A column I wrote earlier this year listed the top five reasons why dogs like to go for car rides. A few local dogs read that column and contacted me, wanting to correct the record on a few things.
First, according to a bassett hound named Bubba, dogs don’t stick their heads out the window for the sheer joy of it.
“It’s to keep eye out for traffic hazards and warn our owners,” Bubba said in an email. “No offense, but most dog owners are awful drivers. A loud bark in the ear usually keeps ‘em on track.”
A chihuahua named Cloe stopped by the office to clarify another point.
“We don’t go get in cars simply for the ride,” she said. “For many of us, it’s the only way our kind can see and talk to one another. We’re stuck at home all day, so it’s nice to get out and say a quick hello to our canine friends in the car next to us. It’s not much, but it makes us feel less isolated.”
Bart, a large, handsome Doberman, said driving in his owner’s car is the only way he has of catching up on the latest Top 40 hits.
“How am I supposed to impress the ladies when I still think the Backstreet Boys are still the bomb?” he said. “And I hate it when my owner switches the channel over to talk radio or, worse yet, puts in a Barry Manilow CD.”
A golden lab named Larry said driving in the car gives him a chance to mess with his owner.
“Oh yeah, I like to run back and forth across the back seat, from window to window, barking and howling. It drives my owner nuts,” Larry said. “One time ... oh, you’ll love this ... I kept licking my owner in the ear. It was a hoot! He was swatting at me to make me stop. The car was swerving all over the place and then a cop pulled us over. I was like, sitting quietly in the back seat, a little angel, while the cop wrote him a ticket. It was great!”
A bulldog named Fat Tony said he rides in the car for one reason.
“I gots to keep an eye on my owner, ya know?” he said in a thick Italian accent. “I needs to know what he’s doin’ when he’s not at home. Make sure he’s not cheatin’ or somethin’. Ya know, messin’ round with annuder no-good canine. What’s it to ya?”
So there you go. Straight from mouths of mutts.
Think about that the next time you take your dog for a ride. Is he just enjoying the wind in his face or the thrill of the hunt? Or is there something more going on behind that goofy grin on his muzzle?