Surfing Dogs Audition for Rose Parade Float

For the fourth year in a row, one sponsor is looking for surfing dogs to ride on its annual float in the upcoming 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade

It was surf’s up in Irwindale on Wednesday as Fiesta Floats held auditions to find cool dogs for its popular 50-ton, ocean-themed float in the 2012 Rose Parade.

The top dogs will ride the tide aboard the wave-simulating float filled with 7,000 gallons of water as it makes its way down Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena on Jan. 2.

Aspiring canine stars and starlets arrived with their owners early Wednesday for a spot on the 116-foot long float, certified as the world’s longest and heaviest float.

“We’re just going to show up, have a good time and get wet,” said Michael Uy, who brought his dog Abbie, an Australian Kelpie, to try out.

Kevin Silver brought his English bulldog, Harley, to the casting call.

“The wave came and brought her all the way down and she rode it all the way through,” said Silver.

Tillman -- the surfing, skateboarding, snowboarding bulldog from Port Hueneme -- made an appearance at Monday’s audition. The pooch even has his own trailer, for the downtime between runs on the surfing corridor.

“When he’s on the road, there’s often a lot of groupies outside,” said owner and trainer Ron Davis. “He’s in the major leagues and sometimes, he lets it show.”

Despite being credited with starting the surfing dog revolution, Tillman is no prima-doggy. The star of the show will appear in the 123rd Tournament of Roses parade alongside the winners of Wednesday’s tryouts.

Since Natural Balance Pet Foods started showcasing its dogs four years ago, the float has become a parade favorite.

To make the cut, dogs have to be able to handle the fame, Davis said.

“There’s going to be a million people screaming at you and cheering for you,” Davis said. “So they’ve got to be focused.”

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