Yesterday was an interesting day. I will expand on this at a later point in time, but after a few ups and downs (mostly downs at first, then a lot of ups) we made our way out to the Yilan coastline for a day of surfing. It had been years since my last surfing experience in Costa Rica with my sister Joanna, and I was certainly anxious leading up to it. As soon as I first hopped on the board, paddled as hard as I could and caught that first wave, it all came rushing back to me as if I’d never stopped surfing. But that is not what I came here to tell you about. Instead I wanted to very quickly describe one of the greatest sites that I’ve ever seen in my entire life.

I’ve seen a lot of dogs here in Taiwan, especially of the smaller variety. People here really seem to love their dogs, and I see them most often riding around in tiny dog carriages or riding along on the back of scooters in their little doggie baskets. I’ve even seen a select few people walking around with a Golden Retriever on a leash; however every single time so far the Golden has had a “lion” haircut. The dog’s entire body is shaved down except for the head and the tip of the tail, making it look like they have a large mane around their necks and a little poof on their tail like a lion. It’s quite bizarre, and I hope that the dog is at least more comfortable in the Taiwan summer heat with their body hair cut short like that.

After a few hours of surfing I headed onto the beach to drink some water and ensure I was staying hydrated. I was looking out into the water to try and learn the wave patterns, hoping to try and pick out the area that I would return to the water for more surfing. Out of the corner of my eye, I thought I saw something that looked like a Golden Retriever… but it was almost like the dog was walking on the water near the shore line. As I focused my attention on this area, I did indeed see a dog, but it was simply swimming in the water. Something didn’t really add up, so I tried to keep my eyes on the dog.

After a couple of minutes I started to make my way back out into the water. I made my way through the shallow surf and the water was about up to my knees when I looked out and saw what I had thought I saw just a little earlier. There was a dog standing on top of the water. The very dog that I had seen a few minutes ago had swam out to the deeper water and was actually standing on a surf board. I was amazed, and I had a feeling that I knew exactly what was about to happen.

I stood in place, simply amazed at what I was watching — the dog simply standing on the board, legs wide, wagging his tail. Someone was holding the board, I assume it was the owner, and waiting for a decent wave. Within a few moments, a swell appeared behind them and moved up quickly on the pair. The owner gave the dog a good push, just like a surfing instructor would do when teaching you what it feels like to catch your first wave.

The dog felt the water pushing him, and went down into a “downward dog” position, his chest on the board and his butt high in the air–tail wagging the entire time. Once his board dropped into the wave and was fully being pushed by the force of the sea, he stood up and rode the wave all the way into the shallow waters by the shore. This Golden Retriever just surfed a wave, and rode it like a champ. In fact, he was riding waves better than I could. I was amazed, and it was one of the coolest things I had ever seen.