The Chilli-mobile: dogs ‘n’ cars

This week marked the arrival of the ‘Chilli-mobile’. In other words, my new car – the K9 Cabriolet…

IMG_3760
Driving Miss Chilli

Cars, new or otherwise, are probably not Chilli dog’s favourite mode of transport. The canine constitutional is certainly the preferred pursuit of my loyal canine companion. Chills will, however, readily hop into the back seat of my car if she thinks that there may be an outing to the park. She just as readily gets back into the car and on to the seat after she’s had a swim at out local swim spot, depositing mud all over my car seats and pervading wet dog smell all over the interior! Sometimes for days, if not weeks, afterwards!

Previously I’ve had family cars for the kids, then the teenagers acquire their own cars. I’ve shared cars, borrowed cars, been given cars but I have never chosen a car just for me. And, of course, for Chilli dog to accompany me. Well, my turn now…

Or perhaps that should be Chilli’s turn!… *

But where's my driver?!
But where’s my driver?!

*Please note the front seat may not be the safest place for dogs to sit due to the force of airbags during an accident.

So while it is wonderful to have our new car, dog walks will probably always be our favourite joint activity. Nothing more guilt-provoking that those doggy eyes looking at you, then the lead, then back at you again. Walks are essential. And, of course, with a dog you’ll never walk alone.

When we want to go a little further afield, however, the car is necessary. I especially enjoy taking my dog on holiday with me. And this really necessitates travel by car.

Safety first

I am aways surprised by how many owners allow their dog to travel without any safety concerns. Heads out of windows. Dogs on driver’s laps. No no no! Your dog needs to be safe. I have to admit that in the past I have been guilty of just letting my dog sit on the back seat unrestrained. But not any longer. With a convertible, Chilli dog will not only be in danger of becoming a projectile missile should we brake suddenly but there is also a danger of her hopping out of the car whenever it suits her!

So Chilli dog has been practising wearing her Roadie

Ready for the road trip with the Roadie
Ready for the road trip with the Roadie

I got her used to the Roadie harness by putting it on at home, where she was comfortable, then giving her a treat. Then I’d take her out on short journeys in the car to the park. Now she looks forward to putting it on as it means we are going somewhere exciting.

So where to from here? A road trip for Chilli and I? Suggestions welcome. Know any dog-friendly places to visit? Please share your travel experiences with your favourite canine companion.

K9 Cabriolet
My new job: Canine Chauffeur!
new car audi
Leaving the Audi showroom

 

More reading

Travel with pets

The Purina Roadie – a seatbelt for your dog

Crash test dummies – safety for your dog in the car

The Audi A3 Cabriolet

 

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