Three years ago, almost to the day, this column featured a purebred English bulldog named George who, at the canine age of 2, was drawing rave notices for his skateboarding exploits from many of his Summerlin neighbors.
So I figured this might be a good time for an update. Wow (and not bow wow), did I ever figure correctly!
When I called on George’s owners, Dr. Marcus J. Singel told me, “He has been doing some marvelous things. At 5 years old George is now in his prime. But we feel he still hasn’t peaked yet.”
Singel and his wife, Nadine, own George. Doc Singel maintains a full-time practice in Las Vegas as a podiatric physician and surgeon.
“Quite a bit has happened in the last three years,” Singel noted. “For one thing, George is now bigger, faster and stronger, and his skateboarding achievements have reached into the highest levels.”
Moreover, the $180 professional skateboard the Singels bought three years ago to encourage George’s passion has been replaced with a more sophisticated board at double the price.
“George likes to ride in the fast lane, especially along the curves, so, combined with his big build, greater strength and the refined bearings and wheels on his skateboard, he has significantly improved his riding techniques.” And all that has done is lead to new adventures, Singel continued.
For example, George can now be deemed a canine expert in snowboarding as well as skateboarding. “We took him up to Utah this past winter, to an elevation of 8,200 feet. It wore me out every time I had to drag his snowboard up that mountain, but you should have seen him navigating his way downhill.”
Anyone who would like to see this for themselves can punch into Instagram. George’s handle is “SkateboardK9.” According to Singel, George maintains more than 7,000 followers. He also has his own Facebook page, which includes thousands more followers. You can get to his Facebook page by punching into “georgeskates.com.”
But that’s not all. The wonder dog whose paternal lineage can be traced to a bulldog championship ribbon at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City’s Madison Square Garden has accomplished still more feats on skateboards — and on other boards.
“Last summer we were up in the state of Washington, and a local newspaper, the Kitsap Sun, learned of George’s exploits. They did a piece after watching him skateboard at a park in Seattle. The Associated Press picked it up and it went nationwide. Seattle’s NBC affiliate did a TV piece for their evening magazine show. From that, George was invited to participate in a dog surfing competition last September in Huntington Beach (California),” Singel explained.
“Now, you have to realize George had never been in water before as a surfer. So with the help of Costco we ordered an eight-foot surfboard for him. We took him to San Diego for two half-hour surfing sessions. That was it. Then it was on to Huntington Beach. About 70 dogs competed in the surf tournament. George finished in the middle of the pack, which was really an incredible accomplishment.”
In fact, Singel said that after watching a collage of George’s videos — which has already been viewed by more than 60,000 of his fans — Tony Hawk, a professional skateboarder who is commonly referred to as “Birdman,” gave the bulldog two thumbs up.
Herb Jaffe was an op-ed columnist and investigative reporter for most of his 39 years at the Star-Ledger of Newark, New Jersey. His most recent novel, “Double Play,” is now available. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.