Monday, November 23, 2009

So a scared dog walks into a car...

In September of 2008, we experienced a hurricane.

I know that sounds odd, since we live in Indiana.

But when Hurricane Ike ripped through Texas, it sent storms and wind all the way up through Indiana and Kentucky.

That weekend, we were home at my parents' house in Kentucky. We had to drive back to Indiana through the Hurricane.

Debris scattered the roads. We passed many places where there was no electricity.

But the worst of it for us happened about 20 minutes away from home.

On the interstate, the wind whipped part of my weatherstripping off the top of my car. As we drove, it flung down on the roof of the car with load and repeating BANGS. We stopped as soon as we could, at a gas station that looked like it was the only place around with power. We bought electrical tape and borrowed a pair of scissors and taped the weatherstripping back to the top of my car. The electrical tape is there to this day.

The damage was done, though.

Oh, no, not damage to my car.

Damage to Layla.

The weatherstripping was too loud, the wind was too loud, the drive was slow and tense because of the debris.

Our dog that normally slept the whole way home has been nervous in the car since then.

Panting. And more recently, trying to dig in the seat to get underneath something. Getting off the seat to it on the floor of the backseat.

We finally decided we needed to do something.

My cousin, our vet, suggested we get her a crate for the car so she can feel enclosed and safer.

We went to look at crates.

They are $80. So we decided to try something else.

Hence, the trial of the dog seat belt.

The dog seat belt is a harness that you put on your animal. The harness has a loop on it, and the seat belt to the car goes through the loop and clicks in, leaving the dog seat belted into the car.

On the box, the large dog sits patiently. Almost like a human, a big smile on his face.

Stop and consider this for a minute. We were going to attempt to put a seat belt on our dog. Because dogs just seem like they would like something like that. On our dog. I shake my head at our foolishness.

We slipped the harness on Layla in the parking lot of the pet store. We wanted to try the contraption out on our short drive in town before we take her out of town. Surely she would like not slipping around when the car makes turns and stops.

Not so!

Layla. Hated. The. Seat Belt.

First she wriggled right out of the harness. And looked at us with a smile. We put it on tighter and buckled her in. Hal even sat in the back with her.

More panting and general dog stress and anxiety.

So Hal found and purchased a $20 soft carrier that folds up and has loops so the seat belts can buckle the carrier into the car.

Layla did not like the idea of the carrier at first. It looked suspiciously like a crate. We don't use a crate here anymore, and while she always liked her crate and will go into it with no problems, I don't think she wanted to show too much enthusiasm.

So I crawled in the crate.

(I didn't fit.) This became apparent when I tried to crawl OUT of the crate and got my butt stuck. I had to wriggle out like a demented snake.)

My silly crate tricks did the job and she doesn't mind it.

But the big test will be tomorrow.

Safe Crate vs. Dangerous Car.

I can't wait to see who comes out on top


E. said...

Good Luck with that. I can just picture someone looking like "a demented snake". Thanks for the laugh.

I hope Layla enjoys her car trip tomorrow.

redww2 said...

my bet is on layla!

Kris said...

No pictures? Ha! That's pretty funny. I thought about getting some of those seat belts for my dogs to keep them safe in the car, but never got around to it.

Good luck tomorrow, I hope Layla is calm and relaxed.

Amanda said...

The visual of putting a dog into a seatbelt made me laugh :) Almost as good as my friend wrestling her cat into a snuggie!