Tillman the surfing bulldog waits for results after his heat in the Sixth Annual Unleashed by Petco Surf City Surf Dog Competition on Sept. 28, 2014, in Huntington Beach.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Tillman rides on Natural Balance Pet Foods’ “Surf’s Up” float during the 2012 Rose Parade.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Tillman, right, and Rose look for position as they ride on Natural Balance Pet Foods’ “Surf’s Up” float during the 2012 Rose Parade.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Tillman during the 2012 Rose Parade.(Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times)
Tillman the skateboarding bulldog tries his hand at snowboarding during the 2010 Rose Parade.(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
Is there a skate park beyond the pearly gates?
Fans of Tillman certainly hope so. The English bulldog achieved Internet fame and real-life sponsorship deals with his uncanny ability to skateboard and surf. He died this week at the age of 10.
“I’m sorry to announce the world lost a true legend,” read a post on Tillman’s official Facebook page Wednesday night. “My best bud Tillman passed away last night, of natural causes.”
Because of their low center of gravity and wide bodies, bulldogs have a natural knack for balancing on boards. But even among bulldogs, Tillman was uniquely talented. In 2009, he earned the Guinness World Record for the world’s fastest skateboarding dog. Here’s a YouTube video of his record-setting dash:
The dog, who resided with his family in Oxnard, was also a regular fixture at the annual Pasadena Rose Parade, where he showed off his surfing and skating skills on floats for dog food brand Natural Balance.