Faster Than My Paws Can Take Me

In Their Voices
By Jessica Stone, May 2019, Updated May 2021
Courtesy of Jessica Stone

Courtesy of Jessica Stone

I’m sitting beside the two-wheeled travel kennel and waiting as patiently as I can. The patience is not easy for me.

Finally, Mama Bear says the words I’m waiting for:

“Saddle up!”

I leap onto my cockpit on the travel kennel. The travel kennel is still sleeping but soon it will wake up.


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Mama Bear says turn so I turn, then sit so I sit, then lay so I lie down.

Then Mama Bear passes the straps through my harness. I count one-two-three snaps and I know I’m strapped in! Then she puts the mask she calls an “aviators” on my face, and now I’m seeing with my eyes and my aviators.

Mama Bear adjusts my big tail, which she calls a “python,” and it hangs free from the travel kennel. She puts on her hard head. She swings her leg over the travel kennel. She sits between the two wheels and puts her hands on the ends of the wide bar.

Suddenly there is an explosion and the travel kennel is awake and growls because it wants to be let off its leash to go and run and sniff and see.

I hear a thump, the two wheels turn, Mama Bear’s feet come up and the travel kennel goes forward. We start at a trot and then we are running fast—much faster than my paws could take me.

We are running and the travel kennel is panting and turning and I am panting and sniffing. The people are looking at me with their mouths open and I am looking at them with my tongue out. We go and keep going and there are the sounds and sunshine and wind and all the many things out there to see and smell.

Article first appeared in The Bark, Issue 97: Spring 2019

Jessica Stone lives (and rides) with her husband and their German Shepherd, Moxie, in Guatemala, where they operate Ruff on the Road, dog gear made by their artisan partners.

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