She was going home with us. She was beautiful, healthy, active and happy puppy.
Gabi is always reminding me that I did not want this reject dog!
When Nani was one year old she was diagnosed with hip dysplasia.
She wasn’t in any pain or discomfort but had this awkward gait.
Several veterinarians and orthopedic specialists were consulted.
Various surgical procedures and medications were suggested and advised, but others suggested various physical therapies.
In the end, it was decided to try swimming.
We took Nani to Mission Bay. The idea was that I would paddle my kayak and Nani would swim behind. The only problem with this was that Nani would be crying the entire time. When I would pull onto the beach, Nani would jump into the kayak. So I ended up paddling her around the bay. The other dogs got wind of this and before you knew it, I was paddling three dogs around the bay. Clearly this was not going to work. (I was getting in shape, but this was never really the plan).
So, I tried swimming out 50 yards or so from the beach and would tread water as I waited for her (she wasn’t far behind). Again, she was crying the entire time. I think she thought he was drowning. So I would hold onto the nap of her neck and she would pull me back to the beach. This would be repeated a half dozen times. This turned out to be a pretty good workout.
When we visit friends who have pools, she runs right to their back yard and stands by the pool until we tell her “it’s O.K., go swim”.
She walks right in and swims a few laps. She loves it!
When I would go Surf Kayaking, Nani would run back and forth on the beach, you guessed it, crying the entire time. One time the kayak came back to the beach without me (this happened more than once) and Nani jumped in. So, I pushed her out into the surf, turned her around and pushed her into a wave. She sat there like Cleopatra all the way to the beach.
A close friend witnessed this curious behavior and told us about a surfing contest for dogs (The Helen Woodward Surf-A-Thon) and suggested that we sign Nani up.
The Helen Woodward Animal Center is a wonderful organization that rescues all sorts of animals and places them in caring homes.
The ‘Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon is one of several Dog Surfing Competitions in California that raises awareness and monies for various charities.
I thought she was nuts and didn’t give it much thought.
About six months later she called me to remind me that the surfing contest was coming up in two weeks and wondered if I was going to enter Nani.
We decided we would take her to dog beach in Del Mar that weekend to she if she could surf.
I have a Soft Top surf board we purchased at Costco for $99.00 to teach our friend’s children visiting from Germany.
I have been surfing for more than 45 years, so the Idea actually sounded like it might be fun!
I swear this is the honest truth.
I walked out into the water with Nani close behind.
I set the surfboard down in the shallow water and Nani jumped right up onto the surfboard.
I pushed her out through a few waves, turned her around and gently pushed her into a small wave. She rode that wave all the way to the beach.
We could not believe it! We tried again and she did it again.
When we got home, we signed her up for the surfing contest.
The day of the contest was a typically beautiful, sunny San Diego day.
We entered Nani in the extra large dog division.
She won first place (a gold metal) in her weight group and moved on to compete in the finals.
She won second place (a silver metal) over all. Not bad for two weekends of practice. Don’t forget, she has hip dysplasia.
Since then, we’ve entered several other dog surfing contest from Imperial Beach, to Huntington Beach, California.
All these events raise monies for charities are a ton of fun!
All these events draw large crowds and media attention from all over the world.
Every once in awhile, we take her Surfing just for fun. She loves it!
When she hears the sound of the Velcro of my board shorts, she goes nuts, she starts crying, jumping up and down, barking and starts nosing me towards the car.
This doesn’t stop until she’s on the board in the water.
I can’t tell you how many times people have come up to us to say it made their day to watch her surf.
She regularly draws a crowd.
They all want to know how we taught her to surf.
They can’t believe we didn’t teach her.
We don’t make her do this.
If she didn’t want to do it, we wouldn’t do it!.
I'm always watching her and am close by to be sure she’s O.K.
Now we make her wear a Canine Flotation Device (CFD) for safety and strongly suggest that anyone who wants to surf with their dog do the same. ‘Safety First!’
Nobody should force their dog to do anything they don’t want to do.
Nani and several of her So Cal Surf Dog Buddies were invited up to Zuma Beach, North of Malibu to film the new Marmaduke move.
Nani and Dozer are the first dogs you see surfing in the surf Dog Competition scene in the movie!
Nani and her So Cal Surf Dog Buddies participate in many Charitable events here in San Diego whenever they can!
There’s a better than average chance if you go to Dog Beach in Del Mar on any sunny weekend, you’ll see this very happy Bernese Mountain Dog surfing.
If this doesn’t make you smile, nothing will!
May 17th 2014 Begins her 2nd life as a SUP Dog!
December 1, 2016
NANI passes over the Rainbow Wave