I believe that everything is meant to be. When Loa came into my life, I didn’t want a dog and I actually didn’t really like her. But she came into my life for a reason. To show me unconditional love and friendship. After much resistance, I ended up loving Loa so much that I would bring her everywhere, talk to her like a person and would catch myself watching her in the review mirror while I was driving because she was so darn cute.
But this is not a love story about our love for each other, but for her love of the ocean. Loa absolutely loved the water and would go crazy every time we would come near it or she would sniff it. She was like a kid at the beach and when it was time to go, you had to drag her away from the water.
She also had an absolute addiction for fetching rocks. She would incessantly bark at you until you threw a rock for her. Of course the bigger the rock the better. I have distinct memories of her barking at boulders the size of her head and wanting people to throw them for her. Most people didn’t understand Loa’s love for big rocks. She would get annoyed if you threw the small rocks instead. She would watch these poor souls throw the small rock and then bark at them for getting it wrong. If you haven’t heard Loa’s bark, it is the kind of bark that you need to stop. The best part about Loa and her addiction is that the barking never stopped until you dragged her away from the beach. I miss that annoying bark.
But this is not a story about her love for rocks, it is a story about her love for the ocean and particularly her love for surfing. Loa loved to surf. She like many people got FOMO and if a group of us where to paddle out and she was left on the shore, she would swim out herself to join us. If the surf was too big, she would howl on the beach because she was pissed that we left her behind.
These photos were taken by my good friend Pam Stevenson. She captured Loa on one of her favorite days of surfing. I remember this day so fondly, because Loa was so darn stoked to go surfing with us that she was like a kid in a candy store and couldn’t get enough.
I love how comfortable she felt in the water and how she was fearless. There were so many times that we paddled for a wave together and would crash or miss it. If she fell off the board, she wanted to get right back on and keep going. We surfed with her for hours that day. She didn’t want to stop. Once again, we had to drag her out of the water because we noticed that she was getting tired.
I remember for the rest of the day, Loa was truly beaming. Her energy reminded me of when I had had a great day surfing and how amazing I felt afterwards, and how the rest of the day was AWESOME.
Loa only got one wave that day after many attempts. She fell on the rest of the waves or didn’t catch them. She didn’t care about her failed attempts or missed opportunities, because she was having so much fun smiling, splashing and hanging with her favorite pals. Which is the most important thing about life.
Once again she taught me another lesson that surfing isn’t about perfection it’s about laughing at yourself, being with your friends and having fun!
If you were lucky enough to come to surf camp in the last 9 years and meet Loa our mascot, you would have met a truly amazing dog. I am definitely bias. I will miss her. She has now gone to doggy heaven with her endless beaches and piles of rocks.
RIP Loa September 2001 to July 2014. You truly lived a blessed life.