The Things We Do for Love: “My Dogs Go to a Doggie Swimming Pool”
Caroline Golon, the human behind popular humor blog Romeo the Cat, shares stories of pet owners who have gone the extra mile for their pets in this series, The Things We Do for Love.
An expert in emergency management, Ines de Pablo of Reston, Va., knows the importance of water safety for humans — and pets. That’s why she takes her dogs to a special dog swimming pool to get their exercise and hone their water skills (something you can see for yourself here).
Gypsy, a 9-year-old Husky–Lab–English Setter mix, and Mayday, an 8-year-old “purebred West Virginia mutt,” visit the pool twice a week for their swim sessions. The indoor pool is at Olde Towne Pet Resort, a multimillion-dollar facility with two locations in the Washington, D.C., area.
De Pablo discovered Olde Towne when she was looking for a place to board Gypsy when she was out of town on business. The facility’s high-end boarding, agility courses, swimming pool and other amenities impressed her.
Now, de Pablo takes Gypsy and Mayday for their private swims in the resort’s 4-foot-deep, 20-foot-long indoor heated lap pool. A staffer gets in the water with the dogs, and de Pablo walks alongside the pool to keep the dogs focused.
The dogs’ typical session lasts 45 minutes, but de Pablo says when it’s hot outside, “I make them swim longer.”
Thanks to the facility’s live-streaming capabilities, the dogs’ doting grandparents in Switzerland can even tune in to the swimming sessions. “My parents watch us every Sunday religiously,” says de Pablo with a laugh.
Exercise … and Safety
De Pablo loves the workout that swimming gives her dogs. “It’s great exercise,” she says. “After one hour of swimming, they are way more tired than they are running around for an hour.”
While the exercise is a big part of the reason de Pablo takes the dogs to the resort, she also wants them to be able to swim for safety reasons as well. As founder and executive director of the Pet Emergency Management Division of Wag’N Enterprises, Inc., de Pablo’s work focuses on helping pet parents prepare for an emergency. The ability to swim well could be critical to a dog in certain situations.
The pool sessions provide many benefits to the dogs, so de Pablo doesn’t mind the extra time and effort it takes to get them their sessions. “They’re my babies,” she says. “I’d do anything for them.”
What do you do for love? We’re looking for the funny, sweet and special stories that will make other pet parents smile. Email us at [email protected] to share your story. Please put "The Things We Do for Love" in the subject line.