Nick Name: Beanlet, Beansie, The Bean
Weight: 25-28 Pounds
Owner: Jen Havens
Favorite Sports/Activities/Pastime: Surfing, Agility, Obedience, taking classes and learning new things therapy dog visits with friends at the Rosemead Library, playing and zooming on the beach, chasing frisbees, running with friends, swimming and hot tubbing.
Home Break: Huntington and Newport
Favorite Dog Beach: Huntington and Newport
Favorite Dog Park: Fiesta Island
Pet Peeves: Dog Friends without manners
Favorite Toy: JW crackle Ball, Chuck It, Olly Dog Frisbee, All Kong Toys
Favorite Food: The Honest Kitchen, Purina ProPlan Sport, Wellness Beef jerky, Natural Balance Lite treats. I'm kind of a foodie!
When Beans was 4 months old, she showed an unusual interest (for a whippet) in the water. I started taking her to the beach and every boogie board or surfboard she saw was fair game for her to jump on, so I got her a boogie board. At the time, I had a 3 ft x 8 ft pool up for water therapy for my shepherd mix, Bicycle, and Beans would float around on the boogie board during his therapy sessions. We started heading to the beach more often so she can feel the sand and get used to being around the ocean, and it never failed for her to hang out on random boards with random surfers.
I entered her into the Surf City Surf Dog competition in 2012, where I was planning on doing a couple of lessons with her to see if she liked surfing, but weeks before, she injured a foot and I decided to pull her from the competition.
During her recovery, we worked on her balance with the FitPaws Peanut, which put her interest in being on things even higher up on her dog list of things to do. It's near impossible for me to keep her off things like luggage racks, golf carts, surf boards, tables, shelving, unsteady piles of dog beds, etc., so I have used those things to improve her balance. The surfing is easy after balancing on a stack of crate pads 40 high!
In 2013, I entered her in Surf City Surf Dog and she placed 3rd in her weight class and Best Grom. It was a completely exhilarating and surprising day! I knew she loved to surf, but had no idea she would be good at it!
The fact that Beans is a whippet does not contribute to her being a surf dog at all. Beans only surfs because she loves to surf.
I have been continually surprised by Beans and her incredible strength, especially while she's surfing. She is not a natural surfer because her legs are long and thin, her crouch is limited, and she gets cold with every breeze.
Whippets were born to chase rabbits, on dry land, at extremely high speeds, not to balance on a piece of foam in the ocean. They only have about 2% body fat, so our biggest challenge as a surf dog team is to keep her warm while she's in the water, on the board, and as she is zooming onto shore.
For Beans to be completely comfortable, I take two days to get her acclimated to the water temperature and wind speed, prior to letting her surf longer than about 10 minutes. We do fun runs, too, but for her to enjoy a really fun surf session, she has to be able to stay out in the water for longer and not get cold. Her breed is definitely the biggest challenge.
As you can see, her wipeouts are stellar and her timing for those is pretty good, not the best way to score actual competition points. We continue to work on Beans not walking forward in the future, which means surfing backwards, her favorite! It's pretty exciting to have been invited to the PPPIDC and I really hope we are nvited again. We are so new at this and will keep on learning and practicing and having a great time!
Awards and/or Metals won Surfing:
2014 Purina ProPlan Incredible Dog Challenge Surf Dog Competition
Huntington Beach CA
2013 Surf City Surf Dog Competition Huntington Beach CA
3rd Place Medium Dog
Awards and/or Metals for other Activities or Sports:
Titles and/or Honors: Therapy Dog in Training
Dog's Website: http://www.beansthewhippet.com
Two Dogs Petsitting, GoodDogBeds.com, Sexy Beast Dog Collars, Upcycled Hound, H2O4K9 Stainless Steel Water Bottles For Dogs.
Click on any photo to enlarge or to go to link!