Poppy, a shepherd mix, didn’t make the most graceful entrance as she leaped into the pool.
Brian Roeters — a manager with the Bone Adventure in Costa Mesa — couldn’t help but laugh.
“What was that?” he called out before turning to his cohorts standing poolside and shaking his head with a smile. “Too much pressure.”
Poppy, who got into the swing of things after a few more plunges, is one of dozens of dogs that have been testing their paws at the outdoor Swim Club that the Bone Adventure — a Costa Mesa-based dog grooming, boarding and daycare provider — opened recently at its Bristol Street location.
Designed specifically for human’s best friend — “This pool is for canine use only,” a sign emphasizes — the club’s L-shaped swimming pool measures roughly 50 by 35 feet. Its temperature-controlled water reaches a maximum depth of 4 feet.
The pool also includes a beach-style entrance complete with a sunbathing island and water fountains, and a platform for dock diving, a sport that tests how far and high dogs can leap. Various programs are offered, with varying prices.
The primary motivation for the Swim Club was to provide space where dogs can get used to the water, learn how to swim and engage in some aquatic acrobatics, said Diane Cuniff, president and founder of the Bone Adventure. But the space also provides an additional activity for pet owners and their furry friends.
“People are looking for things to do with their dogs,” she said. “They’re so many people’s children now.”
The pool area — which the Bone Adventure previously used as parking and storage space — opened in September. Since then, Roeters said, use has largely been based on word of mouth, but the organization is working to get the word out that the facility is ready for prime time.
Before diving in, pups attend a staff-led swim class to prove they can handle the depths. Life jackets are provided for beginners or breeds with a, shall we say, less-than-streamlined shape. (Looking at you, French bulldogs.)
On Thursday, a tail-wagging, tongue-lolling assortment of shepherds, Labradors and a life-vest-clad Doberman pinscher provided a drenching demonstration of the space — splashing and paddling to their hearts’ content.
“I think it makes people feel good that their dog is really enjoying their life,” Cuniff said.
IF YOU GO
What: Bone Adventure Swim Club
Where: 2700 Bristol St., Costa Mesa