Now through Labor Day, Mike Ridings, owner of Liquid Board Shop, Route One, Rehoboth Beach, is donating $2 from the sale of every Surf Like Cal T-shirt to the Delaware SPCA. The unusual T-shirt has intrigued locals and tourists who visit Liquid Board Shop. When they find out that the surfing dog is a “local” and that a portion of T-shirt sales is being donated to the Delaware SPCA, they’re even more intrigued by Cal’s story.
At 3 years of age, Cal Johnson has been surfing half of his life. Remarkable feat for a human, but Cal is a dog. Specifically, the ever-loyal canine companion belongs to a Lewes family, Drew and Karen Johnson, and their sons, Sam and Luke.
Named after the Orioles Hall of Famer Cal Ripkin, Cal’s love of catching balls is equaled only by his love for catching waves. While still a puppy, Cal, a Vizsla, moved to the Delaware shore with his family where daily beach romps were more plentiful. Tired of being left on dry land with no one to play with, Cal quickly realized that he needed to learn how to surf if he wanted to hang with his peeps. Now Cal hangs 10 - and sometimes 20.
In late spring, while surfing a local hot spot, Ridings spotted Cal’s talent and was inspired to bring a local vibe to his shop - and help the Delaware SPCA at the same time. “A surfing dog is not something you see everyday,” said Ridings, who also provides surf lessons each summer and often hears novices question their ability. “I tell them - if Cal can hop up on that board, so can you.”
With the Johnson family’s enthusiastic support, Ridings created one of his most popular T-shirts of the summer, Surf Like Cal, depicting six photographs of Cal’s surfing exploits. And, because he knows it would make Cal proud, Ridings is donating $2 from every T-shirt sale to the Delaware SPCA, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to the elimination of animal cruelty, neglect and overpopulation since 1873, that relies solely on local donations to carry out their work for animals.
For more information, including a video of Cal surfing, go to LiquidBoardShop.com