Not surprising to me, one of my friends commented that I was crazy and it wouldn't be long before I was pushing Astrea in a stroller. Now normally I would brush that type of comment off. I know the person was joking and it does look silly to have a dog in a car seat, but I was a little offended and here's why.
Twelve years ago when I started driving I got a curse or some bad juju or whatever you want to call it. In addition to numerous minor fender benders, 10 years ago I was rear-ended and spun out on the freeway. I watched as a semi-truck desperately hit it's breaks, stopping just a few feet short of hitting me. Three years ago I had a drunk driver cut across four lanes of traffic and drive head on into me without stopping. Three weeks ago a driver, not paying attention, failed to stop on the freeway and drove right into the back of my car. Of the numerous accidents I've been in, I've never been at fault. I somehow attract these people. It amazes me some days that I can even drive without being a basket case of anxiety.
Up until this accident a few weeks ago I never really had any concern about anyone else in my car getting hurt. I've always been alone when these accidents have happened. I've only had Astrea for 2 years, so this was the first car accident I've been in since I've had her. As I was sitting on the side of the freeway looking at my car, crying my face off all I could think was - what if Astrea had been with me. She goes with me a lot of places. Most weekends we take road trips to see friends and family. And here I was on the side of the freeway and my car was totaled. The trunk was essentially in my backseat. I don't even want to imagine what would have happened to Astrea had she been in that backseat. I wouldn't be able to deal if she got injured, especially knowing that I could have prevented it. So no matter how crazy I might look - I got her a car seat. And yes, I know I could have got her the harness that straps her into the seat belt, but I figured, if she's going to be strapped in, why not make being in the car enjoyable for her. So now, in addition to be safe, she can see out the windshield and enjoy having the windows rolled down. And I can rest easier. Now I know, that should anything happen with her in http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifthe car I don't have to worry about any of the scary things that could happen.
So in the end the point of this post is... please keep your pets safe in the car. Find some way to make sure they're strapped in, whether it be seat belting in the crate or buying a seat belt harness - don't let your pets ride in the car unrestrained, the consequences could be terrible.
If you want more information on traveling safely with your dog, check out the ASPCA Fact Sheet or VPI Safety Tips.