly found his paddle.
“It’s fun to see him with all the other dogs. You can see they’re having fun together,” Rosin said.
Among Pint’s new friends is six-year-old Golden Retriever Taylor, who also works as a hearing ear dog.
His owner, 63-year-old Ray Ramage, first started losing his hearing during his teenage years. Ramage said he now lives with greater independence thanks to Taylor.
“I love his companionship and also, when I don’t have my hearing aids, he does help me with different sounds like I don’t hear the microwave, I don’t hear the timer,” he said.
Throughout the day, owners waded into the shallow end of the pool to throw balls and coo their affections as dogs played in the water. The weather held out as well—according to Environment Canada, Saskatoon reached a high of 19.8 C.
At the start of the day, around 200 dogs were registered for swims in hourly slots running from noon until 7 p.m. Still others showed up to register at the site.
“It’s taken off from year-to-year and has increased in popularity with the number of dogs registered,” said Jody Hauta, manager of recreational facilities and programs in Saskatoon.
The event also partners with community groups including the Saskatoon SPCA, who had representatives on hand to host a fundraising BBQ.
Dog Day of Summer coincides with the final day for public outdoor pools in the city.