Read: KUNC, 9/12/2022
By Lucas Brady Woods
Denver water park Water World closed for the season this weekend. But not before hosting Bow Wow Beach Doggie Day, an annual event on the last day of the season, where dogs get the run of the place — literally.
Despite some light rain, dozens of humans and canine companions of all ages showed up. The dogs didn’t seem to care much about the weather, though. One owner, Betty Bermudez, was there with her eight-year-old daughter and their Goldendoodle, Charlie.
“This is the wildest party I’ve ever been to,” she said. “I’ve never been to a party where all of the clientele is having this much fun.”
Two big wave pools were available for the dogs to play in, along with a bunch of fenced-in open space. Humans were not allowed in the water. There were also tons of tennis balls to go around and plenty of treats.
Dogs of all shapes and sizes were in attendance — to name a few — there was Bain, a massive, sweet-natured German Shepherd; Maude, a tiny and very curious Bulldog puppy; and Luna, a social terrier mix that was not a fan of the water.
But not every dog is a social butterfly, of course. For example, one named Bella was much happier viewing the crowd from the safety of her owner’s arms.
“She’s cold,” said Vicky Martinez, Bella’s owner, with a laugh, while her other dog, a wild-looking Pomeranian mix named Bubba, was sprinting around them, having a blast. Bella warmed up and soon was found enjoying a snack.
Although some dogs, like Bella, seemed unsure about the event, the experience of being around other dogs can still be beneficial, especially in a controlled environment.
John Luckey, a long-time volunteer with Riverdale Animal Shelter in Brighton, is also a regular volunteer at Doggie Days. He was on safety duty on Saturday.
“It’s a full-on dog party, but it’s not just all play,” said Luckey. “They’re all working on building that confidence. Being a good member of the community, getting along with everybody.”
He said, apart from a few harmless scuffles, everyone — dogs and humans — got along great. Luckey also said that, if past years are any indication, there would have been a much larger turnout if the sun was out.
Water World will open back up, for people, in the Spring.