People (and Dogs) Along the Way: Kirsten and Charlie Daye with Taz

by Jenna Schnuer on May 8, 2012

The motorcycles passed by as I was stopped for yet another photo session on the Needles Highway in Custer State Park. Both bikes were, let’s call them, sizable. The rust-colored bike was even towing a trailer. When I looped around the hairpin turn at Cathedral Spires and pulled into one of the spaces near the trailhead, the bikes were there. There were a few other cars so I started to play one of my new favorite games: match the people in the area with the vehicles in the lot. After going a short way down the trail to snap a few photos, I hurried back to see the vehicles and their owners match up.

I had pegged the two middle-aged white guys with huge cameras as the bikers. They were not. Even when you make a game up, doesn’t mean you’ll be very good at it. They were driving the little pischer blue car that my little pischer black faux-SUV could crush. Instead, the couple with the tiny dog was suiting back up by the bikes. I asked where the dog rides. “Right behind me,” the woman told me. She lifted a jacket to reveal a dog carrier that was hooked, very securely, to the seat.

The Dayes rode their bikes to South Dakota from Miami. Their dog, Taz–“as in the Tasmanian Devil,” Kirsten Daye said–had been along for the ride the whole way. No need to worry about Taz’s welfare: Charlie is a retired Miami Police Sergeant who worked in the Animal Services Unit–and he’s also the former star of Animal Planet’s Miami Animal Police. And once Charlie carefully slipped Taz’s goggles past his ears and gently guided them into place over his eyes, the dog was ready to ride. No bones about it.

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Rebekah May 8, 2012 at 7:01 am

how fun!!!! i found out this winter that my dog’s brother is owned by a biker in Colorado, and rides around behind his owner with his own lil’ helmet & goggles… and we’re talking about a husky here! there’s a youtube video & it’s great.

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Jenna Schnuer May 8, 2012 at 4:36 pm

That is excellent. How’s your pup doing? Happy to be back in Wrangell-St. Elias?
Fly off to any random mountains yet this season? Or still getting ready for things to get going?

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Sophie May 9, 2012 at 12:45 am

Amazing! Are those doggie goggles? Or baby goggles on a doggie?

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Jenna Schnuer May 9, 2012 at 3:42 am

I think they were for-dog goggles. Nifty, eh? They said Taz absolutely loves riding on the motorcycle. The carrier makes it so he can stick his head out when it’s not too windy. Other times, he’s tucked away cozy inside.

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joan schnuer May 9, 2012 at 1:50 pm

That’s how I would have to ride a motorcycle.

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Jenna Schnuer May 9, 2012 at 5:42 pm

But your goggles would probably have a few sparkly bits on the side.

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