CLEVELAND — At any big event in Cleveland, whether it's a parade, a festival or most recently the MLB All-Star Game, there's a chance you've seen a dog cruising around town in a chariot attached to the trailer of a motorcycle. He has a name, a story and a chariot to match his rising popularity in Northeast Ohio.
Steel, a Cane Corso, and his owner Joe Pesec, are the epitome of the phrase "A dog is a man's best friend," or "A man is a dog's best friend," depending on who you ask, the dog or the human. At almost 4 years old, Steel and Pesec have formed a special bond that is shared with anyone who comes in contact with them while out in public.
"He has brought smiles to millions of people in his short life thus far," Pesec said.
Pesec picked up Steel when he was just 3 months old. There were 11 in his litter, and he stood out immediately to his future owner.
"He was the pick of the litter, but everyone in front of me wanted females. Still today, he is the largest one of that litter. When I put him on the floor, the first thing he did was poop on an attorney's shoe. I knew he was gonna be a star," Pesec laughed.
And what's just as special as their bond is their love of taking adventures in Pesec's motorcycle and Steel's very own, custom-made chariot fit for a king.
It all started with the need to get Steel outside more because he's an office dog at Pesec's place of work at Lyman Steel Company in Cleveland.
"He spends most of the day inside, but to be fair, he's never been on a chain," he said. "One day I decided to put milk crates on the back of my motorcycle to see how he would do. From the minute he was in the crate, he loved it."
He got so used to joining Pesec for a ride that it only made sense for him to construct a chariot. There's even an Amish-made harness, so Steel is safe and secure while out adventuring.
"I built the chariot from scratch, weighing 550 pounds. He likes to be perched on top of it, like he's the king of world," Pesec said.
Steel loves the chariot so much that he will hop into it even when it's not time to go anywhere.
"He is the star when we go outside, getting all the attention. Crowds will walk up to him whenever we are together."
Together, they've become the ultimate traveling buddies, going on trips to Sandusky, Amish country and through the streets of Cleveland.
No matter where the duo travels, Pesec makes sure Steel doesn't forget where he came from, because after all, he shares the same lineage with the Queen of Dubai's dog.
Every so often, Pesec takes Steel to Cloverdale Cane Corso, where he participates in some fun sibling rivalry with his seven brothers and sisters.
"Steel has brought such notoriety to the breed. All dogs get along and just have the greatest time," Pesec said. "You even have to sign papers that you won't breed him with any other dog."