Saturday, August 23rd started off overcast, warm and humid. The forecast promised rain and thunderstorms by noon if not before. But Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter’s Annual Prairie Pool Puppy Paddle was also scheduled for Saturday and this much anticipated event had never been rained out in its 7 year history. Small dogs had the first opportunity to “get their feet wet” beginning at 9 a.m. Approximately 8 dogs took advantage of the “no big dogs allowed” period. By 9:45 claps of thunder were heard and dogs as well as their humans needed to take cover. RABAS volunteers hurried to “take down” before the thunder turned into a much needed rain and thunderstorms. Not to be deterred by a few thundershowers and bolts of lightning, the group decided to try again for Sunday, August 24th. They did not want to disappoint the dogs who wait all year for their day at the pool.
On Sunday, the volunteer organization raising money for a desperately needed animal shelter, woke to cloudy skies, cooler temps and a hot and sunny forecast by early afternoon. Word of the postponement was spread via social media and a large sign at the swimming pool.
More than 40 dogs took advantage of the dog swim. As always, Labrador and Golden Retrievers outnumbered all other breeds and enjoyed showing off what they were bred to do – swim and retrieve. Once dogs were inside the enclosed gate, leashes were removed and the fun began. Most dogs all spent some time in the water, but a few dogs never even ventured into the water, choosing to spend their time running at large in the grassy fenced area of the aquatic park grounds. Random games of dog tag and takeaway (the tennis ball) popped up often throughout the day. It is safe to say that all of these dogs slept well that evening. Prizes were awarded for the Poop Raffle, with Ken Quick being the definite winner.
Sponsors for this event included Sut Hill Ford Dodge, Halpin Tire, Nelson True Value Hardware, Ken Stoeffler – American Family Insurance, Mary Stoeffler – Creative Cuts Hair Salon, Prairie du Chien Park and Recreation and Walmart. For more information on Rivers & Bluffs Animal Shelter, please contact Bev Pozega or visit our website at www.riversandbluffsanimalshelter.org. Donations may be mailed to RABAS PO Box 421 PdC WI 53821. RABAS is a 501 (c)3 non-profit organization and your donation is tax exempt.