Timid Shelter Dog Realizes She’s A World-Class Surfer

by Laura Caseley
Laura is a writer, illustrator, and artist living in New York City.

When Mia, a border collie Australian kelpie mix, wandered away from her family in Australia, her life was turned upside down.

She lacked a registration, ID tags, and a microchip, so when she was picked up, there was no way of reuniting her with her family.

Mia spent the next three months in a shelter, alone and confused. She was very shy around the other dogs, so much so that when Juan Medina visited the shelter looking to adopt, he initially passed on her, holding out for an active dog to keep up with his sporty lifestyle.

But at home, Medina couldn’t stop thinking about the timid black-and-white dog.”There was a connection with her,” he says. “Two days later, I went back to see if she was still there.”

And the rest? Well, that’s history. Not only did Mia get a new forever home with Medina, but she also proved that while she was shy in the shelter, she was all about action.

Medina works as a photographer, but he also loves to surf. And it turns out, so does Mia!

Surfing is a weirdly popular activity with dogs, and even some piggies have gotten in on the action, but then again, dogs love to have fun just like their people.

So maybe it’s not so weird, after all. Check out Mia in all her beachy glory below!

[H/T: The Dodo]

When Juan Medina first met Mia in an animal shelter on Australia’s Gold Coast, he wasn’t sure if she was the dog for him.

“She was quiet and shy,” he remembers, “probably because she was in the shelter with other dogs, and she lost her first family.”

But after thinking about Mia nonstop for two days, he realized that the shy pooch was, in fact, the one for him.

And as it turned out, Medina and Mia had more in common than he ever imagined, and Mia was more than happy to show him.

Like most dogs, she loved running in the sand and chasing seagulls, but it turned out that Mia also really loved to swim — and surf!

And that was great for Medina and his friends, who spend their free time surfing at their local beach.

It took Mia a few tries to get the hang of surfing. After she fell off the longboard a few times, Medina put a life jacket on her.

Her new buoyancy made her more confidence in the water, and soon she was more than happy to join Medina!

Now, she surfs by day…

…and by night!

“She has very wide eyes when she surfs,” Medina says. “That’s the way she looks when she’s excited. She loves the water and she loves swimming, and she enjoys being with me all the time.”

And because Medina is also a professional photographer, he’s also able to get some truly fantastic shots.

But Mia doesn’t just surf. After her surfing lessons, something clicked, and Mia had soon taught herself to body surf. She was catching waves like a pro, all by herself.

“She does this all on her own,” Medina says. “I throw a stick in the ocean, and she goes after it, and catches a wave back to shore. But she’s a smart dog — she also understands both English and Spanish.”

And after that sad stint in the shelter, she’s loving life again thanks to Medina being by her side (even when he’s goofing around and hiding underwater).

And at the end of the day, she can stretch out on the sand.

And she has a warm bed to curl up in at night with a human who loves her.

“I can’t imagine my life without Mia,” Medina says. “She brings happiness and fun to my life, someone to care about it. And I just want to give her love and a happy life. She is the best dog ever.”

You can see more of Mia’s beach adventures on Instagram. They’re great when you need a little vicarious sun!

And be sure to SHARE her great, summery life with your beach bum friends!