Photo: Abbie is the longest competing surf dog in the world. (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
by Paige cockburn
The 10-year-old Australian Kelpie rescue dog has just taken first place in the World Dog Surfing Championships at Linda Mar Beach in California.
Abbie had a devastating start to life and was found on the roadside in the Silicon Valley, but was later adopted by Mike who introduced her to the beach in an attempt to rehabilitate her.
“We never planned this … originally we were just doing sports together as a way to bond because she had so much trauma,” Mike says.”She was even afraid of the dark and men, including me at first.
“But doing sports together I could actually measure how much closer we were getting … it built her trust in me.
“Since learning to ride the stick, Abbie has medalled in every competition she has entered and even set a new Guinness World Record for longest wave surfed by a dog — an impressive 107 metres.
But before this, it took some hard work from Mike to change people’s attitudes towards dog surfing and actually consider it a real sport rather than a novelty.
Photo: (Supplied: @abbiesurfs)
“We tried to push it to be more of a sport … but we did get accused of being competitive,”
Mike says.“However, now everyone is competitive! “The same people who were pissed off at us are now fighting for trophies.
“The transformation has been massive and the world of dog surfing has officially moved from a dress-up event in the shallows, to a truly athletic competition.”