Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > General Cycling Discussion
Reload this Page >

The Best Dog I Never Had

General Cycling Discussion Have a cycling related question or comment that doesn't fit in one of the other specialty forums? Drop on in and post in here! When possible, please select the forum above that most fits your post!

The Best Dog I Never Had

Old 02-10-19, 05:32 AM
  #1  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 695
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 313 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 55 Posts
The Best Dog I Never Had

Written in October 2018

I saw an old friend yesterday on my bicycle ride; a white German Shepherd that I've "known" since 2008. The farmer that "owns" her never gave her a name, I always called her Snowflake because that's the name I figure is most often given to white German Shepherds. According to the owner, the dog wandered up to his house one day and never left. The area is rural farming country and it isn't unusual for people with no conscience to dump animals there. It was his guess that's what happened to Snowflake. The first time I met her I was riding by on my road bike and thought "Oh man, that's a big dog and I don't have enough left to outrun it". She ran alongside me in grass and never came out on the road, not barking; to this day, I've never heard her bark. As time rolled on that season I realized she just wanted to run so we played that game every time I rode by. Sometimes I'd make a couple U turns and we'd go two out of three. That progressed into me stopping afterward and petting her until I had to get going; she liked that a lot. I've never had a dog of my own, I was never home and it didn't seem fair to have a dog locked up in a house with no one around.

At the start of this riding season I passed by the farm house where Snowflake lives but never saw her outside, she was always outside before. I knew she was getting older and feared the worst. I've heard that big dogs sometimes don't live a long time and she was fully grown when we met in 2008. Three times a week I'd take the road she lived on and never saw her once, until about two weeks ago. She was laying in the gravel drive, in the sun, as she did all the years before. She slowly looked up and when she saw me she got up with great effort. I didn't know owner well enough to go up the driveway to save her some steps and I felt bad about making her get up. I was so over joyed at seeing her I had to make myself pet her gently because she looked and moved like a 90 year old. I thought about taking her photo but reconsidered, these weren't her best days and I didn't want to remember her like that. I started taking her road on every ride after that but never saw her again after that, until yesterday. I had begun to think she had passed away. Then, yesterday she was out in the drive again, relaxing in the sun. I was so happy to see her I pitched my Colnago in the grass and waited for her to amble over to me for some affection.

We had a great visit and she seemed to be feeling better than the last time I saw her. As I petted her I remembered why she was so special to me. In October of 2008 I was diagnosed with renal cell cancer and the early prognosis was pretty grim. After being operated on and treated at Ohio State University I began my recovery in 2009. My first road rides wouldn't even take me as far as Snowflakes house, this was more than a bit frustrating for a former USCF road racer and bicycle cop. But, as time went on, I got stronger and was able to increase my distance. The first time I passed by her house I was so knackered that she only got a petting, no race that day. By the end of that season we were racing again and I was getting stronger. The following season was more of the same and in 2011 I went to see the Tour de France with my old bike cop partner who is also a cyclist. Another friend of ours brought me a bike from Switzerland and I got a chance to ride up some of the HC (Beyond Category) climbs in the Alps, including Alpe d'Huez. Quite literally, Snowflake was responsible for my ability to ascend those cols and here I was petting her, ten years since my diagnosis. I felt sad for her advanced age and what little time she had left but reminded myself she still had a good home and a peaceful setting.

I finished petting her and did what I said I wouldn't do; I took a couple of pictures with my phone. As soon as the sun comes up, I'm going to get on my road bike and ride out to her house to see if she's outside. Whether she is or not, I'll always think of Snowflake as I ride down “her” road.


Last edited by nomadmax; 02-10-19 at 09:18 AM.
nomadmax is offline  
Likes For nomadmax:
Old 02-10-19, 05:44 AM
  #2  
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5,299
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 735 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 69 Posts
You made me smile and you made me cry with your story. Dogs are special. Thank you.





eja_ bottecchia is offline  
Likes For eja_ bottecchia:
Old 02-10-19, 07:30 AM
  #3  
Deal4Fuji
Friction Fan
 
Deal4Fuji's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,006

Bikes: '82 Fuji Supreme, '84 Team Fuji, '83 Raleigh Olympian, '87 Lotus Excelle, '85 Centurion Ironman, '12 Trek Alpha 1.1, '77 Schwinn Speedster, Schwinn Trailway, Ross Central Park

Mentioned: 21 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 578 Post(s)
Liked 59 Times in 43 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Written in October 2018

I saw an old friend yesterday on my bicycle ride; a white German Shepherd that I've "known" since 2008. The farmer that "owns" her never gave her a name, I always called her Snowflake because that's the name I figure is most often given to white German Shepherds. According to the owner, the dog wandered up to his house one day and never left. The area is rural farming country and it isn't unusual for people with no conscience to dump animals there. It was his guess that's what happened to Snowflake. The first time I met her I was riding by on my road bike and thought "Oh man, that's a big dog and I don't have enough left to outrun it". She ran alongside me in grass and never came out on the road, not barking; to this day, I've never heard her bark. As time rolled on that season I realized she just wanted to run so we played that game every time I rode by. Sometimes I'd make a couple U turns and we'd go two out of three. That progressed into me stopping afterward and petting her until I had to get going; she liked that a lot. I've never had a dog of my own, I was never home and it didn't seem fair to have a dog locked up in a house with no one around.

At the start of this riding season I passed by the farm house where Snowflake lives but never saw her outside, she was always outside before. I knew she was getting older and feared the worst. I've heard that big dogs sometimes don't live a long time and she was fully grown when we met in 2008. Three times a week I'd take the road she lived on and never saw her once, until about two weeks ago. She was laying in the gravel drive, in the sun, as she did all the years before. She slowly looked up and when she saw me she got up with great effort. I didn't know owner well enough to go up the driveway to save her some steps and I felt bad about making her get up. I was so over joyed at seeing her I had to make myself pet her gently because she looked and moved like a 90 year old. I thought about taking her photo but reconsidered, these weren't her best days and I didn't want to remember her like that. I started taking her road on every ride after that but never saw her again after that until yesterday. I had begun to think she had passed away. Then, yesterday she was out in the drive again, relaxing in the sun. I was so happy to see her I pitched my Colnago in the grass and waited for her to amble over to me for some affection.

We had a great visit and she seemed to be feeling better than the last time I saw her. As I petted her I remembered why she was so special to me. In October of 2008 I was diagnosed with renal cell cancer and the early prognosis was pretty grim. After being operated on and treated at Ohio State University I began my recovery in 2009. My first road rides wouldn't even take me as far as Snowflakes house, this was more than a bit frustrating for a former USCF road racer and bicycle cop. But, as time went on, I got stronger and was able to increase my distance. The first time I passed by her house I was so knackered that she only got a petting, no race that day. By the end of that season we were racing again and I was getting stronger. The following season was more of the same and in 2011 I went to see the Tour de France with my old bike cop partner who is also a cyclist. Another friend of ours brought me a bike from Switzerland and I got a chance to ride up some of the HC (Beyond Category) climbs in the Alps, including Alpe d'Huez. Quite literally, Snowflake was responsible for my ability to ascend those cols and here I was petting her, ten years since my diagnosis. I felt sad for her advanced age and what little time she had left but reminded myself she still had a good home and a peaceful setting.

I finished petting her and did what I said I wouldn't do; I took a couple of pictures with my phone. As soon as the sun comes up, I'm going to get on my road bike and ride out to her house to see if she's outside. Whether she is or not, I'll always think of Snowflake as I ride down “her” road.

I remember this story from the earlier post - still heartwarming ! When we ride in J'ville I'll tell you my sheepdog story.
Deal4Fuji is online now  
Likes For Deal4Fuji:
Old 02-10-19, 07:42 AM
  #4  
308jerry
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2018
Posts: 180
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 80 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 10 Times in 8 Posts
Beautiful story . ... Thanks for sharing ...

The GSD is mine, nice dog. The blue Heeler in the middle is the best dog I never had, everybodies best friend. Well till his owner comes home then he is a one man dog again....
308jerry is offline  
Likes For 308jerry:
Old 02-10-19, 07:47 AM
  #5  
thumpism 
Bikes are okay, I guess.
 
thumpism's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: Richmond, Virginia
Posts: 4,599

Bikes: Waterford Paramount Touring, Bridgestone RB-T, Trek 510 city build, Giant CFM-2, Raleigh Sports 3-speeds in M23 L23 and L19, Schwinn Cimarron oddball build

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1228 Post(s)
Liked 23 Times in 15 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
I've never had a dog of my own, I was never home and it didn't seem fair to have a dog locked up in a house with no one around.
Good on you for recognizing what too many dog owners do not.
thumpism is online now  
Likes For thumpism:
Old 02-10-19, 09:43 AM
  #6  
BobbyG
Senior Member
 
BobbyG's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Colorado Springs, CO
Posts: 4,303

Bikes: 2015 Charge Plug, 1997 Nishiki Blazer, 1984 Nishiki International

Mentioned: 32 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 814 Post(s)
Liked 95 Times in 53 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Written in October 2018

I saw an old friend yesterday on my bicycle ride; a white German Shepherd that I've "known" since 2008...I remembered why she was so special to me.
You and "Snowflake" found each other because you both were fortunate to receive new leases on life. Then you both found joy in your subsequent encounters with each other. What a sweet story. Thanks for sharing. (sniff)
BobbyG is offline  
Likes For BobbyG:
Old 02-10-19, 09:53 AM
  #7  
Kedosto
Ambulophobic
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: San Leandro, CA
Posts: 1,114
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 408 Post(s)
Liked 87 Times in 57 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Written in October 2018...

I'm NOT crying. Nope.


-Kedosto
*just got something in my eye*
Kedosto is offline  
Likes For Kedosto:
Old 02-10-19, 10:04 AM
  #8  
LAJ
So it is
 
LAJ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Westminster, CO
Posts: 16,033

Bikes: Luzerne, 684, Boreas, Wheelhouse, Alize©®, Bayamo, Cayo

Mentioned: 206 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4450 Post(s)
Liked 50 Times in 45 Posts
Thank you for sharing this.
__________________
Originally Posted by rubiksoval View Post
It's never about getting comfortable. It's about getting capable.
LAJ is offline  
Likes For LAJ:
Old 02-10-19, 10:36 AM
  #9  
BirdsBikeBinocs
Senior Member
 
BirdsBikeBinocs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: Down By The Docks Of The City
Posts: 363

Bikes: Scwinn GTX-3 Specialized Diverge E5 Comp

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 233 Post(s)
Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts

No tears here. Not.!! Just a fabulous story. Man's best friend.

I've fell in love with dogs that weren't mine. A friend had a King Charles Cavalier. As I walked up to the glass door that leads into the house the dog would scratch on the door like crazy while standing on his hind legs. I'd walk into the house and immediately sit on the couch and the dog would jump into arms and put his front paws on both of my shoulders and just smother me with love. Gosh I loved that dog.

And then there was my Emmy Gurl. Half Beagle half lab. Perfect size. I was living in the sticks and there was nothing but woods and fields for miles in any direction. In the summer it was tough to get a breeze running through the house so I would sometimes leave the front door open. She could come and go as she pleased. One day she left the house at about 10am. Guess what time she returned.?? ..... 9:30pm.!!! She came through the door panting like crazy and her tail going a million miles per hour. She was soo happy. She just followed her nose for hours and hours. I gave her a big drink and a big dinner and then she would go to her favorite spot.... up and onto my lap as I relaxed in the recliner. I loved her and she loved me. I gave her freedom to move.

Last edited by BirdsBikeBinocs; 02-10-19 at 10:43 AM.
BirdsBikeBinocs is offline  
Likes For BirdsBikeBinocs:
Old 02-10-19, 11:47 AM
  #10  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 3,174
Mentioned: 19 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1212 Post(s)
Liked 108 Times in 65 Posts
Great story.

A good dog can be a wonderful friend and I am on my third outdoor companion dog now with Molly, a Labradoodle (plus a string of small rat shaped dog objects like Chihuahuas, Yorkies and Shih tzus). Fortunately we are a family of five so she gets lots of attention and daily walks and with me she gets a regular diet of trail running, hiking and biking.

C'mon.. Let's Go!

Happy Feet is offline  
Likes For Happy Feet:
Old 02-10-19, 12:54 PM
  #11  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 695
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 313 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 55 Posts
Thanks all! I was hesitant to post as it was a bit of an emotional journey and was afraid I wouldn't be able to convey the gravity or spirit of the moment, leaving readers with "I get it, you saw an old dog". Next up, "How I came to have handicapped cats"

Last edited by nomadmax; 02-10-19 at 01:06 PM.
nomadmax is offline  
Likes For nomadmax:
Old 02-10-19, 01:03 PM
  #12  
nomadmax 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: SW Ohio
Posts: 695
Mentioned: 39 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 313 Post(s)
Liked 100 Times in 55 Posts
Originally Posted by Deal4Fuji View Post
I remember this story from the earlier post - still heartwarming ! When we ride in J'ville I'll tell you my sheepdog story.
I'm looking forward to it.
nomadmax is offline  
Old 02-10-19, 02:30 PM
  #13  
kaos joe
Senior Member
 
kaos joe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 897

Bikes: Trek 5200, Rivendell Atlantis, Soma DoubleCross, Bilenky Signature tandem, Cannondale RT3000 tandem, Kona Explosif, Bridgestone MB2

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 190 Post(s)
Liked 3 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Thanks all! I was hesitant to post as it was a bit of an emotional journey and was afraid I wouldn't be able to convey the gravity or spirit of the moment, leaving readers with "I get it, you saw an old dog". Next up, "How I came to have handicapped cats"
Oh yeah, I get it.

I almost wish I didn't, as I'm only a short time from losing mine.

The Mrs. must be chopping up onions around here. Or something.

kaos joe is offline  
Likes For kaos joe:
Old 02-10-19, 02:45 PM
  #14  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,888

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 217 Times in 135 Posts
Originally Posted by nomadmax View Post
Thanks all! I was hesitant to post as it was a bit of an emotional journey and was afraid I wouldn't be able to convey the gravity or spirit of the moment, leaving readers with "I get it, you saw an old dog". Next up, "How I came to have handicapped cats"
It was one of the most impressive posts I have ever come across on the internet, on any subject.
wgscott is offline  
Likes For wgscott:
Old 02-10-19, 02:54 PM
  #15  
eja_ bottecchia
Senior Member
 
eja_ bottecchia's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Posts: 5,299
Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 735 Post(s)
Liked 91 Times in 69 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
It was one of the most impressive posts I have ever come across on the internet, on any subject.
I second that.
eja_ bottecchia is offline  
Likes For eja_ bottecchia:
Old 02-10-19, 06:48 PM
  #16  
02Giant 
Home School Valedictorian
 
02Giant's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Iowa
Posts: 2,686

Bikes: 13 Orbea Orca 02 Giant Cypress 88 Mongoose ATB

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 761 Post(s)
Liked 26 Times in 17 Posts
Too cool!
__________________
Excuse me if I, have some place in my mind,
Where I go time to time
02Giant is offline  
Likes For 02Giant:
Old 02-10-19, 08:39 PM
  #17  
WizardOfBoz
Generally bewildered
 
WizardOfBoz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Eastern PA, USA
Posts: 1,840

Bikes: 2014 Trek Domane 6.9, 1999 LeMond Zurich, 1978 Schwinn Superior

Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 661 Post(s)
Liked 28 Times in 24 Posts
Nice story, and a place for gratuitous doggie pics. Meet Snowball. RIP. Reminded me of your Snowflake.
WizardOfBoz is online now  
Likes For WizardOfBoz:
Old 02-10-19, 11:13 PM
  #18  
Bmach
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 668
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 274 Post(s)
Liked 14 Times in 11 Posts
Nice story!
Bmach is offline  
Likes For Bmach:
Old 02-11-19, 07:19 AM
  #19  
Tonyweiss
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Posts: 15
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Great Story! I have been taking my dog on bike rides since she was barely old enough to run. We started with just around the block and now we will go 7-10 miles around town and she loves it. i just hold the leash and she runs right next to me, sometimes on rural roads I take the leash off and she just runs free next to me. Truly wonderful animals.
Tonyweiss is offline  
Likes For Tonyweiss:
Old 02-11-19, 07:31 AM
  #20  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,387
Mentioned: 163 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8624 Post(s)
Liked 362 Times in 232 Posts


I am a cat owner myself, mostly because of my lifestyle. But I am constantly greeting other peoples' dogs on the street. Did just that while walking to the bus stop this morning.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 02-11-19, 10:16 AM
  #21  
joelcool
Senior Member
 
joelcool's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Folsom, CA
Posts: 243

Bikes: Road, Commuter, Mountain, Tandem and a couple others

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 71 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 6 Posts
Great story, thank you for putting it together. Obviously you've touched some hearts.
joelcool is offline  
Likes For joelcool:
Old 02-11-19, 10:28 AM
  #22  
bakerjw
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: NE Tennessee
Posts: 786

Bikes: Giant TCR/Surly Karate Monkey/Foundry FireTower/Curtlo Tandem

Mentioned: 4 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 128 Post(s)
Liked 49 Times in 37 Posts
I regularly see the same dogs on the routes that I ride. Some are in cages or behind fences and others have invisible fences.
I always call to them or talk to them and after a while some will start to recognize you. Sure, you're something to chase but you also become familiar to them.
bakerjw is offline  
Likes For bakerjw:
Old 02-11-19, 10:37 AM
  #23  
dlos
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Great story, thanks for sharing! I'm sure if Snowflake could pen a story it'd sound eerily familiar to yours. Cool that you and Snowflake developed this relationship, I'm sure he/she looked forward to your rides by her house as much as you did!
dlos is offline  
Likes For dlos:
Old 02-11-19, 11:36 AM
  #24  
Steamer
Senior Member
 
Steamer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: high ground
Posts: 1,062
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 131 Post(s)
Liked 5 Times in 5 Posts
Dogs are noble creatures, and worthy of our respect. Your post shows the respect (and love) you feel for Snowflake. Thanks for sharing.
Steamer is offline  
Likes For Steamer:
Old 02-11-19, 11:51 AM
  #25  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,387
Mentioned: 163 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8624 Post(s)
Liked 362 Times in 232 Posts
BTW...If you are a dog lover you should read "The Art of Racing in the Rain". The story is told through the eyes of a sardonic dog. It will make you laugh and cry and but ultimately warm your heart.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.