The first time I was taken to the Abilene Municipal Pool, it cost a dime to get in. We had lockers to store our clothes in.

The concession stand was on the roof where the jukebox played “I’m a Believer” by the Monkees and “Mony Mony” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

“Dog paddle!” my sister told me in my first attempt to swim.

There was a lot of dogs paddling and shimmying themselves dry left and right at the pool Monday afternoon.

That was the day the Abilene Municipal Pool turned into a dog park.

On the last day of the swimming season, the pool was open to dogs. People got in free, and most Monday were fully dressed to just watch the dogs swim and chase after tennis balls and Frisbees.

And shake themselves fairly dry.

Our pet cairn terrier Maggie does more than just shake when she has had a bath.

She races all over the house and attempts to get dry by rolling on the carpet. That makes our grandchildren laugh hysterically.

Unlike the dogs that enjoyed swimming at the pool on Monday, Maggie hates the water.

While she likes to ride in the paddleboat on the pond, she won’t cross a steam of water to get onto it. She has to be carried.

Big baby.

Maggie also doesn’t love to take a bath which we give her in the kitchen sink. She has been known to try tippy-toeing away when we get a towel and dog shampoo. She tolerates the bath but just hates getting her face wet.

Other dogs we had in the past loved the water and baths.

Our first family pet was Cupcake. (Yeah! We let the kids name her and Cupcake was much better than Lemon Drop, the preferred name choice at the time.)

On cleaning day we just said “bath” and she would jump into the bathtub, waiting to get soaked.

She apparently liked being clean.

There was a time, just for fun, we had duck decoys in our pond. When my son Ryan visited, his two dogs Hunter and Luke would jump into the water and retrieve those decoys.

Then they would want to come into the house, soaked and muddy. surveyed veterinaries across the country to find out the 10 dog breeds that hate the water the most and the top 10 that love to swim.

Veterinaries ranked the Chihuahua as the most water shy. Others on that list included the Yorkshire Terrier, Bichon Frese, Maltese and Shih Tzu.

Those that love to make a splash are the Labrador Retriever, Golden Retriever, American Water Spaniel (duh!), Portuguese Water Dog (another duh!) and the Labradoodle.

Do you see a pattern here?

If you want to take a dog to the pool next year, get a big dog. It’s the little dogs that don’t seem to like the water.

The only big dog that vets said didn’t like the water were greyhounds.

Having been around a lot of greyhounds, I didn’t see that. After racing the speedy hounds on a hot humid day like today, the trainers would dip them in a horse tank to cool off.

According to a study (yes, they actually did a study on why dogs and other animals shake), dogs shake to get dry.

Biologists and mechanical engineers used high speed videography and “fur particle tracking” to record the peculiar shaking characteristics of 33 animals, including animals species and five dog breeds.

They found dogs can shake themselves at accelerations between 10 to 70 times gravity to get dry in mere seconds.

I disagree with the study. Having observed up to six breeds shake in my lifetime, I think they do it just to get us humans wet.

Contact Tim Horan at

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