Guest Blogger: Rocky Canon (Pro Surfer, Turtle Bay Surf Instructor, Pulu’s Best Friend)
Pulu (born in December 1999) was a Pit-Lab mix who loved his master and loved the ocean. As a pup, he would follow me out surfing to the breaking waves! Crazy loyal. I would have to paddle back to the beach and tie him to a rock or a tree.
He had an older brother, Opio(born in Oct. 1997), an Aussie cattle dog, Border Collie mix that would stay by my towel and did not need a leash to do so. Pulu couldn’t help himself, so for the first several months he had to be tied up next to Opio.
Then came the day I borrowed my friend’s tandem board to entertain some nieces and nephews at the beach. Of course Opio & Pulu joined us. Both dogs loved to swim, but it was Pulu that clamored up onto the board, took his position at the bow, and off into the surf we went. He caught his first wave at just over 1 years old!
We caught the attention of Crazy Shirts, who featured us on their back cover (a $300 one day job), as well as Nikon Camera (a 2 day $1000 job) and Maui Jim, which Pulu had to surf with a female model. That was his first and only experience being on a board with someone else, it paid $150, and from what I hear, Pulu did awesome. We figured it would be best without me around to limit his distraction.
Pulu & Opio went with me everywhere: to work as a Honolulu C&C lifeguard, to beach parties, and to my every surf session, waiting for me on the beach (as a professional surfer, I surfed almost every day). Pulu even jumped off Waimea rock with me more than a dozen times! They lived a charmed North Shore Dog life.
Two years ago, while working at Turtle Bay teaching surfing, I thought it would be fun to show our guests how Pulu surfed, and thought that most would enjoy seeing a dog on a surfboard. He needed a uniform to work, so we got him a wetsuit and Hans Hedemann Surf School rash guard to wear, and he took to it very well. He was requested to come along during surf and SUP lessons, one time a guest bought him his own chicken tender plate at the Hang 10 Bar. He scored tons of French fries and has made so many new friends. He has opened the door for my new surf dog Hina.
Putting him to rest Friday July 12, 2013 was the hardest thing I’ve done to date, and I miss him so very much. I know it was just as hard for him to see me for the last time on this earth, if not harder, because he was so crazy loyal. I know he’s with Opio up there and they’re waiting for me.
Pulu & Opio had a very loving family environment and we would like to thank Turtle Bay & the Hans Hedemann Surf School for showing extra special love to Pulu in these last couple of years, absolutely legendary. Mahalo. – Rocky Canon