My car is not my car. It’s a dog car. That is to say, it’s a car that belongs to the dogs. I’m simply their chauffer.
Where to today, Mr. Paco Taco?
Would you like the windows down a little more, Ms. Misha Wisherton?
Is the heat up high enough, Princess Chloe-o?
Do you need to take a potty break, Sir Tet Tet?
And being such, it’s a car that doesn’t shuffle people around very much. At the foot of the rear seats are bags of car necessities and dog necessities. Both rear seats have no seat belts (See evidence of that here). There is dog hair EVERYWHERE, including in the vents, stuck to the ceiling and in the crevices of the power window buttons. Prison bars separate the back from the very back of my VW Golf hatchback. And the windows are almost opaque from 3 dogs worth of nose boogers and slobber.
But even though it is the dogs’ car, I have to maintain some level of control. I am, after all, the one steering a ton of metal at high rates of speed. Hound dogs make this task especially difficult. Tetsy likes to pace and jump over Paco. Paco does not appreciate Tetsy’s restlessness. Tetsy barks at all moving vehicles. Paco barks at people, dogs and my turn signal. Tetsy barks at Paco when Paco barks at whatever he’s barking at. Tetsy sometimes gets so worked up by all this commotion that he poops. Right there in the car. (As a side note, Paco has this embarrassing habit -embarrassing for me, I’m sure he doesn’t care- of eating poop. You would think that of all the times this could be useful, it’s when his brother poops in the car. “Clean up in Megan’s back seat.” But no, he doesn’t eat poop the one time it would be helpful, he steps in it and smears it everywhere.) That is a lot of moving and barking and pooping. It does test my sanity at times, but luckily, MoJo’s Backyard and the dog park are close to home so I never have to drive far.
Dawn has almost the same dilemmas and that’s why about a year ago, we designed the ideal dog mobile. We had this canine transport vehicle perfected to a “T.” There would be 2 sliding doors on either side with ramps or stairs leading up to crates high enough for a nice window view. Rear vents would be directly above each crate and the driver would have individual control over the temperature. The floors would be rubber, easy to hose and lead to a drain in the middle for those unfortunate accidents. The windows would have a Teflon-like coating for easy cleaning of nose-prints and drool. The seats would be made of material that didn’t take an hour and 2 pounds of quarters to vacuum hair from. (Side note #2: sometimes I take my car to professionals to be cleaned. I always sheepishly throw them my keys and quickly walk to where they can’t see me. They ALWAYS return my car by saying, “We couldn’t get all the dog hair out,” with a disapproving look on their faces. I always tip well and haul tail out of there. I try not visit the same one twice in a year.) Oh, why hasn’t someone catered to the dog world?
Well now, Honda thinks they have the answer. Sunday, I was reading the paper and almost fell over when I saw an ad for Honda’s new Dog Friendly Element (honestly, I was seated, so falling wasn’t really a threat). The ad boasted a ramp into the rear soft-sided crate, a spill-proof dog bowl and rubber floor mats. This sounded like my next car. Jerritt and I excitedly investigated further on Honda’s website. The practicality for a 4-dog household seemed to stop at the rubber mats. Sure, the crate is wonderful for 1 dog, but where are the other 3 to go? From the pictures, the space from the end of the backseat to the beginning of the front is huge. Great for passengers but for clumsy-footed dogs and Tallahassee traffic, that seems like a lot of room for dogs to fall on the floor. Where are my smudge proof windows? Where are my angled mirrors so I can see what the dogs are doing? Where are my driver-activated treat dispensers for distracting attention away from people walking dogs? Where is my horn that barks instead of beeps? I guess you can’t have everything.
So my final vote? It seams Honda got it right for 1-dog households, but the rest of us will have to keep waiting. I can buy a dog ramp and a soft-sided crate for a whole lot less than a new car. I’m holding out for the official Megan & Dawn Dog Mobile. Bark out loud if you’re with me!