Dog gatherings that involve the donning of costumes — for the pups, of course, though humans sometimes join in, if they're feeling it — tend to go in two directions.
Direction #1? A variety of dogs, from giganto to little to somewhere in the adorable middle, wear whatever costumes their people have chosen for them. The costumes cover the gamut, from cute vampires to cute dinosaurs to cute fairies to cute fill-in-the-blank.
Direction #2? One breed of dog, say corgis, gather in a special spot to gussy up in an assortment of outfits.
What to do, where to go and what to see
But there is a third way just ahead, at Imperial Beach in San Diego County, and it involves A) any sort of pooch who wants to show and B) a single costume theme, something of a rarity in hound-specific happenings.
The goal of the event? To get as many fin-rocking Fidos together as possible, and maybe ultimately to go for a Guinness World Record when it comes to the greatest number of "landsharks on the beach" ever gathered.
The world record attempt is happening from 11 a.m. to noon, on the sand, and not in the surf ("landsharks" is the operative word). And keep in mind that a hastily crafted cardboard fin, while not exactly water-worthy, is a-ok for Barknado's mirthful purposes. If you forget yours at home, look for Labrashark on the beach, which makes strap-on fins for fashion-minded pups.
But that's not the only thing afoot, or a-four-foot, rather: The 12th annual Imperial Beach Surf Dog Competition will be out on the waves early on July 29, with some 60 furry hang-ten-ers ready to try out some board action.
Hang-ten-ers? We mean hang-twenty-ers, of course.
The beneficiary of the briny, sunshine-doused, wags-and-licks lark is the San Diego Humane Society.
This isn't the only Surf Dog showdown of the summer: Surf City Surf Dog is still to come in Huntington Beach on Saturday, Sept. 23, which actually isn't technically still in the summer, but beach fans, and barker buffs, can count on temperatures to be balmy and summer-perfect for the famous event.