FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- Fort Rucker's swim season is going to the dogs well before humans get their chance at some outdoor aquatic fun.

Fort Rucker people's four-legged family members will get the VIP treatment with exclusive access to one of the installations most popular watery attractions when Dog Days of Summer returns to Splash! Pool and Spray Park April 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., according to Robert Koren, Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation acting sports, fitness and aquatics manager.

This is the second iteration of the event, with the first closing out the summer swimming season last year. Koren said it was only fitting to allow the dogs another chance to get their feet wet before people start taking to the pools.

"Fort Rucker Aquatics realized how unique and different this type of event was, and decided to give the dogs another go around before the pool is drained and scrubbed for the beginning of the summer season," he said. "The goal is to allow owners to bring their dogs to the pool and spray park to cool off, swim and splash around, and enjoy some fun in the sun with their owners."

Last year's event was a hit with those attending, including Jenna Matlin, military spouse.

"I just think this is the greatest thing," she said last year. "Sammy is very social and she loves playing with other dogs, but I've never had the chance to let her swim with other dogs and she's loved it, so far.

"She loves to swim, so this was perfect for her," she added. "I honestly can't think of anything better for my dog than to have something like this for her to do. I wish she could do this every weekend."

Although patrons may get the urge to join their furry family members for a swim, Koren said the pool will be open for dog swimming only during the event, but patrons are free to enjoy the spray park with their dogs on a leash.

All dog owners must pre-register for the event, which can be done at the Fort Rucker Physical Fitness Center on Andrews Avenue. The cost is $7 per dog, and owners must provide a copy of each registered pet's current vaccination records, for safety purposes, said Koren.

"During the event, dog owners are welcome and encouraged to bring their pet's favorite toy, ball, rope to interact with them during the event," said the sports, fitness and aquatics manager. "To ensure that fun is had by all participants, owners and dogs alike, we politely ask that all dogs be well behaved, and friendly around other people and dogs."

Koren said that for the safety of the dogs and others, any displays of aggressive behavior or tendencies will result in the dog having to be removed from the event and facility, but dogs of all size are welcome.

Dogs must be accompanied by an adult, 18 years or older, at all times, and owners must clean up after their dogs, he said, adding that plastic waste bags and bins will be provided.

The event will be open to the general public and those planning to attend the event from outside of post must obtain a visitors pass. Passes can be obtained from the visitor control centers at the Daleville Gate, Mondays-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Ozark Gate, Mondays-Fridays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For more information, call 255-2296 or 255-9162.