Ruth is the human interest reporter and a photographer for the Bay of Plenty Times.

Doggie paddle optional as pooches make waves

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Hundreds of dogs made a splash when they took over Memorial Pool.

Almost 250 dogs registered for the Beneful Bark in the Pool yesterday which saw three groups of pooches have access to one of the pools at the park.

Dog owner Ngareta Friis brought her 5-year-old leonberger, Zero, to take part in the fun.

Cody  and Zara Sutherland, 8 at Bark in the Pool.
Cody and Zara Sutherland, 8 at Bark in the Pool.

At first the 62kg canine was wary of the pool and others dogs but soon took to the cool water.

"He normally lives in the water, his breed have webbed feet so they loved to swim," Ms Friis said.

"The water is heaven for him."

The pair normally head to Yatton Park each day for swims and exercise.

"It's so cool to have something like this at the end of the summer, they should put it on every year."

Cody, a Tibetan Spaniel shitzu cross, loved his time in the pool yesterday.

Cody's owner Brenda Sutherland said she took her small pup to the beach all the time.

She saw the event advertised on Facebook and travelled from Kawerau on Sunday to take him to the event.

"He loves the water, he jumps in the swimming pool, in the shower or even in the bath if there is one run."

Events coordinator for Beneful Purina, Emma Stretter said they had 245 dogs register for the three swims which ran throughout the day.

One of the sessions was for smaller breeds, she said.

"Smaller breeds get intimidated by the bigger dogs which is why we had their own session for them."

Ms Stretter said they had been running similar events in Auckland for the past two years with up to 200 dogs a session.

They hoped to bring the event back next year, she said.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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