Cove goes to the dogs

Day belongs to canines at the water park on Belleview Avenue

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The Pirates Cove pool enjoyed by people throughout the summer became a playground for dogs during the Sept. 9 Doggie Plunge.

Englewood turns the water park on West Belleview Avenue over to the dogs at the end of each season for the plunge. The event is a fun time for the dogs as well as a fundraiser for Freedom Service Dogs.

Freedom Service Dogs is a Centennial-based organization that rescues dogs from shelters and trains the animals to do tasks like opening doors, turning on lights or a long list of other services for people with disabilities created by disease or injuries.

This year's plunge lasted from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Hundreds of dogs took part in the event and all day there were long lines of owners with their dogs waited their turn for entrance to the water park.

Inside Pirates Cove, the dogs ran free. They played chase and splashed in the water of the wading pool and dove in after toys from the edge of one of the deeper pools.

After taking part in the plunge Englewood residents Christa Grauert and Erik Bromley helped their dog Berklee with a cup of doggie ice cream.

“This is such a great event. All the dogs seem to be having a lot of fun and I think it is fun to watch them,” Grauert said. “Berklee raced around, swam and splashed in the water the whole time we were in the park. Now he is enjoying a little rest and a special treat.”

Sam Letterman smiled as he said his dog was keeping him busy throwing tennis ball into the deep pool so his black Labrador retriever “Midnight” could jump in and retrieve it.

“Midnight loves the water and there aren't a lot of places where he can jump in to fetch the ball like this,” the Jefferson County resident said. “A friend told me about this event and we came last year. We both had fun, so here we are again. I am glad they have events like this where Midnight can run, play and swim.”

Nearby, Kara Weldmieier watched her dog Ellie jump into the water to retrieve a ball.

“This is the first time we attended this event and it is great,” the Littleton resident said. “Just watching her, you can tell Ellie is having fun and that is the important thing. Of course, I think it is fun to watch her. Another plus is Ellie is getting a lot of exercise and I'll bet it will be nap time for her when we get home.”

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