Helena’s dogs spend their day at the municipal swimming pool | Local






A young girl splashes around the shallows with dogs at Saturday’s Paws in the Pool hosted by Last Chance Splash Waterpark and Pool. Dog Day is a beloved event after the pool closes at the end of each season.


Nolan Lister



Each year, as Helena’s long summer days begin to give way to fall, a particularly slobbering ritual takes place at the Last Chance Splash Water Park and Pool. The day after the municipal swimming pool closes for the season, the dogs have their day.

“Every year we ask staff if they want to work on Dog Day,” fifth-grade lifeguard Shannon Murray said of Saturday’s Paws in the Pool event. “We always have a ton of volunteers.”

Hundreds of area residents, including some from neighboring counties, brought their dogs to the pool for the annual dog swim.

“It’s so awesome for them,” Helena resident Kris Brewer said, referring not just to her 16-month-old golden retriever, Flint, but to the whole soggy bag. “You can’t get that kind of socializing anywhere else.”







Paws in the pool 2022

Hundreds of people attended the city of Helena’s annual Paws in the Pool event on Saturday at the Last Chance Waterpark and Pool. The municipal swimming pool welcomes dogs only the day after it closes for the season.


Nolan Lister



Colleague Helenan Karanel Dimmit said the event was equally beneficial for humans.

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“If you look around, everyone is smiling,” Dimmit said. “How can you not smile.”

Relegated to the water park area of ​​the pool, dogs of all sizes launched themselves from the bridges of the lazy river, bumping into each other at paddle speed.

Montana City resident Katie Carsten brought her 9-year-old pit bull and border collie, Charlee, after her friend told her about it.

That friend was Tiffany Evans, an obviously dogless resident of Helena, who said she asked Carsten to come to the event so she had an excuse to attend.

“My dogs don’t swim,” Evans said.







Paws in the pool 2022

Charlee, a 9-year-old pit bull and border collie mix from Montana City, swims with another dog’s chew toy Saturday afternoon at the Last Chance Splash water park and pool.


Nolan Lister



“Charlee loves water, she can stay in it all day,” Carsten said, while trying to move another dog’s chew toy away from the play pit.

Aside from the occasional toy banging, the furry pool goers largely behaved. Toby, a 3-year-old Brittany, attempted to slide down one of the waterslides, but was quickly escorted down the stairs to the pool deck by members of staff.







Paws in the pool 2022

Toby, a 3-year-old Breton from Helena, is told to get off the waterslide by Last Chance Splash lifeguards on Saturday during the annual Paws in the Pool.


Nolan Lister



“I think it’s great that they’re willing to take care of all the dog hair and stuff to bring people together like that because everyone’s having a great time,” the owner said. Toby, Pat Van Wyk of Helena.

His colleague Helenan Keelin Gilkey agreed.

“The idea of ​​the pool being ready to do this despite being cleaned is incredible,” Gilkey said.







Paws in the pool 2022

Six-year-old Jefferson County golden retriever Sammi proudly carries a tennis ball she pulled from the Last Chance Splash lazy river in Helena on Saturday. Wife and husband Mary and Earl Edwards own Sammi and said they came the last time the town hosted Paws in the Pool.


Nolan Lister



Murray, the veteran lifeguard working her third legs in the pool, said the extra effort was worth it.

“It’s a really cool way to involve the dogs,” she said. “It’s worth cleaning up to see everyone come in and have a good time.”







Paws in the pool 2022

The dogs had their day at the Last Chance Splash water park and pool on Saturday during Paws in the Pool, an annual dog-only day following the municipal pool’s seasonal closure.


Nolan Lister




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