Dog Days of Summer

Though Labor Day usually signals the end of the outdoor swimming season for humans in Colorado, today’s Festival of the Bastardino at Pirate’s Cove keeps the pools open for dogs. Now in its fifth year, the canine-only water party welcomes dogs of all breeds and sizes, who can jump, play and get wet in the City of Englewood’s water-park wading pools, lap pools and more.

“The dogs can’t get on the slides, but they can play just about anywhere else,” says Stacy Candella of Freedom Service Dogs, the event’s sponsor. More than 600 pups participated in last year’s swim, and the organization expects close to one thousand this time. There will also be food, music, doggy ice cream-eating contests, on-site animal adoptions, pet-centric vendors and live demonstrations by the Buckley Air Force Base K-9 Police Unit and Rocky Mountain Dock Dogs at the adjoining Belleview Park. The festival also serves as a fundraiser for Freedom Service Dogs, a nonprofit organization that trains rescued dogs from local shelters to work with individuals with disabilities.

The festival opens at Pirate’s Cove, 1225 West Belleview Avenue in Englewood, at 10 a.m. Entrance is free, but dogs have to pay $15 to play in the water; tickets are available at the gate. You can also pre-register online for jumps, which have set times of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. For more information, visit
Sat., Sept. 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., 2012


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