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Now that the weather is finally springlike and Chicago, Eric and I have been biking with Kayleigh. We have a Springer device to attach to our bikes and we have spent the last two weeks toughening up Kayleighs paws o that she can run on the grass and on the sidewalks without cutting up the pads of her feet. We started out just going around the block to have been gradually working our way up to longer distances. Having Kayleigh run alongside the bike has several benefits. First, with the Springer device, she can not to run into the whales or under the wheels and for the most part she is under complete control. Second Kayleigh just loves to run and I cannot keep pace with her just on a regular walk. Her recall command is not the greatest so I can't let her go off leash (especially when there are geese around for her to chase!), so biking with her allows her to run as fast as she wants to but still be under control. Third, Eric and I both want to lose weight and biking with Kayleigh really allows us to get a good workout in and spend time with our dogs. Yes, I said dogs, plural. You see, we put Spirit, one of our pugs, in a basket mounted on the back of Eric's bike. She is secured into the basket with her doggie seat belt, but she can jump free in case Eric wipes out.

So, today Eric and I decided to ride over to the library to pick up our son Alex, and then all three of us could bike back. We loaded Spirit into her basket, hitched Kayleigh up to my bike and off we went. One thing that I need to have noticed, Kayleigh will not run beside the bike, unless there is somebody in front of her that she wants to "catch". Spirit is Kayleigh's favorite chew toy, so having spirit ride in the basket on the back of Eric's bike serves a dual purpose. Spirit gets to enjoy a bike ride, and she also functions as the rabbit for Kayleigh to chase.

So, we left -- Eric in the lead toting Spirit in her basket and me following behind with Kayleigh hooked up to my bike. We had 45 minutes to go approximately 3 miles. It should have been enough time. It wasn't.

Eric is generally pretty good about avoiding dogs. When we are biking with our dogs. Although the Springer keeps Kayleigh under control and prevents her from lunging, and Spirit is the very definition of "all bark and no bite", both dogs do get excited when we go near other dogs, so we try to avoid it as much as we can. There are to hyperactive beagle dogs on our route. I don't think their owner takes much care of them or trains them or gives them enough exercise, because whenever any dog goes near them (NOT just our dogs!) the beagles go absolutely crazy barking and snarling and howling not in a "we want to play with you way" but rather in a "if we could get at you we would bite the heck out of you way". Unfortunately, Eric forgot that those beagles were there until he was pretty much right beside them. The beagles started going crazy, and Kayleigh wanted to play with them. We had to stop to cross the street, but of course there was traffic, and we could across immediately. Kayleigh longed so hard she actually bent the connector to her Springer so much that she broke free. Here's an idea of the force that she used to get loose. When she broke free. The connector whipped back and hit my leg so hard that it drew blood almost like a switch.
Man did it hurt!! I screamed, "Kayleigh is loose! " Eric immediately laid down his bike and ran over to get Kayleigh (who was running back and forth along the fence were the beagles were). Spirit wriggled out of her harness and ran over towards Eric. I yelled, "Grab SPIRIT!!!" Eric, bless his heart, scooped up Spirit and grabbed Kayleigh's harness. I couldn't move because my legs hurt so much. The beagles, of course were just going absolutely nuts behind their fence, which really didn't help the situation. Kayleigh wanted to go back over there. Eric walked the two dogs across the street, and then I walked both bikes across. Eric got Spirit back into her harness and back into her basket (bless her mellow heart - she was perfectly calm through all of this!). I kept Kayleigh on her leash, and then attached her back up to the Springer (I was able to fix the catch), but she still wanted to go back for another go at the beagles. I told Eric to just go and Kayleigh would follow Spirit and him. If we didn't get moving Kayleigh Woods just keep trying to get back at the beagles. So, off we went.

We got about another mile down the road and all of a sudden Kayleigh was free of the Springer! AAARRRRRGGGHHH!!!! I had an attached it correctly it had broken loose. Fortunately, she ran right up to Spirit and Eric was able to just reach down and grab her. We kept going.

About a half mile later, one of the bars that attaches Spirit's basket to the bike became this attached from the bike. The bolt had come loose and disappeared and of course we didn't have a spare. We now had about 20 minutes to get about a mile down the road to pick up Alex and we had a bike that we could not move. Eric tried using a key ring to the read through the whole as a temporary fix but couldn't get it to work. I noticed that there was a family out in front of their house two doors down and walked down to explain the situation and ask them whether they had a bolt that we could use on our bike. They were very very nice, and they helped us fix our bike. In the meantime, the wife fell in love with Spirit, who was still sitting calmly in her basket while the bike was being worked on. I make it a point of bringing my cell phone whenever we go on a bike ride just in case we run into problems. I was really glad I had it today because I was able to call over to where Alex was and tell him that we were running late and so he wouldn't worry. Finally we got the bike fixed, got over to the library, and picked up Alex. Fortunately the return trip was uneventful.
So, this fun bike ride wound up costing me one HUGE welt on my leg and a busted basket. However, I think we've made some new friends. I just have to remember never to bike past those blasted beagles!
 

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What an adventure, a story worth retelling where you can smile, now that the tears of the welt is over. Glad everyone made it home safely. Looks as if you will need to add a small tool kit with assorted nuts and bolts to Spirit's basket.
 

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Oh boy!!!! At least you all survived to bike another day!
 

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I'm sorry... I am laughing my butt off!! You see, we have a GSD and a Pug. This is exactly something that would happen to my boyfriend and I. I am glad every thing turned out okay though. I hope your legs feels better soon.
 
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