Summertime is the funner time to be a dog around San Diego

by Skipper Lemlin
Loews Surf Dog- Buddy  | Courtesy Dale Porter, Loews Surf Dog Competition
Loews Surf Dog- Buddy | Courtesy Dale Porter, Loews Surf Dog Competition

Hey everybody, it’s me, Skipper, your Dog About Town, working on my tan and doing some summer chillin’! To humans, “Dog days of summer” might mean long, lazy days with not much going on, but for us convivial canines, it means time for plenty of fun in the sun at beaches and dog parks. It means lots of opportunities for socializing and strutting our stuff at benefit events to help other dogs find homes as amazing as those that we have. 

Surf’s Up!
Did you know that the San Diego area is home to TWO world-famous dog surfing competitions? (Yes, dog surfing is a thing!)  At the Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition on July 28, approximately 70 surFUR dogs will ride the waves and raise funds for the San Diego Humane Society. I’ll be there next to the IB Pier along with about 3,000 other spectators, cheering on the competitors who always seem to TOTALLY love surfing. Then, on September 9, the Helen Woodward Animal Center (HWAC) sponsors the 13th annual Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon at Del Mar Dog Beach, where about 80 dogs will be shredding those waves and benefiting the orphaned pets at the Center. It looks like so much fun that I might take some surfing or stand-up paddleboard (SUP) lessons given by SoCal Surf Dogs throughout the summer, with class fees also helping HWAC.

Is Everybody Yappy?
At Yappy Hours, you’ll find me schmoozing with Schnauzers, lapping libations with Labs and having a bite of biscuit with Bichons. My favorite YH happens every Tuesday from 3–7 p.m. on the patio at Moray’s, at the tropically-inspired Catamaran Resort on beautiful Mission Bay. While my human and her friends sip specialty cocktails like “Greyhound” and “Salty Dog,” I can munch complimentary treats and hang out with all my fur pals. You can also find me downtown at the Patio Marketplace at Hotel Republic on Thursday evenings from 4–7, where I can quaff “puppy beer” (homemade broth), or in Point Loma for Woofer Wednesdays at The Wine Pub, which raises funds for Rover’s Retreat, a great local rescue organization for homeless, sick, abandoned or elderly dogs.

Work It!
To maintain my handsome physique, I keep in shape by running on the beach and doing the occasional exercise class. San Diego County has three 24-hour leash-free dog beaches, and I’ll be “hunting” kelp and chasing my ball almost every day at Ocean Beach Dog Beach or Fiesta Island on Mission Bay. Coronado also has a great oceanfront Dog Beach at the very northern end, abutting the Navy base. At Del Mar’s North Beach, aka Dog Beach, dogs must be leashed in the summer, but from Labor Day until June 15, it is designated leash-free. At Leash Your Fitness classes, the brainchild of
personal trainer Dawn Celapino, my human and I work out together. We do yoga (I’m so good at Shivasana, and of course, Downward Dog), run obstacle courses and sometimes do circuit training, but it is always fun together.

ComicCon might be a big deal for humans in San Diego, but for me, I’m all about PawmiCon, held at Hazard Center on July 15 from 10 a.m.–2 p.m. The family-friendly event includes carnival games, treats and goodies for both dogs and humans. The best part is the PAWSplay Costume Contest when I can dress like the superhero I know I am! All funds raised go to the pets and programs at Helen Woodward Animal Center.

So grab your best buddy and join me about town. And, even if you aren’t fortunate enough to share your life with a canine companion, come anyhow, and maybe you’ll even find some puppy love.

Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition: surfdogevents.com/imperial-beach
Helen Woodward Dog Surf-A-Thon: animalcenter.org/surf-dog-surf-a-thon
SoCal Surf Dogs: socalsurfdogs.com
Helen Woodward PawmiCon: animalcenter.org/events/pawmicon
Catamaran Resort: catamaranresort.com/yappyhour
Leash Your Fitness: leashyourfitness.com

Leash Your Fitness Yoga
Leash Your Fitness Yoga
Ocean Beach Dog Beach
Ocean Beach Dog Beach