Video: Bunk the bulldog skates into Weston

Bunk the English Bulldog enjoys a ride on his skateboard at his home in Weston. — Bryan Haeffele photo

Bunk the English Bulldog enjoys a ride on his skateboard at his home in Weston. — Bryan Haeffele photo

It’s not uncommon for drivers to pull up across from Frank Nussbaum’s home on Old Hyde Road to watch his bulldog skateboard up and down his driveway.

In this instance, the driver of a white sedan stretched her neck out the window as she drove by to ensure she had the best possible view of the dog on the board.

“This happens all the time,” said Nussbaum, laughing and waving to the woman. She returned his greeting and drove off while he was left supervising Bunk, his 4-year-old English bulldog, who loves to ride a beat-up skateboard across the driveway.

At 62 pounds, Bunk is stocky, tough and similar in build to his namesake, Bunk Moreland from the acclaimed HBO drama The Wire. The dog’s low center of gravity makes him the perfect size to push a skateboard around.

“He clearly loves the adrenaline of it,” said Nussbaum. “If a skateboard smacks you in the face it’s going to hurt. It smacks Bunk in the face all the time but he keeps going.”

Bunk skateboards up and down the driveway three times a day, once in the morning, once at lunchtime and later in the afternoon. Nussbaum said Bunk will often go for about 45 minutes uninterrupted.

Bunk looks determined as he prepares himself for the ride on the board. He puts his two front legs on the middle of the board and pushes against the pavement with his hind legs.

It sometimes takes him a little bit to get going and sometimes his paws slide off the top of the board, but once he gets in his groove he is surprisingly graceful.

If he slips off the board during a run, which he is prone to do, he’ll pull a fast 180-degree turn and start pushing again from the other side. Once he reaches the grass at the end of the driveway, he nudges the board back to the pavement. Occasionally he needs help and Nussbaum rushes over to flip the board back into place.

While propelling the board, Bunk looks toward his destination with a starry-eyed grin. His long tongue droops out of his mouth and seems to bob side to side in time with each push of the board.

Bunk usually keeps only two legs on the board, but Nussbaum says he will occasionally put all four legs on it and glide around without a care.

“He used to put all four legs on the board more than he does now,” said Nussbaum. “It helps when there’s a slight decline to get him going, but our driveway here is pretty flat.”

Sometimes when Bunk falls off the board he will flip it over and gnaw on the wheels.

“We had to buy the hardest wheels possible,” said Nussbaum. “At first we had softer ones and he just tore those up.”

Origin

About four years ago, Nussbaum, now 45, was living the single life as a real estate developer in New York City. One evening, he said, he went out with a friend and “had some drinks” before happening upon a pet store.

He walked in and started looking at bulldogs and the owner asked if he was interested in buying one. The owner went to another room and came back with Bunk, who was only a few weeks old.

Once Nussbaum saw the puppy’s face, he said, it was an immediate “impulse buy,” and he walked out of the store with a new pet, as well as a newfound responsibility to take care of a life other than his own.  

“I figured a dog would help me meet some girls around town,” laughed Nussbaum.

The very next day, Nussbaum’s life would change again when he went on his first date with a woman named Carlye, who is now his wife.

A few years later, the couple married and were living in Brooklyn with Bunk and Carlye’s daughter, Mia, who is now 10 and attends Weston schools.

“I went from being single in the city to having a family pretty quickly,” said Nussbaum.

Mia didn’t immediately take to Bunk and at first was pretty hesitant of him. “She told Carlye she didn’t like his mushy face and would have preferred a fluffier dog,” Nussbaum said.

But Mia grew to love the mushy-faced canine, and the family “became obsessed” with having a bulldog, said Nussbaum, who added that bulldog owners really love their breed.

WF P1 BunkDog_Frank 1-19

Frank Nussbaum and his beloved English bulldog Bunk. — Gregory Menti photo

“There are a bunch of videos online of bulldogs on skateboards,” said Nussbaum. “Carlye surprised me with a skateboard as a gift and as soon as we put it on the ground Bunk was instantly playing with it.”

People often ask if Nussbaum trained Bunk to skateboard, but he insists that he didn’t. “Bunk just likes to push things, and he learned this completely by himself,” he said.

In Brooklyn, Nussbaum would often take Bunk to a nearby park to skateboard on flat, concrete surfaces.

“He would attract crowds every time we were there,” Nussbaum said. “He 100% gets more into it when people are watching him. People in the park would take out their iPhones and take pictures of him constantly.”

One day, Bunk was skateboarding in Brooklyn when famous photographer and Westport resident Stephen Wilkes came across the scene. Wilkes snapped a picture of Bunk and put it on his Instagram page. To date, that photo has more than 10,000 likes.

A reporter from the magazine InTouch also came across Bunk one day, and published a feature story about him.

Weston move

Last August, Nussbaum and his family moved from Brooklyn to Old Hyde Road in Weston.

“We were looking in Westport initially, but our Realtor showed us this place and we knew we wanted it,” said Nussbaum.

Nussbaum was at first worried how Bunk would take to living in the “country,” especially coming from the biggest city in America.

“He loves it,” Nussbaum said. “Bulldogs are great for the city because they’re good apartment dogs, but Bunk loves having a yard.”

BullDog Skateboard

Bunk pushing his skateboard down the driveway. — Bryan Haeffele photo

Nussbaum considers Bunk an integral member of the family. The dog sleeps in bed with him and his wife, taking up “a ton of room,” and snoring “like you wouldn’t believe,” he said.

“Bunk’s just like a kid. I know he thinks of himself as a kid,” said Nussbaum. “If he sees Mia sledding in the back yard, he wants to get on a sled and go down the hill with her.”

Nussbaum said Bunk “brings a smile” to the family every day. “He doesn’t bark very often, he loves people, he’s just a very sweet dog,” he said. “If we ask our friends to watch him they’re more than happy to because he’s so simple to take care of. He’s just a pleasure.”

As Bunk finished up with a few more skateboard passes up and down the driveway, a black SUV pulled up across from the Nussbaum’s home. The driver quizzically looked at Bunk as he launched himself on his skateboard.

Nussbaum laughed and waved at the driver before she drove away. “See, this happens all the time.”

More photos may be found on Bunk’s Instagram page, @GoodBoyBunk.

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