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 chopperbikerdogmarkshaffierEveryone is familiar with the 5yo Certified Therapy Dog who rides his Harley-Davidson motorcycle into the hearts of us all. Whether it be charity events, parades or his visits to nursing homes, hospitals, hospices and private residences, Chopper puts a smile on the face of everybody he meets.

Mark Shaffer, Chopper’s owner and Dad, placed him on a bike when he was only 3mos old and the rest is history. Starting with toys that could be operated with a remote control, the finished product is a custom-made bike that a fan from Florida designed to resemble Mark’s bike.

Chopper’s first appearance was a Toys For Tots Motorcycle Ride in 2009. He participates in good causes in the San Diego area. Every Christmas Chopper visits Children’s Hospital in Orange County, California bringing much joy to the delighted kids. This year he will be riding his motorcycle in the Hollywood Christmas Parade. Chopper’s mission is to always create a positive experience for those involved.

At home Chopper can be found walking the treadmill, exploring the outdoors or just hanging out with his Dad. It’s not unusual for the pair to enjoy a motorcycle ride on a nice California day.

At this time all travel expenses are paid by Mark and their trips are limited to Southern California. It would take Sponsors and funding to allow them to bring their special message to other parts of the country. Chopper and Mark would thoroughly love that opportunity. Any ideas or suggestions on how to accomplish that would be welcome at Chopper The Biker Dog




 Sergeant Stubby 1Sergeant Stubby was the most decorated war dog of WWI and the only dog nominated for rank & promoted to Sergeant thru combat. He served 18 months in 17 battles on the Western Front in France. The wounded soldiers were found by Stubby and comforted while help arrived. After surviving a mustard gas attack, he was able to save his regiment from surprise attacks. A German soldier was held by Stubby by the seat of his pants until American soldiers arrived.

Stubby was a Boston Terrier/Pit Bull Mix who was found wandering the Yale campus where the 102nd infantry were training. He was stowed away on board the troop ship by Corporal Robert Conroy. Injured in April 1918 by German hand grenades, Stubby received two wound stripes and a medal of honor. Robert Conroy smuggled Stubby home at the end of the war.

Marching in many US parades and meeting three Presidents, Sergeant Stubby became a celebrity. He was the subject of several books and has a brick in the Walk of Honor at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

Sergeant died March 16, 1926 in his sleep. His body was preserved and presented to the Smithsonian Institute in 1956.



 owentdOwen is an 11yo Certified Therapy Dog who is owned by Janet Johnson. He is a retired championship Boston Terrier that has his CRC, RN with AKC. Owen has lived with Janet since he was 8yo. His previous owner/trainer was Lorie Absher. Owen still works with H.A.B.I.T. in Knoxville, TN.

Ms. Johnson has always enjoyed working with Therapy Dogs but Owen has a special place in her heart. She used to take Owen to work with her doing private duty care. One of Janet’s clients Mattie Reagan had Owen mentioned in her eulogy by her minister. Mattie had lived with them the last year of her life and Owen was the source of so much joy during that time.

Owen continued to assist with client care after Mattie’s passing but it became too difficult for him emotionally to deal with the deaths. The last man who had passed away drove a red motorized chair. During a walk Owen spotted a neighbor riding in a similar chair 3mos after the clients’ death. He turned and watched the man, whining. That was not something Owen was inclined to do. At that point Janet knew how intensely the deaths had effected him. Now Owen just makes occasional visits but still maintains his charm that comforts those in need of a smile.



 PrincessPeiaThis article would not be complete without mentioning an up and coming Boston Terrier Princess Peia whose life was cut short August 13, 2014. Peia was a 3 ½yo little darling who was quite popular in the Pittsburgh area. While accompanying her Dad Jak Lipnicky to an AA meeting Peia was struck by a car and her injuries were too severe to survive.

Peia was a Certified Therapy Dog with HHIAT in Greensburg, PA. She went everywhere with her Dad and enriched the lives of all that she met. There was no limit to what accomplishments Peia may have achieved had this tragedy not occurred. She brightened the day of nursing home residents and the local fire department with her permanent smile.

Named after the Constellation Cassiopeia, Peia’s star will always shine in the Northern Sky reminding us of her undying love to those of us remaining on this earth. Until we meet again Steeler Girl XOXO.




Chopper the Biker Dog – Mark Shaffer

Sergeant Stubby – Wikipedia Online Version

Owen TD – Janet Johnson

Princess Peia – Jak Lipnicky