Opee is only eight and yet he is popular in the dirty sport of motocross.
He can pull six Gs. Opee has been the centerfold for Cycle News and he alsp poses often for fan photos. He was able to survive Baja 500 and has racked up more than 10,000 hours on a dirt bike.
This 32-kg blue merle Australian shepherd can barely bee seen through the dust on his goggles and his custom helmet, complete with cam.
Opee’s owner Mike Schelin said that he is Opee’s biggest fan, and race partner. Schelin got Opee in 2001 after his divorce. He raises Opee with other dogs and 2 horses at what he calls Miracle Flats. Known as “The Dogfather” to some in the sport, Schelin always takes a back seat to Opee.
“He was my instant best friend,” Schelin said. “He slept in my tool bag. There was something about him. He’s had charisma since Day 1. I knew I had a dog who could make a difference.”
Schelin realized that Opee was a motocross fan we he started riding in the desert while Opee chased him.
“I felt bad for him, he would run so long.” Because of this Schelin bought a four-wheeler and he and Opee went desert riding. Since the dog does not like the dust in his eyes, Schelin got him goggles. Then one day, Opee hopped on the motorcycle tank and that had been his place ever since.
If the bike is not moving, the dog will fall asleep on the tank. Schelin never found a covering that’s comfortable for the dog.
Because of this, finding sponsors was not difficult. Soon enough Opee had his own custom gear, including a neck brace, inflatable vest, backpack, water supply and several jerseys. He got his American Motorcycle Association card and his SCORE International card.
Aside from motocross, Opee has been a search and rescuer, CA assistance dog, and he also visits kids in the hospital with Schelin.
(photo credits: Chris Carlson)Opee – The Motocross Dog