UK: Dogs make a splash
Dogs and their humans can splash around together at the Saltdean Lido outdoor pool near Brighton. The proceeds of the "Dogtember" campaign also benefit human swimmers.
When the worst of the summer heat has passed, it's time for a different kind of dog days at the Saltdean Lido open-air swimming pool in southern England: On four weekends in September, four-legged friends can splash around together with their humans. One of the most popular attractions is, of course, retrieving balls from the cool water.
Dogs of all breeds are welcome, but there are also special events such as the "Gold Rush" session for golden retrievers, which are considered to have a particular affinity for swimming. Jen Wise (left) has travelled from Eastbourne. "Today is our dog's first birthday and it really is a party," Wise told the Picture Alliance news agency. 150 golden retrievers came to the launch event.
'It's like dog heaven'
According to the organizers, around 8,000 dogs visit the art deco bath near the seaside town of Brighton during "Dogtember;" it is the largest dog swimming event in the UK. "We try and come every year because its fab, it's like dog heaven," a dog owner told the AFP news agency.
This bulldog still needs a little support from its owner ― but most animals quickly feel at home in the water. Particularly brave four-legged friends even dare to go down the water slide.
Bipeds benefit, too
The dog event pays off for the pool: Deryck Chester, one of the operators of Saltdean Lido, expects more than £60,000 in revenue this year from Dogtember. "The profits from the dog swim support the human swim throughout the season," says Chester.
Shake it off!
Dogtember is a success story: In 2017, it started with two swimming courses for furry friends. Since then, the campaign has grown significantly ― to 40 dates this September.
Wrapped up warm
After fun in the owner,this dog was wrapped up in a warm towel. Dogtember also contributes to the preservation of the Saltdean Lido: In 2010, a former tenant wanted to have the bath demolished. But the municipality managed to save the open-air pool. Now it is to be restored ― with the income generated by dog swimming.
The dog swim is also made possible by many volunteers who help with the events throughout the month. "I am not sure who enjoys it the most: the dogs, the swimmers, the volunteers, the humans. Everyone's smiling," says co-operator Chester.