Surfing Canine and Cats? Not at Our House

Dog surfing

By Judy Berman

When I heard that I’ll be dog-sitting our grandpuppy, I begin to envision a video of our two cats and the dog surfing – just like the one I saw on YouTube.

My biggest hurdle will be persuading our cats, Jean-Louis and Reggie, to take part.

After one week, with all three under the same roof, I suspect those dogs and the cat in the video are paid actors.

I just don’t see ours getting on board – so to speak.

The first signs of discontent are when our cats check out the new guy’s shiny silver water dish. Suddenly, their ceramic water bowl has lost its luster.

So, I cave in. I buy a shiny, silver water dish for our cats. I hope that will keep peace in the house and allow Riley, our grandpuppy, unfettered access to his own water dish.

No dice. Our cats sniff disdainfully as they take one look at their new dish. They march purposefully toward Riley’s dish, and lap up the contents.

The grumbling continues with their next painful discovery.

Riley - walking in the park - 7-12-14

“What! Why does Riley get to go outdoors?” they meow pitifully.

They watch mournfully thru the window as Riley and I go on our walkies.

Ever the peacemaker, I buy the cats a harness – with a hoodie even – similar to Riley’s. The saleslady at PetCo, my furry companions and I are now on a first-name basis.

Reggie tolerates the harness. She tentatively slinks around the kitchen for 10 to 15 seconds as if she was a ninja trying to avoid detection.

But, at one point, Reggie just plops down and refuses to budge.

Jean-Louis, on the other hand, wants no part of THAT. After I put the harness on him, he performs acrobat-worthy flips.

Togetherness? Only if you count Reggie and Riley snoozing in the computer room where I write and maintaining a No Animals Land about 10 feet apart.

When I take a nap, Reggie is right there next to me. Jean-Louis is also on the bed, but he’s at the farthest point away from Riley as he can get.

There is some hope. Once Reggie gave notice who was boss in the house – she’s about twice Riley’s size – they touch noses a few times.

Riley, Reggie and Jean-Louis - 7-13-14 - Copy

But family photo ops are out of the question. It takes all of my diplomacy skills and master wresting moves to get Jean-Louis to sit still long enough for a photo of the three of them.

I’m not giving up … there’s still time to make that surfing video.

Now, just where did they all go to?


Do your furry – or nonfurry – animal companions play nice with their guests?


COPYRIGHT NOTICE: Judy Berman and earthrider, 2011-15. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to (Judy Berman) and (earthrider,, or earthriderdotcom) with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Video – Happy Dogs and a Cat in Australia 

Story behind the cat and dogs in the video –

1. Main Photo: Dog surfing – taken Nov. 19, 2011 by Frank Kovalchek, Anchorage, Alaska, USA

2. Photo – Riley walking in the park – taken by Dave Berman, April 12, 2014

3. Photo – Riley, Reggie and Jean-Louis (and me) – taken by Dave Berman, April 13, 2014

  1. Ah, you are a good animal-whisperer although I don’t surfboards in your future. Riley is so CUTE! And your kitties are handling the invasion with typical cat aplomb, I see. When we bring a new foster dog into the environment, Max is excited and Berkley is like “Seriously? Again?”

  2. I wish we could have pets, but my husband is too allergic. Our kids never let him forget it either! Love the concept of a “grandpuppy.” Made me smile. 🙂

  3. You did better than I would have. Except for Morgan who is fearless, my other cats would have spent the week under the bed. They don’t really like dogs….or strange people…..or even sort of normal people…..

  4. My sister in law is heading to Florida soon. And she surfs. And she loves animals. You should get together with her, she’ll do the surfing with animals, you do the photography. 🙂

  5. I actually have one friend who walks her cat on a leash. I’ve never attempted it since I’m overly attached to my eyes 🙂

  6. So funny! Our two cats do not want any guests. They were not very happy when my daughter and her boyfriend brought their dog here, but we just kept them apart. Good luck with the surfing. 😉

  7. Oh, Judy, you are such a soft touch, and your grand-cats and dog have your number! And I am such a hard line–yeah, right–our grandchildren love their pets, and by transference of affections, Grandpa and Mor-Mor are the first to step up and treat their pets with genuine care. At Christmas we even find clever little dog and cat ornaments for the tree and specially wrapped pet treats waiting under the tree.

  8. Those dogs look gloriously happy all together on that beach, and splashing without so much as a bark or snap! Actors indeed!! 😀 It would be nice to think that all pets could be like that together, but I’m sure what you are experiencing is more the norm. I can remember my Dad trying to ‘force’ the cat to like the lovely happy doggy that we were minding for a few weeks. Mm… the cat had a different opinion! It’s a pity really, and it’s all down to fear, and I think sometimes owners can pick up and encourage that fear, I know I used to when my family had a dog, I was terrified of what she might try to do to a smaller dog, and I’m sure I just fed the fear all the more – I didn’t know about things like that then.

    The shiny new bowl had me laughing, and I guessed what they were going to do! It’s probably a pecking order thing, they need to indicate quite strongly this is their home, so all drinking bowls belong to them!

    I hope you get to make that surfing video Judy, don’t forget to post it next time!! 😉

    1. Don’t hold you breath waiting for that surfing video. lol

      I don’t think fear was the motivating factor here. I think you’re right. It was the pecking order. Let’s show this guy who’s in charge.

  9. You need to video these events Mother! I hope Jean-Louis didn’t hurt himself trying to get out of the harness! I shutter to think how Princess or Ernie would react!
    Glad Riley had fun and I am sure Reggie and Jean-Louis are happy he us back home!

  10. We don’t encourage furry house guests because I seriously doubt the fur covered inhabitants (rulers) of our household would tolerate it. They love visiting with new humans who they view as potential slaves to play with them and scratch them.

    1. Paprika … Our furry companions follow the same code. They know they’ve got it made and don’t want any furry interlopers getting in on the action. We have been on vacation and it will be interesting to see what their reaction is to our return. They’ve been catered to – thanks to our good neighbors who watch them while we were away. 😉

  11. A big *mwah* to your beautiful, furry family, Judy – what a cuddly lot they are! I’d probably rename them Cuddle, Cuddles and Cuddly. Haha! 😉

  12. Ha, ha, that sounded like a lot of fun actually! 🙂 Your grandpuppy and your furry babies make an adorable threesome. Did the latter miss Riley when he left?

    1. Our cats did seem to miss Riley after he left. I’m not sure if that was because there was less food for them to eat … or, the little guy really melted their hearts. 😉 (They did enjoy playing with Riley when we were tossing a ball or some toy. Typically, only Jean-Louis is that active.)

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