The West St. Paul YMCA bid farewell to its beloved outdoor pool with a dog swim on the evening of Sunday, September 8. Even though the temperature hovered around 60 degrees under overcast skies, approximately 60 people and 30 dogs arrived smiling and ready for splashy fun. A handful of people even went into the water with their pets. (The pool is heated, and I heard the water was quite nice. I regretted leaving my suit at home.)
Organizers handed out free tennis balls and many dogs enthusiastically jumped in to fetch them. Getting into the water was (for most dogs) the easy part but getting out was another matter. Most dogs weren’t used to the ladders or steep pool walls and needed a little boost from one of the many onlookers waiting poolside. One daredevil dog even went off the diving board (a little bit of mischief that wasn’t sanctioned by Y staff).
This event was a joyful final memory to mark what for many is a big loss for West St. Paul—the YMCA’s outdoor pool. As a frequenter of this pool I’m pinning my hopes on the thought that the Y will include an outdoor pool in any new facility plans.
For more information on the future of the YMCA in West St. Paul, see “What’s going on with Hy-Vee and the YMCA?”
(All photos and video by Carolyn Swiszcz)