Residents bring their dogs for a swim at SFAC

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SUMMIT, NJ — Summit’s Department of Community Programs held the second Doggy Dip at Summit Family Aquatic Center on Saturday, Sept. 17. The first session began at 9:45 a.m. for small dogs and was followed by two additional 45-minute sessions for medium and large dogs. Residents and nonresidents alike were welcome to attend with a donation to the department. Donations for St. Hubert’s Animal Welfare Center were also accepted, and a copy of their wish list was made available.

Program Coordinator Gretchen Masterfano remarked that the event was a success last year. She also stated that the donations would be going toward Summit Family Aquatic Center’s scholarship fund, which assists Summit families in need. The mascot of Summit Municipal Golf Course, Scotty McMuni, a Scottish terrier, was scheduled to make an appearance at the event. Due to so much attention from the press, there was a limit as to how many dogs could attend each session this year.

“We had about 80 dogs last year,” Masterfano told LocalSource. “We had so much press this year that we decided to limit 35 dogs per category.”

“The pool closed on Labor Day,” said Jamie Collucci, marketing and public relations coordinator for Summit’s Department of Community Programs. “We had to add some chlorine to the water, but we kept the levels low enough to be safe for the dogs. There’s just enough in the water to keep everyone safe. The little dogs like to run. They’re fun to watch.”

The dogs were running, splashing and playing as their owners encouraged them to take a dip in the pool. Some dogs were more interested in the water than others. For many of them, it was their first time going for a swim.

Lauren and Matt Bach, of Summit, attended the event with their two long-haired dachshunds, Hans and Sebastian. It was their first time attending the event, and the dogs had only swam at home in a small pool. Lauren and Matt used treats as an initiative to get the dogs in the water.

“We didn’t know they liked the water this much,” Lauren told LocalSource. “They love it, and they’re having so much fun.”

Danylo Rakowsky, of Summit, attended the event with his schnauzer poodle mix, Uni. The dog had a unibrow as a puppy, which inspired the name. It was also their first time attending the event.

“She went for a swim, but she’s not really into the water,” Rakowsky told LocalSource. “We’ve just been watching the other dogs swim for the most part.
The larger breeds were less fearful of the water, and they were able to enjoy themselves the most. They splashed and chased their tails around the water.

Most of them had to be lured in with treats, at least for the initial doggy dip. Many of them found they enjoyed the water and the company of the other dogs.