What do dogs dream about? Chasing squirrels? Raiding the pantry? Nobody knows, but it’s a good guess that the So Cal Corgi Beach Day is a hound’s dream come true. Music blasted while hundreds of corgis, many dressed in costume, ran freely through the sand during last Saturday’s event. Armies of corgis dug holes and chased each other while their human companions circled around them, gushing with appreciation every time something cute happened — which was often.
The So Cal Corgi Beach Day is put on three times a year for corgi-lovers in the Southern California area. The event is organized by Kelly McLemore and her husband, who started the triennial event in October 2012 because of their desire to meet other corgis and corgi owners.
“We really love corgis, and we wanted to hang out with other people that did, too,” McLemore said.
Jessica and Derek have been attending this celebration for two years now; last Saturday was their fourth Corgi Beach Day. Naturally, they bring their corgi Barney along, who was festively dressed for the occasion in a hot dog outfit.
“I want him [Barney] to hang out with other corgis and take pictures. It’s really cute,” Jessica said.
Adding to the fun, the event featured a kissing booth where owners could get their picture smooching their pooch, a corgi talent contest, a costume contest, a corgi limbo contest, a corgi butt contest, a “corgi-kini” contest and a machine which gulped out bacon-flavored bubbles for the dogs to nip at, while food trucks and merchandise vendors offered something for human guests. The turnout was impressive, despite rain in the early part of the day and cold weather the rest of the afternoon.
The winner of the corgi talent contest was Sweeney, who caught a toy and then tossed it back into his owner’s hands with a flick of his head. His prize was a smart feeder donated by Petnet.
Taco, a corgi dressed as his namesake, complete with a sombrero, competed in the corgi costume contest. He lost out to a corgi dressed as a meatball, but redeemed himself by placing third in the corgi-kini contest. This was Taco’s first Corgi Beach Day. His owners, Matt and Therese, had attended the event a couple times before and their positive experiences finally persuaded them to buy a corgi.
“We love corgis, we love the breed, so we wanted to check out the dogs before getting Taco,” Therese said.
In Japan, corgi butts are called “momos” because they resemble peaches, which was the origin for the day’s “momo contest,” or the best corgi butt. With tiny wiggling tails, stumpy back legs and voluptuous, white fluffy fur, corgi butts are well-loved by both the internet and corgi owners. Apparently they are valuable too, since the winner of the contest received a prize package priced at $150 from Bark’N’Borrow, a sponsor of the event.
At the first So Cal Corgi Beach Day, there were only 15 dogs. Now around 850 dogs come to the beach on the given day in the summer, spring and fall. McLemore spread information about the event through Facebook, and over the years the group has gained a significant following and media attention. As the fanbase grew, McLemore began selling merchandise. Now people can buy “So Cal Corgi Beach Nation” hats, t-shirts, and towels online. A portion of the proceeds earned are donated to Queen’s Best Stumpy Dog Rescue, a local humane society.
Corgi enthusiasts who missed last Saturday’s festivities need not live forever in regret, for hundreds of little canines will again frolic on the sand on July 2. The summer Corgi Beach Day is scheduled to take place at Rosie’s Dog Beach. Corgi owner or not, everyone is welcome to attend in a celebration of dogs and their friendships with humans.