For Ivan Moreira, surfing is a lifelong passion.
The Brazilian personal trainer and amateur surfer has been catching waves since he was 5, but he caught the world’s attention once he started inviting his Labrador, Bono, onto the board with him.
His Instagram account @bonosurfdog (Trust us, you’re going to want to follow him, stat) is as adorable as you might think: there are endless photos of the pair hitting the waves together, and amazing videos of Bono enjoying the water.
Like Moreira, Bono picked up surfing early on. “When Bono was 6 months old I got my first stand up paddle board and started paddling on the coast of Buzios, a beach with no waves,” he tells PEOPLE. “Like a faithful Labrador, he swam behind me and so I pulled him up on the board and in a short amount of time he became very comfortable and seemed happy to be there.”
A few months later, Moreira took Bono on a surfing trip to the south of Brazil, where they rode a small wave together. “I realized that we could actually surf together,” he says. “I began taking him out whenever the waves were small and manageable.”
Moreira eventually found out about the Surf Dog Competition in Huntington, California, an annual event to find the best surfers on four legs. Competing meant that both Bono and Moreira would need to spend more time in the water to practice, although neither of them minded much.
“Once I got confirmation that we were in the competition, I intensified our practice,” he says. All of their hard work paid off when Bono and Moreira won First Place in the Tandem Finals at Surf Dog.
It was winning the competition that inspired Moreira to start his Instagram account, which has racked up almost 20,000 followers from around the world. While he enjoys seeing Bono’s popularity grow online and seeing how much beachgoers love watching him surf, the real reward comes from the pair’s volunteer work.
“It does not compare to the gratification I get seeing the joy Bono brings to children with cancer when we volunteer at the Casa Ronald McDonald,” he admits.
Bono’s favorite part about becoming an Internet sensation? “I believe that Bono most enjoys the feeling of gliding while riding a wave,” Moreira says. “The way in which he wags his tail and barks happily and continuously brings joy to those watching him surf.”
The most meaningful part of the whole experience has been experiencing it all with Bono. “Being with him completes me and fills me with all the good things in life,” he says. “The love is reciprocal and definitely true!”