Friday, April 10, 2009

The canine-friendly car

A story on the Petropolis page today highlights a new version of the Honda Element tailored specifically to dog owners.
My reaction to this is similar to how I feel about putting hoodies and sweaters on our four-legged friends.
It’s just a little over the top for me.
Here’s a description of the features: cushioned pet bed with safety restraints, spill-resistant water bowl, a fan, folding ramp, pet carrier, machine-washable seat covers, rubber floor mats that have a toy-bone pattern and paw print emblems on the side and back of the vehicle.
Paw print emblems on the side and back of the vehicle?
Give me a break. That’s what I want on my car, cutesy little paw prints to let everyone else on the road know I’m ridiculously obsessed with my dog.
Maybe next I’ll get a picture of my dog printed on a t-shirt and baseball cap, put my dog in a pink sweater, stick him in a stroller and walk him down the road like he doesn’t have four legs of his own to walk on.
Or get one of those “baby on board” signs, but scratch the word baby and write in pooch instead.
Here are the things about the element that I would find useful: the folding ramp, machine-washable seat covers and rubber floor mats, but only if they DON’T have a toy-bone pattern.
Who is the toy-bone pattern for anyhow? I’m pretty sure the dog doesn’t notice.
I know that to be truly safe, we’re supposed to be restraining our dogs in the car in case of an accident. But I’m old school.
I remember teaching my dog, as a puppy, to find his, “car legs.”
And I know that we’re not supposed to let our dogs hang out the window for safety purposes, but I just won’t deny my dog a cracked window. And I don’t believe he’d prefer a fan to an open window.
A water bowl? My dog would not consider taking a drink in the car.
And a cushioned pet bed? Are the seats not good enough for a dog? I don’t know about the rest of you, but if furniture is good enough for me, then it’s luxurious to my dog.
This vehicle might be perfect for people who work with dogs, like trainers, breeders, even rescue workers.
As far as I’m concerned though, $21,000 for a vehicle that makes me look a bit eccentric is too pretty a penny to pay just so my car-window-lovin’ pooch can puke all over the pet bed and climb his way to the front seat.

1 comment:

  1. My black lab, Mason, won't stick his head out the window as car rides stress him out. He'll shiver his way down to lie on the backseat and wait out the ride. If it's a longer, across the state ride, then he will relax and start to sleep. His favorite place to sit in a vehicle is on the floor of the front seat, which we have to do when children's car seats are in the back and wife has to sit back to feed baby. Then he'll curl up on the floor of the front and relax thru the 2 to 4 hours of a drive. For a short while, he hesitated to get in the car, but then he became too worried about being left behind so now when I load up the minivan, he's the first one waiting by the door to get in.