Dogs Head Out to Sea (with Their People)

Pet Day on the Bay is one of San Diego's quirkiest pup events.

HOUNDS AT SEA: The phrase "California is quirky" is so obvious and true. It is like saying "the sun is hot" or "the woods have trees." Factual, is what we're saying. Historians and humorists and general observers have connected this trait to a lot of factors, but let's call it an overriding agreement to live and let live that we all go by 'round the Golden State. That quirkiness extends to our beloved pets, too -- no need to keep it all to ourselves -- meaning that pet dress-up opportunities happen pretty much every weekend at some California location. But those tend to be on land, for the most part, except for one notable party. It's Pet Day on the Bay, which is an opportunity to take a Hornblower cruise off the San Diego shore with your first mate -- er, mutt? -- at your side. And further proving our "California is quirky" assertion? Many of those dogs arrive dressed in full sailing regalia.

DATES, DETAILS, DOGS: The next Pet Day on the Bay is on Saturday, May 18. Dogs are free with their people, but humans have to buy a ticket. Cost? $24. There are a trio of boats leaving during that morning, so you'll want to book ahead with your choice. The narrated cruise lasts for an hour, but, let's be honest here: You're going to spend a heck of a lot of time taking pictures of your pup on the boat. So we're just saying you should go all out in the quirky costuming route (most people do go with a sailor hat thing, so we say stick a few tentacles on your hound and dress 'em as an octopus or as something else below the waves). We like this day because it raises money for pets in need, via the Helen Woodward Animal Center, but it takes our quirky pet love one step further. Plenty of other states can throw their offbeat animal events, but few states have the Pacific at their door. Why should we take our dogs out on it, for one day a year?

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