The thermometer was pushing 80 and the sun was beating down, but Rosie was not about to jump into that pool.
A floating toy and the cheers of dozens of humans, including her own, wasn't enough to convince the Boston terrier that this was the best way to cool off. The year-old brown and white pooch preferred lounging on a nearby grassy knoll and watching the professionals maneuver the intimidating waters.
The pool — part of an exhibition called Dock Dogs — was the primary attraction at General Mills' Puppy Fest, celebrating Bring Your Dog to Work Day on Friday. The event, in its third year, was much bigger this time as the company used the event to help usher Blue Buffalo Pet Foods into its family of businesses.
Dock Dogs is sponsored by Blue Buffalo, a premium pet food maker, as a way to build brand awareness. The company, having completed the $8 billion Blue Buffalo acquisition this spring, brought the exhibition to its Golden Valley campus so employees at its headquarters could also get to know the brand better.
More than 150 dogs and 450 employees enjoyed ice cream treats, suitable for both humans and furry friends, and puppy photo booths. Several pups were available for adoption.
After Rosie, owned by Mark Kolkmann, an employee at General Mills' Chanhassen plant, and other "amateur" dogs made the attempt, the professional Dock Dogs showed them how it was done by leaping fearlessly after flying toys and landing in the pool.
The Blue Buffalo deal was General Mills' second-largest acquisition in history and marked the packaged-food company's re-entry into the pet segment following a 50-year absence. The only deal larger was the company's purchase of Pillsbury in 2000 for $10.5 billion.