Raw Fed Eric's Story
My honest intention when I first started taking Raw Fed Eric to our local skatepark was simply to familiarise him with the surroundings. I hoped that he would learn to hang out quietly, and not get in the way, so that I could take him with me when I went skating.
Things didn’t quite work out as planned though – Eric definitely had other ideas, and started showing an interest in skateboards that went way beyond normal doggy antics. I was actually a little bit glum when he first appropriated an unattended board and started rolling. I perceived this new development as a failure. To make things worse, whilst skating, he also made lots of noise, and chewed the edges of the board. It all looked a bit wild to me, and I actively tried to discourage the habit.
However, the third time he made a dash for the skatepark, and took someone’s board into the bowl, I found myself being roundly booed when I took the board off him and ordered him out. His joy and enthusiasm was infectious, and even some of the saltiest skatepark locals thought it was splendid fun. Most were only too happy to offer their board to Eric when he appeared, excitedly encouraging him to get involved.
My last, feeble, act of resistance was to complain that he would destroy my board if I indulged him regularly. It was at this point our friend Camo Pete stepped in. As proprietor of our local skateshop (Three Amigos, Camden) Pete has a history of supporting emerging skate-talent, and he insisted that if the destruction of my board was the only issue, he would happily sponsor Eric a board of his own. I now had no grounds for complaint. And so it began...
Not wanting to block up the bowls for other users, we started to regularly take Eric to ‘Breakfast Club’ sessions in the mornings before work. At these times, Eric often got the small bowl all to himself, as these sessions are mainly populated by older dudes on BMX's in the big bowl.
It was here that Eric came to the attention of Greg Illingworth, a pro BMXer who was visiting the park. Like Pete, he was impressed by Eric’s true skateboarding intent. He was clearly steering the board to the sections of the bowl he wanted to roll on, and could even drop in. Greg took a short video on his phone, and posted it online...
Within a week, the video had been viewed hundreds of thousands of times, and shared all over the world. Raw Fed Eric had gone viral, and was now receiving global attention.
Claire had set up an instagram account for Eric as a bit of fun. Suddenly Eric had several thousand followers (@erocdog ), and received offers of free product if we posted pics of Eric endorsing them. Eric was also invited to join the Yeah Buddy wax Team (@yeah_buddy_wax). Eric’s growing media profile even led to him being mentioned in a Vogue online article as part of skate week 2016 – The 5 Skating Dogs of Instagram You Need To Know
We then spoke to Jo from Nature’s Menu, who suggested that Eric might like to become a brand champion. We were only too pleased to agree. Eric has been eating a raw diet since he was a young pup, and we sourced the bulk of his food exclusively from Nature’s Menu already. Despite us feeling slightly overwhelmed by all the attention, Eric was taking it all in his stride and paying for his own dinner!
Things are a little calmer now, and Eric makes less noise when skating. He seems fully aware of his fame though, and poses whenever there is a camera pointed in his direction.
Eric mainly eats Country Hunter Superfood Nuggets, around 15 pieces twice a day - meat in the morning, fish in the evening. The Venison with Blueberry is a firm favourite, but he devours all flavours with great gusto, and we are happy he's getting the quality nutrition he needs to fuel his escapades - Check his instagram for proof!