Tillman, the English bulldog who became famous for being able to skateboard and surf, has died at the age of 10, his owner reported on Thursday, October 29.
“I’m sorry to announce the world lost a true legend… My best bud Tillman passed away last night, of natural causes,” Davis, the canine’s owner, wrote. “We spent 10 years making so many incredible memories skating, surfing and hanging out together. No words can truly describe how much he’ll be missed. Thanks for all the good times, Tilly.”
— Tillman (@TillmanSkates) October 28, 2015
Tillman first rose to fame in 2007 after a video of him skateboarding was uploaded to YouTube. The video later went viral, and now has more than 22 million views. Not long after, Tillman appeared in a commercial for Apple’s iPhone to demonstrate the video-playing abilities of the device. He also appeared on the Hallmark channel’s reality television series Who Let the Dogs Out. For the show, Tillman and Ron traveled across the country in search of the nation’s most talented dogs. At the end of their long journey, Ron and Tillman had to choose which dog was the country’s most talented.
While Tillman became famous for his skateboarding moves, he later proved he could also surf and snowboard. In 2009, Tillman set a Guinness World Record as the fastest skateboarding canine in the world after he rolled across 100 meters (yards) in 19.678 seconds at the X Games in Los Angeles. Tillman’s title was beaten in 2013 by Jumpy, who landed a time of 19.65 seconds. According to Davis, Tillman was going to attempt to take back his title earlier this year at the Super Bowl festivities in Phoenix, but the rain made the surface too slow. According to the Ventura County Star, Davis said Tillman started experiencing an irregular heartbeat over the summer, and he was later diagnosed with a heart disease. He passed away on Tuesday night on the way to the veterinarian’s office after he started “lapsing into a sudden bout of labored panting.” The vet tried to revive him, but unfortunately, they were unsuccessful. “He was my best friend, my brother and my shadow, and when it was show time, it was amazing,” Davis, 46, told the Los Angeles Times. “He made millions and millions of people smile throughout the world. He was a little 60-pound butterball of inspiration for a lot of people.” The internet is now mourning Tillman’s death, with many people taking to social media to express their sympathy for Davis for losing his “best friend.”
Sad news I’ve just heard that one of my doggy heroes has passed away RIP Tillman the skateboarding Bulldog xx — Christian Lowe (@christian_lowe) October 28, 2015
Nooooooooo! Tillman was part of what made me want a bulldog. RIP Tillman. Please teach Doobster how to skateboard… https://t.co/dXfhOk7dzn
— Jennifer Kelly (@Jlmk74) October 28, 2015
RIP Tillman the skateboarding bulldog. May you shred in dog heaven. https://t.co/DpoFCSffT8
— Matt May (@the_may_area) October 28, 2015
Broken hearted over Tillman the skateboarding bulldog. rip Tillman
— amelia (@mlmcdnll) October 30, 2015
RiP Tillman the skateboarding bulldog We lost a real one — Angie Joie (@AngieJoie69) October 31, 2015
RIP Tillman, I loved working with you. Not everyone can say I was a seamstress for a skateboarding/surfing Bull Dog. You will be missed.
— Liana Clark (@mshemispheres) October 31, 2015
Davis said he was never able to teach Tillman normal dog commands and tricks, like to roll over or beg. However, he seemed to take naturally to skateboarding, and after many hours of practice, Tillman finally mastered it.
[Photo via Twitter]