Delcia and I had been riding for more than three years when we rescued one-year-old Kaysey from a date with the executioner in January of 2012. Kaysey–who came to us as Bianca– is a mixed breed terrier who we soon learned would go anywhere we would go and do anything we would do. When the weather warmed up that first spring and the motorcycles took to the road, Kaysey refused to be left behind, and she was destined to become The Biker Dog.
Kaysey was a head-out-the-window, car-loving dog from the day she came to live with us. She competed fiercely with Delcia for her rights to the front passenger seat and didn’t relinquish it easily. With her nose-in-the-breeze attitude perhaps the events that revealed Kaysey’s adventurous spirit and her wanderlust shouldn’t have come as such a big surprise. But they did.
When temperatures moderated and the urge to ride became irresistible, I rolled the big, red bike out into the driveway and gave it a thorough washing. The ever curious Kaysey kept walking circles around the operation, stepping in occasionally to sniff the unfamiliar machine. After I put away the hose and buckets, and the threat of overspray was gone, she became even bolder and looked at me with what could be described only as a confounded and quizzical expression on her fuzzy face.
“Do you like that,” I asked, and her body language indicated that indeed she did. So, I picked her up and placed her on the rear passenger seat. Nothing could have pleased her more. She looked around from her high vantage point and all but smiled in satisfaction. “We’ll see about that,” I thought, and with the bike standing securely upright on it’s center stand, I cranked up the engine. If I was expecting Kaysey to bolt, I was in for my first lesson in sharing my bike with a dog. And now I was genuinely intrigued, so I threw my leg over the driver’s seat of the Goldwing and rolled it off its stand. There was still no wary reaction from Kaysey, and off we went, up the driveway, down the street, and around the block. She sat upright and balanced, looking around at the scenery as though she’d been riding forever.
Delcia and I had a good laugh over the experience that night, and it was pretty much forgotten. We would each go off on our bikes–together or individually–leaving behind a forlorn and despondent pet. Then, one afternoon when Delcia was at work, I was set to go off for a solo ride, and Kaysey followed me around as I rolled out the bike, cranked it up, and left it idling while I donned my jacket and helmet. I was just about to escort Kaysey to the gate leading to the backyard when it occurred to me that I had forgotten my gloves in the garage. I told Kaysey to “stay” and went in to retrieve the handwear. When I came back out, there sat Kaysey, on the bike, in the passenger seat of the idling machine, and her face said loudly and clearly:
READY TO GO.
It was pretty rare after that day for me to go for a ride on the Goldwing without taking Kaysey along. And since the big, luxury bike is my ride of choice, we spent many hours and miles together. Not once did Kaysey give any indication that she might jump or fall from the generous back seat of the Goldwing and the security of its semi-wrap-around passenger backrest.
But every minute of every ride and each steering maneuver gave me concern for the time when Kaysey would misinterpret my intentions, or an abrupt shift in riding angle would catch her by surprise. I had to find–or design–a safer riding arrangement for her. And that was particularly true if she was to accompany me on longer road trips. As it turned out, another Goldwing rider and pet owner had already solved the problem. Shopping online, I found the nearly perfect perch for my pooch, not only for safety, but for protection from sun and rain, as well.
I wish I could share with fellow Goldwing owners more details for Dog On pet carriers, but they are no longer available, and I’ve lost contact with the clever fellow who was the manufacturer.
The surrounding sidewalls of the Dog On installation anchor firmly into the seat design of the GL1800 Goldwing and offer a secure surround for canines up to 30 pounds. To give Kaysey extra riding room, I removed the thick, contoured backrest of her seat and replaced it with a much thinner and flatter gel pad. The integrated canopy greatly enhanced her safety and comfort.
And there you have it, the simple–and to me, inevitable–story of how our abandoned and rescued charmer became our anytime/all the time riding companion. But you can believe me when I say this first chapter was only the beginning.
At this writing (February, 2016), almost four years after the events described above, Kaysey and I have logged more than 6,000 miles on Scarlet O’Honda. We added a pop-up camper trailer to pull behind the big red bike, and we’ve ridden in 22 states, the District of Columbia, and three Canadian provinces. I have pages yet to write and stories yet to tell in bringing up to date the saga of Kaysey, the Biker Dog.
MORE TO COME…
Next Up: “Travels with Kaysey”