Poochy Paddle draws 150 dogs to Old Town Hot Springs
Steamboat Springs — Five-year-old Wiley was third in line to get inside the Old Town Hot Springs on Sunday for the spring Poochy Paddle.
Now in its seventh year, the Poochy Paddle welcomes dogs of Steamboat to the lap and shallow pools at Old Town Hot Springs each fall and spring for a puppy pool party before the pools are cleaned for the season.
“He absolutely loves it,” said Dean Domingue, Wiley’s owner. “He was waiting in line to get in here today.”
Rugge and Mary Preto brought their dog Zucc to the Poochy Paddle, along with a GoPro camera, which they attached to a harness Zucc wore as he paddled around the pool.
Rugge Preto said they always outfit the dog with the camera for hikes and other excursions and enjoy watching the footage that comes from the camera.
Ripley, a 4-year old Chesapeake Bay Retriever, dove into the pool dozens of times fetching balls thrown by his owners, Cait Hartman and Will Mowris.
“He loves it,” Hartman said. “He loves to swim all the time. That’s his preferred method of exercise.”
About 150 dogs turned out for the two-hour event Sunday afternoon, which took place under overcast but dry skies.
Steamboat’s twice yearly Poochy Paddle began in 2009, after Old Town Hot Springs staff learned of a similar event happening on the Front Range, and thought the idea would work well in Steamboat, too.
“It seems like a perfect event being that Steamboat is such a dog loving community,” said Stephanie Orozco, operations director for Old Town Hot Springs.
Following the event, the pools are drained for deep cleaning. The lap and shallow pools will reopen to the public at 7 a.m., Saturday, April 26.
Hot pools, heart spring and hot tubs will be closed for cleaning from 8:15 a.m. Monday until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The next Poochy Paddle will take place in September.
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