A Valentine’s Day Message from Sweetpea Bicycles

The word LOVE has been everywhere. Totally inescapable. From the fountains of chocolate at the grocery store, to florists mobilizing for the big day, to the graphic designers who really seem to be enjoying themselves this year – Valentine’s Day has landed.

We have asked ourselves in the past about participating in the love economy, but now that we are here, I am not going to talk about roses, or chocolate, or bikes that love you back. I am going to talk about something that happened a little over three years ago that changed my life and brought me a profound joy. It is a joy that continues to this day. I am, of course, talking about our dog, Greta.

Greta is a lab aussie mix. Which is really to say that she’s a mutt. She enjoys naps on the couch, playtime in the park, and being around me and Nat. She makes noises when she yawns in the morning, and we have been known to have yawn-offs where we yawn at each other, her on the couch, me waiting for my morning coffee to kick in. We have an entire routine when I come home from work that involves racing around the yard, belly rubs, and something that I think is the dog version of tag. She is not so great around people, and will bark at you when you come by the house. But she is completely at home with her people, which is to say Natalie and me.

Greta is a rescue from the Heartland Humane Society in Corvallis, Oregon. Her first couple of months weren’t easy. In fact, we were worried for a while that she wouldn’t make it. But she pulled through. For a while she had better health insurance than we did.

Before we took that trip to Corvallis, Natalie and I talked a lot about whether we could incorporate a dog into our lives. We are really busy. Could we really give her the attention she would need? How would we train her? What stuff would we need to buy, and where exactly did we fall on the whole Cesar Milan thing? Looking back I can say that we didn’t need to know all the answers, that it was easier than I expected, and now we can’t imagine a life without her.

No matter where you live, there are pets that need people. And when you bring them into your life, they change you for the better. If you can give an animal the care it needs, please consider giving yourself the give of love and visit your local Humane Society. It might not always be easy, but it will return all the love that you put into it.

Greta in the snow for the first time. from Sweetpea Bicycles on Vimeo.

From → Great Ideas


  1. Amen. She is so sweet in that video!

    I am currently fostering Tina* kitty for the Oregon Humane Society. Originally, I was just keeping her while a deep wound healed on her head. She was very rough the day I picked her up — stinky, scrawny, clumsy, stupid, and pretty ugly. She had sleeping disorders, eating disorders, and didn’t know how to play. She’d spent most of her short life in a kennel. After a couple weeks a few things started to happen. 1. Her wound closed up a little bit. 2. Something fishy & fickle was up with her tummy. 3. She started doing normal kitten things and I started to adore her as the cute kitten she really is.

    But her tummy upsets got worse and worse. They finally did more extensive blood work last week as OHS. It turns out that she probably has a portosystemic shunt and will either need surgery or to live on medication for her (possibly abbreviated) life. But knowing what was causing her terrible belly aches and what medication to use, and having her back with me after she spent last week in the ICU at OHS, is such a relief. She is now more playful and energetic than ever. I know I won’t have her forever, but I do know the difference between when she is here and when she is away like I know a light switch.

    If you can’t keep an animal permanently, I highly recommend fostering a cat, dog, rodent, or bird through Oregon Humane. My foster experience with Tina has been rough, but they assure me most foster situations are easier and more enjoyable. If I enjoy Tina, imagine how much you would enjoy a purrfectly healthy furball for a week, two weeks, or perhaps a month or two.


    *No, I did not name this kitten. But Tina is a hilarious name for a scrappy kitten, right?

  2. For you Oregonians, also consider Luv-A-Bull in Eugene.
    I got my amazing dog Sweetpea (a mutt–about half pit bull and the other half complete goof) from them 4 years ago, and they do exceptional screening of abandoned pit bulls, and part pit bulls, that are the kind of pit bull you want in your life (think Petey from Li’l Rascals), i.e., sweet, trainable, loveable, low maintenance.
    They are doing good work, as many good, non-aggressive pit bulls are given up all the time and there are extremely few options for them (it is estimated that 90% plus of pitbulls who are surrendered to shelters are euthanized…)
    Plus, Cesar gave them a thumbs up!

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