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Real Life

REAL LIFE: Meet the skateboarding, surfing dogs that have become local celebrities on the Gold Coast

''We create smiles wherever we go.''

By Laura Trieste

Brian Reichelt, 63, from the Gold Coast, Qld, shares his incredible story

Setting my dog, Zoe, on a chair in front of my computer, I pressed play.
"Look at this," I said, as she watched the video of a skateboarding dog. "You can do that."
Am I going crazy? I thought. I'm talking to her like she's a human!
But it'd always felt like Zoe, a staffy cross alsatian, could understand me.
I'd been blown away by her intelligence and energy since I bought her when she was three months old.
I grew up on a farm and had trained dogs since I was a kid, but I'd never met a dog who could pick up tricks as well as Zoe could.
Zoe as a young pup. (Image: Supplied)
She was so eager to learn, she would look at me as if to say: "Show me something difficult, please."
So I began looking on YouTube for ideas.
Her balance was incredible and she was soon comfortable standing on a skateboard while I pulled her along.
She also learned to climb a ladder and talk.
When I asked: "Do you want to go outside?" she'd yap once to say yes.
Two yaps told me she was hungry.
Zoe's first time driving a tractor. (Image: Supplied)
One day, on my foliage farm, I said: "Let's get you driving!"
Dressed in a pink tutu and sunnies, I set her on my tractor.
Then, with her front paws on the steering wheel, I put it in gear, and she was off!
Moving slowly, she even looked from left to right to check the coast was clear for her trailer!
So this is my first try on the work tractor and I'm doggedly determined to get it, I wrote, when I posted a video online.
Zoe learnt to surf all by herself. (Image: Supplied)
Zoe even picked up tricks I hadn't planned on teaching her, like surfing.
She followed me into the water one day when I was trying to learn how to use a surfboard myself.
She's going to head back to shore, I thought after a big wave sent her tumbling.
But she kept paddling out towards me.
As soon as she climbed up onto the board, she'd found her new passion.
Brian now has four skateboarding dogs. (Image: Supplied)
A year after I got Zoe, I decided to get another puppy, a Maltese terrier, named Lulu.
I have since added two more to the clan – Lulu's daughter Sprocket, and Sprocket's daughter, Oreo.
They've all picked up tricks after watching Zoe.
I've tied some skateboards together so I can pull all of them along on our daily walks to the beach.
Then we all go stand-up paddleboarding together.
The sight of four skateboarding dogs creates smiles wherever we go, especially when they're in their sunglasses and tutus.
So many excited people want to take photos.
Lulu dressed up in her groovy outfit. (Image: Supplied)
The sight of four skateboarding dogs creates smiles wherever we go, especially when they're in their sunglasses and tutus. (Image: Supplied)
The dogs have thousands of fans around the world who watch their tricks on social media.
I once had a lady come up to me with her husband and asked to pat the dogs.
"We just buried our son," she told me.
"Take all the time you need," I said.
Seeing the positive effect my dogs have on complete strangers touches my heart.
There's so much negativity in this world and I love giving people a reason to smile.
Follow the dogs on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok

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