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New dog pool makes big splash in town

March 23, 2009

Town of Oconomowoc – A new dog training facility offering a unique amenity for area pooches is causing quite a splash.

Think Pawsitive, on the west side of Oconomowoc at N58 W39835 Industrial Road, provides a large swimming pool for pups that offers exercise and conditioning.

"I do puppy and adult classes that offer basic manners and agility classes. The big thing is the indoor swimming pool," said Katie Oilschlager, owner of Think Pawsitive.

"It gives them mental stimulation and exercise. Sometimes dogs come in with an injury they have, and they're using the pool as part of the rehab; others are doing it just for fun," she said.

The pool is 32 feet long by 16 feet wide and is 4 feet deep. It is surrounded by a deck and a ramp that provides easy accessibility.

"If dogs are doing it for rehab, they might be a little nervous at first," said Oilschlager.

"But it's warm – the water is kept at 86 degrees – and they can maneuver well, so it feels good. All dogs wear a life preserver, which gives them buoyancy. It's low impact and we assist the dog, show them how to use their body to keep level," she explained.

Pool sessions are available by appointment in 20- or 50-minute segments. Day, evening and weekend appointments are available. Class size is kept small to offer personal attention.

"If there are two dogs from the same family, or two friends come, but we take three at the most in there," Oilschlager said.

Dogs have to be up-to-date on vaccinations and have no issues that prohibit them from swimming. Think Pawsitive provides towels and a rinse-and-dry station.

"Response has been very good. A lot of people are traveling a distance" to take classes, she added.

Oilschlager said the agility classes build confidence in the dog and rear-end awareness.

"Ninety percent of dogs don't understand they can use their rear separate from their front. If we teach them to power off from the rear rather than the front, it saves wear and tear on shoulders, biceps and triceps," she explained.

"Agility classes do a lot with confidence, introduction to equipment going through tunnels, going up and over things, standing on things that move. It doesn't matter the age of the dog; any dog can have that confidence level," Oilschlager added.

"It is a great way to strengthen the relationship between the dog and the owner; it's very reinforcing," she said.

The 7,200-square-foot facility also offers grooming services, canine massage therapy and scheduled activities and workshops.

For more information, visit the center's Web site at www.thinkpawsitivedog.com.

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Weekend Happenings

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Junk in the Trunk Group Rummage Sale: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Oct. 25, St. Jerome Catholic Church, 995 Silver Lake St., Oconomowoc. Over 30 families selling new and used items. Fundraiser for the eighth grade Washington D.C. trip this spring. www.stjerome.org/index.php.
Petlicious Annual Halloween Costume Contest: 12-2 p.m. Oct. 26, Petlicious Dog Bakery & Pet Spa, 2217 Silvernail Road, Waukesha. For Elmbrook Humane Society. Judging for best pet/owner theme, best pet costumes also dog food demonstrations, treats for dogs and humans, doggy ice cream, raffles, rescue groups and vendors. $5 donation (262) 548-0923.
Kinder Oktoberfest: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Oct. 25, Fowler Lake Park, N Oakwood Ave, Oconomowoc. Event is a celebration of German culture and cuisine and includes live music, games, and German treats such as brats, sausages, pretzels.
International Food Festival/Dinner: 4:30-7 p.m. Oct. 25, North Prairie United Methodist Church, 107 N. Main St., North Prairie. Sample seven ethnic foods. Dinner includes pie and beverage German potato salad and red cabbage, pasta shells, Greek salad, curry chicken, Swedish meatballs, pasties and pollo guisado. $10 adults, $9 seniors.

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