Posted in dogs, Life

“Bike ride?”

Our dog Samson is coming up on his thirteenth birthday. He’s a lot mellower than he was in his puppy days. I had forgotten some of those days until our daughter brought her golden retriever Rex over to play. At six months, Rex is a ball of hair and energy, ready and willing to chew on anything moving or inanimate.

Samson’s got some kind of retriever in him, along with some German shepherd and a little who-knows-what for good measure. The veterinarian called him a “Florida Brown Dog.” In his puppy days, I had to make sure he burned lots of energy outdoors. If he didn’t he’d burn lots of energy indoors.

Bike rides are a great way to do this. No, we didn’t teach Sam how to ride a bike. I was the one on the bike. At the mention of a “bike ride,” he was ready. His leash in hand, I hopped on the bike, and he took off like a shot. Seventy-five pounds of pure energy would sprint down the street, pulling me along on two wheels. I didn’t have to pedal at all, just hang on tight.

But not too tightly. In about a quarter of a mile, Sam would suddenly pause at the side of the road for a bathroom break. Those same seventy-five pounds could quickly pull down the bike. So I learned to hold his leash on the handlebars in a way that I could quickly release him when he stopped. I could then circle back, grab the lease, and we could continue our bike ride. Once we were about half a mile in, he settled down, and we completed our circuit around the block.

Before too long, my other daughter got a puppy, a Florida brown dog named Kennedy. Hair. Energy. The complete package. When Kennedy came to visit, I got out the bike. I leveled up to a two-engine craft when I took them both out for a bike ride. With a leash in each hand, I felt like Ben Hur riding a chariot around the coliseum. I had a couple of close calls, but no tumbles off the bike.

By the time we got home, both beasts were panting hard, long tongues hanging out, eager to slurp up water together, and collapse on the cool tile floor. Happy, tired dogs.

But not for long.

“Bike ride?”

One thought on ““Bike ride?”

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