I have a story to tell. LOL don’t I always? I suppose I should have told you all about this when it happened, but I gapped and wrote about something else that day. I have however found the reason why you should NEVER travel in the car with your small breed dog untethered!
This story begins with my stubborn 9 year old Dachshund Yoda. Yoda came to us this past may from a High Kill shelter in Northern California where he was dumped by his family with claims he had developed aggression. It could have been a death sentence for the little dog if not for the kindness and concern of a woman in Toronto who had him pulled from the shelter in the nick of time. That of course is another story!
Now generally when I take Yoda anywhere and it’s just me and him, I use a very nifty carrier bag given to him by his number one fan Ms. Carole Harden-Taylor. It attaches to the car seat and keeps him safe. One day last week however, I gapped and did not bring along the carrier when we went for a visit to Yoda’s Unca Tom, my former business partner and close friend. On the way to Tom’s Yoda behaved himself admirably, sitting in the passenger seat where I had placed him and obeying my stay command. We arrived at Tom’s without incident, and had a fine visit.
Then it was time to leave. We headed for the car and I again placed Yoda on the passenger seat, and told him “stay.” Since he generally tends to listen when in the car I never expected what was about to happen. Yoda sat and I started the car and backed out of my parking space. Eyes on the road, as I watched for an opening in traffic, I pulled out of the parking lot of Tom’s building, and headed for home. It was close to quitting time so there was a fair amount of traffic on city streets already, and I concentrated on avoiding kamikaze drivers by keeping my eyes on the road. That of course meant I didn’t have eyes on Yoda who, unbeknownst to me had decided to explore the back seat. At an intersection I glanced back and saw him there but didn’t think anything of it as he has done it before without incident. He spent our entire trip to London to meet the Grandma sleeping on the back seat so I figured he would settle down. Of course I couldn’t have been more wrong!
As I already mentioned it was quitting time and traffic was just beginning to get thick. Since people around here tend to drive like they found their licence in the bottom of a cracker jack box, my full attention was on the road. That is when Yoda decided to get adventurous and explore the floor of the car! Suddenly as I was coming up to a left hand turn, I felt the little dog between my FEET! What followed was absolute panic!
I knew I needed to pull over and take the little guy off the floor, but I was in a left turn lane and I couldn’t pull over. I had my foot on the brake, the engine revved! Oh no Yoda had found the gas pedal! I tried shifting him away from the foot pedals with my free foot. Now I was worried he would get one of his paws caught under the brake pedal making it impossible to stop the car! It was my turn to make the turn, I slowly turned the corner trying to keep Yoda away from the brake and gas pedals with my free foot as I went. Thwarted, he scrambled backwards until he was between the front and back seats. I managed to make the turn and pull over safely, but I want to tell you I have never been so scared in my life.
Bringing the car to a stop, I flipped on the four-way flashers and undid my seatbelt. I was now free to turn around and grab Yoda. I placed him on the passenger seat and tied his leash to the headrest. He was NOT leaving that seat again, and NEVER would I leave the house again without his safe carrier! My negligence could have caused a serious accident and I was very unhappy with myself for being so stupid! I know better than to cut corners with safety measures, but it took a ten pound Dachshund to remind me that when it comes to dogs, you should never take ANYTHING for granted!
As you can well imagine, I sat there for a few minutes on the side of the road, I didn’t start the car again until I had stopped shaking! If anything had of happened to Yoda or I that trip, I would have only had myself to blame! Yoda has been informed he may not operate vehicle foot pedals without a licence, but you know him! From now on we will just make sure to use the tools available to keep our little guy safe while traveling! To Yoda I want to say “Yoda! You can’t drive without a licence buddy!”
Until Next Time Remember,