All Paws on Deck

Nixa’s dogs take to the water for one last swim before fall begins


Addison Eden

A black lab splashes in the shallow end of Nixa’s community pool

Addison Eden, Jr Photo Editor


Dogs Bark, water splashes and ears flop from side to side as man’s best friend takes to the water at the Nixa Community Center. Every year, the Nixa Center hosts its annual doggie dive-in, at which all of the dogs in or around Nixa can swim in the community pool. The dive-in happens on Labor day, and on that day the pups get to take over.
This year, the event was held on Sept. 6. Matt Crouse, the director of the Center, said that the usual turn out goes up into the hundreds.
“It does get really busy,” Crouse said. “So we typically average between 120-150 dogs, plus of course, their owners.”
Craig Finger, a Nixa resident who often attends the dive-in, went with his son Levi and their two dogs Watson and L.
“My youngest son, Levi, really gets a kick out of participating with both Watson and L,” Finger said. “L was more hesitant about the whole event so she was clinging to my son quite a bit. Watson is a water dog by nature so he does fine.”
Crouse said interactions between the dogs is one of the things that he looks forward to seeing most each year.
“Seeing all of the different dogs, watching them interact,” Crouse said. “Some of them don’t get out to see water very often. It’s kind of fun to see their interactions with the water and each other. It’s all the different dog breeds, how can you go wrong?”
The canines coming together can be interesting to see. However, it wouldn’t be possible if not for the sponsors. Sarah Bader from Seven Hills Veterinary Clinic said that she enjoys being a part of the event because of all of the dogs that she gets to see.
“This family and pet friendly event always has a great turnout and we enjoy seeing everyone with their pets,” Bader said. “The event is for the dogs but it’s also an opportunity for the community to come together who all have something in common — dogs. It’s a great time.”
Crouse said that his favorite thing about the community is their ability to come together for events like the doggie dive-in.
“I grew up here and Nixa’s camaraderie about everything is really cool, and the community usually comes together whenever they need to or even in an event like this,” Crouse said. “You don’t really see complaints. Everyone is just happy to be able to do something, so I think that’s a really cool part about Nixa.”
Next year, the doggie dive-in will once again be held at the Nixa Community Center on Labor Day.