Thursday, January 1, 2009

How's My Driving?


Our talk about about vans and Katie's travel worries prior to the holidays leads us into an important subject.... how is my driving? Actually, you should ask your dog "How is my driving?"

I drive very gently. It comes from my days of hauling a horse trailer. A horse stands while traveling and his center of gravity is several feet above the ground and even higher when he is standing on a trailer. If you accelerate like a race car driver, brake hard to avoid rear ending the cars you tailgate, and corner like you are trying to out run the cops, your horse is going to have a very unpleasant experience and may never willingly load onto a trailer again. To some degree, the same can be said for the dogs.

I have ridden with several people who drive extremely rough with the poor dog in the backseat sliding from one side to the other and being flung into the front seat at every stop light. Often these folks do not seem to realize how terrifying this can be for the furry passenger.

Crates do offer a huge advantage. If you do get caught having to slam on your brakes, crated dogs are safely separated and contained. However, crated dogs also appreciate a gentle ride. For those that sleep (Riley, Reagan, and so did Travis), a gentle drive allows them to be well rested and ready to drive me crazy when we arrive at our destination. For those that worry (Katie currently), a gentle ride gives them less to worry about.

So the next time you drive, pretend that you have a glass of water sitting on your dashboard (or a container of training treats). Drive in a manner that keeps the imaginary glass from spilling water and your dog will be much happier for it.

11 comments:

Mielikki's Hunt said...

well, despite being told I "drive like mario andretti"(SP?), I do drive more careful when the kids are in the car. . and they all love the car, Grins so much he'll try and launch himself thru any open window into a car lOL

Maria Peters said...

You gave me this great advice when I first met you, and I drive like buttah when the dogs are in the car. People who are behind me get really torqued when I won't pull out into traffic until it's clear to do so...but that's their problem.

greytblackdog said...

I'm with the group. I'm a better driver when my kids are in the car. Seka enjoys a car ride and can't wait to get in and go - and it doesn't matter if she never gets to get out. Roxy, on the other hand, is still a bit unsure about the whole travel thing but she is getting way better.

Iowa Greyhound said...

Good tips, I always try to drive super smooth with Miss Long Nose in the car. She likes convertible rides too, definitely not as safe a crate, but we're careful!

Addie said...

"Oh, Garrett...come and read Jen's post about driving with the dogs in the car!"

Addie, known for gloating just a little too much when she's right!

:-)

Never Say Never Greyhounds said...

Addie, if you just click on the envelope to the right of the labels, you can email the post to him :-).

Jen

Barb said...

I'll email this to my hubby too. He does drive more carefully with the dogs than he does without them, but he's still too likely to take a corner a little fast and slide them around a little.

I remember my days of hauling horses too, and it helps a lot. My criteria was to drive so that something hanging from the rear view mirror (air freshener, crystal, fuzzy dice etc.) wouldn't start swinging.

gyeong said...

I definitely drive more like a granny when I have the furkids in the car. Creates much less of a ruckus is they aren't constantly sliding into each other.

Zan said...

It's funny, I think I'm much more aware of what I'm doing when the pups are in the car. I hate having them slip around. It helps that they are both good travelers and, even when uncrated, usually lay down either curled up on a seat or in the back of the van.

Scott said...

I definitely drive more smooth as well. Unfortunately Belle voluntarily falls behind the driver's seat as she roams around.

Beth said...

My husband marvels at my driving; he's said you could put an egg under my foot and the egg wouldn't break. There's an advantage besides just happy hounds: my husband finally replaced my original brakes after 90,000 miles. All the guys at his shop came over to gawk at my still-really-good brakes while the car was on the rack, and I'm now a minor celebrity around there ; ) Gentle driving can save you lots of money, too!