Animals Ahoy: Pet Day on the Bay

Is your Maltese a mariner at heart? Head out onto the Pacific.

PUPS 'N THE PACIFIC: Dogs and H2O have a tight relationship that can only be accurately described as incredibly venerable and long-lived. Woofers and waters go way, wayyyy back, of course; canines several centuries ago splashed happily about in creeks and lakes, much in the way they do today. But while every dog loves her water dish (as long as it is kept full and brimming with clean water), not every dog seeks out the creek for splash time. That said, if the pup's person loves water, as in big water, as in the ocean, there are still ways to enjoy both the waves and the horizon and spending time with the hound. Oh, and, yes, raising money for hounds in need. It's the annual Pet Day on the Bay, and the bay in title is the San Diego Bay. Hornblower is the cruise line, and the beneficiary are the animals needing homes, animals currently cared for by Helen Woodward Animal Center of Rancho Santa Fe. Not only will those tickets-to-board help out -- they're twenty four dollars apiece and some of the proceeds go directly to the center's animal-directed efforts -- but everyone playing sailor for the day is asked to show with some comfy, clean-up cloth that's canine ready. In short? The day out on the bay is also a blanket/towel drive, so raid the linen closet or swing by a store on the way down. And that day out is...

SATURDAY, MAY 16: If you're worried that you have to dress up your Spaniel in sailor garb, you do not, though many a pup does arrive with a sort of a vague mermaid/captain/lobster theme going on, costume-wise. If you're also worried that your pup probably won't be down with a long, long day spent on a cruise, fret not: The bay spins are just an hour long. And there are three of them, too, starting mid-morning and ending at 1 o'clock. You'll see military ships up-close, birds of the water, a slew of San Diego sights from a fresh vantage point, and, of course, you'll snap dozens of pics of your pup. Because a pup on a boat? Dogs splashing about in creeks may be common, and dogs lapping from water bowls, too, but an animal out on the ocean is a rarer delight, a delight only outdone by the joy of giving back to growlers and other beasties in need.

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