California Canines Vie for the Title of 'Top Surf Dog'

Playing Surfing Dogs Ride the Waves in Style at Annual California Competition

Once a year, at a beach in San Diego County, a lot of dogs go surfing for a good cause.

There are big dogs, little dogs, pugs and pups, all of them united their in love for all things fiberglass, wax and waves. 

The 13th  Annual Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon in Del Mar saw a large turnout of furry contestants that rode their boards to vie for the honor of "Top Surf Dog 2018." 

"We got the mentality that we just go out there to have fun, we're not out there to really compete," said Kentucky Gallahue, who hit the surf with his dog, Derby.

He remembers trying to master the art of riding the waves, only to have Derby come trailing after.

“I was actually learning to surf when I got here and he kept following me out and I pushed him on a wave and he rode all the way in. I was kind of mad but proud at the same time because he learned how to surf before me.”

The yearly event raises money for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, a no-kill shelter that offers animals for adoption.

More than 70 dogs competed Sunday. Each were judged on their ability to ride a wave, stay on their board and demonstrate surf spirit. Ryan Rustan of Huntington Beach, with his dog, Sugar, won first place. In second were Surf Gidget the pug, and in Turbo the golden retriever pulled into third. 

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