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Rescue dog Bixby, cross-country partner ride into Bend


Bixby and her human have biked all across the country to raise awareness for pet adoption.

Bixby moonlights as “Rescue Dog,” and she’s been doing a lot of work in communities across the U.S. to help her brother and sister pups find a loving home like the one she has with her human, Mike Minnick.

They’re been riding together for just over three years and a little over 12,000 miles.

“Basically, any dog from your local shelter can be a rescue dog just like Bixby,” Minnick said on a stop in Bend on Friday. “And they can take you on the adventure of a lifetime, just like she’s taken me on.”

While they’re originally from Texas, they began their trip in Maine. Their journey has taken them from Portland to New York, and Miami to L.A. with their electric bike and their safety companion, Chicken Charlie.

“Back in 2011, I really decided that I was overdue for a big adventure,” Minnick said. “And thanks to a Burning Man ticket, I walked away from my life.

“In a truck, we started going to some national parks, and my truck broke down and met two guys on a cross-country bike ride who inspired me. And eventually I quit smoking, sold my truck and got a bicycle.”

Their mission has now changed.

“We’re one month into our new journey on the electric-assist bike out of Palo Alto, and our goal is to break the Guinness Book World Record for distance on an electric bicycle,” Minnick said.

On Friday, they made their way to the Central Oregon Humane Society, where Bixby got to meet local celebrity Maty, the three-legged Frisbee-catching “wonder-dog.”

“Bixby obviously inspired her human about the value of adoption,” said Lynne Ouchida, the Bend shelter’s community outreach manaegr. “And my life also was changed the same way by adopting. Every animal has potential, and they’re just waiting for that human to bring it out in them.”

Bixby and her human partner also have some good advice for all those people looking to follow their dreams.

“Bixby told me that dreams are like sticks — you just have to chase them. So we set out to make sure our dreams come true,” Mimmck said.

To track their progress, you can head to or follow them on Facebook at Wheres Bixby (no apostrophe).

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