Four-legged Surf City attraction making waves

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) –When Ziva isn’t basking in the sun or running on the beach, she’s surfing, the four-legged pooch is making waves after videos of her at Surf City Beach have gone viral on social media. 

 Ziva is a four-year-old golden retriever who loves the ocean and getting in it, Ivan Stahnke is one of her owners. 

 “She has her own attitude, especially when we’re doing stuff like this,” he said. “When she wants to do it, if we don’t do it, she gets so mad, she will throw a little temper tantrum until she gets in the water.” 

 But when she does get in the water to surf, beach goers can’t get enough. 

 Ziva is not an overnight sensation; it took her three years to learn how to surf. According to her owners anybody can teach their dog to surf, as long as the dog’s heart is in it. 

Spectators were surprised when they saw her technique and balance on the surfboard. 

 Cynthia Barber and Jordan Clifford are visiting Surf City Family Campground from Benson. 

 “It’s amazing,” said Barber. “Just wow.” 

 “I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Clifford. 

 Neither has Danasia Hammond, who’s had Ziva since the dog was a few months old. 

 “I never had a dog surfing before, until I had her, ” she said. 

 Ziva’s love for surfing happened attempt to save Hammond, Ziva thought her owner was in distress, jumped in to try to pull her to safety. 

 “She pulled the string and pulled me out of the water,” said Hammond. 

 That’s when the idea came to teach Ziva how to boogie board. 

 “Ivan put her on the boogie board, like four paws, and she did a nice wave,” said Hammond. 

 “She ended up breaking it in half because she rode it so much, ” said Stahnke. 

 Ziva has since upgraded to a full-sized surfboard. 

 “There are a lot of people recording her and taking pictures,” said Hammond. 

 When asked if Ziva knows she’s famous, Stahnke said,” I don’t think she cares, she just likes having fun.” 

 “Ruffing” it out until she can hit her next big wave. 

The Winston-Salem family loves animals and owns 9 dogs, including Ziva, and Stanke train and breeds both golden retrievers and golden doodles. 

Owner of Jeep N’ Pups Dana Wright grooms them, Ziva’s family think they are lucky to have ended up with not only talented dog, but one who is sweet and friendly with a sense of humor. 

Ziva has her own social media accounts; more videos can be found on her TikTok and Facebook page. 


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