GUILFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – “Trip, get in, there you go,” says Jen Simeoli, as she loads her dog into a unique bike.
It’s a beautiful day to get out…around the neighborhood…
And this duo … well, they never go unnoticed!
“Everywhere we take it, people are like, ‘Where did you get this bike?'” laughs Simeoli.
Trippy wags his tail, as he soaks up the sun and fresh air….during this ear-flappin’ good time!
“We go into the center of town,” says Simeoli. “We do doggy dining.”
But this unique way of “walking the dog” isn’t just quirky…it’s out of necessity.
“He had been found on the side of the road and had been abused,” explains Simeoli.
Six years ago, when Jen Simeoli adopted the lab mix from Tennessee – he was in bad shape.
His back leg barely worked…the result of being run over by a car.
He also has more than 250 pellets lodged throughout his body.
“The lady at Labs for Rescue was very forthcoming – she said, ‘He’s going to be a challenge for whoever takes him,” explains Simeoli. “She said, ‘You know, he’ll have some medical bills.'”
But Trippy captured Simeoli’s heart. He looked so much like her former dog, who’d passed away.
“His face – I’ll never forget – looked just like my Jason,” she says.
And this love story began!
Trippy is a great companion – especially to the grandkids – but, in recent years, he’s really struggled, taking walks.
“When we found the Bunch Bike, it was amazing. We took a chance. I said, ‘Watch, he’ll never like it,’ and, sure enough, from the moment we got it, he was in the bike and loves it,” she says.
The electric cargo bike can be used with kids or pets.
Simeoli says onlookers often express interest for elderly or disabled dogs.
“He’s just a lover,” she says with a laugh.
Simeoli – a nurse with some health issues herself – finds peace during the daily excursions.
And, Trippy has become a rolling ambassador for rescue pets….as he happily embarks on this joy ride.
“I think it helps both of us to relax, to be honest, we just get out there and go riding, he just loves it,” she says.
The Bunch Bike retails for about $4,000. Click here for more info.