By Jim Dresbach, Pentagram Staff WriterSeptember 16, 2013
JOINT BASE MYER-HENDERSON HALL, Va. - Before the plugs were pulled on the Fort Myer Officers Club swimming pools Sept. 7, a whole gang of pooches, kids and masters shared a late summer morning dip.
A total of 272 paws were submerged into the O' Club's figure eight, wading and lap pools at Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall's annual doggie dip. The two-hour, come-as-you-are swim, which is designed for dogs to get the last swim of the season, drew 68 well-behaved canines.
"We had 86 [dogs] in 2012, but the numbers held steady," said JBM-HH Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation event organizer Todd Hopkins. "The first year we had this [the doggie dip], we had 26 show up. Now, I see people who have been here two or three years straight."
As the numbers have increased, so have the human endorsements of the free, fun and family-orientated swim where owners can join their pets in the pools. For Mandi, a 2-and-a-half year old German Shepherd, the dip marked the opportunity to cross an item off the dog's bucket list.
"This is her first time in a pool," Veronica Price said of the family pet. "She's been in the ocean to play, but this is her first outright swim. My daughter is on the [Fort Myer] swim team, so now they can say they've shared the pool."
As the 120 minutes elapsed, the timid and the brave emerged. While a pair of shar peis named Chesty and Ruby were hesitant to get wet in the wading pool, Zoe, a gung-ho golden retriever owned by Army veteran Stan Andrews, was getting running starts that finished with spectacular splashes.
"She loves to jump," Andrews said.
The doggie dip is an annual joint base MWR event that takes place the weekend following Labor Day.