Superman has the power of flight and X-ray vision. Wonder Woman has her Lasso of Truth and powerful bracelets. And Batman has, of course, all of his gadgets and money. None of them are any match for Jojo, a Corgi who uses his powers of surfing and snowboarding to raise attention and money for animals in need.
Like many superheroes, Jojo has an incredible origin story that could have ended in tragedy. Two years ago, Jojo and his human, Josephine Hearn, were viciously attached by two bigger dogs in the apartment complex where they lived at the time. Josephine’s husband Ryan was deployed overseas, and the couple had planned to have a small wedding with friends and family when he returned. But Jojo’s medical needs came first.
“I needed to use our wedding money for that surgery or else they wouldn’t work on him,” says Hearn. “We sacrifice for what’s important to us, and for me it was Jojo’s life. I wouldn’t know what to do without him.”
Jojo did water therapy as his post-surgery rehab, and since the Hearns were already outdoorsy people who enjoyed surfing and swimming at the beach, it seemed like a perfect fit to bring Jojo along for the ride. It was a happy accident when they found they could rest their pooch on a surfboard without a problem—and not only that, Jojo liked it.
“When we put the board down, he would go to it and be ready to surf or snowboard,” says Hearn. “I love it because we get to bond as a family—it’s super fun and stress free.”
After Jojo’s attack, Hearn turned to the Instagram community “to seek support and see if any others went through the same trauma.” She wanted to assist others who experienced similarly scary events. Hearn found the community she was looking for, but Instagram also turned into an outlet for showcasing Jojo’s unique outdoor activities and adventurous spirit. Photos of the Corgi surfing, snowboarding and dressing up in all kinds of costumes helped rocket the pup to internet stardom.
But how do you capture a Corgi on the move? The Hearns catch Jojo hanging ten or shredding snow on their iPhones and a GoPro3. You can find Jojo riding the waves at Huntington Beach and Del Mar, Calif., and Oahu, Hawaii, with plans to hit international waters in the future.
While Jojo’s daredevil lifestyle has brought in a lot of followers (over 58,000), Hearn chalks up her dog’s success to “his smile, his drive, his focus, [and] his calm personality.” Together, Jojo and Hearn use their online influence to help animal shelters and services by participating in events and fundraising activities. “We are all about helping dogs and furfriends,” says Hearn.
Images courtesy of Josephine Hearn