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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Lucky Gears Up for Backpacking

lucky's new panniers

Here we have Lucky The Dog moggling his new Ruffwear panniers so that he can carry his own flippin scoff and other stuff on future backpacking trips.

Today’s contents include two doggy water bowls (one will hold his dinner and the other’s for water) , two bonios and two dentasticks. This is lightweight stuff and will be only a fraction of the full load (about 1kg – ish). He seems to be OK  with it, and even surprised the nice lass in the shop by stepping into the loop – he’s well practised with harnesses by now, though.

At some point soon me and Lucky are planning to walk the English Coast to Coast following ruffly (see what I did there!! (dhuhh)) Alf (Women, know your place) Wainright’s route – partly because this is very handy in case Mrs Pieman feels the need to deliver fresh socks to Swaledale as I’m passing through. Well, she might if I buy her a pub lunch….

top view (who'd have guessed, eh?)

We’re almost fully equipped, but there is just the one nagging problem. And this is it:

I’m getting quite twitched about the number of dog thefts. This would not normally be a problem except that when we do the Coast to Coast, I will have to visit one or two supermarket-type shops in such places as Kirkby Stephen and Richmond and Lucky won’t be allowed inside. This means that he’ll have to be fastened up outside and this is where I get paranoid about some thief nicking off with him for whatever nefarious purposes they can think of. What I need is a length of thin steel cable which can be looped through the harness/panniers and locked with a padlock, thus reducing the chance of theft to people who either have time to somehow wriggle him out of his harness or are carrying clippers strong enough to cut the steel, by which time I ought to be back outside armed with a dangerously sharp lettuce to interfere with the criminality and rescue the pup from being fighting dog bait. I may have such a piece of kit currently mounted on an old home-made deadman (actually, it’s really a deadboy, being fairly small). But any other security ideas would be welcome. I suppose what I really need is an engineer with some spare time.

Course, if I make the dog hard to nick, they might just run off with my pack instead.

Anyway, we like the panniers. There needs to be a short practise walk and a bit of building up of walkies with increasing weight over the next few weeks, plus an experimental train trip – to see how he copes with all the noise etc. – he has a terrible fear of low frequency noise at the moment. (thunder, bangs, artillery, rumbles…etc)

blurry view - the bugger wont stand still



Alan Sloman said...

Howabout trying a Pacsafe Retractasafe lockable cable device thread round his harness? Can't do links from my mobile but its on Amazon for about £20

Dawn Linney said...

Lucky certainly looks the business. Possibly you may need to recruit a few folk to meet you at designated spots to keep Lucky company while you shop for lethal lettuces and the such. A bit of a faff maybe but better than having dog snatchers lift Lucky???

Dawn Linney said...

It may take a bit of juggling but I would be happy to dog sit, say for example in Kirkby Stephen?

Anonymous said...

Re: dog-rustling. Maybe you ought to hang around the supermarket entrance like a 14 year old smoker outside the offy. You can offer cash (and a shopping list) to any honest-looking shopper and then wait outside with Lucky while they buy your lettuce, half bottle of own-label Vodka and 10 Silk Cut.

Anonymous said...

Or - a better (if immoral) plan - stick some hi-viz patches on his panniers and write Assistance Dog in big letters. He can go in the shops then. I recently read that there's a big market for assistance dog harnesses for dogs/people who haven't been trained. Some people, eh?!

AlanR said...

I hope he has his ears covered when you start singing.ha.

christine hindle said...

Doesn't he look smart!
No brilliant ideas re the dog theft thing. If we think of any we'll let you know. We've stopped tying Tilly up outside even our local village shop, although we used to tie Dixie and Tilly up quite happily outside supermarkets in France. Mind you, Dixie would have had the hand off anyone trying to steal her!

Geoff Crowther said...

Hi Mike,
As you know, I'm not only a dog owner but also a cyclist and consiering simial problems with my precious steed on my upcoming LEJOG ride. Firstly, I wouldn't use "supermarkets", rather, small shops where I'm better able to assess the risk, or even better, keep the bike in sight. Secondly, I've a small, combination lock I use on my road bike. Very light and, as yopu describe, just a thin, fexible cable. It's Abus. I'll DM you a photo via twitter in a mo. I have seen even lighter/smaller ones in Cotswold Outdoor recently too. Good luck with the planning. Geoff.

Paula Ball said...

We got one for Heidi a couple of years ago but she hates it. I might give it another go though.

Best wishes - Paula :)

Mike Knipe said...

Thanks everybody - I've had loads of suggestions either here in comments, on facebook and twitter messages and in a strange dream involving Irma Ogden and some carbolic soap..
I think I have a solution... watch this space. Not that space, this one... dhuhh...