ATLANTA — A dog is a man's best friend but one local daring duo is taking that to the extreme.
Aaron Matthew Dean says he can be a bit of a daredevil, which is how he's found a ride-or-die partnership with his furry friend Knucklehead.
He's a different kind of dog.
Knucklehead likes to snack on animal crackers and his favorite chew toy is a rock.
"It's like a kid, you can buy him expensive toys, but if you get him a stick or rock, it's better," Dean explained.
The pet owner said it's OK that Knucklehead is different -- because he's a little different too.
"He's better than a best friend," Dean said.
Life before Knucklehead, or Knuck for short, was lonely for Dean. The war veteran suffered from PTSD after coming home from Iraq.
"I came out here and life got a little better," he said. "But no matter where you go, there you are. So I still had problems."
Dean experienced homelessness, lost his eye in a freak accident and became addicted to fentanyl.
"I was left to my own devices and that was kind of scary. And the only person around was this butthead -- this knucklehead," he said.
That knucklehead gave Dean the courage to get sober and stay on course.
"Even after we get sober, life is still difficult," Dean explained. "And we say you have different tools in your toolbox to help you stay sober, and he has been the greatest tool that I've been able to find and have."
Dean started taking that tool to work.
Knucklehead encouraged Dean to get clean and get a job. Shortly after, Dean started his own business building homes with Knuck by his side.
"I literally was on top of a roof and he was on top of the ladder just kinda looking at me," he said.
Dean wanted Knuck to take it slow, but this dog has always been a step ahead. The pup always wants to be right by Dean's side, sticking close to his best friend and showing disappointment when he can't.
"I would take my dirtbike out and he would whine and cry while I got ready and then my wife said he would sit here and cry all day," Dean explained.
His whines were a signal -- Knucklehead wanted to ride.
Dean spent weeks researching safety for his best friend, who started riding as part of his pack.
"During the whole ride, he's leaning against me," Dean said.
Together their matching green mohawks light up the open road.
"Before when we started people would say, 'That's a dog on a motorcycle, that's really cool.' And now they'll say, 'Hey, there's Knucklehead!'" he said.
Man's best biker looks a little different on the road but the smiles he brings to everyone are the same.
Dean said the dynamic duo ride together out of love and hope others get that message too.
"If we are able to do something with that and let people know there is something else out there besides alcohol and drugs and abuse and all that," he said. "You're able to rise above that and do something greater with your life, no matter what it is."
Now, they're taking their show on the road for more people to see. Dean is selling his business and his home so he and Knuck can ride full-time - bringing joy to people all across the United States with their "Knuckleheaded Adventures."
They hope to take off on their adventure in a few weeks and bring people together -- matching mohawks and all.