It’s a dog’s life

Joondalup Times - - NEWS - Lucy Jarvis

A man and his best friend have trav­elled 190,000km around Aus­tralia in the past 10 years, rais­ing money for Alzheimer’s WA.

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 he cre­ated a seat for the back of the bike, which has a 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. De­tails can be found on .

The pair’s next big trip will be to Morn­ing­ton Penin­sula in Fe­bru­ary.

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.iri­de­with­

Main pic­ture: Martin Ken­nealey d489669

Above: Ken Ea­ton with his dog Chloe. Be­low: Ken and Chloe have trav­elled about 190,000km around Aus­tralia in the past 10 years.

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