For the dogs: Outer Banks Family YMCA holds fundraising pool party for pups

Published 3:43 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022

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The Soggy Doggy Pool Party brought pups big and small to the Outer Banks Family YMCA in Nags Head last Saturday for an afternoon of fun.

“It’s the highlight of our dogs’ summer,” said Celeste Curfman, who has brought her dogs to the party for the last several years. Curfman’s puppy Isla, a five-month old Chesapeake Bay retriever, experienced the party for the first time. She swam expertly in the pool on the warm afternoon and played fetch with her owner.

The YMCA has held this fundraising event for several years at the conclusion of the outdoor pool season. Before the pool is drained, dogs are invited for a swim for a $10 donation that goes to the Coastal Humane Society, an all-volunteer charity supported by community donations.

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Dogs ran, jumped in the pool, played catch and fetch, and frolicked as “Dancing in the Moonlight” and other jazzy tunes played on the speakers. Some dogs were shy and stayed close to their owners, while others joined right in like it was a high school reunion. Lifeguards stood close by in case of a rescue, but most of the less-agile pups came wearing protective vests.

The humans stayed back and let their pets play while they tossed tennis balls or lounged on the lawn chairs and chatted with other dog-parents. A few children in swim suits jumped in and joined in the fun.

Keri Williamson from the Coastal Humane Society ( passed out fliers for the organization. “This is a big dog community,” she said. For many families, there is a great need for support for the animals in Dare County. They offer spaying, neutering, low-cost pet vaccinations and emergency medical care. Fundraisers like these allows them to offer services at a low cost.