She’s just a cool dog who loves to surf … and her name is Jack
You’d never know if you saw her today in her epic Hawaiian shirt and shades, but Surfin’ Jack is a true “wags to riches” story. Jack, a 6-year-old golden retriever/Saluki mix, was rescued by Joey Herrick, founder of the Lucy Pet Foundation and formerly president and cofounder of Natural Balance Pet Foods. The Lucy Pet Foundation, a family-owned and -operated nonprofit based in Thousand Oaks, California, is named for the injured, malnourished and pregnant Chihuahua mix found on the street and adopted by Herrick and his family. The foundation’s primary objective is to reduce dog and cat euthanasia by spaying and neutering as many dogs and cats as possible, free of charge for pet owners who are unable to spay or neuter their pets on their own.
Surfin’ Jack is just one of the “spokes-animals” for the foundation; however she’s really made a splash with her fans, and pulls double-duty by helping out as Chief Product Coordinator for Lucy Pet Products, which includes dog treats, cat litter, shampoos and conditioners, gifts, and its newest product, Lucy Pet Formulas for Life™ with P.B.F. Prebiotic Balanced Fiber.
After coming out with a “beachy” shampoo and leave-in conditioner for his product line, Herrick was on the lookout for the perfect surfin’ spokesdog to represent the brand. With all his connections in the shelter and rescue industry, he reached out to a longtime friend to help begin his search. After visiting a few shelters around the Los Angeles area, he got a call that the ideal dog was at the Los Angeles East Valley animal shelter. The timing was perfect for Joey and Jack, and after laying eyes on her, Joey knew right away she had the good looks and cool demeanor, of the ideal, laid-back Surfin’ Jack.
It wasn’t the easiest adoption, even for Herrick, who has adopted many animals and is very involved with local rescues. He was told to come back the next day because there were other people interested in Jack. When he returned bright and early the next day, determined to adopt Jack, he found himself the only person there. He knew it was meant to be!
With a shoot for a Super Bowl commercial coming up, Joey and Jack hit the ground running, getting to work on bonding and training. Even though she had the good looks and gentle personality he was looking for, there were a few small obstacles they had to get through for Jack to be TV ready.
Unlike most dogs, Jack wasn’t motivated by much of anything. They tried treats, they tried toys, they tried positive reinforcement … nothing seemed to hit the spot for Jack. After some serious time spent on set filming Jack’s Super Bowl commercial, Joey realized that while doing tricks on command might not be her specialty, she would fit right in with the surfin’ crew he had already. Jack took very well to being dressed in her casual Hawaiian get-up and shades, and she also loved the water, as well as the idea of actually surfing!
A Dog That Surfs
After a little bit of practice, Jack now travels around with her adopted brothers and sisters to promote the Lucy Pet Foundation, showing off her skills on the mobile Lucy Pet Crankin’ K9 Wave Maker. This one-of-a-kind creation, designed exclusively for Lucy Pet by American Wave Machines, consists of a 75-foot trailer filled with 5,000 gallons of water and an automatic wave generator. Dogs—and even one cat—are launched by a handler onto the crest of a wave, then are met at the end of the trailer by another handler who helps them dismount. Any surfing between handlers is all dog-powered! Jack was a fast learner, quickly becoming a seasoned dog surfer, and her fans delight in seeing her everywhere she goes.
Her Life of Service
After her retirement from Super Bowl commercials, Jack trained to become a registered service dog, specializing in companionship and emotional support. She does her best to help spread the word of the Lucy Pet Foundation by hanging out with her fans at red carpet events, hanging ten in the Crankin’ K9 Wave Maker, and—her favorite of all— traveling to stores across the region and attending pet events.
The Lucy Pet Foundation’s mobile spay and neuter van travels with dedicated veterinarians on board
Although events are her specialty, Jack also helps raise awareness for the Lucy Pet Foundation through her sizable Instagram following. Surfin’ Jack now has 3,062 Instagram followers and uses her account to help spread the word about spaying/neutering and pet adoption, among other topics. If you follow her @surfinjackdog, you’ll see her almost daily posts about traveling to help pets in need and helping pet owners in her community. She recently stopped in to donate some Lucy Pet Food products to Lily’s Legacy Senior Dog Sanctuary, a nonprofit program in Petaluma, California, that loves and cares for homeless, senior large-breed dogs. She was a standout figure at this year’s SuperZoo, the national show for pet retailers in Las Vegas, held in July. She also recently advocated for National Mutt Day. Jack may look like a purebred golden retriever, but she wants to show her community that mutts like her can be just as cute and fun-loving as purebred dogs.
All things considered, Surfin’ Jack may arguably be the coolest spokesdog around. She effortlessly advocates for a foundation that was created very organically, and she supports the well-being of animals and animal owners alike. The Lucy Pet Foundation is on a mission to reach more states and help more pets every day. If you would like to learn more about Surfin’ Jack or the Lucy Pet Foundation, visit lucypetfoundation.org.