Dogs take a dip at Ephrata Swim Day

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  • Rachal Pinkerton/Columbia Basin Herald A passle of pooches cool off at Ephrata’s Splash Zone water park Monday.

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  • Rachal Pinkerton/Columbia Basin Herald A passle of pooches cool off at Ephrata’s Splash Zone water park Monday.

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EPHRATA — The third annual Dog Swim Day was a furry free-for-all yesterday at the Ephrata Splash Zone.

“It’s organized chaos,” said Traci Bennett, Ephrata Parks and Recreation director.

Bennett started the doggy swim day when she came to Ephrata. It’s the third place she’s worked that had such an event.

“I took it with me when I changed jobs,” she said.

Attendance at the end-of-season event grows each year. “Every year, we get just a few more,” she said.

This year, the event lasted from 1 to 3 p.m. By 2 p.m., 53 dogs and 60 people had entered the pool.

“All the dogs get a free bath,” Bennett said.

Although the dogs and their owners were excited to play in the pool, the members of the maintenance crew who had to clean out the pool weren’t as excited. They get to clean out all the dog hair.

“The maintenance people aren’t all that happy when we go to drain,” Bennett said. “That’s kind of how it goes.”

The level of chlorine is turned up in preparation for the dog swim.

“This is well planned out,” Bennett said.

The reward for all the planning is seeing the dogs splashing and playing in the water.

“It’s pretty cool,” Bennett said. “I don’t know who’s happier ­— the dogs or the people.”

Rachal Pinkerton may be reached via email at rpinkerton@columbiabasinherald.com

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