This Virginia Beach dog is a standup star
The 19-month-old golden retriever has become a mascot for owner Whitney Lee's business, SUP Barre, which offers traditional barre classes atop paddleboards in the flat waters off the beach at First Landing State Park.
"When I was little, I wanted to grow up and have a golden retriever named Hampton," Lee says. "It's especially fitting now, because my husband and I live in Virginia Beach, in the larger area of Hampton Roads."
"Hampton inspired our Yappy Hour," Lee says of the dog-friendly paddleboarding classes that she teaches a few times each summer. "The first time we offered the class, seven girls showed up with their dogs, and we were out on the water for about five solid minutes before anyone fell off or jumped in!"
This Treasure Coast terrier knows how to make waves
Hutchinson Island, a sleepy barrier island off the Atlantic coast of Florida.
"My husband wanted a little fishing buddy, " says owner Sara Collins on why they adopted the Jack Russell terrier mix. "But Stink gets too excited about it," she adds."His whole body shakes. My husband doesn't catch too many fish when he's around!"
"Last year, my New Year's resolution was to walk on the beach every day," says Collins. "There have been some rainy, windy walks, but Stink and I have made it out there every single day!"
See Stink Swim
For more photos and videos of this model pooch, check out Stink's Instagram (@mydogstink) or visit his website, mydogstink.com
This Carolina fluffball likes his head out the window and his nose in the sand
The drive from Finley's home in Cary, North Carolina, to the beach at Emerald Isle is about three hours, and the mini goldendoodle rides with his face out the window the whole way. "The wind blows all of his fluff straight back," says owner Brittany Crisp. "It looks hilarious!"
Finley loves rolling around in the sand, especially after he plays in the ocean, Crisp says. Safe to say he usually needs a bath right after the beach!
The 2-year-old pooch will do anything for a treat, says Crisp: "He'll stand on his hind legs and dance until he gets your attention!"
Tongue out, life jacket on, wind in his face—that's how this Florida Keys dog likes to cruise
Top Vacation Spot
The 6-year-old English springer spaniel splits his time between his people's home in Miami and their island escape just an hour and 45 minutes away in Islamorada.
Seat of Choice
A lap! "We call him a "Velcro dog,"" says owner Ali Sowinski. "He likes to be in our laps all the time. He weighs 55 pounds, but he thinks he's a lap dog."
No. 1 Hobby
Swimming. "If we take the coolers out, he knows it's going to be a boat day, and he's ready to go," Sowinski says. "We can't even anchor before he dives off the boat to swim all day!"
Say "aloha!" to these island Instagram stars
Lilikoi, a Pomeranian-papillon mix, is 13, and Rella, a Pomeranian-Chihuahua mix, is 10. "My girls are senior citizens," jokes owner Kathy Norris. "But they don't act like it! They love to play."
The Kailua, Hawaii-based duo made their Instagram debut (@lilikoi_rella) in 2012. Now they have 12,000 followers, thanks to their adorable expressions, colorful costumes, and gorgeous backdrops.
"I buy their leis from a real lei-maker here, Gladys' Lei Stand, by the airport," says Norris, who is a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant. "I always buy my leis from him. He's a real dog lover!" The flower leis are people-sized, she says, so she trims them for the perfect fit.
This West Coast pup hits the sand with a smile
Following sea-gulls and splashing in tidal pools at Cannon Beach, a short drive from the 3-year-old golden retriever's Portland, Oregon, home.
"He smiles at you when he's really happy," says owner Emma Rae Khalil. "He even shows his front teeth!"
Meat and potatoes at Portland's Tin Shed Garden Cafe. "It's his favorite restaurant," says Khalil with a laugh. "If we go to another restaurant on the same street as Tin Shed, he whines because he'd rather go there."
What She Does
The 8-year-old golden retriever first hopped on a surfboard when she was 8 weeks old. And she's been hanging ten ever since, putting her skills to use as a surf therapy dog.
Children with autism and war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder. "Surfing is only part of what Ricochet does," says owner Judy Fridono. "That gets people's attention, but she also makes these really deep immediate connections with everyone."
When Ricochet's not surfing, she acts as an ambassador for a number of causes, including the Best Day Foundation, which gives children with special needs the chance to participate in adventure activities.
Virginia Beach, Virginia, an hour from Hampton, where Bill and Anne Gassett rescued the rat terrier mix nine years ago.
"For the past five years I've taken pictures of the sunrise every morning, and Poki accompanies me," says Bill. He posts the pics on his Facebook page, "Sandbridge Sunrise," for his 4,100 followers, who now look for the energetic pup in the shots. "Poki is famous for his antics on the beach," Bill says, including investigating crabs.
When he's not searching for critters or running on the shore with Anne, Poki enjoys his downtime. "He's a couch commando," says Bill. "He likes to cuddle."
Getting an 8-month-old Wheaten terrier to sit still on her second trip to the beach is no easy feat, but owner Lindsey Venne managed to capture this photo of Waffles during an early-morning pause in Kennebunkport, Maine. "We had a lucky moment where she stopped to catch a breath in between digging for clams and jumping in the waves!" Venne says.
RELATED: Our Favorite Dog-Friendly Beaches
The Dog Days of Summer, July/August 2015, Winner: Best Pose
Favorite Swimming Hole
Big Muskellunge Lake, not far from the Weimaraner's Conover, Wisconsin, home. "I love taking her there," says owner Katie Felton-Moore. "It's not very populated, and the sunsets are gorgeous."
Fish! Normally Piper is rambunctious, says Felton-Moore, but the 8-year-old always brakes for minnows. "Piper knows that if she stands perfectly still, the fish will swim around her," she says. "She loves it."
Her statue-still stance helped Felton-Moore snag this shot. "Piper doesn't listen very well," she says with a laugh. "But she's so motivated by her fishy friends!"
This big-hearted pup spends her weekends on the water with war veterans
The 3-year-old English golden retriever loves to sail, says owner Nichole Grant. "I take her on the bay in San Francisco," she says. "She has her own life jacket!"
How She Helps
Mia and Grant partner with the Bay Area Association of Disabled Sailors to teach recently returned veterans how to sail. "Mia's our little mascot!" says Grant.
Do you have a favorite picture of your dogs at the beach to share? To nominate your pup for Reader Pet of the Month, send a photo to email@example.com and tell us in 100 words or less why you think he or she deserves to be featured.
When it starts snowing in Alton Bay, New Hampshire, 5-year-old goldendoodle Banjo and his people head to Amelia Island, Florida, for an extended vacation in sunny Fernandina Beach.
Banjo doesn't mind the long drive, says owner Carol McCann. "We travel to Florida in our pickup truck. He gets in the cab, lies down, and doesn't pop up until we stop. As long as he's with us, he's a happy dude!"
The sociable pooch is quick to make friends. "He gets lots of attention," McCann says. "People's faces just light up when they see him!"
St. George Island, Florida, not far from the 8-year-old boxer's Tallahassee home
Eddy Teach's Raw Bar. "She sits at the table and listens to the bands," says owner Jennifer Chapman, who founded the Boxer Aid & Rescue Coalition that took Violet in after a hit-and-run accident and subsequent surgery to repair her front legs.
"She likes to play with blue crabs, but she's afraid of them," says Chapman. "She's a 55-pound dog, and they're itty bitty, but she's afraid they're going to snap at her nose!"
Brooklyn, New York, where this easygoing pup likes cruising Sheepshead Bay and strolling Coney Island's breezy boardwalk
A rubber duck. "His favorite thing in the world is his rubber ducky squeeze toy," says owner Dianne Ferrer. It's also the secret behind her perfect shot: "All I have to do is tell him to sit or stay and show him his rubber ducky!"
"Cruz proudly will wear anything that you put him in," says Ferrer. The 2½-year-old French bulldog isn't the only one who loves his costumes. More than 7,600 Facebook fans follow his every move on Facebook.
White Lake, Ontario, where this fun-loving trio spends as much time as possible by the shore
Diving for rocks! "I have a video of Brie hunting beneath the surface for about 10 seconds before emerging with one," says owner Sandra Lindsay. (The bright snorkels they donned for this photo, though, were just for show.)
Favorite Beach Game
At 14 years old, Tyler still loves chasing floating chew toys with Bentley, age 5. Eight-year-old Brie stays on the shore with a different strategy: "She waits for them to swim back with it, and then steals it," Lindsay says with a laugh. The pups are better at sharing sticks—they like to seek out the longest one so all three can chew on it at the same time.
Named after Banks Channel at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina, this golden retriever loves to swim and dig holes in the sand, says owner Jessica Olson. Banks is a healthy participant in the Morris Animal Foundation's Golden Retriever Lifetime Study, which aims to better prevent and diagnose canine cancer.
The Dog Days of Summer, July/August 2015, Winner: Facebook Fan Favorite
Do you have a favorite picture of your dog at the beach to share? To nominate your pup for Reader Pet of the Month, send a photo to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us in 100 words or less why you think he or she deserves to be featured.
While strolling along the lake in St. Germain, Wisconsin, Katie Felton-Moore stumbled upon a tree stump with driftwood the same shade as her Weimaraner, Willie. She immediately saw the makings of an artistic shot. "I just told her, "up," and she went to that perfect spot," she says. Willie's reward? Hours of water-logged playtime."We had miles of sandy beach all to ourselves," Felton-Moore says. "There was not enough time in that day!"
The Dog Days of Summer, July/August 2015, Winner: Best Composition
"He goes crazy at the sound or smell of the sea," says Mark Beedie of his Labrador retriever. "As soon as he gets out of the car, he tears straight into the waves and immediately returns with a stick or ball." That was just the case on this rare sunny afternoon in Britain's North Wales, where Beedie lives with Stanley just minutes from the shore. "We have cold water here, but it never stops Stanley from doing what he loves most: swimming."
It looks like this sweet pooch isn't sure what to wipe off of her face first— the sand or the guilt. The German short-haired pointer's owner, Ashley Gilbird, from Elizabeth City, North Carolina, took this photo on a trip to the Outer Banks after Sadie Lu's messy frolic in the sand. A splash in the ocean was subsequently in order!
The Dog Days of Summer, July/August 2015, Winner: Best Portrait
When Kent Island, Maryland, resident Dale Hall introduced his Labrador retriever puppy, Jewel, to Zeke, the 2-year-old Lab down the street, it was love at first sight. "They've had a romance going on for a couple of years now," Hall says. "Zeke taught Jewel how to fetch a stick in the water when she was just a pup." Now the two are often found splashing in the surf or cruising in a kayak on the Chesapeake with Zeke's young owner, Bode. "They definitely enjoyed this ride!" says Hall, who snapped this serene sunset shot.