Taking the Pooch Plunge
London Community News
By Sean Meyer/London Community News/Twitter: Newswriter22
Sherry Rawlings and her black Labrador Retriever, Kenda, have taken part in the Pooch Plunge every year since it first began five years ago.
This year’s plunge, once again taking place at the Stronach Community Recreation Centre, brought Kenda and an estimated 225 other dogs to the pool for an afternoon of splashing and swimming on Sunday (Sept. 2). The plunge is made up of three, 50-minute pool sessions where 75 dogs per session can take part.
“We come every year. She’s a lab so she loves to swim,” Rawlings said. “It is tough to find places where you can take your dog to jump and swim. It’s a real good idea for the city. It is good for the whole community.”
LeeAnn McCormick, Pooch Plunge co-ordinator and a member of the London Dog Owners Association, which co-hosts the event with the City of London, echoes those words.
“We get the pool at the end of the year, before the city cleans it out. It is a great thing for the dogs. There is nothing like this in London,” McCormick said. “It is a great fundraiser, a fun way to make money for the shelter and for the dogs to have a great time.”
The funds raised through the Pooch Plunge go to the Cedar Row Farm Sanctuary, a rescue operation for farm animals located outside Stratford. The sanctuary is a volunteer-driven operation that McCormick said needs the support because it’s operations depends on fundraising.
But in addition to the money the event raises, it provides both dog owners — and their dogs — with a unique social experience.
“People have a passion for their dogs, so this is a great way to get together,” Rawlings said. “You can have fun, meet people, but then you also can watch the dogs have all kinds of fun too.”
That fun is what brought RoseAnn Prudhomme, and Mo, the St. Bernard, to the Pooch Plunge for the first time. Prudhomme said she has travelled to events such as Pawlooza in the past, but that the Pooch Plunge sounded like a lot of fun.
“We figured this is something we should try out. It’s a good thing for the city to do for everyone. And it’s a good day for it too. The weather is nice and we aren’t out here roasting while we watch our dogs have fun in the water,” Prudhomme said. “We will absolutely come back next year. Mo loves it. He has been running around, he jumped into the deep end and swam around, he crushed some tennis balls, he had a great time.”
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