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ADV PreppingThese Moto Dogs Can’t Get Enough Adventure On Two-Wheels!

These Moto Dogs Can’t Get Enough Adventure On Two-Wheels!

 Some of the most adventurous dogs on epic motorcycle journeys.

Published on 08.31.2018
Some dogs are more adventurous than a lot of human riders: from tiny Yorkshire terriers to border collies, South American mongrels and extravagant poodles, these furry four-legged riders have clocked thousands of miles on motorcycles alongside their owners.

We talked to several inspirational riders who chose to share their bikes and travels with their faithful and fearless moto dogs.

1. Winston and Rosie Gabrielle

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Rosie, an adventure rider traveling the world for several years now, found Winston in Oman as a tiny neglected puppy and decided to rescue him. “Lots of pet stores in Oman have these puppy dogs brought in cheaply from the Philippines, but they don’t look after them”, – Rosie said. She got Winston six and a half years ago, and the duo has barely separated since.


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“I started taking Winston on motorcycle trips about three years ago, and he just loved it. I guess for him, being on a bike is like permanently sticking his nose out of a car window”, – Rosie explained. Winston may be small, but he is a certified animal service dog helping Rosie cope with several health issues she battles, especially anxiety. Winston provides a distraction and something to look after, as well as unconditional love and companionship.

The furry adventurer is happy both in Rosie’s Triumph Bonneville sidecar and in a dog carrier bag she uses when she’s riding her Honda Shadow. The little rider wears goggles and a harness for safety and, Rosie says, never gets fussy on the bike: for Winston, going on rides is an adventure. “If I leave him behind with my mom, he gets depressed. I think our bond is always strengthened when we travel together. It’s amazing to have company, and Winston just loves being with me”, – Rosie said. The pair has already clocked over 11,000 miles together riding the US, Canada and Oman.

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Before her bike trip to Oman, Rosie was a little apprehensive about how Winston would be received by the locals after hearing some Muslim cultures are somewhat wary of dogs. But it turned out to be the other way around: Bedouin women queued to take selfies with Winston, kids wanted to play with him, and Winston was even allowed into people’s homes and dining rooms. “People absolutely loved him! Traveling with a dog is a great icebreaker”, – Rosie remembers.

Currently, Rosie and Winston are plotting their next escape to Alaska on Rosie’s Bonneville sidecar. Follow their adventures here.

2. Motorbike Milly and Paul

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Paul Crossan, a retired plumber and motorcycle rider, doesn’t get on two wheels unless Motorbike Milly, his moto dog, is coming along. Paul rescued Milly from an animal shelter: she had had a bad start in life and suffered from attachment issues. Paul didn’t mind that – he wanted company, and Milly’s loyalty was what he needed. “As I ride my bike most places I thought I’d see if it was possible to bring Milly along. There never was an adjustment period, Milly took to riding from day one. She was just happy she was with me!”, – Paul said. From then on, Milly came with him everywhere.

According to Paul, Milly loves the wind in her hair and enjoys barking at other dogs as the pair passes by. She wears a full-face helmet to protect her ears and eyes and has a custom-made leather waistcoat. Milly doesn’t just ride, though: she also gets involved with charity events. Currently, Milly is a mascot for the Scottish Emergency Rider Volunteer Service, where people can meet her. Milly is also the Mascot for a new group called Riders For Animals. “I’m very excited about this. The main focus is animal welfare. It’s going to take a while until it’s formed into a registered charity but in the meantime, we offer support to existing animal welfare charity by having a group of bikers (and Milly) turn up at events and help raise awareness and funds for the charity”, – Paul explained.

Watch: Meet Milly, Britain’s Best Biking Buddy

But Milly has even more achievements than this: after Paul and she took part in a competition called “Keep Britain Biking”, Milly has won an official title of being “Britain’s Best Biking Buddy”.

Paul and Milly are inseparable. “We travel all over Scotland. We do absolutely everything together. As much as I rescued her she also rescued me in so many ways”, – Paul said. Follow their adventures here.

3. Dandy and Israel

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Israel Gillette, an American adventurer and dog lover, is currently riding his Suzuki DR650 with his furry friend Dandy. Dandy’s predecessor Daisy had covered over a million miles, 49 States and 34 countries riding with Israel – and after she passed away in Romania at 15 years old, Israel decided he wanted another travel companion.

“Overland trips to Alaska, Turkey, and Morocco with Daisy were the most memorable. Dandy came from the same animal shelter that Daisy was from in Johnson City, Tennessee. Though he was a bit skittish when I got him, he took to riding very quickly. On road or off Dan is happy on the bike, he’s got some talent for it! The faster and curvier the better”, – Israel said.

Moto Mutt Dan and Izzy

Riding swiftly in the Tennessee hills.

Posted by Israel Eugene Gillette on Tuesday, June 5, 2018

 

According to Israel, riding with Dandy improves their relationship: the dog was already seven or eight months older when Israel got him from the shelter, so building trust is proving a little more difficult. “However, the more ground we cover (he’s hit 44 States and three countries since adopting him in January) the more attached he becomes to me. Riding makes things more special for me, and I get the feeling it has the same for my dogs”, – Israel explained.

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

The current set up for Dandy is a welded metal pannier, the strongest and most protective option there is, according to Israel. After experiencing a crash in Turkey at 80 km an hour, Daisy walked out of the pannier safe and sound – Israel is convinced this is the best option for Dandy, too. According to him, it’s extremely important to train the dog well, have the riding skills and make sure the dog is comfortable on the bike. Taking baby steps to acclimatize your dog to the motorcycle and finding the best rig for riding safely is also key, as well as investing in a good quality high-viz vest and harness.

At the moment, Israel and Dandy are riding together both on and off the road. Follow their adventures here.

4. Higgs and Dominik

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Dominik Krawczyk, an Austrian photographer and traveler, was a proud owner of a Triumph Tiger 800XC – until a small Irish Terrier named Higgs came along. To accommodate Higgs on the bike, Dominik promptly sold the Tiger and bought a Ural sidecar instead.

“My wife Bettina bought Higgs for me back in 2015, and, spending more and more time with the new puppy, I realized the bike was just collecting dust in the garage. I decided I wanted to try and combine both of my passions – riding a motorcycle and taking care of Higgs”, – Dominik explained.

For Dominik, Higgs became a trusty friend in a time of need: dealing with health issues following a skiing accident, learning to walk again, and experiencing stress and pressure at work, Dominik became depressed and distrustful of people. When his wife Bettina brought Higgs home, the little dog became a source of unconditional trust and bonding for Dominik. “I was at a tough place back then, and when Bettina said she was getting us a dog, I wasn’t sure it that was a good idea. But looking back, this was the best decision ever!”, – Dominik said.

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

Ever since, the happy trio have been taking motorcycle trips to Italy, Croatia, and Switzerland. For Higgs, accompanying Dominik and Bettina on motorcycle trips is extremely important – the loyal terrier can’t stand being left alone. “I take Higgs with me everywhere I go, and he just loves riding so much”, – Dominik explained. According to him, Higgs is a very curious dog and enjoys experiencing new places.

Dominik, Bettina and Higgs are setting out on a journey to Bulgaria later on this year. Follow their adventures here.

5. Shadow, Negrita, Stu and Janell

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles
Photo by @HP2Mav

Australian world travelers Stuart and Janell have been on the road for four years now together with their two dogs Shadow and Negrita. The adventurous pack have ridden thousands of miles across the Americas, Africa and Europe. Originally, Stu and Janell didn’t plan to travel with dogs, but after their beloved bull terrier cross Skyla was diagnozed with cancer, they knew they couldn’t leave her behind. “Skyla had chemo and a bone marrow transplant and got a little better, so we took her with us. Sadly, six month into the trip, she died – but by then, we had adopted Negrita, a homeless pup we came across when traveling in Venezuela“, – Stu said.

Later on, the couple saw a small dog being hit by a car in Colombia. Taking her to the vet, the couple was told she would end up homeless and wouldn‘t survive – so they took Shadow in. With Negrita and Shadow tucked away safely in the Pillion Pooch carriers that Stuart and Janell had designed themselves, the couple hit the road again and rode around Africa. According to them, the Pillion Pooch is a very safe and comfortable carrier for the dogs: both pups wear harnesses that clip onto the interior of the carrier, the dogs have their beds inside and have enough room to feel comfortable.

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles
Photo by @HP2Mav

According to Janell, the dogs are like family to them: the couple doesn’t get homesick because Shadow and Negrita are always there with them. “And sure, the traveling is a little slower because you have to stop and walk, water and feed the dogs frequently, you can’t just pack them up and go. But it’s all worth in the and”, – she added.

Currently, Stu and Janell with Shadow and Negrita are preparing for the next leg of their journey through Europe and Asia. Follow their adventures here.

Honorable mention: Spirit and Ara

Adventure dogs riding on motorcycles

After the tragic loss of his son Lance to cancer thirteen years ago, Ara Gureghian and his furry companion Spirit had become something of a legend on the road. Traveling indefinitely across North America, Ara and Spirit, a rescue dog that was merely a day away from being put to sleep at the shelter, covered endless miles in a BMW GS sidecar rig. Blogging, writing books and articles to share his journey with others, Ara had become a true nomad.

Spirit, who had suffered neglect and abuse by his previous owner, took to the road like a natural: The pair covered roughly 300,000 miles around the United States together, riding on and off the road. Both Ara and Spirit loved being outdoors, camping in wild places, and discovering nature. “I rescued him, and he rescued me”, – Ara has said about Spirit.

To Ara, who is now 69, traveling on a motorcycle with Spirit for years has been a journey of healing and finding new purpose. Unfortunately, Spirit has passed and Ara feels he can no longer endure the bumpy roads and the sidecar rig, the “Old Faithful”, has been sold. However, Ara has since adopted a new dog Zoey and is still taking short, four-wheeled trips with her.

“As much as I miss my Buddy Spirit, I have Zoey cross my path. Zoey, the most lovable dog I have ever met!”, – Ara wrote in his blog recently.

Author: Egle Gerulaityte

Riding around the world extra slowly and not taking it too seriously, Egle is always on the lookout for interesting stories. Editor of the Women ADV Riders magazine, she focuses on ordinary people doing extraordinary things and hopes to bring travel inspiration to all two-wheeled maniacs out there.

Author: Egle Gerulaityte
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6 thoughts on “These Moto Dogs Can’t Get Enough Adventure On Two-Wheels!

  1. Really great stories.. Love them all.. Heartwarming… We too in Canada have a guy and a dog that travels around together.. Sandy MacDonald and Greb a German Sheperd…Sandy and Greb have raised over 100,000 dollars for the Fort McMurray SPCA and also rain money for Cancer awareness.. He rides a Harley Bike and Greb rides in a trailer that looks like an old car behind the bike..They have travelled in Canada and the US. An awesome duo and such dedication….