Deputies Ask Woman in Dog Suit to Leave Surf Dog Competition

Published June 24, 2013 by Imperial Beach Patch.

At the request of Loews Coronado Bay Resort a woman was asked to leave the beach Saturday ahead of the Loews Surf Dog Competition, said Elizabeth Pearson, owner of IB Groomin’. The eighth annual surf dog competition took place Saturday in Pier Plaza and on the beach south of the pier.

IB Groomin’ had been a sponsor and vendor at the competition since 2009. The company’s logo is a dog with a surfboard in Pier Plaza but this year were asked to leave after Loews signed an exclusive contract with Unleashed by Petco.

“Loews used to ask if I was bringing the dog suit,” Pearson said. “Lots of people in the community like my dog suit; they like to see it there; kids come up and say hi.”

Earlier this month IB Pet, a pet shop across the street from IB Groomin’ in the Silver Strand Shopping Center in the 600 block of Palm Avenue, started a “SUPPORT LOCAL” T­shirt campaign after being told they could no longer take part in the competition. 

Instead of being involved a part of this year’s competition, IB Pet set up a booth in the Jersey Boys Diner parking lot across the street from the beach. IB Groomin’ also displayed a banner.

Pearson said she was not at the event to protest but to pass out flyers for Saturday grooming specials before the start of the competition. In the past dog owners who got soiled in the sand and waves often stopped by for a wash and cut, Pearson said.

After a few minutes a member of Loews staff asked her to leave, she said, and deputies asked her to leave three times over the course of an hour of passing out flyers.

“It was pretty overboard,” she said. “I understand that it’s about money. Petco sponsored them, OK, but I don’t even understand why we couldn’t show up on the beach and support competitors at the event. Our customers were participating in the competition.”

Loews Hotels declined to comment.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department Imperial Beach substation could not be reached for comment. 

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