November 06, 2009
Does Your Dog Ride in the Front Seat?
By David DiBenedetto
My oldest brother got into the field trial game while he was still in college. At the time, he drove an old Buick Skylark sedan my father had graciously passed down to him. On the weekends when I was lucky enough to tag along, I remember waking before sunrise, shoving the crate in the Skylark’s back seat (and wedging a 4x4 underneath it so it sat even), loading the yellow Lab inside, and taking off for the trial. Once there, I didn’t notice ours was the only car in a sea of trucks and trailers—no doubt my brother did.
These days my dog rides in her crate in the back of my Jeep. But occasionally my wife allows Pritch in the front seat and, honestly, she behaves like the world’s most chill co-pilot—looking, sniffing, and enjoying the ride. And my good friend and fellow F&S contributor, T. Edward Nickens, says his Lab, Biscuit, always rides shotgun…even when Nickens is pulling carpool duty. Dog in the front seat…three girls in the back. Nickens and I both know it's not the safest mode of canine transport, but the up-sides of smiling dogs and red-light face licks are sometimes too good to pass up.
I know plenty of people who tote their dogs around untethered in the back of a pickup (which I’ve heard is illegal in some towns). But not me. There’s no way I’m taking the chance of having Pritch tossed from a truck on a busy road. When we’re getting around via pickup I drop the crate in the bed and secure it with tie downs.
I’m curious how your dog rides…shotgun, backseat, crate or back of the truck?