Harley Rose: The Dog on a Hog

motorcycle loving pooch rides to Sturgis, stars in YouTube vids

Katie Reidt

Dogs. There’s a reason why we call them man’s best friend. Dogs provide unconditional love and companionship. Sometimes they even enter your life and change you for the better. Here’s the story of how one dog has made a positive difference.

Rescued from a cardboard box in New Mexico, she was among nine other Australian cattle dog pups waiting for a home. Her light brown speckled fur caught the eyes of Mike Dillon and his daughter. After scrounging up enough change, they took their newest addition home to meet the rest of the family. Soon, the pup was given the name Rosarita by Dillon’s son, who thought her coat looked like Rosarita refried beans. Now, this 7-year-old cattle dog is known as Harley Rose, and she’s not your typical dog. 

Typical dogs don’t like loud noises or moving things underneath them, but this red heeler doesn’t seem to mind. From what started as motorcycling through the backroads in Dillon’s hoodie pocket grew into riding in his hoodie. When she outgrew the hoodie, Dillon created a sling so she could ride and put her paws up, nicknaming her a “squat goblin.” It was through riding with Dillon that Rosarita, nicknamed Rosie, became Harley Rose – named after the motorcycles she loved to ride.

Harley Rose is famed for her love of riding motorcycles – some could even say she’s an icon. You can spot her riding shotgun with the wind in her face and Mike Dillon behind her. Harley Rose even has her own pair of pink riding goggles that she wears when they’re out and about. She’s been featured in parades, charity runs, numerous YouTube videos (keep your eyes peeled for local landmarks), her own Facebook page, and she even made an appearance at the 77th annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, which happens to be the biggest motorcycle rally in the world! That’s right, Chippewa Valley, Harley Rose isn’t just a local rider – she’s making her way across the country.

Mike Dillon and Harley Rose
Mike Dillon and Harley Rose

Beyond her motorcycle-riding skills, Harley Rose is also a service dog. She sticks close to Dillon’s side to help with his post-traumatic stress disorder. Sharon, Mike’s wife, nominated the pooch for a Sunshine Award, saying “This dog (Harley Rose) has been his lifeline. She has opened up a new world for him.”

With the weather cooling down, bikes are being put away. But keep an eye out for Mike Dillon making appearances next spring and summer. You can spot him riding through the Chippewa Valley with Harley Rose, the dog that rides hogs. The bond between her love for the open road and best friend behind her remains unbreakable – it’s all this doggo needs to live a full, active life.

Follow the Harley Rose’s digital life at facebook.com/1HarleyRose.