Saturday, September 22, 2012


I'm sure this is going to invite quite a bit of controversy. New Jersey is considering putting a pet seat-belt law into place to prevent pet-caused car accidents. Is this a good idea? I know it is. It isn't prudent to ride with a dog or cat loose in your car. And driving with your pet in your lap? Definitely not a smart move. Loose animals become projectiles during accidents. The consequences of a small pet going under the driver's legs is too horrifying to contemplate.  

Annie has always ridden as the front seat passenger in our car with her doggy seat-belt holding her securely in place. Buddy had other issues. Riding in his cat carrier gave him car sickness. Poor old Buddy would vomit and be totally wiped out by the time we reached the vet (his only car trips). Dr. Young thought not having a clear view while the car was in motion was the contributing factor for his nausea. She was right. Buddy's nausea and vomiting ended once we devised and kept to this routine. 

I would sit in the back seat directly behind Annie with Buddy and his carry case next to me. We purchased and used a small dog harness on Buddy with a matching leash, bright blue the same color as his collar. This is New York after all and it just wouldn't do for Buds to go out without coordinated accessories. Annie's seat belt was black to match her black and gold collar-just what any New York woman would wear, basic black.  As soon as Artie was ready to start the car, I would place a towel on my lap and take Buddy out of his carry case. He would stand with his hind legs on my leg and his front paws on the window ledge and look out the window. Not only did this keep him entertained but it kept him from getting sick.

The best part of this setup? All the smiling faces and startled looks from other cars stopped next to us at red lights. Everyone thought it was great to see a dog in her seat belt and a cat in harness riding right behind her.

The point of all this is neither of our pets caused any accidents and all of us and our fellow 'road warriors' were safe because of it. If the law needs to be tweaked so be it but it definitely is one for the books.

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