Counter Surfing

Counter surfing is not a new X Games sport but rather a very old sport that has been fine-tuned in many households. Labradors are particularly well adapted to it but other breeds of dogs can hold their own. Basically, it is where the competing canine develops his body so that he can stretch, touch with mouth or foot, take down to floor, and consume anything on a counter or near a counter. The success of this sport is not only measured by agility, but also distance from edge and absolute speed. An Olympic level competitor can reach absolutely any part of a counter and whip off any item in the blink of an eye.

In my house, all canines participate in this sport, but some have mastered better than the others. The thrill of the sport is what drives them, but some targets up the ante more than others. The most exciting targets in the cooking food category have been a large pot of stew still cooking on the stove, a chicken breast sautéing in a skillet, and an open-faced sandwich broiling inside the oven (yes, I do mean inside). The already cooked food category is not as challenging but equally rewarding—a freshly baked rum cake and whole pizza, each taken down in one second flat.

The goal of every competitor is not be harmed but there is no stopping a true athlete—so broken glass and all were the target with a new pan of baked brownies (only minor bleeding of the gums incurred). And there was no stopping with a 20# bag of dog food—although a trip to the vet was required to be sure that the tripled-in-size stomach would shrink back with no complications.

The ultimate counter surfer does not stop with food—wine bottles and glasses (some do have class) and many paper products are quite the trophy. One time an entire stack of work resumes were removed and shredded with pride.

This sport’s name was actually coined by the renowned animal behaviorist, Kelley Bollen and I just learned of it when she visited our shelter a couple of weeks ago. I now watch the sport in action and am proud of my K-9 kids’ accomplishments.

I never before realized that my labs’ talents were actually part of a treasured sport. I can now be the proud mom (rather than angry one) when the counter surfing games begin. Although, my worries for their well-being will never be diminished.

(Disclaimer: Counter surfing should never be attempted without proper training and oversight. Stay-tuned for tips on how to fine-tune this behavior so that all are protected.)

Events that Help Homeless Pets.

Adopt a Pet at NHS and Play Wheel of FURtune from April 18 through April 29 at Nevada Humane Society, every adopter gets a chance to spin the wheel to win a cool prize or receive a reduced adoption fee. Open daily for adoptions 11:00 am to 6:30 pm and an hour earlier on Saturdays at 10:00 am.

April Showers Bring May Kittens Kitten Shower & Info Session, April 28at Nevada Humane Society. Donate a kitten supplies: Kitten Milk Replacement, heating pads/discs, nursing kits, dry or canned (non-fish pate style) food. Info session (learn how to become foster parents) from 1:00-4:00 pm. Kitten shower (with activities and refreshment) from 2:00-3:00 pm. Call 775-856-2000 for more information.

Nevada Humane Society Walk for Animals at Sparks Marina June 2. Register today and help raise $100,000 for homeless pets. Brochures available at area businesses or download one from You can also register online.


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