Surfing Safely with Cleo, the 12-pound Mutt

I woke up yesterday all excited about entering Cleo, my 12-pound mutt, in the annual Loews Surf Competition staged at Imperial Beach, CA. Despite her size, she is a gutsy dog who loves, loves, loves to ride in waves on her surfboard. She is a proud member of the So Cal Surf Dogs. SurfBestPic62213-300x246

However, the waves were nasty and menacing at the event and there was also a strong current that was clipping photographers to their knees in the surf.  And, one 90-pound dog named Bodie, suffered a severe swollen back leg after his surfboard soared high in the air and landed on him, causing him to yelp in pain. As a master certified pet first aid instructor with Pet Tech, I was able to assess Bodie, wrap his leg in an iced bandana and help carry him into his vehicle so his pet parents, Kristi and Mark Jagger could take him to their veterinarian. Fortunately, no broken bones! (Learn more by visiting my pet first aid site: www.petfirstaid4u.com and I hope to see you in an upcoming class!)

I, like many people with small dogs, opted to withdraw from competition for safety reasons.  If the waves could hurt a big dog like Bodie, there was no way I was going to risk injury to little Cleo.  So, since my sister, Karen and nephew, Andy were visiting from Indiana, we went with Plan B:  we drove up I-5 to Ocean Beach Dog Beach were the waves were much calmer.  Here is a very happy Cleo catching a wave there.

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