Motorcycling with Dogs: Callie and Georgia On the Open Road
Motorcycling with your dog can be an incredibly exhilarating, memorable experience for yourself, your dog and even folks on the road. We’re constantly hearing stories of motorcyclists going on long adventures or daily local trips with their dogs. To explore this further, Rex Specs spoke with two motorcyclists and dog lovers to see why their passions intersect perfectly.
Laurette & Georgia
Laurette is a professional motorcycling sideline reporter, host and announcer. Georgia is her sweet, intelligent and affectionate pitbull and cattle dog mix. They regularly motorcycle together around wine country in Temecula, California, enjoying the beautiful valley hills and each other’s company. Laurette finds deep personal joy and gratitude in motorcycling and volunteering at her local animal shelter — but her journey to this point was not easy.
Six years ago, Laurette was diagnosed with ovarian cancer at 34 years of age. The shock of her diagnosis altered everything in her life. “My mortality was questioned, so I felt that I had a responsibility to keep a very positive attitude, gather all available information, make great choices, and then kick this thing’s butt!” she exclaimed. “I decided I wasn’t going anywhere, and fought to win.”
Laurette soldiered through six rounds of chemotherapy and 25 rounds of radiation to her lower abdomen. She lost all her hair and a lot of weight. But while enduring these brutal treatments, her husband, close friends, family and off-road motorcycling community circled around her to protect, support and love her. For Laurette, this support system was a life saver.
“When I had to go back into the hospital for treatments, I kept thinking that when I had this cancer baloney behind me, I would jump on my KTM 350cc and ride again — slow and steady, baby!” she said. “But when I went for my first ride, I kept thinking about how riding could be made even more enjoyable. The answer, I discovered, was when my furry best friend came with me!”
When Georgia was a nine-month-old pup, she adopted Laurette and her husband Kurt. One morning while living with their neighbors in an emotionally neglected situation, she pushed her way under Laurette’s fence, into her yard and through the dog-door into her kitchen! Laurette tried to put Georgia back in the yard three times, but she refused, and returned to their house each time with a wagging tail.
“I left a note stapled to their front gate with my number, explaining that we had Georgia,” she said. “I spoke to the owner, saying, ‘I think you know that I really love this dog… can I keep her?’ He agreed, not hesitating for even a second.”
From years prior, some image of an unidentified rider and their dog in an Ural motorcycle had stuck with her. She always dreamed that one day, she and her dog would follow suit. And on her 40th birthday this year, her dream came true: her husband Kurt pulled into the driveway in a 2016 2WD Gear Up motorcycle for her!
Since then, she’s taken every chance she has to motor around the Temecula winery area with her dog Georgia in the sidecar. For Laurette, motorcycling with Georgia means combining her two biggest passions.
“Georgia loves being in my company — and vice versa — and that’s her happy place,” she said. “Being able to secure her into the sidecar and expand her world by exposing her to new humans, places and social situations has made her a more joyful and grateful dog. Plus, the wind her her fur must feel really nice.”
Georgia loves being on the Ural. When it fires up, she instantly jumps into the sidecar and waits for her Rex Specs goggles, pink bandana and harness. And for Laurette, the connection felt is undeniable. “Because I feel so energized and ecstatic when I’m on the bike, I believe Georgia can sense my energy and mirrors my emotions,” she said.
In the early mornings, golden hour light illuminates valley hills and emerald grapevine leaves. Laurette loves reflecting on her days ahead and moving forward with an adventurer’s spirit. “My mind doesn’t wander and I’m living right there in the present time, sharing that with someone who loves me more than herself,” she said. “What a gift that is.”
Six years since her diagnosis, Laurette’s health is great! She regularly volunteers at her local animal shelter, assists her husband with his Motocross Vacations business and loves every day of life. Though her and Georgia will stay local to gain more time, experience and confidence on the bike, she knows the bigger adventures are coming.
Nathan, Ashleigh & Callie
Nathan lives in Australia with his wife Ashleigh and their border collies Callie and Buddy! They regularly take both short and long trips on their Ural with their two dogs, and enjoy connecting with people along the way. Though their journeys aligned in unexpected ways, hitting the road together has opened them to worlds of new experiences.
Though Ashleigh is from Australia and Nathan is from the United States, they met in Paris while traveling through Europe. After visiting each other’s hometowns a few times, Nathan eventually moved to Australia — bringing along his chocolate lab, Cooper. And a few months later, they got Cooper a friend — a border collie named Callie!
Nathan owned a Ural in the States, but it was old and had a few problems, often scaring Cooper by backfiring and making strange noises. He purchased a new Ural in Townsville, excited to get the pups in the sidecar. Cooper was unfortunately still scared and unwilling to give it a go, but Callie stepped up. Though Callie was still a pup, Nathan decided to give her a go. And she loved it.
“Callie was a natural!” he exclaimed. “We went for a thirty minute ride and she rode like she was born in the sidecar. As soon as I got home, I ordered her a pair of Rex Specs and we went on many rides as the months passed. She even would get jealous of us leaving without taking her with us!”
Cooper unfortunately passed seven months after making the move to Australia, so the family was down to three. With Ashleigh in the Australian army, they started planning for a long haul trip for his next posting.
“Dogs mix well with motorcycles because they’re similar to humans,” Nathan said. “They take on many characteristics of their owners, and if their owners ride on a motorcycle, they ultimately want to join!”
Dogs are obviously excited to stick their head out of the window of a car or in the bed of a truck, but the amount of wind in their face and exhilaration is unbeatable on a motorcycle. Callie loves being included on the motorcycle, and enjoys all the attention she gets from sitting in the sidecar from with her goggles on. People constantly do double-takes when they see her and realize it is, in fact, a dog in the sidecar.
“I love having her with us!” Ashleigh said. “I love the smiles that she brings to nearly every person we pass. I love the joy it brings her to be on the open road and know we are on an adventure. I love that we can now bring Buddy with us too in Nathan’s backpack!”
As their biggest adventure, Nathan, Ashleigh and Callie took on 4000 kilometers (nearly 2500 miles) of travel from Townsville to Adelaide! They drove the entire length of the trip, camping or staying with family and friends along the way. Ashleigh and Nathan also got engaged on their way down, making for an exciting addition for their trip!
They got the usual smiles and waves along the way, but this trip gave them a chance to experience profound kindness. As it was the middle of the Aussie summer, the road was scorching hot. When they hit traffic, the hot stillness felt miserable. People got out of their cars to offer them water or let Callie cool off in their air conditioner. Receiving this level of kindness made their trip all the more full and joyful.
Seeing Australia from the motorcycle along with Callie was a deeply memorable experience. Ashleigh is posting again to Brisbane at the end of the year, so the family will be taking the bike and the pups up there next.
Rex Specs is excited to announce their collaboration with Ural Motorcycles in releasing a special edition, Rex Specs X Ural goggle. The limited edition, Ural Green, goggle is available in size large and features co-branding with Rex Specs and Ural Motorcycles. With all the same features of the classic Rex Specs goggle the Rex Specs x Ural goggle includes two lenses; one clear and one smoke.
Check out our collaboration goggles with Ural Motorcycles available now here.