By Michele C. Hollow of Pet News and Views
When he is not starring in Hallmark Channel’s “Who Let the Dogs Out?” television series or on tour, Tillman the skateboarding dog is usually at the beach with his best buds Rose and Sully.
Skateboards, surfboards, and snowboards are found throughout his coastal California home which is just eight houses away from the beach. His trainer/owner Ron Davis picked the house because of its close proximity to the beach and because of its black slate floors. “I originally thought it would be easy to clean,” says Davis, who lives with his three bulldogs, adopted mixed breed dog, and cat. “The thing that attracted to me to this house shows every inch of dog hair in the county.”
Bulldogs, Tillman, Rose, and Sully; along with Chevy, a Terrier/Shih Tzu mix that Davis found on the road; and a cat named LBC, which stands for Little Baby Cat, reside with Davis a few miles outside of Los Angeles. LBC got his name from Davis’ son, Reef. According to Davis, it is LBC who is in charge.
Tillman loves his skateboard. “I swear I’ve seen him in a deep sleep, and if you mention the word skateboard he will open his eyes, lift up his head, and be ready to go,” says Davis.
“Most bulldogs have health problems because of their short noses,” explains Davis. “Also people tend to overfed them, and they don’t get enough exercise.”
That is definitely not the case with Tillman or any of the residents in the Davis’ household. Everyone exercises by running on the beach, skateboarding, surfing, and taking long walks.
Tillman, the runt of the litter, has lived with Davis since he was eight weeks old. “Early on, I started practicing (skateboarding) with him,” says Davis. “He started pushing the skateboard around, and then began developing skills on his own.”
He likes to skateboard, surfboard, skim board, and when they are in cold climes with snow, Tillman can be found snowboarding. His house, much like the RV he travels around the country in, is filled with lots of tennis balls, chew bones, and pet toys. “Sometimes the house looks like a bone yard because of all of the bones in it,” says Davis. “And with all of the toys, it looks like a nursery school before clean up time.”
Davis purchased an oversized chair for himself, but it has wound up being one of Tillman’s favorite places in the house to stretch out and sleep on. Rose, Sully, Chevy, and LBC, share the sofa and other living room furniture with Davis. He also built an outdoor shower for the dogs, which they use that before they come into the house after playing at the beach. “We spend a lot of time at the beach, so having the outside shower helps,” he says.
The dogs dine in the garage where there is a sink and a wall filled with Natural Balance dog food, Tillman’s sponsor. “I’ve turned into a dog chef,” jokes Davis. “I look at them and ask, ‘What do you guys feel like tonight?’”
Davis is proud of his dogs. Tillman was recently made an honorary marine. Natural Balance is raising money to build a monument for military working dogs. “Now I’m supposed to salute my dog,” he says.
Minimalism is how Davis likes to decorate. “I keep it simple and with the dogs and cat in mind,” he says. “The pets are part of my family, and I feel fortunate to have them in my life. We do a lot of traveling, meet great people, and have fun.”
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