A Dog Powered Scooter? It's Real!Published February 18, 2009
By: Jo Singer
We all know how important daily exercise is for both ourselves and our pets. This being said, not all folks can be as active physically to exercise their dogs sufficiently, for a variety of reasons.
The other day I ran across an interesting news item in the Greenwich Time Online, featured by columnist Debra Friedman, concerning 59 year- old ex-Mets' pitcher, Craig Swan, who pitched for the team from 1974-1985. Mr. Swan and his wife live in Old Greenwich Connecticut. Recently, the Swans adopted Daisy, a medium sized, a Pit-bull/Hound mixed breed dog from Greenwich Animal control Shelter.
They soon discovered that their young dog required far more strenuous exercise than they could provide, since a "shaky leg", as Mr. Swan describes it, keeps him from more than a one mile walk.
Realizing that Daisy needed far more challenging activity, the couple searched the Internet to find a solution to their dilemma, and found their answer: A dog-powered scooter advertised online. Mr. Swan said, "I got my scooter, put the attachment on and now Daisy and I go out for at least three miles a day,"
The unmotorized scooter is connected by a padded harness, permitting Daisy to run alongside, pulling him along for a spin. Mr. Swan gives the scooter a jump start by pushing it slightly in order to get it moving, especially on hills. However, he claims that Daisy is strong enough to pull the scooter by herself. He gauges their speed to reach about 20 MPH at full speed, and they are both enjoying the attention which the dynamic duo is receiving from his neighbors.
Additionally, Greenwich Animal Control officer Bill Peterson, from whom the Swans adopted Daisy, thinks it is a good idea, but cautions that it is not suitable for all dogs. He added, "It's a marvelous thing. It's a good outlet and exercise for the dog. It's an individual thing and the dog needs to be shown the proper way of doing it." The scooter manufacturer, www.dogpoweredscooter.com, strongly recommends that the scooter should only be used by healthy athletic dogs, 35 pounds and over.
Another cautionary remark was made by The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, who is concerned about risk of injury to a dog. Dr. Jennifer Lander, director of the Medicine and Adoption Center for the ASPCA in New York City, said, "My concern would be if the human decided they wanted to go faster and the dog might be forced to go a speed they wouldn't be comfortable with," She added that she would have to see the product in action before she could fully comment on it.
Mr. Swan, however, feels that the scooter is very safe, and is looking forward to getting other people involved in dog "scootering". He also plans to visit shelters with his scooter to exercise dogs who are mainly cage-bound. It is obvious to me that Mr. Swan is sold on scootering.
Watch how the scooter performs:
What are your thoughts about dog scooters? Leave a comment and let us know.
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