Out on the open road: just a man known only as the Chauffeur, his BMW RT1200 motorbike and … his two Jack Russells.
In the time-honoured tradition of a person morphing into their dogs – or is it the other way around? – the Chauffeur and his dogs Dash and Patch don their goggles/doggles and sniff the breeze as they travel around Victoria.
They’re quite a sight and that’s where the RCH comes in with a dedicated collection tin mounted between the two dogs.
“Wherever we go cars beep their horns and whenever we stop people take photos,” said the Chauffeur. “Friends suggested I charge for the photos and that’s where the fundraising idea came from.
“I had polio when I was young and my mother was an ex-nurse so raising money for the RCH came to mind. I’ve made a sign for the bike that says, ‘Our photos are free. Donations to the RCH are priceless’.”
The trio only began collecting in March 2018 but they’re already up to their eleventh tin with each holding an average of $250 donated straight to the hospital. A day at a Sorrento market filled one tin alone and the Chauffeur expects to fill a tin a week come summer.
As long as he takes them with him when he gets on his bike, the dogs are happy. They have their own seats in a customised BMW top box where they’re double-belted and harnessed in. They’re so well secured, in fact, that 16-month-old Patch has been known to fall asleep with his tongue hanging out at 100 kilometres an hour.
“He usually barks for the first 20 kilometres, though,” said the Chauffeur. “Dash just points forward like Leonardo DiCaprio at the front of the Titanic.
“They each have three sets of doggles including a large one for wind and weather and another pair for night. They have six jackets each including a heavy quilted one, a waterproof and thin BMW jackets.”
The two pooches have their own Instagram account with nearly 3,000 followers and almost 400 posts. To see more of their adventures: