Sunday, September 28, 2008

Dogs in Cars ... a warning!

So what is with the "warning" in that post title? I have to share a scary incident that happened this morning. We packed up the Scotties in the car for our weekly Sunday romp at the lake and we were stopped at a traffic light. I was admiring a charming Boston Terrier that was in the suburban, one car ahead of us and to the left. He was playfully hanging out the window and barking at some folks in a convertible. I did not even really notice his doggy buddy in the backseat with him until their car starting rolling and then the medium sized cow dog sitting behind the driver rolled out of her window seat and on to the ground in the middle of the intersection! The light had just changed so fortunately there was nobody driving at any real speed. Dan jumped out of our car and into the road to help this little pup, who's human had driven a few yards before realizing that she was one passenger lighter. We were lucky to be at the right place at the right time to help. The little girl doggy that had landed on the pavement was too stunned to run, and seemed very grateful for the road side assistance. With cars piling up around us, Dan walked this little puppy back to her car and to her Mom's embrace. What Drama!

The point of the story ... this pup had probably ridden in that car a hundred times and never lost her balance before. It just takes one unlucky slip of footing to be within inches of disaster. Be very careful when you allow your pups to feel the wind in their faces on short drives. Everyone has their own set of safety rules when it comes to car rides with dogs. I am not perfect and so please do not think this is a lecture. We do not seat belt our pups, and I even let Big Tommy ride on my lap when we go to the lake ... something that could kill us both if the airbag ever deployed. We do make them ride in the back seat on long trips. I also do not let them hang out the window unless they are on my lap with my firm grip around their collar. Dan uses the baby locks on the car windows because Ajax has on occasion leaned on them in the back seat and rolled them down.

So what are your rules when it comes to car rides and dogs?

Cool vintage dogs in cars above found over at Flickr ... you can click through to visit the photo streams of these terrific Flickr members. They all seem to belong to actual family members, and are very nice image posts.


Marilou said...

Yikes! Glad he could think under pressure. I tend to do the opposite of what one should do. Have never had a dog, but hope to in the next few years. Something to think about!

Anonymous said...

One more time! (this posting is more difficult than I think it needs to be) I'm doing something wrong.... Leon has to ride in the back seat, we usually lay the back seats down so he has plenty of room. No open windows... no open pick up trucks, and although this is not a car, and he is a lab... always a life jacket on the boat. You never know what could happen and they could get so tired swimming around in the lake if they were bumped off.

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi rebecca!
oh you and your husband saved her. it was meant to be that you were there.

jencoe said...

We started out using a doggie car seat, but our puppy almost strangled herself in it. Now she just sits in the back. I have controls on my door that lock the car windows so she can't get them open and she is NEVER allowed to put her head out of the window. She's a very small dog and I'm terrified she would fall out. Basically the dog follows the same car rules the children do and everyone is safe.

Lindsay said...

I always have my mutt stay in the back seat. I have the windows down a few inches sometimes, but he is too big to fall through. Still, I don't have them down fall enough for him to get his entire head out the window. And I keep the child locks on as well!

Manon Doyle said...

I'm so glad you guys were there to save the pup. My dog, Otis, also sits in the back with the windows barely open. I hate when I see a driver with their dog up front. It's scary to think what could happen if they had to lay on the brakes real hard or if the air bags popped out.

Rebecca said...

Thanks for the comments everyone. Just learned about a failed bill in CA. about lapdogs in laps in cars:
"Calif. lapdogs can stay just that in moving cars

2 days ago

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — Hollywood celebrities can continue to drive with animals nestled in their laps.

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is vetoing a bill to fine motorists $35 for sharing the driver's seat with lapdogs or other animals.

Republican Assemblyman Bill Maze says the practice is distracting. He introduced the bill after seeing a woman driving with three dogs on her lap.

Schwarzenegger says he's signing only bills that are "the highest priority for California." And a lapdog ban isn't one of them."