Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Safety First

A few weeks ago, we were reading about how The Thundering Herd all wear seatbelts in their Jeep.  I had been contemplating the idea of getting seatbelt harnesses for the dogs for a while, for several reasons.  After we read that they'd actually had an accident, but nobody was hurt, Mr. Taleteller looked into ordering one to try it out and see how it would work for us.

We had several reasons for wanting to try them out.  I assure you it had nothing to do with the dirty looks I was sure we would get from the girls.  Eating drive through food in peace had no motivating factor, either.  Those  would be nice benefits, but really, it was to keep the girls safe and not to torment them.

Our reasons were for their safety.  First, if there were ever a crash, it would certainly keep them from being thrown too far or getting tossed around.  Second, it would also keep them from running off after a crash if there were windows or doors broken open.  We've heard alarming stories over the years about greyhounds who survived serious crashes only to be lost after they ran away in fear or were hit by traffic as they bolted from the scene.  Third, it is safer to keep your dog restrained in some way so that they can't distract you from driving.

If you read our blog on Saturday, you saw that Bunny opened the package up and then was a bit nonplussed.  This one was ordered for Blueberry, but one will be coming for Bunny soon.  We figured that it would be easier to start training Blueberry to use it first because she pretty much gets in the van, claims her seat, lays down and does not get up until we arrive at our destination.

Anyhow, we took our maiden voyage with Blueberry wearing her harness.  To say that she was underwhelmed by the whole thing would be a vast understatement.  It would be akin to saying that the Sistine Chapel is a nice church.  Still, she didn't complain too much when she first got in and Mr. Taleteller hooked her up.  Then, we started the van and Blueberry decided that she had to circle three times before laying down.  Houston, we have a problem!

Being the devoted pet owner that I am, I climbed to the back of the van and worked for several minutes to unsnap the harness, pull the strap out from beneath her and then reattach it.  I'll just say that I'm glad the van wasn't moving when I started working on that little task.  Blueberry was surprisingly uncooperative about helping me out, too.

Me:  Blue, could you just...roll...over?

Blueberry:  No, you loon!  Do you not see that I am strapped down?  Woe is me!  I know how Aslan the lion felt now!

Me:  You're restrained by one tether!  It's hardly like being tied down!

Blueberry:  Hmph!  Why isn't Bunny tied up?

Me:  Bunny's harness isn't here yet, but she will be wearing one, too.

Blueberry:  (looking around)  Where is she going to be tied up?

Me:  She's not going to be tied up!  Her seatbelt is going to attach to this seatbelt over here.

Blueberry:  You mean I have to share this seat with her?!  No!  Surely you jest!

Me:  Yes, that's the plan until we can figure out a way to attach hers in the middle part of the van.

Bunny:  What are you talking about?  Why are you petting Blueberry and not me?

Blueberry:  I can not sit next to that all the way to anywhere!

Me:  Finally!  It's attached the right way.  Blue, we'll work something out!

So, I climbed back up to my seat, feeling a serious case of stink eye boring through my back.  I began to be glad that greyhounds aren't born with laser beams in their eyes.  We're easing into the seatbelt routine, and while the girls may not like it, sometimes we have to do things that are unpopular to keep those we love safe.  Girls, I can't even say I'm sorry this time!

For those who asked, our harness came from Champion K9 Outfitters

Blueberry Types for the Blog
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  1. I suspect that I'll enjoy the same reaction when our dogs are fitted for the same prior to our next big road trip. So for now - better you than I! :p

  2. Oh, I can feel Blog Mom getting ideas right now. She's saying things like how much sense that all makes and stuff. Uh oh.

    worriedly, Lola

  3. Good for you! I have been nagging momma to get a seat belt for my large and handsome self but so far she has not found a solution.


  4. Wait, do these seatbelts allow them to lie down? I considered getting a seatbelt for Badger, but was advised that they meant the dog had to sit up the whole ride and that it wouldn't work for most greyhounds because of that. Were my informants wrong? Where do I acquire laying-down doggie seatbelts?

  5. Rugby has a carseat that we just started using regularly about 6 months ago. Just two days ago he was in the car but not in the carseat and I was kind of freaking out a little bit about if I happened to crash even when I never used to really think about it!

    He didn't like it at first either and had to learn not to stand up and look out the back window because then the strap would be under his belly and he couldn't lay down again.

    Enjoy your seatbelts girl! It might save your life!

  6. I need a doggie seatbelt too! Maybe a puppy-seat? Do they make those? I like to look out the window!

  7. Brutus always wears a harness, attached to the middle back-seat belt. He has a nice little booster seat from which he can lounge in style & see out the windows. He'd rather ride on the center console, but he has learned to relax in his safer spot. If I can convince him, I'm sure you'll get your hounds used to the idea!


  8. This was hilarious!
    I still crate the dogs in the car, but they have the entire RV to roam when we travel...not safe, I know!
    Hugs and belly rubs to all,
    Kit and Pups

  9. Momma was already worried about me and Brudder Ranger not being strapped in. Then she read in this AAA magazine (just to be clear - TRIPLE A, not AA) that 25% of injuries in a car crash are from flying objects, including peoples and doggies. Now, they tried one with Brudder Ranger when they first got him but it turned into such an ordeal that my dad stopped doing it (and we ride with him most of the time). And it makes mom nervous (but then, she's a nervous sort to begin with).

    Would you mind letting us know where you gots your seatbelt?

    Wiggles & Wags,

    PeeS. Are you SURE that greyhounds don't have laser eyes? Maybe they just haven't decided to use them yet. You better be careful!

  10. Great story of a good decision! We're about to order one for Sammie. We have a feeling that she'll have the same reaction as Blueberry. Wonderful story you wrote and I'm giggling as I think of Sam glaring at my back as well! Furry funny!
    Hugs xo

  11. my mama wants to know where you got miss blueberry and miss bunny's harnesses. she likes the concept of seat belts, but back when she and daddy first brought asa home, the seat belt they got did not work at all. mama says asa could do this houdini thingie and get out of the seat belt every time!
    teh booker man

  12. We tried one of these on Tucker when he was younger. He ended up hanging from it off the front of the seat. We have one now for Dennis but haven't hooked it up yet. We'll see what happens when we do ...

  13. Marge wears a harness with a special attachment in the car, too. There had been times in the past where she'd go flying to the floor if the driver stopped short, so this helps with that. A crate doesn't fit in my car, so the car harness was the next best thing!

  14. Mom & Dad got a fido rido a couple of months ago to see if we like it for riding in the car (which we do). They are planning on getting a second one.

    They said it will keep us safe in the event of an accident.

    We are all for doggies being safe while riding in the car!

    Pugs & Kisses,

    Yoda & Brutus

  15. OMG...OMG...I just haves to tell you this. One day our not-so-favorite neighbor came and asked my Mr.Dad if this particular dog was ours...knowing good and well it wasn't. Anyways he said no and that was that. Her just let da dog go to fend fur itself. Ok so da next day da doggie showed up on our front porch. Well you could tells it wasn't a stray cuz it had on a freaking sweater, rhinestone collar, and still had that grooming smell on her. Ok, da tag was no use cuz it was sun. Mom's friend took care of da doggy.
    I'm getting to my point. A man was walking up and down da street calling fur doggie and comes to find out he was looking fur it. His sister in law had a wreck on our street with doggie in da car. When da rescue workers arrived on da scene da doggie got lose. Da woman was in critical care after da impact. Da rescue workers tried to catch da dog but hers was too freaked out and they had to be more concerned bout da woman cuz she was in real bad shape.

  16. We always buckle our pooches into seatbelts, even for the short drives: there are way too many crazy Chicago drivers out there for us. It makes me feel better to know the pooches are safe.

  17. Haa! I look forward to seeing how you get on and what sort you have! My first seat belt I managed to houdini myself out of completely and walked into the front passenger seat while Daddy Square was driving. The next one the leggeds tried I wriggled and moved so much I got the seat belt wrapped around my neck. Heck. That's not good. We have yet another type to try. Mom says if only I would sit stock still facing forward and not move a muscle the seat belt would work. Haaaa. As if....

    Wiry wags Eric x

  18. 'Mom!! She`s touching me!!'

    Funny post gal!

  19. I have one of those too!
    It was no problem for me because as soon as I got into the car, I stay in one spot and don't move at all.
    Safety first!
    Kisses and hugs

  20. I added the link for the seatbelts at the end of the post for those interested. The seatbelts are made so that they can lie down, but they could stand if they wanted to. Circling around wouldn't happen, though! I hope that helps everybody who was asking about them. I'm sure the post about Bunny trying it in a few weeks will be much funnier.

  21. You can write the most hilarious dialogue for a common-place occurrence! I get a giggle every time I visit!

    We use seatbelts on our dogs... and although they have occasionally managed contortions that have made us stop the truck to straighten them out, they generally have figured things out. I hope that your trio does too!

    We go back and forth as to whether it's safe to leave them alone in the truck while attached to their seatbelts. It's convenient because they can't get into any mischief while we're gone but we worry about strangulation or other terrible things. We've finally concluded that we need to unclip them when we leave them alone. I'll be interested to hear how your ongoing saga comes out!

  22. good for you! this is also on the top of my list of things to do. i've tried it in the mini and got a tangled mess. i tried it in the BMW and got another tangled mess. i think i need to get the right car first then do what the herd does. it isn't easy for sure! Blueberry sure is funny!

  23. I'd get one for Tenacious but... he hardly fits in that Volvo of mine! Ha ha ha ha ha!

  24. oh great! mommish now wants to know where you got the harnesses too! we are going to have to conduct attack toot mode so she can forget all this crazyness wiff all the fumes

    pibble wiggles
    the pittie pack

  25. Woo - we are so happy we have another convert to seat belts. The Herd never rides anywhere without them on. After the initial squabbles, they actually like getting into them because they know we are getting into the car (we put them on inside the house).


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