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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This is from an article I wrote a couple of months ago for Carolina Chrome magazine...

Why ride for Charity...especially for some mangly unwanted mutts?

Look, I love to ride. In fact, I’ve got “the bug” and got it bad...probably always will. So I don’t need a lot, or any for that matter, reasons to saddle up and wear some rubber down. I ride all year including commuting to work and back and did so all winter with only a couple of snow and ice speed bumps to slow me down. As a retired Veteran and South Carolina Patriot Guard rider I probably meet most folks’ quotas for “reason-oriented” rides surrounding those two categories alone.

So why ride for dogs? I wondered that myself, so I pondered, “Why do I ride anyway?” For me, there are fun rides, PGR mission rides, rides with friends and family, long-distance vacation rides and the, “Honey, I’m going out to think,” rides. My present job is rather stressful and I’m really thankful to be on the scoot instead of a cage to wind down on the way home. I’ve had more than one 20 mile commute turn into a gas-emptying soul-releasing jaunt around farms and swamps that put more than 75 miles on the odometer and a cold dinner (and lecture) at the table. But it’s healing. I mean there’s no way 850 lbs of two-wheel locomotion can argue with the intents of even a little British MG, so you have to “just let it go.” Doing so, for me, turns out to be both wise and cathartic. For me, it’s always a small Zen session, intentional or not and, as a combat Vet, I have a deep appreciation for the healing worth of letting things go.


...but what about the dogs?

OK, getting involved in this ride wasn’t my idea. It was sort of a chore I was expected to help with due to being a new member of the Honda Riders Club (my wife’s fault)...you know, support the Club’s charities and all that. Also, the club knew I wrote a lot and also figured they knew a patsy when they saw one, so...well, to write about it, you got to ride along it. Frankly, I’d never been on an actual Poker Run...could usually find a “better” ride to do. But, like riding home after taking my lumps all day at work has pleasant and often unexpected results, this tour around the countryside actually turned out to not only be helpful to a worthy cause (SQ Rescue), it was also revelatory to me about a community group and its supporters that I’d not seen in depth before. And, unexpectedly, it also revealed to me, through one tiny example, how Americans in our region might be coping with the present strains of our society. Now don’t get me wrong, I didn’t start out having such lofty thoughts...

If you’ve been on these sort of runs then you know the deal, other than the card stops, joshing with strangers about the lousy hand you’re building and the adventure of fighting sand-blasting gusts of 40mph winds (talk about spring weather...), it was pretty typical and as enjoyable as any ride that lets you meet new “friends” on two wheels. So what was different about this one that made it a ride worthwhile?

Well, for me, this ride requested a greater involvement than I would normally think of giving. First, I had to find a place to hang an SQ Rescue Ride poster but, no problem there. I knew of Scott who owns Animal Supply House on Garner’s Ferry Road. He didn’t even think twice as he immediately taped it to the front of his big plate glass window at the front of the store. Hmmm...that was easy. I guess too easy, because I then I got an email “asking” (yeah, right) for us to get food, gift certificates or item donations from commercial entities in the area. Jeez, Man...This just ain’t my gig.

Shortly after, my buddy’s wife, Jean, was feeling good about how she’d gotten Cherry (of Ultimate Tans in Columbia - Leesburg Road), whom we both knew on a personal basis, to donate a whole 60 days of free tanning for the cause. Dang, now I was feeling some peer pressure from two non-riding gals for my own club’s sponsored ride! Sigh...

Well, I kept the mission/guilt in my mind and finally rolled back into Scott’s place two weeks later to thank him for hanging the poster...and then apologetically hit him up for the donation. It’s amazing how quiet a busy pet supply store can get suddenly. But everyone in the Animal Supply House totally surprised me. Turns out the hesitation wasn’t resistance or reluctance, but just Scott pondering where he’d last seen a gift certificate. Turns out it isn’t just a business; they really like dogs. And Cherry later told me she was more than happy to help out after doing it for years, but no one asked her to anymore. Wow...who da thunk...?

So, there you have it. As with any ride, I “just let go” and learned some new and edifying things about people and businesses in my town, the hearts of folks in general, the dedication of the SQ Rescue organization and the commitment of riders in particular to be a part of their community. These are some hard and sometimes scary times for some of us. Gas alone is worth a second thought, even on a bike. Yet people rode, businesses donated and folks showed up on all levels to be sure some mangy mutt abandoned, hurt, helpless and alone somewhere doesn’t have to stay that way. As a rider you too often see the tragic results of when no one does step up to the plate for a cause such as this one.

If it means anything to you, the route was pleasant, the food was plentiful, the band was good, the give-aways worth receiving and SQ Rescue is still up and running saving our canine friends. So, yeah...the ride was definitely worth the effort...and it was both reassuring and healing, for me anyway...because, to be brutally frank, I was starting to have doubts about us out there.

For me, it was educational on many levels, especially regarding the people of my community and, in this case, the results were positive and reassuring. We’re going to be ok, America, we’re still looking out for dogs...and that’s a good thing. So next year, check out making the SQ Rescue Ride a mission and, in the meantime, how about throwing them a bone before then?

See ya on the road.




Cage




Here are some our OUR rescues...


So is Dad home yet, or what?





Someone's leading a secret life of crime






Ooh! It's a ball!!!





...and THIS is a Jail Break!





Not ANOTHER one?!!





Doggy Soaps!





I heard the DINNER bell!





Thanks for the lift, Dad.





Living a dog's life at Cage's house...





Multi-shades of Golden





I notice Dad's running late at work again.





Anticipation...





Dogs aren't our only Rescues.





Yeah...we're good lookin'!





I think I'm gonna like THIS place!





When we invaded Iraq EVERYBODY got "High & Tights" in support!

:patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot: :patriot:




There are advantages to living in South Carolina
...no matter which way you look!





I coulda SWORE I saw cats...





Don't have to run with the big dogs if you can ride instead!




Welll....WE'RE ready...what's YOUR problem?





Razing passing neighbors...





Seriously...just keep watching. It moves!





Thanks for the great home, Daddy!





Our newest addition is a born rider!





Jake
...the BEST Rescued dog that ever lived, bar none
...EVER!!!
(RIP, My Dearest Friend)


O
Yeah.

O.
 

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Awesome pics! Look like a real animated bunch. Did someone say treat?!?
 

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Equito Passim
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Excellent pics! Thanks for sharing!

-Gonz
 

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GOT PITBULL?
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Cage!!! You know you're my boy, but this topped the cake. I'm glad you were able to experience the whole process of organizing an event, it makes a world of a difference. Thank you for all you've done. Kim and I have rearranged our life over the last several years to give our fur kids the best life we can. We even got Woody & his wife Beth to become apart of our dog organization. Thanks again Cage.
 

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Awesome pics!! Good thing your doing with the rescues. My fiance' served on the local Humane Society board for a number of years. We have two rescued cats home, she has two at her office, one at her moms house and she takes care of two more in her moms orchard!!
 

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FDC !! The Real Truth...
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Right on Cage... way to hold up the end... Just when you think you know.. you don't.. and we all get surprised.. Its a good thing.. and I love when it happens.. Puts perspective where it belongs.. right out front.. Good work my friend...
 

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aka The Rev
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That is awesome. Being a former Humane Society employee I just love what you are doing.
 

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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
What kind of dogs are the 2 short ones in the front? Very nice story, I have a friend that does the same kind of work with the local shelter.
They are both Welsh Pembroke Corgis: the world's smallest cattle dogs.

They're a tough and wiley breed. Can be very independent and like to nip the ankles of children if not taught not to do so. Herding come natural. They are incredible agile for their size. They are true dwarves (normal body, short limbs). Their maximum height at the ears is no more than 12 inches that conveniently allows a kicking cow's hoof to pass over the dog's head as they are being herded over the steep rocky hills, draws and bluffs of Wales. They are truly a large dog in a small body. Imagine a true German Shepard (all the same traits) the size of a small Cocker Spaniel and you can sorta get the idea.

The one on the left (Baxter) is a two-tone with saddle (pretty common Corgi pattern, similar to what Queen Elizabeth prefers) and the other one on the right (Toby) is a tri-color, which is more often seen in the Cardigan Corgi breed (the ones that have tails). Pembrokes do NOT usually have tails. Most are born "bobbed" naturally.

By the way...the one to the very far left is a Corgi/Jack Russell mix...which created a VERY interesting and quick as a snake character named Tucker!
 

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Great post, great cause, great pics Cage! I'll bet Tucker is a handful.
 

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Slayer of Chickens
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Inspirational comes to mind. We only have a few pets but the wife wants more more more :)

Mort
 

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Great paws I mean cause and looks like a great family you've got there. Thanks for posting.
 

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WTF, Over!
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Great post, Cage! You are a prince among men!
We have many rescue animals with-in my house and my family. My baby sister was in her forties before she found out the phrase "It's a dog's life" was a bad thing! I have had numerous rescue cats, my sister has dogs, and my older brother (a veterinarian) adopts ones that come thru with no family to adopt (I tease him he can't get an animal with all their parts...he is a softy for sad cases...as we all are).
 

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You do great work!

Excellent work Cage, tip of the hat to you and your wife for you work and rescuing those dogs :mosh: I would love to have that many

Here are our two, wife said if I bring one more home it is over......... :D
 

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Really OLD FART Member
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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Nice pups everyone! Glad you like the article. I Like the photos as well. Our house if totally FULL, even with the passing of a few of our older ones. I've had to set my foot down with my wife or we'd be completely over-run by now.

If I had more time I spend it giving them all more training, but my wife spoils them all and that sorta undermines my efforts. But they all, including the cats, DO "fit" in.

It could be worse I suppose, but I told her it would be a few more years until the numbers go down before we could even THINK of taking more on board...and they would have to be smaller breeds. Our vet bills were getting so high I finally put EVERYONE on an insurance program. Has saved me thousands over the past couple of years! I recommend it if you have more than two dogs.
 
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