Couple adopts dog, ditches motorcycles during cross-country trip

Published: Nov. 15, 2022 at 6:02 PM EST
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WATERTOWN, New York (WWNY) - When motorcycling cross-country, the last thing you’d probably expect to return with is a new dog and no bike. But that’s just what happened to Cam’s Pizzeria owner Matt Strader and his wife when they met Lucky.

Lucky looks like any other dog - running, playing and begging for treats.

But Lucky’s story could’ve turned out a lot differently if it weren’t for a chance encounter with Matt Strader and his wife at an Arizona desert gas station.

“We could tell he was hungry. He wouldn’t leave us alone but also he wouldn’t get close enough to touch him,” said Strader.

He and his wife were on a cross-country motorcycle trip and pre-paid for a tour of the Grand Canyon the following day. But after encountering the malnourished, overheated puppy, the Straders’ trip was over.

“We weren’t going to abandon him again. Somebody already abandoned him and abused him. We weren’t going to let that happen again,” said Strader.

The next steps weren’t easy. First, strangers helped the Straders get the puppy to the nearest shelter 150 miles away. It was full so the Straders decided Lucky was coming back to the north country.

“So now here we are. We’re 2,000 miles from home. We’ve got two motorcycles and a dog. I don’t know how we’re going to figure out how to get this little guy home,” said Strader.

The two left their bikes behind at a dealership and rented a car for the journey back to Watertown, the newly named Lucky in tow.

“It took us like 5 days to get from Salt Lake City back to Watertown with him. Every day was better,” said Strader.

When Strader first took in Lucky, the dog was pretty skittish. Now he’s doing whatever he can to teach him not everyone is bad.

“Now he loves getting in the car. We let him out and he plays all by himself out in the yard and he comes when we call him,” said Strader.

After getting home, the Straders went back west to pick up their bikes. Both say it was worth it.