Man, dog bike around country to promote shelter adoptions

Published: Feb. 2, 2017 at 10:58 PM EST
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By: Erika Fernandez

February 2, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) -- A man and his dog are making their way across the entire continental U.S. Bixby and his human, Mike Minnick, right now are 20,000 miles into a biking excursion, and breaking world records along the way.

What started out as a plight to quit smoking quickly turned into something more for Mike Minnick.

"Bixby's from a shelter, I think she's a wonderful ambassador to shelter dogs and the sorts of adventures that a shelter dog can take us on," says Bixby’s owner, Mike Minnick.

Four years after beginning this adventure and stopping at more than 100 local animal shelters along the way, Bixby and Minnick are also crushing world records.

"The world record is distance on an electric bike and as it sits right now, it’s just shy of 5,000 miles, and I’ve been 10,000," Mike says.

But the message they’re hoping to spread is much bigger.

"The whole goal is to stay on the road, to use the momentum that we have, the publicity that we get and to get Bixby to help us help shelters," Mike says.

Minnick is growing a non-profit organization for local shelters to make sure no dog is left without a home.

"You can't breed a dog this cool, the only way to get a dog this cool that'll take you on an adventure like mine, you have to go to your local shelter because those shelters are full of dogs like Bixby," Mike says.

As for Bixby, she is her human's biggest inspiration.

"Even though I had my doubts whether or not I could do it, because I hadn't ridden a bicycle since high school, Bixby’s mantra and what she told me back then was dreams are like sticks and you have to chase them," Mike says.

Mike has some pretty big plans for Bixby: He wants to make her a cartoon, maybe even through Pixar He says The Ellen DeGeneres Show has already contacted him twice, and he's hoping to make an appearance on the show when he ends his trip in San Diego in May.