HASTINGS-ON-HUDSON, N.Y. – Dozens of Hastings dogs spent Sunday afternoon doggie-paddling around Chemka Pool and basking in the early-fall sun during the pool's 5th Annual Dog Swim. Dogs of all colors, shapes, sizes and personalities leaped in and out of the pool as they made human and dog friends.
“Some dogs just came to hang out,” said Kendra Garrison, Chemka Pool director.
Retrievers and Labradoodles, a cross between a Labrador retriever and a poodle, seemed to be the most enthusiastic in the water, Garrison said.
Barney, a yellow lab mix, started the afternoon with bounds of energy but by the end of the afternoon, his human companion Ellen Plato said he was tuckered out and slowly trudged out of the pool.
“I have two teenage boys at home,” said Plato, a Hastings resident. “I always say Barney is my third.”
Plato and Barney became close pals after she adopted him as a puppy. Although his large stature and energetic personality make it seem like Barney runs the show, he is afraid of Plato’s six-pound cat that bosses him around.
The dogs were free to run around off leash, sniff their new friends, and startle the occasional person who wasn’t expecting a dog-shake-shower in this yearly event.
Hunter, a gold hound mix, got some help from her human companion, Adam Bisaga, who helped her get over he fear of jumping in the pool by tossing her in the water. Hunter's joy was easily seen as she wagged her tail while flying through the air in her final toss of the afternoon.
“She’s a little bit apprehensive but she can clearly swim,” said Bisaga, a Hastings resident. “It’s good exposure for her, she gets along with everybody.”