Early Sunday morning I dragged Briefcase out of the house to go watch the Surf City Surf Dog contest held at Huntington Dog Beach. My husband may not have been too enthused. It's horrible being married to me. If I weren't in his life, Briefcase would have slept away his weekend. (I'm really a lot of fun. I swear!)
The money raised by the dog surfing contest goes to help charities. What a great concept. The dogs have a blast. Their owners have a blast. The money raised is given to charity.
I had just arrived and the competition had yet to begin when I met, and fell instantly in love with, George. Briefcase didn't have a chance against George. Even though he looked a little hungover, George won my heart over the moment we met. (Please excuse the sand on his nose!)
George is a landseer Newfoundland. Newfoundlands are often called gentle giants. They have incredibly sweet dispositions. George and his owners are from Canada. When I first met George I thought he was at Dog Beach just to watch the other dogs surf. Later, to my delight, I discovered George would be competing in the surf contest. George had learned to surf just the previous day. George loves the water and his owner, Colin, thought George would enjoy competing.
Before I tell you about the rest of the surfing dog contest, let me tell you a little bit about George. George is a rescue dog. George was abused for the first year of his life. It's hard, and heartbreaking, to imagine anyone abusing a loving dog like him. His current owner adopted him from a shelter about six months ago when George was only one year old. George knew instantly he had found safety and love with Colin. The love between the two of them is palpable.
There were a lot of spectators at the surf contest. They watched their peers surf, and they kept themselves busy between heats also.
Here's a picture I took later in the day. George is outfitted in his life jacket and he's headed out to compete. Colin is leading him out to catch a wave.
George wasn't the best surfing dog of the day. He's new to the sport. Also, unlike the experienced surfing dogs, he did not have a custom made doggie surf board which lessens the likelihood of the dog falling off. George loves to swim though. He also loves to be on the surfboard, and even enjoys surfing. What he doesn't like is being away from Colin. When he sees himself surfing away from Colin he wants to jump off the surfboard and swim back to him. Considering the abuse Colin saved him from, can you really blame George for wanting to stay close to him?
There was a lot of media coverage of the dog surfing contest. This camera man very matter of factly asked this dog if he thought his chances were good for a win. I didn't hear the dog answer, but his posture seems to indicate he felt confident.
The judges made lots of notes. Dogs got more points if they surfed alone and their owners were not on the board with them. If a dog was tied to the surfboard they received less points. If a dog rode a wave all the way into shore they got a lot of points. If they stood while doing so, instead of sitting or laying down, they got even more points. Besides the length of a ride, dogs were also scored on their confidence while surfing and the size of the waves they rode.
Here are a few shots of the dogs surfing. The first is a bulldog named Dover. Bulldogs seemed to do very well surfing. There were several of them competing. They are heavy and low to the ground which helps a lot with balance.
This next photo is of an Australian Kelpie. Her name is Abbie. Abbie is a very good surfer.
There were a lot of great surfing dogs throughout the day. By far, though, George was my favorite. He couldn't wait to get out in the surf even if he's a novice to the sport. Here's a picture of George sizing up the competition.
To be honest, I was pretty tired by the end of the day myself.
© Twenty Four At Heart