Dogs Going for a Ride
It’s the holidays. We’re kicking back. Just me and my dogs, going for a ride.
Yep. If I’m alone in the car, I made a promise to myself a long time ago, the windows are down for the dogs, regardless of the weather. Why should I have all the fun? There’s not much better than windows down for a dog. In January. When it’s windy. And freezing.
Patches is my front seat girl. She pops into the front seat as soon as a person vacates it (this morning it was my daughter being dropped off at work). Almost always I can count on Patches to be in the front seat. Today, though, after stopping at the post office to drop off Gizmo’s book, I found Patches in the driver’s seat and Flash as the passenger.
Patches can’t drive. She never got her license. Silly puppy. So I gave her the boot and the two of them shared the front passenger seat, like good siblings.
No, I don’t let my children share a seat. Because there are laws. And seat belts.
Speaking of which, do you harness and seat belt your dog when it’s in the car? I don’t. Maybe that makes me a bad dog mom. I don’t know.
Here’s the progression: I am 45 years old (let’s keep that our little secret, shall we?). I was born in a world without seat belts. True story. I was one of the generations of children who roamed the car, sat in dad’s lap to steer, rode in the back of the pickup in all weather.
I remember the day, while in college, when I heard seat belt laws had passed nationwide. Mandatory. Y’all, from that day forward I have worn my seat belt faithfully if I’m in the front seat of a vehicle. I have secured my children in car seats. I have nagged them endlessly about their own seat belts. And have been baffled at children who have known nothing but seat belts and who have to constantly be reminded to BUCKLE UP. Sheesh.
What the heck?
But dogs? Reading the comments on someone’s blog a few days ago, she says she buckles her dogs because in an accident they become deadly projectiles. Y’all, the dogs as projectiles will be the last thing to kill me in an accident. There’s so much junk in my poor old minivan …
Safety vs. Freedom
We’ve talked in the past, mostly when my sweet chicken, Peep, was killed by a hawk, about the tension between safety and freedom. I err on the side of freedom, both with my family and my animals, while always being on the side of the law (seat belts). Here’s how I see it – I don’t have to take my dogs anywhere in the car. They get out nearly daily, just dogs going for a ride. I make trips to the post office, dropping someone off at work, picking up kids from school, etc. The dogs aren’t coming with me because they need to be somewhere. They ride in the car just to ride in the car. Stick their heads out the windows. Sit in someone’s lap. Lay at someone’s feet. Play-wrestle in the very back seat.
I figure that unless someone convinces me otherwise, or the law makes it mandatory for me to harness my dogs while in the car, they’re free to roam while I drive. Otherwise, what’s the point of taking them anywhere?
Please, feel free to throw facts and figures my way. I’m open to changing my mind. I am.
Until I write again …