George rides between two to three times a week. The Singels say that they think he would ride every day, two to three times a day for his average 45 - 60 minute session if they let him.
“That’s the most amazing thing I’ve ever seen.”
“You just made my day.”
“I saw this on television and the internet but I didn’t think it was real.”
These are just a few of the many comments Marcus and Nadine Singel say people have made after seeing their five-year-old dog George whizzing past them on his skateboard.
“Every time we go out he makes us smile and when people see him they say they can’t believe what he’s doing. We say, yeah, we’ve been watching him for years and we can’t believe what he’s doing either,” said Marcus.
The Bainbridge Island couple adopted George, an English bulldog, when he was just a puppy.
He had so much energy that they had to find something for him to do to burn it off. Marcus saw a video on the internet of a dog riding a skateboard and they both thought, “why not?”
“We got a little board, he started pushing it around and we thought that was funny. Next time he started walking beside the board and that was even funnier,” continued Marcus. The couple didn’t expect it to go further than that. George had other ideas.
He progressed every time they went out and one day he put three of his paws on the board. He didn’t know what to do next, so Marcus put his fourth paw on the board and guided him three or four steps. George seemed to be catching on.
The next time out, they headed to a skate park. George saw a kid skateboarding, watched him for a while and then ran over to get a closer look. When the kid got off of his board, George hopped on. His skateboarding career had begun – and he needed a great board.
“We had no idea what kind of skateboard would work best for George. Neither my wife nor I ride skateboards and we don’t have any children so we didn’t know anything about them,” said Marcus. They went to a local skate shop and a kid who worked there watched a video of George riding. He built a board specifically for him.
“This is cool. I just designed a board for a dog. I’m stoked,” said the designer. He could tell what kind of rider George was and what he would need so he designed a skateboard to fit his needs — wider, flatter and with the proper wheels.
“We were actually holding him back without having the right board for him,” Marcus said. With the new board, George’s riding skills improved tremendously.
“Every time he goes out he gets better and better,” said Marcus. “He amazes us with what he can do on that board. He’ll do things that he’s never done before. You just don’t know what that dog is going to do.” When asked how he figured out how to turn his board around, Marcus replied, “We have no idea how George does anything that he does. He just does it.”
George rides between two to three times a week. The Singels say that they think he would ride every day, two to three times a day for his average 45 – 60 minute session if they let him. He’s raring to go anytime they give him the word. He never wants to end his ride.
“We have to make him stop because he will just keep going and going,” says Marcus. “He finds energy. If I see that he is getting tired and try to get the board away, he knows ‘this is the end of my riding and I don’t want to stop,’ so he will grab the board, flip it around and go flying away. It’s actually kind of funny to watch sometimes.”
He won’t even stop to get a drink of water. If Marcus or Nadine put a bowl of water in front of him he won’t drink. He’ll grab the board and ride away. So, they have to take the board away from him and force him to take a break just to make sure he stays well hydrated.
Marcus says that George loves to do anything on wheels that moves. “If he could reach the pedals on the car he would drive. I’m convinced of that.”
Skateboarding is not his only outdoor activity. He also surfs on an eight-foot-long surfboard and in the winter hits the slopes on his snowskate – a snowboard with little skis on it. “The sky is the limit,” says Marcus. “He just keeps impressing us. He always goes all out. It’s kind of like one of those kids who do the X games. If George was a little boy, he’d definitely be doing the X games.”
“George is an amazing dog,” Marcus concludes. “We’ve had all kinds of dogs before … and every one of them is different. One of the things people say is, I wish my dog could do that, or my dog can’t do anything, and I’m thinking all dogs are talented. They all have their special gifts. It’s just up to us to figure out what they can do best.”