Zeal of the convert: Canine seat belts

Just over a week ago, I was in one of those car accidents
that remind you to slow down and not take life and health for granted. Not that
I was speeding; a crash happened about 10 or more car lengths in front of me,
and I managed to stop the car without hitting the mess in front – and so did
the guy behind me – but the car behind both of us didn’t. We were hit from
behind fairly hard. My car was banged up, and my passenger and I definitely
felt some aftereffects of whiplash, but afterward, all I could think of was
that I was so glad I didn’t have any dogs in the car. (Virtually all of my friends: “You didn’t have a dog with you??!”)

Not only do canine seat belts prevent dogs from being thrown
through the car like a dangerous projectile in a car crash, they keep dogs from
being flung out of the car onto the roadway – or escaping in a panic through
broken windows immediately afterward. The accident was somehow confined to the
middle lane of five lanes– and this being a big city on a Saturday afternoon,
traffic continued to pour past the damaged and disabled cars on both sides, at
least until the Highway Patrol came and stopped the traffic on the right two
lanes so an ambulance, a fire truck, and several tow trucks could attend to the
hurt drivers and disabled vehicles. If a dog had been thrown out of any of the
crashed cars, or had escaped from one, the dog’s death under a passing car
would have been the next horror to happen. Again, I didn’t even have a dog with
me, but I can see that happening as clearly as I can see what actually did happen.

There are many online groups that have Facebook pages where
members can share information about lost dogs, and at least a couple times a year, I see a post from someone who lost
dogs in the chaos of a car crash and is hoping beyond hope that the dog will be
found unhurt. But there’s nothing like your own crash, or one that happens to a
friend, to remind you that protecting your dog is just as important as
protecting your children and other loved ones in a car.

Let me be that friend. Buckle up those pups!

(And, yes, I’m gathering products for an updated review of
canine seat belts and other car restraints.)

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