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Surf’s Up
Canines ride the waves in San Diego for a good cause.
A dog learns to ride the waves at Helen Woodward Animal Center's surf clinics.

After writing last week about pet friendly cities, I started reading more about San Diego’s Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon. The annual event invites both humane and canine surfers to Del Mar’s dog beach to raise money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center and to promote responsible pet ownership.

The participants raise money for homeless animals based on the number of waves they catch in 30 minutes. The event isn’t until September 13, but organizers expect more than 100 pups to participate from as far away as Japan.  

Not sure if your dog has what it takes? Helen Woodward Animal Center has organized training clinics so your four legged beach bum can learn how to ride the waves. The next session will take place on August 16 and 22 from 9-11 am at Del Mar’s dog beach. Surf boards are provided, but instructor and dog trainer, Rob Kuty, recommends bringing a canine life jacket.

Do you think your pets would like surfing?

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JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by Michael Schrager.

CommentsPost a Comment
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Submitted by Lisa Wogan | August 11 2009 |

I've seen dog surfing, when I witnessed the thrills and skills of Buddy, a surfing Jack Russell Terrier in Ventura, California. (Shameless plug: I wrote about Buddy in my book, "Unleashed: Climbing Canines, Hiking Hounds, Fishing Fidos, and Other Daring Dogs.") I was a little skeptical going in; convinced the surfing was a gimmick and that no dog could like the instability of the board. Boy, was I wrong. Buddy was out-of-his-mind to hop on that board and he vibrated and barked with pleasure the entire time he rode the waves. Still-photos don't do dog surfers justice--check out this video of Buddy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNfwuM99mrk

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