As we count down the hours until summer break officially starts for me, I’ve been thinking about all the things I’d like to do with my canine sidekicks in tow. I take the dogs with me a lot of the time, but when the lazy days of summer hit, we see a lot more people enjoying outings with their dogs out and about with them, whether it’s a quick trip to a favorite nearby dog friendly spot or a longer vacation.
Two weeks ago, Mr. Taleteller and his team were busy with a big weekend training that he might tell you more about later. Most evenings I met up with him and the team for dinner to hear stories about how training went for the day. One night, I heard a story that could have turned out much differently and it was a reminder to us that safety in the car is a serious matter, not just for us, but also for the dogs.
Mr. Taleteller was driving a large dual cab pickup with their equipment trailer on the back. Küster was riding in the back seat and they were on their way to do a public relations demo at a local dog show. As they approached an intersection, a small black SUV passed them at a high rate of speed. The girl driving seemed determined to beat the stoplight, but her judgement was lacking. As she flew through the intersection, she hit a minivan. The minivan flipped four times before coming to rest in the street. Her car hit a stoplight pole so hard that her headlights shot out almost ten feet in front of the car and it richocheted backwards away from the pole.
Of course the team got out to help while the police and fire crew were on their way. Mr. Taleteller approached her car and she had a small dog sitting on her lap. She was very worried about the dog, and he told her he would take care of it until her family arrived to take it home. The people in the minivan had to attended to first before they could work on getting the young woman out of her car. True to his word, my husband carried the little dog around with him until her family arrived.
For his part, Küster sat in the back seat like a statue keeping watch over the situation the entire time. He stayed calm, cool and collected, enjoying the cool air blowing on his face throughout the whole ordeal. He’s used to crazy situations and waiting for his turn to go out and do his part.
The story reminded me that we need to get more vigilant about keeping our dogs safe in the car. We have seat belts for the dogs, as well as crates, but sometimes it’s tempting to just let them ride loose in the backseat when we’re in a hurry or taking a short trip. It only takes a split second for something really terrible to happen.
Loose dogs in the car can be their own form of distracted driving and I’ve seen a lot of small dogs in people’s laps that look like they’re interfering with the driver’s ability to see or pay attention to the road. Dogs in the back seat who decide they want to be in the front can be a problem, too. I know that strapping your dog in can be an inconvenience and that some of them don’t like it. I also know how important it is to take the time to make it work.
For all the excuses and complaints I’ve heard, the fact remains that a car accident is a lot worse than any of those things. I feel like our readers are an extended family of sorts for us, and I would hate to hear of anyone having an accident that could have been prevented or made less serious. We want summer to be full of fun and happy memories for you and your dog. Safe travels to you and your dog whether you’re driving across town or across the country.