Pooches in pool as Newington season ends

Published on Tuesday, 29 August 2017 23:04
Written by Erica Schmitt

Staff Writer

NEWINGTON - The day after Mill Pond Pool closed for the season, the town’s canine residents had an exclusive opportunity to enjoy it with their friends.

Newington Parks and Recreation Department’s annual Dog Days of Summer Swim brought at least 15 dogs into the pool. Several others just ran around the pool deck, either directing traffic from the water’s edge or too nervous to dive in.

Gary and Christine Pierson brought their dog Pebbles, who was excited to meet some new friends and swim around the shallow wading pool.

“When we go kayaking she swims with us but we’re trying to get her in the big pool today,” Christine said. “She loves playing. She’s very friendly.”

Recreation supervisor Nick Pizzoferrato briefed lifeguards on how to handle the furry crowd, since they’re normally accustomed to watching over the pool’s human visitors.

“It’s something a little different,” he said. “Newington doesn’t have a dog park like some surrounding towns do, so this gives them the opportunity to go out and socialize and get their fitness in.”

Staff checked people for dog licenses and updated rabies vaccinations upon entering the gates.

The evening’s $5 admission price went to benefit the 2018 “Life.BeInIt.” Extravaganza fireworks fund.

“It’s friendly and the money goes towards a good cause,” said Krissy Beaulieu, who might have enjoyed the event as much as her dog Hendrix, a boxer/lab mix.

Not only did she and her husband, Keith, bring him for a swim, but they also were there to see Krissy’s sister Karen Duchesneau and brother Chris Dalgaudio.

“It’s a family affair,” said Duchesneau, who spent the evening holding her 3-week-old daughter, Josie, while her husband, Brandon, threw a tennis ball to their dog, Peach, in the pool.

“We come every year,” she added. “Our dog loves to swim.”

Delgaudio’s dog Russell was the first to arrive. When Peach and Hendrix came running up, he was happy to share his tennis ball.

“They’re together all the time,” Beaulieu explained.

Hendrix was hesitant to dive right in with the others, so he sat on Keith’s lap by the water’s edge.

“He’ll walk into a river or pond but he won’t jump into the deep water,” Keith said.

Across the pool deck smaller dogs ran around in the shallow water of a wading pool, including Duncan, a 2-year-old Yorkie, and his brother Dio, a German shepherd puppy.

“I think it’s really cool to see them interact with the other dogs around the pool,” said Shannon Fleming, who brought the pair. “At a dog park it’s just grass. Here they actually get to swim.”

Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or eschmitt@centralctcommunications.com.

Posted in New Britain Herald, General News, Newington on Tuesday, 29 August 2017 23:04. Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2017 23:06.