NEWINGTON - The day after Mill Pond Pool closed for the season, the townâ€™s canine residents had an exclusive opportunity to enjoy it with their friends.
Newington Parks and Recreation Departmentâ€™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 waterâ€™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.
â€śWhen we go kayaking she swims with us but weâ€™re trying to get her in the big pool today,â€ť Christine said. â€śShe loves playing. Sheâ€™s very friendly.â€ť
Recreation supervisor Nick Pizzoferrato briefed lifeguards on how to handle the furry crowd, since theyâ€™re normally accustomed to watching over the poolâ€™s human visitors.
â€śItâ€™s something a little different,â€ť he said. â€śNewington doesnâ€™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.â€ť
Staff checked people for dog licenses and updated rabies vaccinations upon entering the gates.
The eveningâ€™s $5 admission price went to benefit the 2018 â€śLife.BeInIt.â€ť Extravaganza fireworks fund.
â€śItâ€™s friendly and the money goes towards a good cause,â€ť 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 Krissyâ€™s sister Karen Duchesneau and brother Chris Dalgaudio.
â€śItâ€™s a family affair,â€ť 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.
â€śWe come every year,â€ť she added. â€śOur dog loves to swim.â€ť
Delgaudioâ€™s dog Russell was the first to arrive. When Peach and Hendrix came running up, he was happy to share his tennis ball.
â€śTheyâ€™re together all the time,â€ť Beaulieu explained.
Hendrix was hesitant to dive right in with the others, so he sat on Keithâ€™s lap by the waterâ€™s edge.
â€śHeâ€™ll walk into a river or pond but he wonâ€™t jump into the deep water,â€ť 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.
â€śI think itâ€™s really cool to see them interact with the other dogs around the pool,â€ť said Shannon Fleming, who brought the pair. â€śAt a dog park itâ€™s just grass. Here they actually get to swim.â€ť
Erica Schmitt can be reached at 860-801-5097, or firstname.lastname@example.org.