North Texas Daily

4-legged friends, local vendors make a splash at Dog Days of Denton, V.I.Paw Access pool party

4-legged friends, local vendors make a splash at Dog Days of Denton, V.I.Paw Access pool party

4-legged friends, local vendors make a splash at Dog Days of Denton, V.I.Paw Access pool party
September 18
09:10 2023

A line of tents housing local vendors past the Quakertown Park bridge led the way to the main stage where a costume contest was taking place. Proud owners adorned their furry companions in outfits and costumes ready to strut in front of the crowd of smiling attendees.

Every year, thousands of people from across the DFW Metroplex attend Dog Days of Denton. The event features fun activities like a doggie bandstand, a canine couture costume contest and a splash-off contest at the Denton Civic Center pool. Dog owners can also buy a ticket to the V.I.Paw Access pool party so their dog can access the pool and swim.     

 “We have a really strong community fabric,” said Tim Smith, Denton Parks Foundation volunteer board member and a director at the foundation. “It’s always fun because there are many different people that we know from different walks of life, […] it’s a fun way to reconnect with people that we already knew.” 

The funds from ticket sales to the V.I.Paw Access pool party go towards the North Lakes Dog Park. When dog owners buy a ticket, they get access to the Denton Civic Center pool, Triple Play Beer Garden, a ‘wag’ bag full of goodies, a commemorative V.I.Paw t-shirt and a voucher for one Triple Play beer. 

Dog Days of Denton has been going on for 29 years and started as an event dedicated to naming and celebrating the pet mayor of Denton. City pet mayors are elected every two years and are usually a pet that is well known in the community. The Denton Parks Foundation adopted the Dog Days of Denton event in 2021.

“Denton is a really unique place where we make it into a big event to be able to support the parks department. Specifically, it helps fund the dog parks in Denton,” said David Sublett, volunteer coordinator of the Denton Parks Foundation and financial advisor at Modern Woodman.  “It’s this really cool intersection of community, supporting local government and having a really fun Denton-like experience. Other cities do this too, but not to the scale with community turnout.”  

In addition to Dog Days events, local vendors also provide attendees with information on how to better care for their dogs. Dove Creek Animal Hospital is a privately owned small animal clinic based in Denton and this year was their first time as a local vendor at Dog Days of Denton.  

“I love the Denton community,” said Dr. Gabrielle Pagano, small animal veterinarian and university alumna. “I love the people that we get to serve at the clinic. So being a part of something that benefits Denton itself […] I think it’s really important.” 

The clinic help dogs in Denton get back to or stay in good health and live their best lives. When it comes to keeping a dog in good health, Pagano advises owners to keep their dogs up to date on required vaccines and schedule routine checkups. This allows vets to catch and monitor any diseases early and administer treatment before the condition worsens.  

JP Dog Training School was voted Best of Denton County 2023 and was a vendor at the Dog Days of Denton event. The dog training school is owned by self-taught dog trainer John Pontius. 

“They feel safe and feel loved if you lead them,” Pontius said. “I couldn’t give up on that dog because everybody else had.” 

Some of the pups who were present had been through difficult times, like Eileen, who was adopted by City of Denton lifeguard and swim instructor Sophie Moore. The five-month-old puppy was adopted right after she had to get a leg amputated due to being poorly taken care of by her first foster family.

Eileen’s amputation it did not stop her from running around with the other dogs at the V.I.Paw Access pool party. Moore brought her dog out to the event because she loves swimming. 

 “My little one sometimes likes to swim,” Moore said. “So I wanted to try it out with her and see if she really enjoyed it. She does not care that she only has three legs. She doesn’t let it stop her.” 

Featured Image: A dog splashes in the pool at the V.I.Paw Access Denton Dog Days event at the Civic Center pool on Sep. 9, 2023. Alaina Jones

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Erin Runnels

Erin Runnels

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