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Dog days of summer not quite over with Doggie Dip Swim Party

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — Furry friends, big and small, closed out summer with a dip in the pool for the third annual Doggie Dip Swim Party on Saturday afternoon.

To raise money for Dog PAWS to build Salisbury’s first dog park, owners and their dogs swam at the Fred M. Evans Pool. Theresa Pitner, a dog trainer with Understanding Your Dog, helped dogs learn how to doggie paddle.

“You bring them in slowly and hold them and get them used to being calm in the water,” Pitner said. “Once they’re calm, they like it, especially golden retrievers, they like to swim. They like that swim.”

By mid afternoon, dogs were jumping in the pool, playing with a tennis ball and making new dog friends. Stephanie Bertorelli came with her parents Annette and Jim Whalen and their dog Tilley, a Husky-Belgian Malinois mix.

“She swims usually every day in a small pool, but this is the first time she’s ever been in something quite this big,” Bertorelli said. “She’s a little more interested in the dogs than swimming. Normally she would be diving in after her ball, but once she was in and I was in with her then she was good.”

Carol and Ric Harris brought their goldendoodle Budders who took a bit of adjusting to the art of swimming, but soon swam around with Ric.

“I think this was a whole new experience for Budders and I think he did enjoy it,” Carol Harris said. “Other than a bath he’s never been in water like this before.”

Owners payed $5 per dog for entry. The proceeds went to complete the dog park.

“This year in 2018 we can finally do events for a dog park that we can actually see,” Pitner said. “Right now the fences are going up this week and we’re having a groundbreaking event Oct. 20. We’ll be ready to have dogs enjoying a park this year versus a field.”

Bertorelli said she is excited for the dog park to open for Tilley to play at.

“It will be great for her,” Bertorelli said. “She loves to socialize with other dogs and I tend to think dogs don’t get enough socialization now with other dogs.”

Pitner said she hopes the dog park will give dogs a new environment to run around and play with other dogs.

“It’s been something we’ve been looking forward to for a long time,” Pitner said. “It just gets dogs out of their backyards. That’s the main thing. That’s my thing. Lots of people love dogs but they don’t really do anything with them. They love them but that’s what I want to see. I want them moving. I want them to be enjoying each other.”

The DOG PAWS Dog Park will have a Party at the Park to celebrate its grand opening on Oct. 20 at 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at 315 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S.



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