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(NECN/APTV) - A four-year-old bulldog named Tillman will be showing off his snowboarding skills at the annual New Year's Day Rose Parade in California this coming January. According to the dog's owner, Ron Davis, he named his dog after a hero of his, Pat Tillman, an American football player who quit the National Football League after the September 11, 2001 attacks to enlist in the military, and was killed whilst serving in Afghanistan in 2004. Davis, a construction worker by trade, is not a professional trainer. He said that Tillman took to skateboarding very naturally when he was just a young puppy, and then progressed to surfing and snowboarding. "It was amazing watching him, how good he became at those sports, how quickly he became good at those sports," said Davis. Joey Herrick, the president of the Natural Balance dog food company, came up with the idea of using Tillman on a Rose Parade float after seeing him skateboarding on television in 2008. Tillman demonstrated his talent for skateboarding on the Natural Balance sponsored float in January 2009, and was a big hit with the viewers, although the float failed to win any awards. This year, Herrick has organized for Tillman to star again, this time snowboarding on the float. Tillman, who will be joined by four other trained bulldogs, will snowboard down a 112 feet (34 meters) man made mountain on what is planned to be the longest float in Rose Parade history. Davis, who has been working in various roles for Natural Balance since last year's parade, has been training the other bulldogs. The novice snowboarding dogs are expected to be in shape ready for the parade, but Tillman will undoubtedly remain the star of the show. The Rose Parade, also known as the Tournament of Roses Parade has been running since 1890 in Pasadena, California. Hundreds of thousands of people line the streets to watch the colorful New Year celebration that includes floral floats, horses and marching bands.