Suffolk biker and dog duo are paw-tners for life
Published 8:46 pm Monday, May 29, 2023
Suffolk’s self-proclaimed Biker-Chick Vicki Guetschow is proud of her dog Swiffer as the three-year-old Yorkie garners fans throughout the city.
During her motorcycle rides, Swiffer comes along with Guetschow as her passenger and has gained attention for being her biker paw-tner with many locals asking for shots of the two of them.
“Oh my God, so many people! At the pharmacy. People taking pictures of us when we’re at the stoplight,” she said. “ I’ve had people follow me to my destination and say ‘can I have a picture?’ and usually when I say ‘absolutely’ and there’s other people standing around, they’re like ‘can I? can I?’”
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Guetschow said Swiffer has a lot of fans.
“I’m surprised they haven’t started asking him for his autograph.”
She said Swiffer “loves” the attention that he’s been receiving from locals.
“He’s gotten used to it,” she said. “These goggles of his, when they come on, he’s a superstar.”
Before her journey began with Swiffer, Guetschow recalls her first encounter with bikes came when she was only five years old. Her uncle came by to visit with his friends, eight of them who had motorcycles.
“By the end of that weekend, I got to ride on every single one of them, and my mom was like ‘don’t do that!’ but that’s what started it,” Guetschow recalls fondly.
Despite riding motorcycles her entire life, Guetschow says that she has finally gotten her own bike and license “three years ago.”
“I was raised where women belonged on the back of the bike,” she said. “You don’t belong riding your own bike, so I got my own bike three years ago.” Guetschow named hers “Hazuki,” an orange Suzuki Savage motorcycle with Harley parts.
On meeting Swiffer, Guetschow bought him from a breeder when he was just eight weeks old. After that, she brought him home and began training him as her companion.
“I wanted a girl, but she sent me this picture of him and, oh my God, he was only like this big,” she said holding out her palm. “He could barely fit in the palm of my hands. Just so tiny.”
Affectionately calling herself his “emotional support human,” Guetschow reflected on how “upset” Swiffer would get when she started riding motorcycles. She recalled how when she returned home that he would be “excited” to see her again, but would also be “sad.”
Eventually, she got the idea of bringing Swiffer along on her rides while at BoneShakers Social Club, a club for motorcycle enthusiasts in Virginia Beach.
She described how once she felt it was safe enough to bring him along on the bike.
“I got the idea from a guy there,” she said. “He’s got a pitbull that rides with him, but it’s in a sidecar. It was little steps at first, getting him used to the sound of the motorcycle, then the vibration and putting him on the tank. Once he got the wind in his face, it was all over.”
Guetschow also expressed what it’s like to have Swiffer with her on her bike trips.
“I love riding, but to see that grin on his face, he gets so happy. He lights up,” Guetschow said. “He’s my joy. He really is. It doesn’t matter how bad of a day that I’m having, he will always make me smile, he’ll make me laugh.”
As Guetschow shared her journey with her dog, she said that he “couldn’t make a better partner in crime.”
When asked what she would want Swiffer to know if he could understand the human language, Guetschow said: “‘He can’t have a pup cup everyday.’ He asks for one everyday! It’s expected now!”
Editor’s note: Updated ninth passage at 10:35 a.m., Wednesday, May 31 to reflect correct description.