I don’t know how many times I’m driving down the road only to find the person in front of me or next to me letting their dog either sit on their lap and look out the driver side window, or better yet, have it’s paws on the steering wheel. The other day while out doing my errands on foot, I was almost hit because the driver was paying more attention to her driving dog than she was to her own driving. So I begin to wonder how much do these people really value their pets. How much is your doggy in the window worth towards your own wellness and peace of mind?
We’ve all had pets that become part of the family. Our one family dog growing up, Snuffy, thought she was human. She understood the basic sit, lay down, and beg. But Snuffy also understood Paper, Car (when my father said it), Ride(when my father said it), Porch, and treat. She was never taken to obedience school, my parents and grandparents taught her themselves. She was my protector when I was a baby. My mom used to put me in my buggy to sleep outside when my mom was doing the laundry, and hanging out the clothes. Snuffy used to sleep next to my buggy and if someone tried coming near the buggy who was not family she would growl and go into protection mode.
When Snuffy would go in the car for a ride she always sat in the passengers side, with her nose out the window. She never tried to climb into my Dad’s lap. She had the whole window to herself. If mom was in the car, Snuffy would go to the back seat and just sit and wait for the window to be rolled down for her. She was such a part of our family and she added joy to our lives, just as I’m sure that the pets that ride on their owners laps are to them.
As a part of the family, when she died at the age of 14 we all cried so much that I never thought I would ever feel normal again. Snuffy ran away to die, we didn’t watch and it was a blessing because she was sickly, and watching her die would have been too much for my 9-year old mind. I wonder if these drivers who let their dogs drive with them ever consider the consequences of their actions.
Consequences are the result of every action we take. We have laws that prevent horrendous consequences, like texting while driving, (3000 people died in 2011 from distracted driving). There needs to be a law on the books that says pets should not be on the drivers lap while driving. This is just as distracting as writing a text, even more so because with a text you can control the phone, but you never know what’s going to set your dog off to barking, or maybe slipping off your lap and landing on the gas pedal. And there you are paying attention to what your dog is doing and you don’t realize you just hit a woman who was walking with her child because you didn’t see it.
The other part of this scenario is that most of the people I’ve seen that let their dogs ride on their laps are senior citizens. It’s a known fact that as we age our reaction time is slower. While driving with a dog on your lap may seem like a loving thing to do for your pet, it’s really not. You are putting your life, you pet’s life, and someone else’s life in danger. Think about your wellness and your pet’s wellness.
Keep your pet off your lap.
How much is your doggy in the window?