Southern California. Known for its warm beaches, tan people, palm trees, and mushing. Yes, urban mushing, that is. It is also called dog scootering. Basically, it’s mushing minus the snow.
Dogs are strapped into harnesses and leashes are tethered to a non-motorized scooter just below the handlebars. The owner stands on a platform. The scooters, which cost $200 to $700, are equipped with brakes and knobby tires that ride over the trail’s rocks and potholes more like a mountain bike than a sled over snow.
For owners, they say scootering is a chance to bond with their dogs. For some dogs, it is quite an adjustment from sleeping on the couch to urban mushing.
Members of Dogs Across America, a national scootering group founded in 2005, say their membership rolls have increased particularly in Texas, Washington and California.
From Yahoo News:
A recent outing of the Southern California Working Snow Dogs included huskies, malamutes, dobermans and a dalmatian â€” many of which had never put paw to snow. Other scootering groups boast photos of more unexpected breeds, including standard poodles.
The Southern California group, which started in 2005, has about 240 members, about 50 of whom show up most weekends to traverse Fairview Park in Costa Mesa, about 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
“They’re basically in the den waiting to go hunt. They want to start running and hunting,” said urban musher Rob Fuechtenicht. “When you hook them to the scooter, you’re riding behind them and they’re in this doggy nirvana kind of stage.