We have a dog!
WE HAVE A DOG!
Welcome to Team Family Ride, Pixie!
We used to have a dog, and I posted about biking with Bettie a few years ago: dog on the family bike. But she died a year and a half ago and being the change averse person that I am and having spent the last dozen years assuming Bettie would be our last dog ever, I’d been slowly working up to the idea of opening my heart to a new dog. And I’ve been working on negotiating pretend future dogs with the kids–because we are not getting six St Bernards, sweetie.
You may have noticed we’ve been biking around with a couple dogs since Labor Day. We’ve spent most of the last four months trading off dogsitting Marley and Pixie who weren’t getting along at their common home. We all hoped it was a temporary feud, but the time apart, help from a dog behaviorist, and anxiety-calming medications didn’t seem to do the trick so Pixie became an official member of our family five days ago.
Pixie likes riding in the front basket. I stick our old doggie bed in there, and put a baby blanket on top of her (or picnic blanket if it’s raining), and then put a cargo net over the whole thing with her head sticking through one of the holes.
I also have a doggie shoulder bag that I can put in the front basket (the mamabike, the tandem, and my Straggler all have front baskets) or on the mamabike’s FlightDeck.
I can even fit one kid in the back seat with her–here’s my friend’s kid keeping Pix company:
And Thursday we added a new dog biking method: the trailer! My little kid was home sick from school, but up for a little trip to the grocery store so I bundled him into the trailer with four blankets and Pixie.
She snuggled in for the ride, but explored the trailer once we parked. So maybe future trailer rides should have a harness involved to keep her secure. Unfortunately, Bettie’s old harness doesn’t fit Pixie. Pixie is a bit smaller than Bettie, but has some dachshund in her (and her previous family says Miniature Pinscher, too, but she seems more chihuahua-like to me) so her waist isn’t where our old harness expects it to be.
I brought the shoulder bag so I could bring Pixie in with us. No, dogs aren’t allowed in grocery stores here and it’s not OK just because everyone brings dogs into grocery stores here anyway. (Yes, really. Something about Seattle and everyone bringing dogs into grocery stores.) Just this once to help tend to the sick kid.
The only problem with my plan was that after shopping I couldn’t fit the small bag of groceries and the empty shoulder bag into the trailer’s cargo compartment. So I wore the bag. Just like empty trailers are easy to drag around, empty doggie purses are fine to wear draped awkwardly across one’s body…but I definitely wouldn’t want to ride with ten pounds of dog in the bag.
I think our systems work well enough, but there are some cool products out there.
That Swift Paloma Handlebar Bag on my trailer-pulling road bike attaches via a KlickFix adapter that can also hold a doggy carrier or the DoggyRide Cocoon. If either of those also fit snugly in some or all of my front baskets, that’d be awesome. The Timbuk2 Muttmover Backpack is adorable, but I’m not sure Pixie would like being stuck on my back.
I’ll probably just stick with what we have unless I see something free or cheap, but please do let me know in the comments if there’s another small-dog-on-bike product I should be aware of!