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It wasn’t just another day at the park.
Oakland County Waterparks are officially closed for the summer. The closed sign prominent at the front gate, but last weekend families and their dogs were invited in for a little fetch and a lot of fun.
Tennis balls littered the pool as dozens of dogs dove in from all sides, using their best doggy-paddle to reach the closest one.
Oakland County Parks and Recreation‘s Waterford Oaks Waterpark and Red Oaks Waterpark hosted the 11th annual dog swim on September 10th and 11th; and it was clear, all dogs were in heaven dipping and diving into the blue water of the park’s wave pool.
Dogs of all sizes were welcome to jump in on the action from noon to 4:55 p.m. Time slots were divided up by weight throughout the day – the larger dogs kicked off the morning with the first swim, followed by the 31-69lb dogs and finally 30 and under.
Despite their size, most dogs had similar reactions once released from their leash to freedom. A Labrador Retriever charged through the water to fetch his ball, while a beagle mix stood off to the side watching the action.
Among all the commotion, A large Rottweiler could be seen a little further out, lazily paddling his way around the pool, clearly enjoying his day-cation.
Dozens of dogs were in the pool at one time. A mix of breeds, various ages, different sizes and various temperaments participated in the event. Owners received a towel with sponsor logos on the side, including Camp Bow Wow and Oakland Veterinary Referral Services, perfect to dry off their pup post swim.
It didn’t take long for each of them to make a new furry friend, or two. Groups of dogs, large and small, could be seen chasing each other throughout the park.
Contests for “Best Wet Look” and “Best Dressed” took place at both Waterford Oaks and Red Oaks Waterparks. Tonka took home “Best Dressed” at Red Oaks Waterpark on Sunday, Sept. 12th. Recreation Specialist, Melissa Nawrocki, who planned both events, distributed his award.
Even Oakland County Sheriff K-9 Mordus came out on his day off to enjoy the water and the weather. He jumped and dove into the deepest part of the pool to fetch his toy; proving his swimming skills are top notch.
Outside the event, tents were set up, sponsored by various organizations, including local veterinarians, animal rescues and obedience and agility training. A small corner area was roped off for any dog willing to take on the challenge. Jumps, tires, ramps and a teeter totter were laid out for the course.
Mordus took on the challenge and passed it with flying colors, inspiring other pups (and owners) to give it a shot.
The rain didn’t stop those who attended the event at Waterford Oaks on Saturday, September 10th and those who visited Red Oaks on Sunday, September 11th enjoyed 70’s and sun. The dogs didn’t seem to care either way. The toys, friends and water play were all they needed to complete their day.