Abbie G. — more than just a surfing dog
Earlier this week, we gave the scantest of mentions to Abbie G., an Australian kelpie who rode a surfboard 65 yards, setting a certified Guinness World Record.
Turns out, surfing is just one of the sports in which the five-year-old dog excels.
Abbie G. (The “G” stands for Girl) is also accomplished at paragliding, snowboarding, tree and rock climbing, sheepherding, and mountain biking.
Her owner, Michael Uy, adopted Abbie from the Humane Society Silicon Valley.
“She was the only dog in the shelter that didn’t go crazy barking when I walked in. She just stood there, studying me, and picked me right away. She was very traumatized, and classified as a ‘special needs’ dog.”
Michael told ohmidog! that, as he was leaving the shelter with Abbie, a staff member yelled out some final advice to him: “Get her out – take her with you to different places so she sees the world.”
“And that’s what I did,” Michael said.
They walked, they ran, they roller bladed, they mountain biked – and then they hit the ocean.
“One day she just got on a board. It went crazy from there.”
Michael is 41 and lives in San Diego, where he works in business planning and marketing. He describes himself as “a bit of an extreme sports guy.”
But he also has a refreshingly non-traditional philosophy about working with dogs, believing that the heights they can achieve have much more to do with trust than training.
“My work with Abbie has been all about teaching people to bond with their dog through sports … Dogs are naturally athletic animals. I teach that the secret to getting them to excel and enjoy spending time with their owner is to build trust, NOT training.”
“Unfortunately, most of dog ownership these days is all about training methods,” he said. “People ask me what kind of treats I use to get Abbie to surf, and I always respond, ‘Surfing IS the treat!’”
I like that so much I think I’ll repeat it: “Surfing IS the treat.”
Abbie’s high-flying achievements are also featured in new tourism campaign for the city of San Diego:
Posted by jwoestendiek September 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: abby, abby g, animals, australian kelpie, bond, bonding, dog, dogs, guinness world record, kelpie, michael uy, paragliding, pets, rescue, san diego, shelter, snowboarding, sports, surfing, surfing dogs, training, trust