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Aquatic park goes to the dogs





In the midst of the dog days of summer, Hays Aquatic Park heated up Saturday with approximately 70 dogs at the 13th annual K-9 Swim and Play.

The event is held every year in conjunction with the final day of pool activity.

"It's our last event because dogs do make quite a mess," said Grant Lacy, aquatic director for Hays Recreation Commission.

"We do it right before we drain our pool. We're excited to do it again. It's a great event."

Lance Sauer and Kaitlyn McReynolds brought their Pekingese, Lexi, and Shih Tzu, Sam -- both are visually impaired.

Sam is completely blind. Lexi has one working eye.

"He seems to enjoy it more than her," Sauer said. "He's very adventurous for a very blind dog. He doesn't even know he's disabled. He bumps into things and he's fine with it."

This is the second year they brought Lexi and Sam to the pool.

"When you put him in the water, he goes in circles," Sauer said.

"He's the most thorough hunting dog."

McReynolds said she is "all for helping disabled animals."

"We like handicapped animals," she said. "You're helping an animal that is even more helpless than a normal shelter animal."

Annie Wasingher brought Buddy the rat terrier mix for the first year.

"He's never swam before," Wasinger said. "He's a little scared. He's been really hyper lately and it's been too hot to go to the park, so we decided to take him to the pool."

Cammy Uehling attended the event with her four dogs, including Zoey the Yorkshire Terrier.

"She's so spoiled," Uehling said, referring to carrying Zoey around with her. "She wants to be with me all the time. We had another Yorkie that passed away and he loved to swim. I wish we would have come down when we had him, but we never made it."