Clissold Park's boarding bulldog Eric taught himself how to skate
PUBLISHED: 18:58 25 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:58 25 May 2016
A bulldog who taught himself how to skate and now takes it in turns to do the half pipe in Clissold Park is becoming an internet sensation.
Videos of Eric have gone viral on Facebook and YouTube, and he has built up a fan base in the Stoke Newington park where everyone knows him and lets him have a go in the bowl.
Eric’s owner Claire Maclean told the Gazette: “He was about six months and I was walking him in the park, and I heard this kid screaming, ‘What’s going on?’
“I thought, ‘Where’s Eric?’ – Eric had nicked the skateboard and was rolling down the hill!
“He was totally standing on it, even pushing himself.
“I was a bit in shock as I’d never seen it before.
“We never put him on the board and pushed him.”
Claire reckons Eric picked up his moves from her boyfriend Joel – who used to take him to watch the boarders as a puppy, wrapped up in a papoose.
“Now it’s sweet – he just loves it so much, he goes most evenings,” said 28-year-old Claire, a trainee upholsterer at the Shoreditch Design Rooms in Hoxton.
“He knows where the skate park is. If we’re walking around the park he starts speeding up so we have to make sure he’s on the lead.
“You have to be conscious of French bulldogs exercising.
“They shouldn’t get overheated as they have flat noses, and we’ve been told by the vet not to overdo it.
“If he had his way he would keep on doing it, but we have to say: ‘Calm down, Eric!’”
The 18-month-old pooch, who is “pretty chilled”, even has a sponsor.
Camden skate shop Three Amigos, based in Camden Road, has provided him with a board.
It has to be custom made because the grip tape would run down his nails and hurt his mouth when he bites it.
“He can’t do any amazing tricks yet,” said Claire. “He can drop into the bowl – he can’t turn left, but he can steer it right.
“Eric is turning into a celebrity. We’re going to have to keep his ego down!”