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Tag: motorcycle

Kabang gets hero’s welcome in Philippines

kabangand limKabang — after eight months of medical treatment in the U.S. paid for by $27,000 in donations from around the world — returned this morning to Zamboanga in the Philippines, where she was greeted by well-wishers, driven through town in a motorcade and honored by the mayor.

The mixed breed dog, who lost half her face when she jumped in front of motorcycle two years ago, saving her owner’s daughter and niece, met the media upon her arrival in Manilla yesterday and received a rousing welcome this morning upon her return to Zamboanga, a city in the southern Philippines.

“She is not just my friend, she is like a part of our family,” 13-year-old Dina Bunggal said. “I am very thankful to her, because without her, maybe I will not be alive today.”

Owners Rodolfo “Rudy” Bunggal, his wife Christina, their daughter Dina and her cousin, Princess Diansing, welcomed Kabang home — albeit it amid signs that the family is caught up in some domestic and financial strife.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer reports that Bunggal admits to having a drinking problem, that his wife has left him due to alleged physical abuse, and that, as a $5-a-day construction worker, he’s worried about being able to care for the Kabang, or provide the  dog the ”rich lifestyle” he experienced while being treated in the U.S.

“I hope there are other people with kind heart who will donate dog food,” he  said.

kabanghomeThe newspaper says Bunggal has asked Anton Lim, the Philippine veterinarian who accompanied Kabang to the U.S., to temporarily care for the dog.

Bunggal has turned down offers from people wishing to adopt Kabang.

“… I said no. A lady from the United States even called me expressing her  interest to adopt Kabang. I told them Kabang will stay with us and I entrusted  everything to Dr. Lim for the dog’s care and medication. Lim has helped us a  lot,” he said.

Lim said he and others are trying to improve the Bunggal’s living conditions. “We are looking at ways on how best to help them so that they can take better care of Kabang or make it easier for them to take care of her,” he said.

A city government-sponsored parade was held this morning. Kabang and Rudy Bunggal rode in the back of a pickup truck festooned with yellow balloons to the Municipal Hall, where Mayor Celso Lobregat bestowed the title “Pride of Zamboanga” on the dog

Kabang’s condition — she lost the top of her snout in the motorcycle’s wheel – attracted worldwide support, and donations from 45 countries paid for her extended treatment at the University of California, Davis, veterinary hospital.

Vets treated her for heartworm and a tumor before performing two facial surgeries. While they did not reconstruct the dog’s jaw or snout, they covered up exposed areas on her face to prevent infection.

Kabang leapt into the path of a motorcycle heading toward the daughter and niece of her owner in late 2011. The motorcycle’s front wheel ripped off her nose and the top her jaw. The girls were not injured.

(Top photo, Lim and Kabang, Hessische/Niedersächsische Allgemeineszmtag; bottom photo, Kabang arriving in Manilla, Associated Press)

Roadside Encounters: Sonny Barger

Name: Sonny Barger

Breed: Hell’s Angel

Age: 72

Encountered: At The Buffalo Chip, a bar and restaurant in Cave Creek, Arizona

Backstory: Sonny (at right, that’s me on the left) was a founding member of the Hell’s Angels, helping establish the Oakland, California, chapter of the club in 1957.

I ran into him this week after I stopped to buy a cowboy hat.

“Those are Hell’s Angels,” the parking lot cowboy hat salesman told me, pointing out the five motorcycles lined up outside of a bar and restaurant called The Buffalo Chip.

“Yeah, right,” I thought, and possibly said out loud. While I’ve seen thousands of motorcyclists descend on Cave Creek in my brief time here — most of them right next door to my trailer park at a place called The Hideaway — they are mostly stockbrokers and accountants and the like, who transform into bikers on the weekend.

“No, this is the real deal,” said my roadside haberdasher. “Sonny Barger is in there.”

Ralph Hubert “Sonny” Barger just so happens to be a founding member of the Hell’s Angels.

So, leaving Ace in the car, I walked in, rudely interrupted a conversation he was having and asked if I could take his picture.

Barger shook my hand and said he could do better than that. “I have a photographer with me.” He called over one of the members of a crew from Fox Movies, in town to scout out locations for a movie based on his autobiography. I handed  the photographer my camera and he took the photo at the top of this post. (So, if you don’t like it, Sonny, blame him.)

I apologized to Barger for not taking my newly purchased cowboy hat off, and explained to him that it had just been dipped in water and was forming to the exact size of my head. Barger was polite and accommodating, and he told me that the movie was something he’d been hoping to get done for 10 years. Now, it appears, it’s going to happen.

Barger was a prominent figure in Hunter S. Thompson’s bestselling book, Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs. He’s also mentioned in Tom Wolfe’s best seller, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

He has shown up in movies, too. He appeared in “Hells Angels on Wheels,” and was one of several members of the motorcycle club (I think they prefer the word club to gang) who had cameo speaking parts in “Hell’s Angels ’69.” Just last month he made a short guest appearance on “Sons Of Anarchy,” the television series about a fictional outlaw motorcycle club, based on the Hell’s Angels.

Altogether, Barger has spent about 13 years of his life behind bars, four of those for conspiring to blow up the clubhouse of a rival motorcycle club, the Outlaws, in Louisville, Kentucky.

In 1983, Barger was diagnosed with throat cancer, suspected to be connected to smoking three pack of Camels a day for 30 years. He underwent surgery, smoking a cigarette, it is said, on his way to the operating room. His vocal cords were removed, but he learned to speak again using the muscles in his throat. When he talks, he holds a finger over the hole in his neck.

In more recent years, he has become an author, and his books include Freedom: Credos from the Road, Dead in 5 Heartbeats, 6 Chambers, 1 Bullet and his 2001 autobiography,  Hell’s Angel: The Life and Times of Sonny Barger and the Hell’s Angels Motorcycle Club. In recent years Barger has worked to promote motorcycle safety, co-authoring The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Motorcycles and, in 2010, Let’s Ride: Sonny Barger’s Guide to Motorcycling.

Barger is a resident of Cave Creek and remains an active member of the Hells Angels Cave Creek Chapter.

(To see all of our Roadside Encounters, click here, or visit travelswithace.com)

Saving Harley: One Chihuahua’s tale

harleyFrom Washington’s Olympic Peninsula comes the story of Harley — a Chihuahua found on the side of a logging road with his throat slit.

The dog, bearing a four-inch gash on his tiny throat, was found Feb. 2, bleeding on the side of a road west of Port Angeles by Monte Mogi, a 75-year-old, Harley Davidson-riding, retired Air Force master sergeant.

Mogi took the dog to veterinarian Dr. Charles Schramm of Port Angeles, who threaded tight a 4-inch open slice across the center of the dog’s throat, according to the Peninsula Daily News

The cut appeared to be intentional. By slitting the dog’s throat, “maybe they thought they were euthanizing it,” said Schramm, adding that he’d never seen a similar injury.

Mogi paid the dog’s $464 veterinary bill, then called his daughter, a veterinary technician, and she drove the dog — dubbed Harley by then — back to his house. Already having eight dogs on his property, Mogi called Nancy Woods, who had cared for Mogi’s wife before her death.

Nancy and her husband Herb, though they’d sworn off dogs after their last one died,  offered to take in Harley — even though he appeared traumatized and was terrified of children.

Once Harley recuperated, they planned to find him a new owner. In mid-February they handed Harley over to a new family. The next day, they asked for him back.

“I had bonded with him,” Nnancy Woods said. “I was terrified for him. My heart just hurt for the trauma he had been through. I felt like he had been with us for two weeks, and then he was uprooted again. I felt horrible about that.”

Now Harley has the run of the Woods family’s rural property, which he shares with Bob, a rescued cat who’s larger than him. He’s doing well, the Woods say, though he’s timid, shakes when nervous and can’t really bark. He starts coughing when he tries to do so. 

Last weekend, the Woods reported, Harley slept under the covers with Nancy’s 7-year-old granddaughter.

Seems he’s beginning to realize that, however evil some of them might be, there are some good humans out there, too.

(Photo: Peninsula Daily News)

Ride for Animals to benefit Maryland SPCA

The first annual Ride for the Animals, benefiting the Maryland SPCA, will be Sunday, August 30.

The ride begins at noon at The Harley-Davidson/Buell Store, 8845 Pulaski Highway, in Baltimore. It ends at Padonia Station, 63 E. Padonia Road, in Timonium.

Registration opens at 10:00 a.m. and is $20 per person.

Entertainment at Padonia Station, starting at 2 p.m.,  will feature a raffle, silent auction, food and beverages for purchase and The Fabulous Skunkpuppie Band.

You don’t have to have a motorcycle to join the party at Padonia Station. However, no pets are permitted.

Email brandy@mdspca.org for more information.

Butkuss remembered

Here’s one man’s tribute to his bulldog, Butkuss.

Motorcycle ride benefits Great Danes

The Mid Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League is sponsoring a benefit motorcycle ride, starting in Frederick, with stops in Mount Airy, Taneytown and Boonsboro, before looping back to its point of origin – Flying Dog Brewery in Frederick.

The event, dubbed “Doing it for the Danes,” costs $25 for participating drivers, $10 for riders. In addition, those taking part will raise money through pledges.

Included in the ticket price are food, music, t-shirts (for the first 200 drivers), door prizes and a beer tasting (upon conclusion of the ride). Proceeds from all raffles and a portion of vendor sales will benefit MAGDRL.

The event will be held Saturday June 28. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m, with the first riders leaving at 9:30 a.m.

Riders will cover a 110-mile scenic route — with stops at Lu & Jo’s in Mount Airy, the Taneytown Tavern and The Dog Patch in Boonsboro — before returning to the Flying Dog Brewery, 4607 Wedgewood Blvd. (off English Muffin Way).

To take part, make a pledge, or just learn more, visit the MAGDRL website, or email Chris Ronald at chriskronald@yahoo.com

Honoring Bob Emery

No Paws Left Behind, an animal welfare group in Houston, has launched a drive to raise money to bury or build a memorial to Bob Emery, the Florida hurricane relief worker who was killed trying to rescue three dogs from a Houston freeway.

Meanwhile, the Houston Chronicle reported that the owners of the three dogs Emery was trying to rescue say they are grateful for his efforts.

“You just don’t meet people with hearts like that,” said the dogs’ owner, who the Chronicle identified only as Jackie.

Robert “Bob” Emery, 54, was killed the night of Sept. 27 when he was struck by a motorcycle as he tried to reach the three dogs, huddled on the East Freeway median. The dogs were later rescued by animal control officers.

Emery’s death has rallied animal lovers, who have vowed that Emery — who lived alone in a trailer in Florida until he was recently evicted – won’t be buried as a pauper, even if his family is never located, the Chronicle reported.

Emery had traveled to Texas as part of a crew of about a dozen men from Florida wanted to help in the hurricane relief efforts and make some money.

Jackie said she and her husband are senior citizens and lifelong animal lovers who took in two of the dogs after finding them abandoned as puppies in a Houston park. The third dog was also a young stray they had adopted.

The three dogs had escaped from their yard about two days before the accident.

By Wednesday, she had picked them from the city kennel. Two of the dogs, Honey and Nicky, were fine, but Sweetie, a reddish retriever mix had a badly mangled paw and is hardly able to walk.

The Houston nonprofit group, No Paws Left Behind, has been taking up a collection to hold a funeral or otherwise memorialize Emery. For information on how to contribute, click here.

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