Around the world, dogs have become part of the surf culture. Dogs love the beach. It offers them space to run around, play, dig in the sand, a refreshing run through the water, and be close to their owners. No wonder they resist when it’s time to go back home. Nowadays there are even competitions with dogs surfing, check at the video below.
Although there are no competitions for the Moroccan or Balinese dogs yet, they are part of the surf scene in their own way. In Bali, it’s not uncommon to see surfers on their bikes with a board in the board rack and a dog between their feet.
About 90% of the Balinese residents are Hindu. Dogs are part of an important Hindu mythology, Mahaprasthanika Parva, where a dog befriends Yudhisthira and his brothers on their journey to heaven. Yudhisthira brothers die along the way. The dog and Yudhisthira continue together. When Yudhisthira gets offered a way to heaven in the chariot with God Indra, Yudhisthira declines the offer when he hears the dog isn’t allowed to join. Yudhisthira explains he can’t leave behind the dog who is his friend, for his own happiness in life. The dog witnesses Yudhisthira’s commitment and transforms and reappears as deity Dharma. The deity Dharma praises Yudhisthira for his virtues. Yudhisthira enters heaven in the chariot.
Also in Taghazout, Morocco, the dogs are present in everyday life. During a surf trip you will notice the (mostly) well adjusted beach dogs. Where some might fear these dogs, there is in general, no need to be worried about them at all. At some beaches the dogs even seem to have figured out a system where they employ themselves as guards over the stuff of the surfers. In exchange for a bite of lunch and the shade of an umbrella, they’ll stick around and growl at passers.
*Although most dogs in Morocco and Bali are calm, friendly, playful and not aggressive, yet due to (little but present) rabies, it’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure you won’t get bitten. If so, seek medical attention immediately.