Wine Country Dogs Hit the “WaterBark” in Sonoma County!

unday was hot and sunny but Sonoma’s coolest pooches kept refreshed and got exercise at the WaterBark fundraiser! It returns again September 24 and 25.

WaterBark raises money for the parks foundation. (Photo: Beth Schlanker/PressDemocrat)
WaterBark raises money for the parks foundation. (Photo: Beth Schlanker/PressDemocrat)

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Have we crossed the Rainbow Bridge to doggie heaven?

Nah, it’s just wine country!

As if Sonoma County, CA wasn’t already a phenomenal place to call home, its very own Spring Lake Regional Park recently hosted WaterBark on a perfect hot, sunny Sunday afternoon.

The canine play day also serves as a fundraiser for the Sonoma County Regional Parks Foundation.

Hundreds of eager pets enjoyed the temporarily fenced beach entry, raising $2,500 in the process. The dogs enjoyed sand and water and lots of soggy toys and sticks. They also made lots of noise; it is a water “bark,” after all.

“It’s a happy sound,” Melissa Kelley, executive director of the foundation, told the Press Democrat.

Elizabeth Anderson showed up with four pooches: two of her own and two others she was dog-sitting.

A local photographer will take photos on site. Photos will be for sale online at www.julievader.com. Half the proceeds will benefit the Parks Foundation.
A local photographer will take photos on site. Photos will be for sale online at www.julievader.com. Half the proceeds will benefit the Parks Foundation.

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“To give them something to do on a hot day,” she said, adding that there are “not a lot of dog-friendly water sources in this area.”

Sean Hoover brought Dexter, a 5-month-old German shepherd.

“This is awesome,” he said. “I think this is the most dogs I’ve ever seen.”

Bright green tennis balls and blue plastic discs, giveaways at the WaterBark’s gate, were well utilized.

Dog lovers can enjoy two more days of WaterBark before the month is out. (Photo: Beth Schlanker/PressDemocrat)
Dog lovers can enjoy two more days of WaterBark before the month is out. (Photo: Beth Schlanker/PressDemocrat)

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Kelley noted that the water is chlorinated, filtered and tested to assure no toxic algae is present. A hose behind back of the lagoon restroom building offered a place for post-play baths.

Are you an area resident who missed the fun? The WaterBark will return on Sept. 24 and 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Admission is $5 per dog for regional parks members; $7 for non-members.

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