Their big eyes look up to you as you pat their furry, little heads.
“Go ahead, it’s alright.”
“Come on, jump in, it’s hot–you know you want to.”
“After all, who wouldn’t want to get wet on a day like today.”
These were the most often heard comments at the recent Doggie Paddle event, sponsored by the Manassas Park Dog Park Committee, held on Saturday, September 10th from 10am to 2pm at the Signal Bay Waterpark.
Dog owners brought their dogs for some fun in the sun; however, the dogs were there to get wet! Whether the dogs wanted to run through the sprinklers, swim in the shallow pools, or paddle around the lazy river, dogs of any breed enjoyed their day at Signal Bay Waterpark.
As the dogs, and their owners, entered into the waterpark, staff checked for necessary paperwork showing proof of Distemper, Parvo and Rabies shots. Each dog received a waste bag, and assurance that today it was okay for the dogs to run, jump, and splash in the water!
Dog owner, Kim Hines was happy her dog was enjoying herself. “She really is an independent dog and usually doesn’t like public places or dog parks, but she loves the water, so I thought I would give this a shot,” she said, “Boy am I glad I did because she is having a great time.”
Two teachers from Cougar Elementary School brought their dogs for the festivities. Teacher, Kim Edwards said she hadn’t been to the Doggie Paddle before. “I have a puppy, so I was concerned that there would be a little too much excitement for my little dog, but I was wrong. This was so much fun, and I am happy for the chance for my pup to socialize with other dogs.”
Jen Braunschedel, also a teacher at Cougar Elementary School added, “My dog loves to run off leash, and there are not a lot of places where we can do that since we live in an apartment building. So for us, this is ideal.”
Ed Welsh said this was his second time attending the Doggie Paddle. “We came here a few years ago because we remembered what a great time our dogs had, and we remembered the staff was very polite too.” Welsh brought his 2 pugs to splash around in the kiddie pools and sprinklers. “It never ceases to amaze me because you see a completely different side of your dogs’ personalities when you attend social functions like these. Today our little guys have made friends with some large fellows,” he chuckled.
“Maybe it is the water, but my dogs really aren’t used to playing with strange dogs, and look at them now, they are having the time of their lives,” agreed Jennifer Mazhari, a teacher for Prince William County, “I live in Manassas Park, and have brought my dogs over to the doggie park because I want my dogs to socialize with other dogs.”
“It’s because I am a teacher, and I have worked with kids for years building a sense of community and positive socializing, but an event like this, specifically for our pups really is special. It gives our dogs a chance to socialize, and we owners can socialize too,” Mazhari added.
There were 73 dogs who attended this event and most of their owners commented that the dogs really had a good time. They noted that their dogs would be tired from all the splashing, swimming, running, and the socializing. Mrs. Mazhari, summed up the sentiment of the dog owners in attendance by saying, “I know I am not alone when I say a tired dog equals a happy owner.”
The Manassas Park Dog Park Committee sponsors several events like the Doggie Paddle where dogs and their owners can socialize, and meet fellow dog owners. Most events are held at the Manassas Park Dog Park at Costello Park. Look for more Manassas Park Dog Park events such as BeagleFest on October 15th from 12:00pm to 4:00pm and Santa Paws on December 17th from 11:30am to 12:30pm. Check out the Manassas Park Community Center’s Facebook page for more pictures from this year’s doggie paddle. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be notified of upcoming dog park events.
Maria Bosack is the Writer/Content Specialist for the City of Manassas Park Department of Parks and Recreation. She can be reached at 703.335.8872 x0393 or via email at M.Bosack@ManassasParkVA.gov.