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Pooch pool party a "paw"-fect way to wrap up summer

Isabella Adams
Screenshot 20230403 083559 Gallery v2
Dogs splashing around at the Pooch Pool Party  Isabella Adams

Despite the bad weather, spirits were high at the annual pooch pool party over the weekend.

Run collaboratively by the Christchurch City Council and Waltham Summer Pools, the party celebrates the changing of seasons as the pools prepare for their winter shutdown. It was also a paid entry event, and all of the proceeds will be going towards the SCPA.

If there was one word to describe this event it would be “chaos”, but in the best way possible.

Dogs and their owners lined up past the door and onto the pathway as they waited keenly to have their share of the fun. Once inside it was clear that the dogs were eager for a swim, and their owners watched on with a hot drink from the Empire Coffee cart provided. 

Jamie Graham from the Christchurch City Council says that the event has previously brought up to 400 dogs, and it was expected that this year would not be any different. Graham also talked about the demographics of the event.

 “The smaller dogs tend to not go to these kinds of events, whereas we do get a lot of the larger dogs come in.” 

He went on to say that the event has been difficult to run in previous years due to covid, and now this year they have to be cautious because of the ongoing parvovirus outbreak among dogs.  

But despite these challenges, the event was ever so popular. 

To keep up with the demand, the event was run in four sessions, starting with smaller dogs in the morning and finishing with bigger dogs in the afternoon. They also have a “one dog per owner” rule, to ensure that everybody gets the opportunity to join in on the festivities.

The smaller dogs were definitely more apprehensive than the larger ones, but that did not stop them from dipping their paws into the water.

To ensure the safety of the dogs and their owners, animal management was on-site for if any of the animals became aggressive. Lifeguards were also on-site just in case a dog decided to drag their owner in with them.


Pooch Pool Party
Dog snuggling up to passer-by after having a swim Isabella Adams

Waltham was not the only pool running this event, as Templeton provided more sessions on Sunday before they also close up for the colder season.

When the dogs weren’t swimming in the water, they were running in the grass with their fellow pooch friends or chasing their owners with a stick they found nearby. You also could not come to this event expecting to stay dry, due to the dogs teasing everyone around them by shaking off the water on their back wherever they pleased. 

The most popular place to be was in the kiddy pool, as all the dogs loved to stop by there to have a break from paddling in the deep end. There was also never a quiet area in the pool, due to the dogs constantly yapping and barking at anyone or anything around them.

Overall the annual Pooch Party was a success, and a “paw”-fect way to wrap up the summer.

Pooch Pool Party - Metro News