Hang Ten, Spot

My old man was away for the past week. He tells me he was golfing. Most every dog I know that’s seen him play says that’s a generous term considering the way he hacks it up on a golf course.

I wonder if it’s too late to teach him a new trick.

I say this because humans are always keen on forcing us pups to try new things. Just last month I was tasked with learning a new trick; trying to pass my mother’s new recipe for “Chicken Surprise!” dinner through my innards.

Well it should have come as no shock that I created my own dish, “Diarrhea Surprise!”, on the bedroom floor.

How come I don’t get to learn cool things like the Alpaca in today’s Reuter’s story?

Peruvian surfer Domingo Pianezzi has spent a decade training dogs to ride the nose of his board when he catches waves, and now he is the first to do so with an alpaca.

Pianezzi, 44, has slowly introduced his alpaca Pisco, a domesticated Andean highland animal that resembles a small llama, to the waters of the Pacific Ocean over the past several months.

The duo caught three waves on a yellow 10-foot (3-metre) longboard on Tuesday at a small break south of Lima, Peru’s capital. Pisco, wearing a flotation vest, crouched on the board while taking off on each wave and cruised for a few seconds before bailing into the water with a bit of a fright.

Pianezzi, who teaches surfing to kids and has competed before at international contests for people and their surfing dogs, came up with the idea of hitting the waves with an alpaca while visiting Australia.

“I’ve surfed with a dog, a parrot, a hamster and a cat, but when I was at a competition in Australia I saw people surfing with kangaroos and koalas,” said Pianezzi, who trains the alpaca in the Peruvian beach town of San Bartolo.

“So I thought that, as a Peruvian, it would be interesting to surf with a unique animal that represents Peru.” Pianezzi says some San Bartolo residents have accused him of mistreating Pisco by taking a mountain animal into the ocean. Others, however, regard him as an innovator.


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