Mike & Abbie, a Mutual Rescue™ film

in 2006 I had a great job I just bought my own house and I was engaged to be married and then when the recession hit I got completely blindsided I got laid off from a job I was unable to pay the mortgage on the house and then my fiance left me all three parts of my life had caved in it just be crawled up on the floor in a in a in a fetal position just there was nothing in my life that I could go back to I would go to this Beach there was this rock just offshore it was just getting talented wave after wave I would stare at it for hours thinking that’s exactly how I feel lost can’t completely beat up with absolutely no hope of redemption 2006 was also a rough year for a dog with the name Abby she was abandoned on a busy highway this extremely terrified puppy trying to stay alive dodging trucks and cars and semis someone had pulled over and at risk to their own safety they spent over an hour trying to coax her into the car and drove her to an animal shelter that experience totally traumatized Abby and she was very skittish and afraid of movement of sound of other animals just about everything at the same time Abby was going through this I was at the worst of my worst some days I would actually just get on the car and drive on one of those times I wound up at a local shelter I was thinking you know maybe if I adopted a dog it would at least give me some purpose it was my first time in an animal shelter and all the dogs are trying to get my attention but there was this one dog that wasn’t and that was Abby she was actually just sitting in the corner she made eye contact with me and identified with her when I saw her I had to bring her home in retrospect it was the most extraordinary decision of my life after the adoption the staff must have sensed that I had no idea what I was doing one of the staff members said just take her wherever you go and let her see the world through your eyes that advice became the basis for everything that we did after that so I took Abby to that same beach several times a week and we were both trying to figure out what’s going on in our life at first she would just run around and go all over the place after a while as we started to trust each other that distance between us would shrink and she would get closer and closer to me then eventually she would come up next to me and we just sit on the beach together and both look at this rock out there I took Abby everywhere with me and spending all this time together we started to become a team partnership Abby quite literally followed me everywhere and so when I’d go out swimming in the ocean she followed me there was this random surfer out there one day and I asked him if Abby could rest on his board as soon as she got up there she didn’t crouch down like most dogs she actually stood straight up and looked ready to go so I gently pushed her into a wave and she just rode it all the way into Shore I couldn’t believe it I just took her out to surf as much as possible on the board she was fearless and she was having a great time and man could she sir [Music] so it turns out that there are these dog surfing contests we decided to enter one on her very first contest she got first in her qualifying heats we just kept entering more and more contests and Abby just kept winning them she had such a unique style that everybody started to pick up on it and she really became a crowd favorite [Music] over the course of the next few years she became the most awarded and surf dog ever and she even holds the Guinness world record for the longest wave surfed by a dog for a be it wasn’t about winning or losing or how famous she was or the medals for her it was just the pure joy of surfing I remember thinking if I could help Abby find something she loved why couldn’t I find something that I just loved doing for the sheer joy of it whether success or failure whether win or lose there had to be something for me and the more I thought about it I realized I knew exactly what that was I’ve started a company devoted to protecting our coastlines where we play and work and live I’ve discovered what I’m really meant to do the central thing to that has been this relationship I have with Abby surfing is this wonderful sport because you have no control over the waves you just take what you’re dealt but what’s important is that you try and make it the best ride possible and no matter what happens you get up and you get back out there again so now when I go back to that rock I no longer see it as the symbol of hopelessness and uncontrollable circumstances it’s a symbol of strength no matter what happens to you when I think of that day I first met Abby we were both kind of lost souls with no purpose or direction together we discovered that we were both capable of a lot more than we ever thought but I would have never known my full potential if I hadn’t helped the shelter dog find hers first [Music] you

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