Matt Gohlke / Pools

When my sons were both young, something happened that made me realize that I am a dog lover. Our yellow Labrador retriever, Ellie, died suddenly after 10 years of providing our family with constant joy and me with a running partner.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

This has been a relatively mild summer thus far — especially compared to the last few summers we’ve experienced. But one concern we’ve had to deal with for the last few years is limited rainfall. The current drought, combined with the continued influx of new residents to North Texas

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Independence Day weekend is traditionally the biggest weekend of the year for swimming pool use. If you are the pool owner, hopefully by now your plans are in place for this weekend — the yard is mowed, the food is planned, the guests are invited and the pool is ready.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Most area schools let out for the summer this week. As a matter of fact, all three Denton high schools — Denton High, Ryan High and Guyer High — are holding their graduation ceremonies today. Congratulations to all students on what I hope was a great year, but a special congratulation to this year’s graduates.

Matt Gohlke/ Pools

Even with the long, hard winter that we had in the Denton area, we knew that it was just a matter of time before it warmed up. Although summer officially begins this year on Saturday, June 21, most are already enjoying outdoor activities.

Matt Gohlke/Pools

It’s been just a few weeks since we heard the phrase “polar vortex” for the first time here, and only days since we experienced “thunder sleet,” so it seems surprising that it’s now time to talk about swimming pools.

Matt Gohlke

Matt Gohlke/Pools

After a number of years, pools can become outdated and in need of a renovation. Some pool owners desire minor changes and some desire dramatic overhauls.

Matt Gohlke: Aquatic exercise good choice for new year

As we begin this new year, we are given a fresh start and many times a fresh outlook on what we want to accomplish in the future. Oftentimes this includes looking to the past to determine if there are things that we would change if we were able to do so.

Matt Gohlke: Evaluate pool when buying a property

With the hot real estate market we’ve had lately, many of us in the swimming pool industry are often faced with a question: Is it a good idea to purchase a house with an existing swimming pool? The answer is: It really depends on several factors.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

One area that is often overlooked by designers is backyard and pool area lighting. Backyard lighting can be beautiful, and it can be enjoyed year-round.

Matt Gohlke/Pools

What a late summer it was, with September starting out very hot and dry. But it has finally started cooling down — and we even received some rain! And although we don’t know what this winter will bring, we do know that we will soon have periods of cold weather.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

This has been a relatively mild summer — especially when compared to the last few summers that we have experienced. But one concern that we have had to deal with is limited rainfall.

Matt Gohlke: Tips offered to cool pools

Although this summer appears that it will be much milder than the last two summers, it is still hot this time of year. Traditionally one of the solutions to dealing with the summer heat is the cool enjoyment that a swimming pool can provide. That is not always possible in August — as pool water tends to heat up, oftentimes past the point of being refreshing.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

The July Fourth weekend is traditionally the biggest weekend of the year for pool use. If you are the pool owner, hopefully by now your July Fourth plans are in place (or are least close to being in place) for your guests. If you are anything like me, you prefer to follow a list to be sure that everything gets done. Following is a checklist to assure that your July Fourth pool party will be one to be remembered.

Matt Gohlke: Maintenance key to pools

School is out for the summer. That means kids get to enjoy the breathtaking feeling of freedom unlike any other. There is nothing in adulthood that can compare with the feeling of freedom that kids have when walking (or running) out of school on the last day.

Matt Gohlke / Pools: Tips offered to help improve water safety

In recognition of the popularity of swimming and other water-related recreational activities in the United States and the resulting need for ongoing public education on safe water practices, May has been designated as National Water Safety Month.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

What will the weather be for the next few months? Pete Delkus, chief meteorologist at ABC affiliate WFAA-TV in Dallas, showed a weather pattern map on March 28 that provides some insight on what to expect. The map indicated that the Dallas-Fort Worth area forecast for the months of April, May and June would be normal rainfall and above-average temperatures.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Most pool builders are asked one simple question more than any other that they hear, and it is: “What is the best time of year to build a swimming pool?”

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Wouldn’t it be great if we could accurately predict what the weather would be for North Texas for the next few months? According to the 2013 Old Farmer’s Almanac, we have some interesting weather coming for the Texas-Oklahoma region: “The snowiest periods will be in early to mid-February and early March. April and May will be wetter than normal, with temperatures below normal in the north and above normal in the south. Summer will be cooler and a bit rainier than normal, with temperatures below normal in the north and above normal in the south.”

Matt Gohlke / Pools

What a year 2012 was! Between the West Nile virus, the presidential election, the fiscal cliff and other events and tragedies, many of us are just ready to escape from it all.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Having trouble deciding on a gift for that person who is difficult to buy for? You know, the person who has everything.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

If you have ever viewed a satellite image of Denton or have flown over the city in a small aircraft, two things are very noticeable: There are quite a few swimming pools in Denton, and there are many trees in most areas of the city.

Matth Gohlke / Pools

It would be great if we knew exactly what the weather was going to be this winter. But unfortunately, we do not. The best that we can do is look at long-range weather forecasts and then base our decisions on these forecasts. According to The Old Farmer’s Almanac 2013, following is the weather forecast for the Texas-Oklahoma region: “Winter temperatures will be slightly colder than normal, on average, with precipitation and snowfall near or a bit above normal. The coldest periods will be in early to mid-February and early March.”

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although Dallas and Tarrant counties have been all over the news recently with more than 200 West Nile virus cases each, those of us in Denton County have not escaped, with 118 people infected with the virus as of Thursday afternoon.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although this summer is shaping up to be relatively mild, the hot weather can create problems for swimming pools even when a routine pool maintenance program is followed.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

With the Fourth of July falling on a Wednesday this year, you may see a wide range of dates for Independence Day pool parties. Some people are selecting this weekend to celebrate, some prefer the actual holiday in the middle of the week, while others are opting for the weekend after.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although summer officially begins June 20, for most of us it has already begun. I have always considered summer beginning when the kids get out of school, which happened this week for most area schools. There are so many things to look forward to as summer begins — spending time with family and friends, summer camps, Six Flags, Rangers baseball, not having to wake up early … the list goes on and on.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although swim season started early this year because of the warm weather that we have recently experienced, Memorial Day weekend is traditionally considered the beginning of swim season.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

Although summer doesn’t officially begin until June 20, the recent warm weather seems to have many pool owners excited about a long swim season this year.

Matt Gohlke: Unexpected warm weather good for early pool prep

So how ’bout that weather? Do you remember last winter? What I remember most vividly about last winter is Super Bowl week in early February when we received more than our fair share of winter weather all in one week — virtually immobilizing the Dallas-Fort Worth area as the world watched. But this winter was completely different — very mild and enjoyable, perfect for spending time outdoors.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

As the years pass, pools can become outdated and in need of renovation. Some pool owners want minor changes; some prefer dramatic overhauls. The availability of new products and materials that weren’t available when the pool was constructed can mean the renovated pool looks better than it did when it was new.

Matt Gohlke / Pools

After last summer’s record-breaking heat, many homeowners have already decided that they are not going through another summer without a swimming pool. For some, this will be one of the best decisions that they have ever made for their family. But for others, it will not work out quite like they envisioned.