OK, OK, no excuses, I KNOW its been a dawg’s age since I barked around here! Figured its ABOUT TIME!! So, there’s a ton to catch y’all up on but this post is all about the Oaktown Pack’s NEW RIDE!! We LOVE it but we will love it BETTER when we are done installing the low rider conversion kit so we can REALLY ride in East Oaktown style! Ima turn over the ‘puter now and let my Paw tell ya more about it ’cause I’m not exactly technically oriented. My skill set is in regulating not engineering!! So here he goes:
As with older dawgs, the aging members of the Oaktown Pack can’t walk as far as they once did, and the result is the silly humans who walk with them were getting a lot less exercise. Codie Rae is now 13, having been a Tripawd since 8 months of age. Between her rear leg amputation and her age, she is no longer able to walk the 2 miles a day she once did. Austin was born with the bad hips so common in German Shepherds, and after losing one of those rear legs and having arthritis in all his legs, the length of his walks are even more limited than Codie’s. Last year we tried Austin in a cart, but his orthopedic issues are so extensive that it was not a viable solution. A cart won’t work for Codie Rae either. Therefore, the next best alternative to allow us and the dawgs to travel farther on our walks was a stroller. After researching dawg strollers ad nauseum, we settled on the large size Solvit HoundAbout II™ Pet Bicycle Trailer with the optional Strolling Kit. This stroller has the largest cabin we came across–Codie Rae is the smallest of our dogs at about 55 pounds, while Austin is closer to 70 pounds, necessitating the large size stroller. Even 80+ pound Travis Ray will fit when he needs it!
Assembly out of the box was no problem and the instructions were easy to follow. Some of the reviews for the stroller mentioned the bottom of the cabin was not as strong as some would like and their dogs sometimes struggled for footing. Not good for a tripawd! So we cut a piece of one-quarter inch plywood to drop in the bottom for reinforcement and to give the dawgs more stability on their rides (19″ x 30″ was almost the perfect size). The stroller comes with a pad for the bottom, which goes on top of the plywood. When I first used the stroller I found the handlebar to be a bit low for my 6 foot 2 inch self. By raising the handlebar as high as possible I find the position acceptable. The full stroller weighs about 30 pounds. The Houndabout II™ has an aluminum frame, which is lighter than the original steel framed trailer. We have a pickup and the stroller rolls right in the back, but it barely fits so I usually remove the front wheel assembly to make it easier to fit in the back of the truck. If you have a smaller vehicle the stroller can be fully broken down for travel.
Three OP members are now spending most of their “walks” in the stroller, and they all enjoy the ride! Codie Rae was the first and she took to it without any problem, while Austin was a bit reluctant. Prior to his first ride we put the cabin unit on the floor in the house and used treats to get him in through the rear door. Now Austin gets excited to see the stroller and steps into it through the rear door, often with no coaxing. Codie is small enough I pick her up and drop her through the top of the stroller and then hook her to the internal leash that attaches to a small D-ring on the inside. Smokey is the least enthusiastic but seems to enjoy his rides in his own way.
The HoundAbout II Stroller pushes with ease and did I say the dawgs love it? Besides me getting the exercise I desperately need, the dogs get the mental stimulation of watching the world as they travel around. And, if needed, the large diameter wheels allow us to go off-trail and over irregular terrain. But the best part might be the reaction of people to seeing a big dawg in a stroller. Priceless! As one young observer noted, it’s the epitome of walking the dawg.
Ralph, Codie Rae, and the Oaktown Pack