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Lifestyle & Human Interest

The Pictures Are Amazing: California Surfing Competitors Are Actually Adorable Dogs

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While California is known for its beaches and temperate climate, it’s also home to the Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, a competition held each year to benefit the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

Plenty of dogs living with their humans on the coast have visited the beach, and many enjoy playing in the water and chasing other dogs along the shoreline — but this competition is only for the most serious surfing dogs.

You may wonder how such a competition could even be judged, and it’s a valid question: Apparently the length of ride, the dog’s form and the dog’s enjoyment all factor into the determination of the prestigious “Best in Surf” title, according to People.

For those pups less inclined to take to the water, there’s also a costume contest to participate in.

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“The best dog surfing competition in the world!” the event’s Facebook page states. “This event raises awareness and vital funding for orphan pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center.”

This year dogs and their humans gathered at a dog-friendly beach in Del Mar on Sunday to see who would claim the title.

“LIVE 2021 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon Best-In-Surf,” an update from the Helen Woodward Animal Center read. “Here are the top surFURs from each category taking to the waves to compete in the final heats.

“Representing extra small dogs is Petey. The top small dog is Giselle. The head of the pack for medium pooches is Rothstein. And last but not least, the large dogs are led by Derby. Our extra large dog competitor is Teddy.

“This is their last chance for these doggos to shred it up and show the judges their potential for the top overall prizes!”

At the end of the day, the overall winner was an “extra small” dog with big heart.

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“PAW-abunga! Tons of spectators and over 50 surFUR dogs turned out yesterday for the 16th Annual Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon at Del Mar Dog Beach!” the animal center shared on Monday.

“The competition was RUFF but here are some of the top prize winners from the day’s activities: Best In Surf 1st Place: Petey.

“Best In Surf 2nd Place: Derby. Best In Surf 3rd Place: Rothstein. Costume Contest 1st Place Winner: Chicken of the Sea by Sir Ruffles Von Vicious. “

The day ended with lots of memories, some great prizes and fundraising to help the center in their goal to place more animals in loving homes — a win/win/win.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking