FORT SILL, Oklahoma (Sept. 11, 2019) -- They say every dog has its day, and that was true Sept. 7, as Fort Sill celebrated the dog days of summer with a pool party for, well, dogs and their owners.

About 40 dogs and dozens of families came out for the first pooch pool party at Quinette Pool. The event ran from noon to 2 p.m., and it was free and open to the public.

Many people joined their dogs for a dip in the water.

"The water was good, it was surprisingly clean," said Taylor Cox, who was there with her Saint Bernard, Buckeye.

The outdoor pool had closed for the season, and the idea for a canine swim came from MWR patrons, said Kate Deyermond, Fort Sill Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation Business Operations chief.

"This is something the community asked for, and as you look around you see people are doing more things with their pets," she said.

The Patriot Club staff partnered with MWR's Recreation Division to use the pool before it was drained, she said. Lifeguards from the Rec Division were at the event keeping an eye out for any swimmers (dogs and people) in distress.

Cody Kitchens, Patriot Club beverage coordinator, said it was the third dog-centric event held at the Patriot Club, the other two being Yappy Hours -- a meet-and-greet event for dogs and owners.
"They've all been pretty big hits, so we decided to branch out," he said.

As part of the activities, prizes were awarded to dogs for the biggest splash, best water catch, and laziest sunbather. Tiffany Jackson, Patriot Club manager, put together prize packages of treats and toys for the winners, Kitchens said.

Rupert, a pointer, won the laziest sunbather. His owner is Daniel Choi.

Eric Hulien's Brittany spaniel, Chase, made the biggest splash.

And Riley, owned by Hannah and Jonathan Maginot, performed the best water catch.

Many of the dogs took to the water naturally, while others had to be coaxed into the pool by their owners.

Dominic Campas and his friend, Jasmin Goble, brought their 7-month-old Husky/Malamute-mix, Juno, to the party.

"Juno's never been swimming; he's only seven months old," Campas said. "He's not big on the water, but he's running around playing with the other dogs, having a good time."
Cox said she enjoyed the pool party.

"It's a good event for socialization, and for the kids, and a great way to end the summer."

The next dog event is tentatively scheduled during the Army vs. Navy football game Dec. 14, at the beer garden, Deyermond said.

"We going to see if we can bring the big screen (TV) outside, provide heaters, and have an ugly sweater contest," she said.

She encouraged the community to provide comments on Fort Sill MWR events through online ICE (Interactive Customer Evaluation system) comments.