FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- The dog days of summer arrived early at Fort Sam Houston as dogs of all shapes, sizes, colors and breeds cooled off at the Fort Sam Houston Aquatic Center May 22.

This was the second time that the Aquatic Center hosted this event to coincide with the draining and cleaning of the outdoor pool in preparation for the busy summer season.

Despite the construction, more than 65 dogs attended the event, along with their owners and other Family members. The pups were pampered throughout day with biscuits, bones and gift baskets - even puppy ice cream.

Cool Dog Pet Mobile Spa-Salon provided complimentary nail clipping service, relieving the dogs' owners of this much-dreaded chore.

Attendees had a chance to vote on the cutest puppy photo for the PurinaCare Insurance Services Inc. Puppy Photo Contest. The undisputed winner was a stylish, summer-ready pup complete with a braid and sunglasses!

The dogs' two-legged companions enjoyed T-shirts, snow cones, beverages and hot dogs. More importantly, owners received valuable information on community pet resources with the Fort Sam Houston Veterinary Treatment Facility and Alamo Area Partners for Animal Welfare on site.

"I think this is great for the community, for people and for pets to get out, get exercise and get information regarding the services that vets and other agencies provide. People are having a great time," said Fort Sam Houston Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Raymond P. Houston, who brought his beautiful - yet stubborn - bulldog, Tonka, to the dip. It took some coaxing and gentle nudging from Houston, but Tonka finally ventured into the pool.

"We are working hard on total Family fitness, not just for service members, but for pets too, said Fort Sam Houston Garrison Commander Col. Mary Garr, who brought her Family and dog, Chico, to the event.

U.S. Army South Master Sgt. David Dodson may have summed it up best: "If you want your dogs to get a good night's rest, bring them to the Doggie Dip!"

For more information regarding upcoming pet-friendly events, to include the Sept. 11 Doggie Dash to the Dip, or for further information regarding Aquatic Center programs and hours of operation, visit