Water dog? Not. Swimmer? Not! Athletic? Nope.
But a funny thing happened, while overcoming the rescue-and-reject washing machine of life.
I am Elvis, the super low, super slow, long boarding surf basset. Hear me roar!
I wan't a natural athlete and I sure wasn't a natural born water dog. I hated water! I lug around a mammoth, beastly Bloodhound head, which, incidentally, barely fits my extra large brains and my extra deep emotions. And that big, square noggin' balances the super-wide-body, extra-large dog man that I am. It's not the lean surfing machine, like you see in magazines.
I'm basset built, solid, stocky and maybe just a smidge short. My signature basset hound low profile is the award-winning kind you see at Westminster. 2 inch tall legs give me incredibly low end power and keep me stable, riding waves. Low is good, when it comes to surfing!
My paws are like Ugg boots - wide, flat-bottomed, webbed - great on the sand. Who knew I was perfectly designed for surf? Goldens and labs, such natural born swimmers, are just too tall for good surf riding. I have the magic power of low CG, working for me.
Born far from the ocean, I was a "Zonie" from Arizona. I hated water - even/especially the hose... until that day that changed my life. I was rescued from the 110 degree heat of a Phoenix backyard by my fourth mom in my first year. I was scared of everything and had a little submissive urination thing going on. But I had heart (I still do,) and my new mom, a surfer, said I was a "keeper," no matter what. I wasn't sure I believed it, but here I am, 13 years later- living proof that you can reinvent yourself and begin again.
We lived on the beach in San Diego - and played and surfed and ran Dog Beach. It was Doggie Disneyland! The first leash-free beach in America. I was somebody! And I learned from the best - my step dog dad, Howdy Doody, a bassador, part basset, was the Dog Beach ambassador, a real TV star. Howdy got all the waves for years.
I mean, cowabunga, dude!!! You should try the surfing thing. Somewhere along the line, I just nailed it! Now, I'm a laid back surfer dude. I am addicted to hanging 20! It took years, but my Surf Dog Mom didn't rush me and I could have stayed a couch surfer. Ah, but the smell of the ocean! The killer good times with the pack on the beach! More than anything else, I found out, it's more fun to jump in - and ride along.
My first real surf ride was on a surfboard, riding behind a ski boat on the Colorado River. My mom had just spread the ashes of Howdy on the river. It was time to step up. So, I did.
I'm lovin' it! Get out there and surf whatever adventure you can find! What are you waiting for?
Elvis, Surf Dog Diaries Editor