Local dogs closed Gahanna's Hunters Ridge Pool with a splash on Sept. 10.

Dogs of various breeds and size visited the pool for its Doggie Dip, an opportunity for swimming and romping in the grassy areas at 341 Harrow Blvd. with their owners.

Mia, a golden retriever, was the first to take a plunge into the pool, fetching a ball thrown by her owner, Aric Bizzarri of Gahanna.

"We hit every 'dog swim' in the area," he said. "We like this one because it's close and a little less crowded. Mia has been attending for the past several years. She looks forward to it."

Bizzarri said Mia will swim for 90 minutes straight, then the 7-year-old will be tired for two weeks.

Megan Woodburn said her 12-year-old Yorkshire terrier, Rudy, loves to swim.

"We've come here every year they've had it," she said of the event. "He gets so excited."

Gahanna's Kristi Jakeway and James Walker brought their 2-year-old English bulldog, Bentley.

"He loves the water," Jakeway said of Bentley. "He just isn't a good swimmer. We took him to Hilton Head and he loves the ocean."

He preferred getting in the baby pool at Hunters Ridge and watching other dogs swim in the big pool.

Rob Leis of the Short North brought Duke, a shepherd and labrador mix, to the Doggie Dip after seeing the event on social media.

"I just moved to Ohio in May," he said.

Zac and Sam Stewart of Gahanna brought their 5-year-old golden retriever and chow mix, Bosco.

"This is our first time," she said. "He has done pretty good. Once he got in, he liked it. We've had a good experience."

Zac Stewart said the dip is a good way to introduce a dog to water.

Scott Haden, Gahanna aquatics recreation supervisor, said the pool's water temperature is about 68 or 69 degrees.

"A lot of dogs really like it," he said. "For my staff, this is their favorite event. I think the public loves it."

Haden said he saw pet owners training their dogs to swim for the first time.

"It's cool to see that," he said.

He said Gahanna Parks & Recreation wants to make the Doggie Dip the signature event to end the pool season.

"The community turns out for it," he said. "We had a great season with a lot of special events people got to experience for the first time."

Haden said the department offered what the public requested.

"All in all, we offered what people relayed to us that they wanted," he said. "We were able to give them that and we'll continue to do that."

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla