Meet a little rescue dog that is making big waves in the surfing world

Posted By elaine on March 23, 2011


Abbie loves to surf(Photo/Michael Blake 2010)

A rescue pup in California is making big waves in the surfing world. 

Abbie is an active Kelpie that  loves jogging, mountain biking, hiking, even paragliding, but her favorite hobbie; surfing!

It all started when Abbie’s owner , Michael Uy  went to the local dog beach where they both like to swim in the ocean. During one visit, he heard some beach-goers talking about an upcoming dog surfing contest.

“I figured ‘why not?’ and had her jump up on someone’s board to see if she’d stay. Surprisingly, she did, and so we pushed it into the beach, and she rode it in,” Uy told the American Kennel Club. “I was pretty stoked.”

Not only did Abbie stay on the board, she loved riding the waves and was ready to climb back on the board for more.

“I had never even heard of dog surfing and wasn’t aware that such a crazy sport existed. Of course, at the time, it was just a novelty event used by pet friendly organizations to bring people together to raise money.”

But Uy and Abbie were about to change that. Abbie loved surfing so much that Uy worked hard to hone her wave-riding skills .

“We decided to focus on this as a real sport and drive the athletic aspect to help make competitions more exciting and fun. Our most important focus was on dog surfing as a unique sport that strengthened the bond a dog has with her owner in a very powerful way.”

Today, 4-year-old Abbie has won more than a dozen medals in dog surfing competitions.


Uy and Abbie have made a big splash in the surfing world(Photo/Kevin Connor)

Abbie is not just an extreme sport kind of girl. She also has earned the AKC Canine Good Citizen award and is registered with the AKC Canine Partners program. She has demonstrated the Kelpie’s natural herding ability on sheep and earned a herding title from the American Herding Breed Association.

Surprisingly, Uy had never owned or trained a dog before Abbie. He was not even convinced he wanted to become a dog owner on the day he walked into Humane Society Silicon Valley.

“She was the only one in the shelter that didn’t bark or go crazy when I walked into the paddocks. Instead, she just cocked her head to one side and looked me up and down, and then walked to the door of her cage and sat down, as if to say, ‘Ok, I’ll go with you.’ I was about 50-50 on getting a dog, but after seeing her, I was convinced.”

Abbie was 8 months old when Uy adopted her, and she has certainly had more action in the ensuing three and a half years than most dogs.

Her biggest win almost became one of her biggest wipeouts after her board collided with another dog’s in the final minutes of the 2010 Surf Dog Surf-A-Thon, a benefit for the Helen Woodward Animal Center, in Del Mar, Calif.

“The second dog climbed off his board, and Abbie’s board started to go down, so she leapt across the boards and took his, riding it in for the win,” Uy said. “The crowd and judges went crazy, and she got a perfect score.”

The moment was captured by the local news.

One of the best things about discovering Abbie’s natural surfing talent is the chance it has given them to educate and help others.

In interviews, Uy always stresses the benefits of exercising and spending time with your dogs. In addition, he is forming a charitable organization called Rescues for Rescues ( in honor of the women who saved Abbie after she was found on the side of a road as a puppy.

“The foundation is dedicated to helping women in treatment for breast cancer who also volunteer their time helping animals,” Uy said. “We thought this was a great way for rescue animals to rescue people right back.

“Our plan is to give money to help women in treatment pay for medical expenses that insurance won’t cover or even things to just get by like rent…Ninety percent of the money we grant will go towards the beneficiary and the other 10 percent will go to an animal charity of her choice so she can continue helping animals in need.”

Abbie also does her part to help homeless animals. Every year, she is a guest of honor at the annual fund-raiser for the shelter from which she was adopted – Humane Society Silicon Valley.

“We bring her dog surfboard, and the kids take pictures. It’s a party.”

You can learn more about dog surfing and keep up with Abbie’s adventures at her Facebook page.

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