Called Diego, the loveable pooch is a real-life Gromit who lives his life on the wild side. Standing at over two metres, Diego comes running the minute he hears the motorbike engine rev.
To the delight of his owner, Carlos Da Silva, 45, he also wears dog-goggles while being safely strapped in as the pair drive the streets around Bethnal Green, London.
The pairing are a popular attraction around the East End area and are often surrounded by onlookers hoping to get a picture of the pairing.
His owners say Diego can easily be photographed up to 500 times a day. Carlos and wife, Elenice Ribeiro, 46, also have another Great Dane puppy, Nelson, and at only one year old they hope he will follow the lead of his older brother.
The couple own a motorcycle shop, where the dogs join them everyday. However, their mode of transport to work is a van instead of a motorbike.
Elenice and Carlos bring the dogs everywhere which is ideal because the pooches love attention.
Elenice, who co-owns Bravos Motorcycles with husband Carlos, says: ‘Diego is such an attention seeker – he loves it.
‘He sits up proudly and poses when he gets in the sidecar, he knows he’s about to get a lot of attention. I think in his head he’s saying ‘yes, I’m here!’ as his ears fly about in the wind.
‘Everyone in the area knows them.’
Yet it wasn’t always a loveable dog affair for Carlos and Elenice. Carlos – who is originally from Brazil – was always a fan of bikes and dogs but Elenice was petrified.
He accepted he may never own a dog and so the couple set up their motorcycle business. But Elenice realised how much it would mean for Carlos to have a dog, and so, the couple decided to take in a Great Dane. Known for their calm nature, Elenice fell in love quickly and her fear of dogs eased.
‘I was petrified, but Carlos had had Great Dane’s before and reassured me that despite them being so big, they were very calm,’ Elenice explains. ‘I bought Diego for Carlos as a Christmas present in 2015 – and the two of them have been inseparable ever since.’
In 2017, Elenice was diagnosed with breast cancer and says Diego was her ‘silent supporter’ throughout her treatment. Although she notes that he is a ‘daddy’s boy’ at heart and him joining Carlos on the motorbike was a natural next step.
‘Carlos said he bought the sidecar for me – but I think it was always intended that Diego would be the passenger!’
Elenice says. ‘As soon as he hears the engine, he runs and jumps straight in, he gets so excited.’ While it took some training, Carlos says getting Diego into the sidecar was an easy task.
‘He loves the sidecar – every time we touch the sidecar, he comes,’ Carlos says. ‘Everyone in South East London knows Diego. We even go to McDonald’s – I take him through the drive thru – he likes chicken nuggets! Everywhere we go we take him. He’s a very well behaved dog.’
Diego goes for a ride in the sidecar around four times a week. Each time he becomes a local celebrity but more importantly, he remains excited as ever to enjoy his favourite pastime with his favourite human.
‘You can tell how much he’s enjoying himself, I think that’s why people love to see it so much,’ Elenice says. ‘It’s amazing how much he loves Carlos and his sidecar – he just can’t get enough.’
(Article source: Metro)