As you can imagine, there’s greater maintenance of the facility. We only had one really bad incident of a dog throwing up but you don’t want to hear about that.
There are big issues around the quality of the water since there are people in the pool in addition to the dogs. We tried to restrict people getting in a couple of years ago but there was real pushback.
There is only one entrance and exit from the facility. This year we had staff at the front gate steering dogs that tried to run out back in. We did have one get out and he just kept going.
Q: Do you worry about all those dogs behaving?
A: We get nervous about dogs in general because you never know what you are going to get with them. But these are all family dogs — every dog has an owner who really loves them and is focused on them having a good experience. It is an interesting filter for the kind of dog we get.
Q: Speaking of filters, what’s the pool filter look like after the dog swim?
A: It is horrible. There is a reason we do the dog swim on the last day of the season. There are literally plumes of hair floating around in the pool. It takes anywhere from two to three days to clean the pool afterward. And you have to do an aggressive clean right away. God bless the staff.
Q: Do you take your dog to the dog swim?
A: We do. My oldest, Molly Grace, who is 12, is Chili’s biggest fan. I have never known a Golden Retriever who doesn’t love water but he doesn’t. He gets in to about his chest.
Q: Some dogs are better swimmers than others, correct?
A: Half of the dogs are kind of in shock first, because they get to go in, and second, this is a new experience for some of them. My observation is that you don’t really see dogs swimming together playing, that swimming for a dog is a one on one sport.
Q: Any thought about a cat swim?
A: You know what, I’m not the president next year, so sure, why not? We have not had anyone suggest a cat swim. It could happen. Tell you one thing that won’t happen. We will not have a dog swim and cat swim at the same time.