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Dog-Stracted Driving??

February 8, 2016 | By: Judith

Disclaimer: We do not in any way support driving with the dog/cat on your lap. It is both dangerous for you and the dog.

Okay, are we are all on the same page here?
But what if…

Your dog goes with you everywhere, especially to drop off his little human partner at school. What if you are driving in a Fiat 500 (small little Italian car) that is just about big enough for two humans and a small White Coton De Tulear?

What if the dog has been trained to sit in the middle of the seats on a furry red cushion?
Just patiently waiting till it is time to walk the human to the place called school, drop him off. Perhaps the music is on and he can listen to the sounds while the car zooms about. Perhaps he can close his eyes and sleep through the journey. No matter which, this little Coton loves the drop off and pick up schedule.
He loves traveling by car.

BUT THEN
What if …

That morning everything changed -the boy was running about the car while the dog chased him. Both of them laughing happily while mom is trying to pack the car with school lunch bags and teaching items for afternoon schedule.

“Both of you in the car.”

“You can’t get me…”, round and round the car.

“Bark bark”.

“Get in the car guys.”

“But he started it.”

“Bark, bark."

Mom looked at them as only a mother can. She never says a word, just shakes her head and narrows her eyes and then BAM.

“Get in the car, both of you!”

Finally, they both are in, ready to get on the road. The boy in his seat, buckled and ready and the dog snuggled in the middle on his cushion. I am sure to the dog everything seemed so normal. Mom sat on the left and his boy on the right. He was in the middle. Everything was as it should be.
Car starts and they are on their way.

 

Music is on. Everyone is happy.

 

The boy is talking about a new game that he heard about, rattling off statistics.

 

And then Mom saw the officer. The boy saw the officer. The dog saw the officer. Everyone was on alert.

 

Mom stopped the car at the officers wave. The dog’s ears pricked up as the man walked closer. He sniffed the air and followed his progress with his eyes to mom’s side. The boy started humming with nervousness. Mom rolled down the window and smiled.

 

The little dog could not help seeing this human with his shiny badges and jumped on mom’s lap.

 

“Ma'am. Driving with a dog on your lap is considered as distracted driving.” He said.

“He was not on my lap officer.” Mom explains while the dog is growling at him through the window. The boy is now calling the dog and trying to pull it off mom’s lap. Everyone is making a noise.

The officer just looks pointedly at the dog and the boy struggling with each other. He does not say a word, just watches the commotion.

“I know it looks like he was on my lap. But he was on his seat when we were driving.” Mom says pointing to the red furry cushion in the middle.

“He always sits here when we drive.”

Says the boy.

“Maam, I am just letting you know. If you’re caught looking at your phone, texting or talking on your phone while driving, you will face a fine and demerit points. Dog’s on your lap while you are driving is also considered a distraction.”
He looks down at the dog at the window and my eyes follow his.

“I understand officer. But the dog was not on my lap.” (Now he is.)

“She does not have her cellphone either. She left it at home.” The boy informs the officer.

“Bark.” Says the dog, obviously adding to the conversation.

The officer was clearly not impressed. He shook his head.

“Consider this a warning.” The officer said pointedly and turn on his heel and walked back to his car.

The moral of the story? Let the dog drive next time.

Judith