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A Rider's Best Friend

  01/29/2015 at 21:28 pm

Sit Stay Ride

The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs

The documentary film Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs features motorcyclists from Washington State, Wisconsin, Ohio, and North Carolina. The feel-good, fun movie was made by Eric and Geneva Ristau. They focused on the people who ride with their dogs in sidecars in order to explore the relationship between humans and dogs. The film is generating a lot of buzz and was just profiled on NBC News.

Some riders take just short trips around town; others enjoy longer treks on the highways. Fifteen motorcycle enthusiasts and eighteen canine passengers appear in the film; breeds range from Chihuahua to mastiff. The filmmakers hope that as it entertains viewers, it will also advocate for animal welfare and adoption. A quarter of the film’s proceeds goes to shelters and animal rescue. And, animal welfare agencies can screen it at no fee as a fundraiser.

One of the riders featured in the film was Ian Roper of Snohomish who rides with his mastiff, Bruce. Sue Manning interviewed Roper for the Waco Tribune.

“I never really thought about a sidecar until I got a dog, but I will never be without one again,” Roper told Manning. Bruce has been riding since he was a puppy and he and Roper have logged over ten thousand miles together. Now grown to full size (135 pounds) Bruce likes to grab low-hanging leaves as they ride beneath trees. He also likes to spray his slobber on the mini-crowds that gather when Bruce stops at a gas station or even at a stop sign.

Other riders featured in the film include a veteran riding with his dog, Hercules, to visit war memorials across the country and a pair of immigrants from Europe who take their two Beagles along as they explore America.

If you’re interested in taking your dog along in a sidecar, some motorcycle brands, such as Harley Davidson, sell motorcycles with sidecars. Or, you can do as Roper did and design your own and have it built.

Watching Sit Stay Ride: The Story of America’s Sidecar Dogs is a great way to see the possibilities of sharing the joy of the road with your pooch. You can see a trailer or purchase the DVD for home use here: www.sidecardogs.com.

By Eagle Leather