On one of the hottest days of the year, after summer was officially over, we beat the heat by playing at Francis pool, where we were joined by two-legged and furry four-legged types for DC Doggie Swim Day.
Traditionally held the first Saturday after Labor Day, the annual dog swim allows licensed dogs (licensed?) to use the public pools after they are closed to people post-Labor Day, before they are shuttered for the off season. This year, DC made the event much more pet-friendly by allowing participants to purchase DC dog licenses on site.
So we packed up our stuff – electronic and paper copies of our dogs’ vaccination records, checks for payment, as well as cash (it is the District, so better to be over prepared and also prepared to be rejected, think: DMV), dog towels, treats, poop bags – and walked over to Francis pool.
When we got there shortly after noon, there was a short line of about 15 people and their excited, panting dogs waiting in the hot sun. Everyone was sweltering; most of us high-strung yuppie dog owners were worried about having the right documentation. Rightfully so, as there was more than one sad owner waiting with their dog while their partner went home to get additional papers.
Meantime, volunteers handed out license applications, waivers and pens, and moved us through the line into the building where dog-friendly DC workers processed our applications, took our $15 per dog payment and handed out licenses. We signed into the pool at another table where volunteers offered veggie and chicken treats for the dogs, and we were in. A surprisingly painless process.
And a terrific send-off to summer. The pool was beautiful and filled with people and their dogs playing, splashing, and just relaxing on a hot, lazy Saturday. After 30 solid minutes of nonstop activity – the dogs waded, swam, climbed out of the pool, got back in the pool, ran around the deck, shook themselves off, begged for treats, met dogs, met people – we were thoroughly exhausted. A great send off to the dog days of summer.