I’ll be the first to admit that my husband and I were ill prepared to transport a small dog. We were used to carting around 2 large dogs who couldn’t move out of the back seat unless they really, really, really tried. Which they never did… Rocky was too “healthy” – and yes, by “healthy” I mean “fat” – and Niko… I just don’t think he liked my driving. I think he preferred the safety of the cushioned back seats. But I digress. Because we had large dogs, we never looked into doggie seat belts or any other methods of doggie car restraints though I had been curious about how those things worked. (Would this be considered foreshadowing?)
When we picked Jacques up, we put him in the back seat like we did with our other dogs. Within minutes we had a little white dog doing a darn good pinball impression! He bounced off the seats, the windows, the console between the front seats, back into our cargo area (we have a hatchback), back to the console, onto my lap… and started the process all over again. I sat in stunned silence staring at this crazy, bouncing creature in my car while waiting for my husband to turn the car around to start looking for the lady who had brought Jacques to us.
Fortunately for me (and for Rocky and Jacques), my husband is a good sport. A VERY good sport. And very patient. Did I mention how fortunate we are to have such a patient, loving patriarch?? I eventually snapped out of my stupor and was able to snatch Jacques on one of his front seat bounces. I grabbed him and held on tight. (Who knew such a small dog could be such a wiggle worm??!) I decided for EVERYONE’S safety (and my sanity) Jacques would have to be restrained in the car FROM NOW ON – FOREVER.
For the next few car rides, we used a travel kennel. That did not go over well with Jacques and he let us know about it! After several hour-plus car rides I realized I had to do something else. Jacques was miserable in the kennel which made everyone else miserable. I switched to a doggie car seat/harness combo which he seemed to really like. It raises him high enough that he can see out the window, lets him move around a little bit, and most importantly keeps him from being a doggie projectile. After dangling from his harness a few times and having his attempts to jump into the cargo area thwarted a few times, he finally got the hang of the car seat. He got pretty comfortable with it and was really good at staying in the seat. Now he’ll jump in the car and hop right up in his seat and wait to be buckled in. And his most recent thing is to be just like Rocky… So now he has to lay OUTSIDE his seat next to (and often times on top of) Rocky. We’ll see how this plays out!