Wednesday, August 1, 2007

straps and more straps

They pretty much sell everything for dogs these days. There are dog car seats, strollers, diapers, raincoats, and some pretty extravagant dog houses, the one below starts at $5,500.

I've often thought about getting seatbelts for my dogs. If a dog likes to stand up in the car, he will most likely end up on the ground during a sudden stop. All the dog seatbelt will do is keep him on his seat. He can still stand up, sit, or lie down. I don't know how much it will help in an actual collision.
It is nothing like the car seats they have for kids these days, which are comparable to the safety devices race car drivers use.

This got me thinking about how when I was little, there were no car seats. I remember sitting on my mom's lap in the front seat on long drives to Philly. I used to love standing "on the hump" in the back seat. It really helped you see out the front window. I remember there being a lot of climbing around in my friend Kelly's station wagon. We would go from the middle seat, to the back seat that faced backward, stick our legs out the back window, then climb back over to the middle seat. In our rental car in Colorado, I rode down the mountain in the hatchback part of the car with my head pressed against the back windshield. I remember my cousin, Mary Rebecca, falling asleep standing on "the hump", while holding on to the front seat. My friend's mom had a big orange van. A real van, not a caravan. Suzanne and I loved to ride in the back of the van, sitting on the rubber floor. We would each be on opposite sides of the van, a huge expanse between us, hanging on for dear life to the wheel wells. Oh what fun that was!

Kids miss out these days, with all the emphasis on safety. They are even tripled strapped into their strollers.

I think all this focus on safety may be one reason why I don't have kids. It just makes it a big hassle to go anywhere. I already find it a hassle to drive the 10 miles across the river to get to a mall, so I do most of my shopping online. With a child, you have to get the kid in the car seat, strap him in, and then when you get where you are going you repeat the process of strapping them in the stroller, and then all over again when you get back in the car. When you get home, you strap them in a bouncy seat or high chair. The strap making companies must be doing very well.

I wonder if there is a correlation between the growth of drive thru's and the implementation of car seat laws. I always thought a drive thru pharmacy and video store was ridiculous, who could be so lazy? I'm sure they are a lifesaver for people with kids strapped in.

There are straps on bicycle helmets, also now a law for kids. I know how important those helmets are, after seeing my Dad in the head trauma unit after a fall (and he had a helmet on). Before we wore bike helmets, I remember Dad sitting me on the bar of his bike and taking me for rides on a bumpy dirt road, which I called the roller coaster. It was painful, and I felt like I would fall off at any moment. It was so much fun. I wonder if it would have been as exhilarating if I'd been wearing a helmet.

Don't get me wrong, I think its great that we have the capability to keep everyone safer than in the past. I know my own seat belt has saved me and many people I love from worse injuries, and I don't get in the car without putting it on.
So, maybe I should buy some seat belts for my dogs. Although, in the good ole days, dogs would ride in the back of pick up trucks. I know that's not safe, but I bet the dogs loved it!


Betty said...

I couldn't resist putting a heading under the latest photo of Misty and Oreo.
"Waiting for the Clarks: Betty, Michiko, and Amelia."

You dogs might hate being harnessed. The drive to Maine might be one long moan. What do you turn to - drug + harness.
It could save their wonderful lives. In the DR driving is the way you remember it from your childhood, but that doesn't make it preferable.
My 13 year old niece, who lives in Maine, is recovering from an accident caused by a deer that ran into the SUV her mom was driving. The seat belt did save her live.
You know your animals. I have a wonderful photo of two precious dogs curler up in the back seat. Is that the norm?

Sara said...

Oreo does love to cuddle with Misty in the car. I am planning on giving Oreo Dramamine for the trip to Maine. He tends to get carsick. The dogs will be sitting on the floor behind our seats in Jeff's truck. We'll put down some dog beds for them. I think they'll be comfortable, and no seat belts necessary.