Dog Jam Stand Up Paddle Event for Dogs
By: Neil Pearlberg
Monday, 26 July 2010
As the owner of Rusty, a 5-year-old Australian Shepherd who's ridden surfboards and paddle boards since he was a puppy, I started thinking about holding a surf contest for dogs in Santa Cruz.
People often say, "I want to do that with my dog," when they see Rusty in the lineup.
What better way for them to try it out than to participate in an event?
Though I'd heard of other surf contests with dogs, the idea really started to stake shape one evening while I was watching the Westminster dog show on television. A dog show on flat water rather than a surf contest sounded like it could be entertaining and also much safer.
This unique canine event will take place Aug. 21 at the Santa Cruz Small Craft Harbor from 9 a.m. to noon.
I'm calling the DogJam the world's first dog show on water.
It will feature men, women and their favorite dogs on paddle boards circling in front of FF dock at the harbor. They'll be vying for the title of best in show. The competition will also benefit the Santa Cruz SPCA.
I was granted permission from the Big Stick Surfing Association's board of directors to put a twist on the name of its popular surf contest and local fundraiser the LogJam! --" and there you have it.
The DogJam! was born.
I hope this event will raise money for dogs less fortunate than Rusty. Since the downturn in the economy, the SPCA has seen a significant increase in people having to give up their dogs, according to
Santa Cruz coordinator Cathryn Boult.
"Veterinary bills, families relocating or losing their homes... we have had a steady increase of dogs that we have taken in," said Boult, who already has a plan for any money the DogJam raises. "It will go toward food, bedding and medical costs for our animals."
The SPCA will also be present at the DogJam with an adoption booth to inform spectators of its protocol for placing a dog into a good home.
The DogJam will feature local celebrity judges, as well as local surf dogs such as Tugboat, "Duke" Kahanamoku, Corgy Carroll, and Micky "Da Cat Named Dog" Dora who will be competing for maximum scores in categories such as most obedient, least obedient, best mirror image [dog/handler look alike], most original costume, and --" of course --" best in show.
The Santa Cruz Harbormaster is planning to use the event to promote safety for paddle boarders and dogs.
"We look forward to hosting this event that will bring something new to the harbor," said Harbormaster Chuck Izenstark. "Our focus, though, like everything we do, revolves around safety and wearing life jackets is of the utmost importance, even for your pets."
Boards, paddles, and doggie life vests will be provided. Entry is $45 and entry forms are available at Freeline Surf Shop and Covewater in Santa Cruz, or they can be downloaded at www.supclass.com .