May 8, 2015
Grieving Father Tries To Mend Broken Heart On 10-Year Motorbike Journey With Dog

After his only child, Lance, died, as well as his mother, Ara Gureghian, 67, he felt that he could no longer cope with everyday life. His loss was so great that he decided to travel across the United States on a motorbike and become a nomad, which is reported to have helped him bounce back from his depression, according to 132 Motorbike Times. He didn't travel alone. Ara rescued a pit bull from a shelter, literally saving the dog's life, as he was slated for euthanasia the next day. The dog, named Spirit, who had been severely abused in his prior life, became Ara's traveling companion in the sidecar of his motorbike. He said that they have become one, in a sense, as he charts his 300,000-mile journey. For the most part, he traveled up and down the west coast and central United States, following the cool weather in the summer and warmer weather in the winter. He said the following, according to METRO.

"I wanted a dog and I found Spirit at the shelter one day away from euthanasia. We looked at each other and we both knew. He had been very badly abused and it took a while for him to now be a people lover with a heart of gold. He has become my life as I know vice versa is also true. We are one now. He is quite the rider in his own sidecar and such a ham when wearing his goggles and helmet."
Not only has the journey been therapeutic for man and dog, it has also been followed by over five million visitors to his website, which documents the journey through photos, video, and in prose. Ara's even publishing a book about his life-affirming journey. The book, called Hues of my Vision, will feature a collection of photos, maps, and quotes regarding the many adventures he faced. The link to the website is here.

Spirit, Photo Courtesy Facebook
Spirit, Photo Courtesy Facebook

Ara indicated that the journey will continue, with Spirit as his sidekick, in full riding gear. Spirit looks like quite the traveler, with goggles and a helmet that, appropriately, says "Bite Me." Ara even has a Facebook page, documenting his journey, and he stated the following, according to METRO.

"There is no goal to the journey. We continue staying on the road. It becomes and addiction to seek new especially isolated spaces with much beauty. We will be resting forever some day … so why stop now?... There are many sunrises, sunsets, nature, moon rises and other Dogs we meet. Out of the ordinary scenes that touches my Heart. With each photo I have inserted a map with icons and arrows showing where the photo was taken and a quote per photo."
The healing power of nature cannot be denied, especially when accompanied by man's best friend. A new study from researchers at Japan's Azabu University may explain why dogs are really seen as man's best friend, and explain the bond between man and his canine companion. There is truly a basic connection. According to researchers, when man and dogs look into each other's eyes, each experiences a surge of oxytocin, the hormone associated with trust and love that is released that is largely responsible for maternal bonding, according to an article in the Inquisitr.

[Photos Courtesy Facebook]