Dog competition

San Diego Puppies Paddle for Surf Dog Surf-a-Thon – NBC 7 San Diego

Dozens of dogs showed off their surfing skills Sunday in Del Mar for the 17e Annual Surf-a-Thon for surf dogs. The annual contest raises funds for the Helen Woodward Animal Center.

But this year, organizers changed things up by hosting a special ceremony honoring shelter animals across the United States.

Most of the dogs on the beach Sunday morning were eager to get in the water.

“She loves the waves and it shows. She did very well,” said Connie Horn, a dog owner from Northern California. Horn says her dog Delilah has been surfing for nearly a decade.

“I’m so proud of her and of course we love the other dogs too, we all cheer them on but we want our dogs to win,” said Horn.

Delilah and her brother Samson are among the 70 Surf-a-Thon dogs. Dogs are judged on a variety of factors, including time spent on the board and the enthusiasm they have when riding the waves.

“I trust her, I think she’s going to do good,” dog owner Norma Santa Cruz said.

Santa Cruz said she used to go kayaking with her dog Diamond and they eventually switched to surfing.

“She likes it. In fact, when we come home, she doesn’t let the dogs near her board,” Santa Cruz said.

Some dog owners are quite competitive.

“It’s like your child. You are just encouraging them. Go on! Go on! Go on. Same thing,” dog owner Sam Garcia said.

In the end, the Surf-a-Thon testifies to the close bond between dogs and humans.