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Dogs 'hang twenty' for charity event

October 11, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dozens of people descended on Huntington Beach Sunday for the first ever Surf City Surf Dog competition.Dogs are shaking off and showing off for the inaugural Surf City Surf Dog competition for charity.

Instead of fierce competition, the dogs are sharing the spotlight and even sharing the same board.

An 80-pound bulldog named Dozer and Abbie G. have only been surfing for a year, yet they've already achieved shredder status.

"She's better than me," said Michael Uy, who adopted Abbie G. after she was near death and rescued near Yosemite. Uy is passionate about raising money for organizations that help animals in need.

"There's a lot of designer dogs now, and people think they have to go to a breeder, but the dogs at the shelters can be just as great companions and just as talented, and they can surprise you in ways you've never thought of, and Abbie is a great example of that. I certainly never thought I'd be surfing with a dog," said Uy.

Even the little paws of a Pomeranian are proving they can hang twenty. Bobby Gorgeous wowed the crowd while sporting a Speedo and a life jacket that allows his owner to pluck him from the surf and place him back in his comfort zone.

"We started off just pushing him around in a pool on a boogie board, and he just loved it and we took him out here and he's enjoyed it ever since," said Damian Dauria, Bobby Gorgeous' owner.

The dogs are judged on a variety of skills including the length of their ride and the size of the wave and their confidence on the board.

"Whether he goes to the finals or not, the best part was that he was a part of this absolutely wonderful charity, and that's what it's all about," said Gigi Bagaporo.

Some of the proceeds benefit Help Patrick Walk, an organization set up for 15-year-old quadriplegic Patrick Ivison, who was hit by a car when he was just 14 months old. He's surfing with the help of Ricochet. The dog stands on his back and helps steer the board.

"The greatest part about surfing with a dog is kind of the looks we get, because I get funny looks when I'm surfing on my own, and now I've got a dog on my back so it looks even more bizarre. It's just fun," said Ivison.

It's fun for the participants and spectators. As for the surf dogs, they hardly need paws-itive reinforcement. Even after a wipe out, they're begging for more.

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