Amusing Monday: Deaf pit bull gains confidence while learning to surf

Every year about this time, dogs mount their surf boards to ride the waves in various surfing competitions, and each year new stories seem to emerge about human-canine bonds that grow out of this unusual sport.

Mr. Breakfast is a deaf pit bull who was rescued from the dog-fighting world and became the close companion of Liz Nowell of San Diego. Mr. B, as she calls him, was originally named Briggs. When Liz first fell in love with him, he was withdrawn and had some behavioral problems, as she explains in the first video. But thanks to her patience and understanding, this dog’s world has grown richer and dramatically better.

“Once his name changed to Mr. B, people began to see past his tough-looking exterior to the warm gooey lov-a-bull goof inside,” according to an article in Pit Bull Press. “In the past years, Mr. Breakfast has learned four new signs, learned how to surf and has developed a truly happy nature as our bond has developed.”

Mr. Breakfast was one of about 50 dogs entered in the 2019 World Dog Surfing Championship Aug. 3 at Linda Mara State Beach in Pacifica, Calif. The second video, produced by NBC Nightly News, describes the competition, including the overall winner, a French bulldog named Cherie, who sported a pink life vest.

“Cherie loves doing this,” said her owner, Dan Nykolayko of Newport Beach, as quoted in a story by Steve Rubenstein, staff writer for the San Francisco Chronicle. “You can tell. If a dog doesn’t want to do something, it isn’t going to do it.”

The news story reported that Cherie remained calm, even when “a couple of competitors sniffed her butt and tried to trash-growl her” right before the start of her event. A video of the extravaganza, attended by more than 2,000 people, was produced by the SF Chronicle.

For other cool stories of surfing dogs, check out last year’s chronicles of Sugar and Gidget, Water Ways, Sept. 10, 2018.

Coming up on Sept. 28 is another big dog-surfing competition in California, the annual Surf City Surf Dog event at Huntington Beach.

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