By Harriet Whitehead
A dog-lover has been turning heads in his hometown by riding around in a converted go kart – being pulled by his beloved huskies.
Damien Mendelssohn claims his three Siberian huskies Hunter, Mia and Teeko are like local ‘celebrities’ as they are regularly seen pulling him through the suburban streets of Ellesmere Port, Cheshire.
Damien, who admits he loves his dogs more than people, said he’s not bothered if he looks silly and that the converted go-kart is the best thing he’s bought for his beloved pets.
The 25-year-old fell in love with the adorable creatures after watching the film Snow Dogs when he was a child.
Civil engineer Damien, who got them to pull him on his push bike before he got the go kart, said: “I remember as a kid we had two huskies. They have always been in my life.
“I call them my kids. They are really dear to me – more than you can imagine. I would do anything for them.
“I have been training them myself for about four years. They are always learning new things. They are really intelligent creatures.
“Before I got the go kart Hunter and Mia would pull me along on a push bike and Teeko would pull my girlfriend Alice along. They have always been able to pull since they were puppies.
“With a pushbike it is quite dangerous. I used to attach the reins to the handlebars. With the go kart they have the full kit to pull a sledge.
“Everyone always stops when I go out. We always get kids thinking they are wolves. I always stop. I love talking to people about them.”
While the dogs were a little apprehensive at first, according to Damien they now love getting out and about in the kart.
Damien said: “No matter what they do when you get them outside they love it.
“The video I shared was the first time I took them out on it. It was just the two of them – Mia and her son Teeko.
“Mia looked at me like ‘what are you doing?’ but when they got going there was no stopping them. They kept running. They act on instinct. We did a good half a mile and they were knackered by the end of it.
“It is a buzz because the dogs are loving it and you love it. I don’t care if I look silly if the dogs love it and they do.
“The reaction I got from putting it on Facebook was amazing. That day I said I was going to go to the park and people came down to see us. They are becoming celebrities.
“Lots of people have suggested I could do a charity run. I’m looking at doing a Santa’s sleigh and dressing up. I doubt I could get them to wear reindeer ears though. I tried putting hats on them but they pulled them off.”
Hunter, who was Damien’s first dog, is the one with the sense of direction while Mia and their son Teeko pull the kart, according to their owner
Damien said: “I just shout to them and they understand. If I shout stop they stop.
“Most of the time they run straight past other dogs and they are fine with cars
“I would like to take them to competitions but have not got round to it yet. I’m quite happy at the moment taking them to meet their family members who all live nearby.
“I am the first one to take them out in a kart. It is a full size adult go kart which has been converted and has a full car battery to power the lights.
“We have had a laugh saying we could take it to Asda and stuff and see if we get a ticket.”
Hunter and Mia, who Damien admits are spoilt rotten, have had two litters of pups with most of them living with Damien’s pals and family nearby.
Most weekends he can be seen at the local park where they all meet up and he has ambitions to get eight of them pulling the kart.
Damien, who lives with his girlfriend Alice, 23, said: “She has got a Chihuahua Alfie who thinks he is a husky. He has learned to howl from them. He’s got small dog syndrome and thinks he is bigger than them.
“They live in the house with us and we let them sleep in our room at the weekends.
“I do pamper them quite a bit. They get birthday and Christmas presents which I wrap up and Easter eggs and a Sunday dinner every weekend. They are my pride and joy.
“I have got more respect towards dogs than people. I just love them. It is like they are your kids and the best thing in your life.