Since my main focus at home is my dogs, I decided to include the dog cosplay fundraiser for the Helen Woodward Animal Center as part of the San Diego Comic-Con coverage. Held on Sunday, 17 July 2022 (10 a.m. to 2 p.m.), for the first time at the Town & Country Resort in Mission Valley (San Diego’s hotel circle), this wasn’t as fun as I hoped.
We opted for the VIP tickets which cost $10 more for each of us and supposedly put us at the head of the line and gave us T-shirts. There was, however, no line. We weren’t the first people there, but there was no line and there was no separate line. You must be sure to visit registration if you paid for entry into the costume contest even if you’ve received a confirmation for payment and have already given all the information about your costume entry, your pet and yourself. We were told it was better to do your contest entry and your admission to the event as separate transactions.
Held on artificial turf, there wasn’t enough shade and while there were freebies, that doesn’t include food for people. You’ll have to wait at the eatery closest to the parking structure. No outside food is allowed. The food is pricey.
There were four categories for dog cosplay: Super Heroes, Super Villains, Cartoon Canines, Pop Culture Pups and Dynamic Duos. The winners were predominately small dogs and could not necessarily move that much in their costumes. People decorated old popcorn vendor machines or dog buggies and many of the contestants bought their costumes.
There were activities for kids included. For an extra fee, you could enter a trivia contest which had three heats and a final. The photo ops were aimed for small dogs. The cut-out where you could put your or your dog’s head through was definitely too high for a larger dog. The background photo op did not have a covered ground or sides or even a table in order to accommodate medium to large sized dogs. There was also limited shade for dogs in the area around the stage. While the dogs could cool off in an air-conditioned green room, there were few chairs for humans there. Mostly you sat on the carpet. On stage, luckily although the wind blew down the signage, none of that happened while the dogs were on stage.
We’ve taken our dogs to other dog-centered events such as the Netflix activation for its limited series “Dogs,” two Barks & Brews events (even though neither one of us drinks alcohol), a dog walk fundraiser, a SDCC Petco Star Wars event and Wallis Annenberg PetSpace events. I’ve also covered a Pasadena dog costume party in the past. We’ve also seen pets at various cons and attended AKC and CPE canine events.
I’ve never visited the Helen Woodward Animal Center where last year’s Pawmicon was held but this isn’t a San Diego experience that I am likely to repeat. Cost for parking was a special $5.