Going Rover-Board

Loews Coronado Bay Surf Dog Competition
WHEN: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 4
WHERE: Dunes Park/Beach, 700 Seacoast Drive, Imperial Beach
ENTRY FEE: $50
INFO: loewssurfdog.com

By Briana Currie

Fearless fidos and their beach-bound owners are hitting the water for another summer of the quintessential test of canine dexterity-dog surfing.

"The surf dog people, this is their life; every weekend they're out there with their dogs," says Wendy Slijk, whose Cocker Spaniel, TJ, learned to surf as a pup.

"TJ got the balance right off the bat," Slijk says. "He came off that board as a different dog, strutting up on the beach. If you do it really slowly and give them a lot of praise, it becomes a real fun thing, and they pick it up."

TJ and Slijk will compete in the sixth annual Loews Coronado Bay Surf Dog Competition, June 4 in Imperial Beach. The event includes

competitions for small and large dogs, plus a human-and-canine tandem surfing contest.

Also competing will be Peter Noll and his 90-pound Burmese Mountain Dog, Nani, who prefers riding bigger waves.

"Most people who aren't surfers or are not comfortable in the water won't go out where it's deep enough to push their dog into an unbroken wave," says Noll, who founded the group So Cal Surf Dogs (socalsurfdogs.com). "A couple of us do that, because we think that's the ultimate ride."

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