KEN Eaton and his dog Chloe have travelled about 190,000km on a motorbike together in the past decade.
The Joondalup pair started riding around Australia after Mr Eaton’s wife Sue, who had early onset dementia, died aged 55.
The couple and their three daughters bought Chloe, a Maltese and poodle cross, as a puppy in 2003 and she became Mrs Eaton’s “little pal to love and spend time with as she slowly forgot all the things that she once knew”.
Mr Eaton bought the motorbike after his wife died to fulfil the dream they shared of riding around Australia.
Initially he would go for rides every Sunday, but he missed Chloe, so created a special seat for the back of the bike which has a seat belt to keep the dog safe.
Sometimes the pair ride alone, and sometimes they ride with the Ulysses Club’s Joondalup branch, which is a group for people aged over 40.
People they met on their rides asked about Mrs Eaton, so they started a charity called ‘I Ride With Chloe to Fight Dementia’.
Mr Eaton had badges and patches made, which they sell to raise funds for Alzheimer’s WA.
He has also written and published a small book of poetry, narrated by Chloe, about their time during and after the years caring for his wife.
“It is a book written to show there is life after the loss of a loved one,” he said.
The book is called Who Are You Reflections of a Dementia Survivor and details can be found on www.whoareyou.store
The pair’s next big trip will be to Mornington Peninsula in February, and Mr Eaton said they would travel along the Murray River photographing bridges and speaking to ferry operators for another book.
They publish blog updates on their travels at www.iridewithchloe.com .