Lisa Varano, staff writer
September 6, 2010 — The dog days of summer are over.
The last long weekend of summer is behind us. So long, days spent lounging at the pool.
But before all public outdoor pools close for good, one swimming spot was opened to man's best friend.
Only dogs were allowed in a public pool in London, Ontario, on Sunday for the fourth annual Pooch Plunge, a Labour Day weekend tradition.
The temperature in London failed to crack 20°C but that didn't stop the Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Collies, Jack Russell Terriers, and other dogs from jumping into the water.
The first to break away from the pack -- and dive in -- was a rescue dog belonging to Pooch Plunge chairperson Lee-Ann McCormick.
“The past years, it's been so hot, and the dogs were panting like crazy. It was just exceptionally hot. This was the first year it was a lot cooler than it's ever been, but it was fine,” McCormick says.
While the dogs didn't have a problem with the water temperature, their owners probably wouldn't have jumped in, she adds.
About 155 dogs were part of the Pooch Plunge this year. Donations of $5 per dog, and other financial gifts, benefit a different organization each time. This season, a volunteer wildlife rehabilitation facility was the cause.