GoRUFFLY Where No Dog Has Gone Before
Why I Love and Hate Rex Specs
Let’s start with why I love Rex Specs.
We each have a different definition of ‘the adventure of a lifetime’ but for me it’s riding around the world with my 75-lb German Shepherd, Moxie, on the back of my motorcycle – and that’s exactly what I’m doing right now!
We started this adventure together from our home for the past six years in Guatemala and, as I write this, we’re just a few hundred kilometers (yes, “kilometers”, I’m Canadian!) from reaching the Arctic Ocean at the small village of Tuktoyaktuk in Canada’s Northwest Territories.
Over the past five months, Moxie and I have ridden across deserts, through mountain ranges, and into the stunning northern wilderness. Through all of it, Moxie rides in a comfortable laying-down position in her K9 Moto Cockpit motorcycle dog carrier.
I outfit her in her riding harness and securely strap her into the carrier so that hyper-reactive shepherd Moxie can’t leap out when we see a squirrel, moose, or bear on the side of the road. This combination of harness, straps, and carrier also keeps her protected for those occasional get-offs that sometimes occur in deep gravel or boggy mud.
But, beyond her carrier and riding harness, her Rex Specs Dog Goggles are the single essential piece of riding kit that Moxie never rides without. The way I know the goggles are essential is because the one time I let Moxie ride for about 15 minutes without her goggles, her eyes dried right up. She suffered an eye infection, which we call “a case of the awful, yellow eye-snots”, and we had to make an impromptu vet visit in northern Guatemala!
The Ear Pros are admittedly not Moxie’s favorite gear to wear, but they provide important ear protection for when we’re blasting down the interstate with our tail on fire. For example, after crossing from Mexico into the U.S.A, we rode 1,000 miles in less than 24 hours. It’s called an Iron Butt Challenge, but we called it an “Iron Tail”. The Ear Pros kept the wind, bugs, and noise out of her ears for 19 ½ grueling hours.
Grueling for me, not for Moxie. She was laying down and comfortable for the whole ride, even resting her chin on my shoulder and nodding off. As a result, when we reached our motel in Jamestown, California at a near freezing 2am, Moxie leaped down from her Cockpit and started barking that she was ready to play!
So, that’s why I love Rex Specs – and why I recommend the goggles and ear protection to everyone else who rides a motorcycle with their dog.
Here’s why I hate Rex Specs.
Whenever Moxie and I pull into a gas station, stop at a produce stand, or pull up just about anywhere with people around, eyes widen, mouths curl upward into a smile, and cellphones emerge from pockets to snap photos. The sight of a big dog on a motorcycle turns even the burliest old curmudgeon into a giggly child. And it’s a wonderful gift to be able to brighten people’s day and show them something they haven’t seen before.
But here’s the thing. We pull in, I unclip Moxie, and she dismounts. Onlookers draw near and what is invariably the first thing that comes out of their mouths?
Do they complement the design and engineering of the carrier, which my husband and I invented? No! Do they acknowledge the skill of the rider – yours truly – who makes riding with a big dog look routine and easy? Nope!
“Oh my gosh, she’s wearing goggles! That’s amazing!” is the joyful refrain that greets us at every stop.
In those early days it was unclear which way I would go. Would I give into the demon sitting on my shoulder? Give into the festering resentment? Would I come to loathe Rex Specs for stealing my thunder?
So, thank you, Rex Specs for keeping my dog’s eyes and ears safe while we ride around the world – and, yes, thank you also for challenging me to be a better person!
Please follow Moxie and me as we ride around the world! It’s a fundraiser in partnership with the United Nations Foundation’s Girl Up to support girls’ programs around the globe. Visit our webpage to follow our live tracker, binge watch our weekly video series, and donate to Girl Up!