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West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge Draws a Huge Crowd

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin
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West Hartford’s Kennedy Memorial Park was overrun by a large but manageable pack of dogs for its seventh Pooch Plunge event on Tuesday, Aug. 21, 2017.

By Joy B. Taylor, photos by Amy B. Melvin and Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

As swim season came to a close for people on Sunday, two late afternoon Monday swim sessions at Kennedy Park were for dogs only!

Session one ran from 4 to 5:20 p.m, and session two kicked off at 5:30 p.m. and finished at 6:50 p.m. Each session had more than 60 dogs – and they came in all sizes, ages, and levels of experience in the water.

Some dogs jumped, or waded right into the water, and one Labradoodle, who is a big fan of water when she is on her boat, was quite apprehensive about jumping into the pool.

Tennis balls were bouncing and dogs were having a blast in and out of the water.

Organizer Suzi Craig had a band of volunteers, including four members of The William Raveis Broder Group who came on board as a sponsor this year.

Lifeguards were on duty just in case a person were to fall in. Gianna Le has been working as a life guard for four years and always asks to work during the Pooch Plunge so she can enjoy the dogs, even though she can’t tell them to stop running around the pool.

Craig and Phil Karlin wanted to spread the word that they are in conversations with the town regarding a site for a permanent dog park. The UConn property is an opportunity, and more meetings with Mayor Cantor and the new Town Manager Matt Hart are planned for later this fall.

Speaking of UConn, Jonathan XIV made an appearance at the Pooch Plunge. He is cared for by Alpha Phi Omega and lives with a host family near the UConn campus. You can keep up with him on Instagram @jonathanhusky14, or Facebook at Jonathan the Husky.

As a chocolate lab was enjoying being toweled off in the back of his car, his owner told us that her dog, named Cooper, was happy to attend his first West Hartford Pooch Plunge. He was a big fan of the pooch plunges in Florida, where he could participate more than just once a year.

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West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

Jonathan XIV, from UConn, checked in at the West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Amy B. Melvin

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

Suzi Craig is the organizer of West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

West Hartford Dog Park Coalition’s Annual Pooch Plunge at Kennedy Memorial Park, August 21, 2017. Photo credit: Joy B. Taylor

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2 Comments

  • I think it would be fair to hold the pooch plunge in different parks. One week Fern Ridge, one week Eisenhower, one week Kennedy etc. I’m sure you know where I’m
    going with this. Why Kennedy??? Please put your sense of fairness to the test, and change this for the future.

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