Dear Dog Diary: Ahoy mateys!
It's The Dude, looking Dude-delicious, on Dude Day, every day, all year long. The Dudester doesn’t need a reason to dress up, but it sure is nice of Halloween to make us seem just a little more normal.
Here's my own Pirate Dogs of the Caribbean look after a long day on the water.
We windsurf in costumes for Hood River's own King of the Hook - everyone here does. Even humans.
I used to wear Hawaiian print all the time - but since I went blind, I turned pirate. It's way cooler. My bro’s Elvis and Dude got into it, too.
No Halloween required!
Here we are, Dog River dudes, showing off at King of the Hook - windsurfing in costumes.
We went home with the “Style" award.
A little bling, a pinch of pirate, sew on some animal print -- and sha-zam -- the Dude's got game.
In May, I strapped on some cherry booty - and we surfed down the street for NW Cherry Festival. Here in Oregon, farmers grow tons of fruit.
Just FYI, my cherry swag isn't real - dogs get sick from eating cherries. But wearing them gets you big style points - we won 2nd place in the parade.
Wearing swag with swagger
Every year, the Surf Dog Diaries team surfs Portland streets with millions of other dogs and dog people at Doggie Dash.
Together, we show our true colors for Oregon Humane Society.
We want to end petlessness.
It’s just like they say - “there’s a furry soul mate for everyone.”
Now THIS is what pirates are all about.
SUPing (stand up paddle boarding) the mighty Columbia River.
Where the Columbia meets Dog River.
Totally true tale about surfing blind on Halloween
One Halloween a couple of years back, we were trick or treating in Vancouver, WA. We ran into the most amazing kids at Washington State School for the Blind.
We had so much fun hanging out, we went back to their school Halloween party.
The pirate ship - with three of us surf dogs on board, rolled right into the old brick building built in the 1800's.
You should have seen the scene in the elevator!
So, it went like this - we had to take the surfboard off the parade unit, cuz it was too big to fit.
My bro’s and I are crammed in the tiny elevator with our rig and our mom – we’re barely able to close the door. We took the easy way up.
Meanwhile, the surfboard was carried the old fashioned way, by visually impaired kids, up a couple flights of stairs, to the top floor.
The elevator door opens - and the kids were waiting for us. The blind kids beat us, surfing up stairs!
So we put the pirate ship back together and rolled into the party together. What an entrance!
Homecoming at Washington State School for the Blind
That Halloween, so many kids were petting and talking to me at the party. There was this top secret, extra special moment when… we really saw each other.
They could tell by feeling my face that I was blind. I don't know if words can describe how emotional that moment was. We were one. I felt like Homecoming King.
I missed those kids after we moved away. Now we only see them in winter, when it's blind ski day and they come out to surf snow on Mount Hood.
The beginning was 2011 - the moment I became a pirate surf dog.
I struggled with glaucoma for years - high blood pressure inside my eyes (boy, did that hurt.) One eye got sick and went to heaven. I could still see out of one eye, but later, it got sick, too.
Six weeks after eye surgery was my first chance to step back on the board. We hit the NW Cherry Festival parade with all we had.
No eyes – no problem
Trick or treat? My whole surf dog philosophy is this - ride those waves. Flat surf is boring.
Ride the ups and downs - live for the moment.
Use what you've got - don't whine about the rest.
Find your inner pirate. Act like it's supposed to be that way.
Show up – show off - don't chicken out.
Hey Elvis, Happy Halloween, big guy.
We sure missed you at King of the Hook this year.
I know you’re still wearing Hawaiian print in dog heaven...
Hood River is a totally rad surf community. It has super gnarly conditions, with big winds, waves and strong currents. Go big or go home.
So, while my vest (a.k.a costume) looks cool – it also could save my life. It floats. Wear yours. It’s Ruffwear – just like the name implies.
With a little of my own basset bling added, so you know it's mine.
Speaking of basset bling - here's my mom wearing her Coolest Dude Of All costume:
Me.Trick or treat!