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Pups from the community take a dip in the city pool

By Garrett Ammesmaki,


Nate Vander Plaats dog Jaeger swims during the Lennox Pooch Paddle on Aug. 22, 2022. Photo: Garrett Ammesmaki

The City of Lennox has officially closed the city pool for the season, but not before giving our local canine friends a chance to take one last (and first) dip.

Lennox’ first ever Pooch Paddle saw dogs from across the community take to the water for the evening of Monday, Aug. 22.

“Everybody loved it and had a fun time,” said City Administrator Nate Vander Plaats. “The kids had a great time, and the dogs obviously had a great time as well.”

He was there with his two dogs Jaeger and Pumba.

The idea for the pooch paddle isn’t new to the area. Many city’s do it to close out the pool season -- including Sioux Falls and Vander Plaats’ home town of Sioux City.

Sioux City uses it as a way to help fund their dog parks, something Vander Plaats said spurred the idea for the Pooch Paddle in Lennox.

“Using the event to help raise funds for a possible dog park is far off in the future,” he said, “but there is a lot of interest in it.”

The event was free for any dogs that were licensed and with City of Lennox tags and, while some of the pups were a little nervous to get into the water, others hopped right in.

One family that brought their faithful companion was the Droges.

Olaf is a golden Labrador retriever, and is the closest to a professional dock dog there is, having just won a competition this summer put on by the national organization Dock Dogs at Scheels in Sioux Falls. The 2-year-old placed first in the speed retrieve competition in Sioux Falls.

“He lives for it,” Kristi Droge said. “Olaf loves swimmiing and playing in the water, and it’s one of our family’s favorite way to spend time with him.”

The family was excited to see the city had the event this year.


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