Extreme Dog Sports
Humans are not the only ones who enjoy extreme sports, it would seem. Twenty-two-year-old Michael Naish took his Jack Russell, Oli, out onto the waves, where the dog rode the board as well as his owner. With tail all a-wag, he looked to be having the time of his life.
It was sort of an experiment at first, according to Naish, who is a student at Reading University. But the first excursion out into the water at Sidmouth, Devon, England inspired Naish to really try to turn his dog into a “surf hound.” Apparently, Jack Russells really are the best dogs for learning new tricks!
In San Diego, they make a regular event of taking dogs out on surfboards, and the proceeds go to the local Police Department Canine Unit. The Loews Hotel competition winner gets a vacation for themselves and their pet, while the thousands of spectators get to enjoy the view of dogs decked out in all kinds of swim gear, including shades and bikinis, in some cases.
The dogs must wear mandatory life vests as well as ID tags.
Elsewhere, Otis the pug is going skydiving with his owner Will Da Silva. With over sixty jumps to date, the dog acts like a first-time skydiver every time, according to Da Silva, getting nervous when the door to the plane opens. He is calm on the way up, and once they are out of the plane, snugly strapped together, Otis acts like a dog with his head out the window on the freeway.
He even has specially designed “doggles” to protect his eyes during freefall, where skydivers usually reach terminal velocity after a few seconds. This means that they are no longer gaining speed as they fall, and the sensation is allegedly more like flying than falling.
Otis is so chill about being a skydiver that he never puts up a fuss when they are hooking him into the harness. On the way up in the plane, he has even been known to fall asleep. While it is hard to gauge a dog’s reaction to things, the jumps certainly get his adrenaline pumping, and sometimes after a landing, he goes for a run.
People even come from out of state to do a tandem jump with Otis, who seems to be making quite a name for himself, or at least his owner is.
I would not recommend taking your dog skydiving, surfing, or anything else unless he or she has shown a natural propensity for it already. Not all animals will react the same to this sort of thing, just like all people won’t.
Still, there are enough stories of dogs participating in these sorts of activities to make you wonder if they can have a drive for adrenaline and adventure just like we do. Biscuit is a case in point.
This dog was “weird” from the start, according to her owner, chasing brooms and other things. When he took her out walking, she started scrabbling on rocks and jumping over streams, so the two of them started going mountain climbing together. Like Oli the surfhound, Biscuit is a Jack Russell, so maybe there is something in their constitution.
Whatever the case may be, dogs are certainly loyal to their owners as long as they are treated well, and if they grow up with an extreme sport-lover from puppy age, I don’t see why that could not rub off on the dog’s sense of how to live life.
If the dog is having a good time and not in any real danger, there’s no reason why they shouldn’t be allowed a little fun.