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Today I am joining Jodi with HeartLikeADog for the Follow Up Friday blog hop. Thank you so much Jodi for inviting me!
Comments from Recent Follow Up Friday #9
Flea with DogTreatWeb for Jones Natural Chews says her dog Patches loves to put his head out the window, probably for the extra bug bonus!
Hawk with BrownDogCBR.Blogspot.com says he doesn’t get to put his head out the window. I also noticed on his September 2nd post that Hawk rides in a crate in the cargo area. He’s the perfect dog to show that not all dogs have to wear a dog seat belt in order to ride safe. Give me a high five paw!
Donna’s mom with WeLiveInAFlat says they had something hit their windshield once when they were driving and it left a dent. She imagined how terrible it would have been if it had hit a dog in the face. Ouch!
Jodi with HeartLikeADog wanted to know if we will let you all know about any new safety test result reports from the Center for Pet Safety. Absolutely! If there are brands they recommend that we don’t currently have, we make sure to get them on our site too. One particular brand that I am super excited about is the new ClickIt from Sleepypod. They are coming later this month. I have already spoken to the people at Sleepypod and they said much of their design is based on information they’ve received from the Center for Pet Safety.
Jodi says she sometimes uses a bar barrier in her vehicle to keep her dogs from getting in the front. She says she is bad about using them, though, and I completely understand. The metal barriers can be a hassle to put up and take down. The Pet Net Brand pet car nets are easier.
Jodi says Sampson likes to ride shotgun and will try to sneak up front when the car is stopped. I admit there were a couple of times when Sephi rode in the car and I didn’t put her seat belt on her. She would do the same thing.
Carol with FidoseOfReality thanked us for posting about alternatives to dog seat belts. Thank you, Carol for stopping by. And thank you for all the valuable information you have shared on your blog about ACL injuries. I’ve never heard of it before your Dexter. I hear Sherman from MyBrownNewfies has the same injury. It must be more common than I thought.
Donna with DonnaAndTheDogs likes the idea of the Breeze Guard car window screens. And Snoopy with Snoopy with SnoopysDogBlog asks about the Backseat Bridge. He asks if it basically extends the depth of the back seat. Yep, that is exactly what it does. There is more room for a big dog like you to stretch out. Although, if I remember correctly, you feel more comfortable on the floor.
Maya’s Pooch Plunge
After spending a marvelous weekend visiting my mom in Missouri (see my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.wordpress.com), Maya went on her first car ride since our car accident in July. I’m glad the event didn’t scare her from car rides as she was as excited as ever. Where did we go? I took her to the Pooch Plunge here in Lawrence, Kansas.
Every year at the end of summer, the public pools are drained. And the day or so before they are drained our Parks & Rec opens the pool to the dogs. It was just $5 and it was a blast! Here is one photo from the event. For more photos, and hopefully a video too, check out my other blog on Saturday.
Recent News Events Involving Dogs in Car Accidents
Three recent news stories brought tears to my eyes. All are about dogs being involved in car accidents. The first one is about a dog named Ily (pronounced Ely). She, her owner, and another dog were involved in a very serious car accident. The other dog was killed. The owner was seriously injured. And Ily ran off in fear. Ily was missing for over two months in the Arizona desert. She lost 25 pounds during the ordeal and was so lucky to have been found.
The other story is about a dog named Jet. Jet also went missing after a car accident in Pequannock Township, NJ on August 23rd. Jet was found yesterday and is in good spirits. There is an awesome reunion video on a Facebook page for Jet. I’ve also posted it on our PetAutoTravelSafety Facebook page. Be sure you have a tissue handy before you watch it. Also, a Rottweiler named Isa that went through the windshield in a car accident in Howard City, MI has been found safe. The story is covered by Fox17.
Still missing is a Tibetan Terrier named Monk in Milladore, WI. His story is on the Marshfield News Harold.
That’s all I have for this week. I hope I didn’t forget anything or anyone. Thank you everyone for stopping by. And thank you Jodi for giving me the opportunity to co-hose the blog hop! Dawn with Maya & Pierson.
There weren’t as many questions this week so I’m going to talk about other stuff that has happened on my other blog, AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com, and things happening for us on other dog websites.
My Dog Pierson is to be on a Calendar!
I’m so happy that my dog Pierson is to be featured in the That Mutt calendar! Thank you to everyone who saw my post on Facebook and voted.
That Mutt Talks about Pet Auto Safety
Lindsay with That Mutt also talked about pet auto safety on one of her blog posts. Go check it out – Do Dogs Need Seat Belts? The article is well thought out and covers pros and cons. Feel free to comment.
Dogs Trapped in Cars After Accidents?
One of the questions Lindsay asked me prior to her post threw me off. She said she knew some people who were concerned about a pet car harness or pet travel carrier causing a dog to get trapped in the vehicle in a car accident. Can you believe that in all my years of running this business, no one has ever brought this up before?
Certainly, it can happen. I think this was a concern when seat belts for people first came out. But after years and years of research, statistics have shown that this risk is small and the likelihood of a seat belt saving a life is much greater.
If anything, I would be concerned about an unrestrained dog escaping from the vehicle after an accident. I get Google alerts for dogs in car accidents on a regular basis and so see a lot of news stories about dogs that went missing because they escaped the vehicle and ran off in terror. Think about it, after a car accident your dog is likely to be completely freaked out. His instinct is going to be to get as far away from the terrifying situation as quickly as possible. When a dog runs in terror, he runs blindly. This means he could run into the street, cause another car accident, and possibly get struck and killed by another vehicle.
Here’s a story with a happy ending. The video automatically plays, so I’m sorry about that. I don’t know how to keep it from doing that.
I understand we all have our different fears. The thing about a car accident is that it is unpredictable. You never know when you will be in a collision, let alone what kind of collision. What may be perfect for one situation may not be for another. Just consider the odds. While the above situation happens all the time, heroes like this aren’t always around to help.
SleepyPod’s New ClickIt Pet Car Harness
Sleepypod is coming out with the new ClickIt pet car harness soon and this design is also based on recommendations from the Center for Pet Safety! They are going to be expensive, but worth it. Keep posted here on this blog and I will let you know as soon as they are available.
My Interview with the Radio Pet Lady
I had an interview about pet auto safety on the Radio Pet Lady Dog Travel Experts show. Paris with Dog Tipper was there too! The show aired last night but will be archived at this link soon. Be sure to check it out. I think Gizmo with Terrier Torrent will be interviewed next week to talk about the fun of geocaching.
Bad Poetry Day
Hop on over to the AmericanDogBlog.Wordpress.com for Pierson’s Bad Poetry Day contest entry. Seriously, it will make you laugh! Maya will feature her bad poetry tomorrow.
Where is the Pet Auto Safety Car?
As you may have read, Maya and I were in a rear end collision on July 25th. It was bad enough that the insurance company considered my car as totaled, but not bad enough to cause serious injury. Even though the car is considered totaled, I am working with the repair shop to still have it fixed. Hopefully, they can get used parts instead of new and be able to fix it for the check amount the insurance company gave me. But as of today, I still don’t have my car back!!!
How is it that a car can be considered totaled for just a fender bender? First of all, it is a Ford. That should be enough explanation, but in case you’re wanting more… My car is a 1998. Why in the heck would I want to keep such an old car? Believe it or not, it only has 87,000 miles on it and it is still running well. Also, it was more than just the bumper that was damaged. It turns out the frame is bent too, and other stuff.
K9 Car Fence
A lot of you commented on what a great idea the K9 Car Fence is. Pierson didn’t think so, but I thought it was brilliant too! I wish I had thought of it.
Questions or Comments?
As always, if you have any questions about pet travel, feel free to ask them by commenting below or by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d love to hear from you!
Join the Blog Hop
Thank you for stopping by and reading my long-winded post today! Follow Up Friday is hosted by Heart Like a Dog and co-hosted by Flea with JonesNaturalChews so be sure to go check them out. Other dog blogs participating in Follow Up Friday can be found in the blog hop links below.
Listen to the Dog Travel Experts radio show with the Radio Pet Lady tonight at 8pm ET where Paris with DogTipper.com asks me some basic questions on pet auto safety. Visit their website - http://www.radiopetlady.com/dog-travel-experts.htm or click the link at the Pet Radio link below to listen live. If you miss it, I will provide a link to the archived radio show on my Follow Up Friday post.
Listen in for great pet topics:
We just received a wonderful review of the Ruff Rider Roadie dog car restraint:
“We just completed a 1300 mile trip from Bradenton, Fl to West Palm Beach, Fl to Hartford, CT with my 11 month old Australian Labradoodle Lily Grace. I loved the Ruff Rider because there is no way she could pop it open and get out of it and I knew she was protected from sudden stops. I ordered a size three and it fits her great because of the pleats underneath the chest. She weighs abut 35 pounds but has a deep chest. As you can see Lily Grace was very comfortable in the seat belt. Lily Grace also has a hammock in the car. Safe dogs make happy pet Mommas.”
We couldn’t agree more! Thank you so much for sharing this great review of your new dog seat belt. And thank you for sharing the adorable photo of Lily Grace.
Now that you’re in Hartford, what are some things you and your dog can do? We checked out DogFriendly.com and found a couple of things. There are some great scenic walks through Talcott Mountain State Park. Also, there is a very long trail that goes all the way through both Connecticut and Massachusetts. Get on the Metacomet-Monadock trail, part of the New England National Scenic Trail, from 3022 Albany Ave in West Hartford. There are other entrances to this trail as well.
We found a few more things for you and your dog to do on CBS Connecticut – Best Places to Take Your Dog in Hartford. One place mentioned is the Wethersfield Dog Park. Here is a cute video of dogs at the dog park.
Another place mentioned is the Farmington River Trail. There is an entrance from Sperry Park in Avon, CT (about 20 minutes west of Hartford).
And you have to go see Bushnell Park! There is always something going on there. Dogs on leashes are welcome in most areas.
Anyone who’s been to the Hartford, Connecticut area, are there any other dog friendly places you can go? What are some other great pet travel destinations?
When we started this pet travel photo contest, our intent was to select one photo winner. But there were so many great photos of pets on vacation that we couldn’t pick just one. So we picked three! All three of our winners received $25.
The first winner is Trina and her dog Maggie. While this photo was taken across the ocean in Tuscany. Maggie is currently in New York with a trip planned across the seas again in the spring. Here is what Maggie had to say about her photo:
“This was my favorite vacation. We drove from Geneva Switzerland to our vacation villa in Tuscany. It was absolutely dog bliss! I already know what you’re thinking, and yes I did have my harness seatbelt on for the road trip. The owner had two dogs, and was really happy to see me. She let me roam the grounds, swim in the pool, sniff out her house and even sneaked me a treat or two.
Here I am in from of the villa after a day walking through the lavender fields.
We are lucky dogs, that we get to travel.
Wag The Dog UK
The second winner is Dirk and his three dogs. Mickey and Marley are in the winning photo on a boat. Dirk’s other dog is a Staffordshire Terrier named Mandy. We are sharing her picture too. We love the Petz On Board sign that Dirk has in his vehicle and bought one for ourselves.
Dirk has a holiday house along the river where his dogs love to swim and be on the boat with their ears flapping in the wind. Dirk says, “This was taken about a year ago. My two female dogs (the snowfox (marley), and the staffy (mandy) was adopted from our local animal welfare and at first they were very scared of the water and the boat, but slowly but surely they built confidence and today they own the boat and the water. The daschund has been babied by my girlfriend since he was a pup and thinks he is a german shepard and the pack leader! The staffy (mandy) likes to sit on the back seat putting out the vibe watching the birds flying over her head.”
The third winner is Cynthia and her dog Jack. Jack is a yellow Labrador and white Shepherd cross. He’s as light colored as our Maya. Here is what Cynthia has to say about her photo of Jack:
“This photo is of my dog, Jack, in my significant other’s parents’ backyard in GORGEOUS Miami, FL. We went on vacation there in January of this year. It was a long drive but Jack was a good boy both on the way there and on the way back. He loves to go bye-bye and this was his biggest bye-bye ever! In Miami, he especially enjoyed chasing little lizards and baby iguanas. Up here in Northern Indiana, the only thing he can chase is squirrels, so this was a treat! He also went swimming in the Ocean for the first time. My SO’s parents treated him like he was their own, and he sucked up all of the attention. They even let him lay on their “guest” couch, which even the resident dog isn’t allowed on! Jack also got to taste authentic Cuban food with me, but only a little bit. All in all, it was the. best. vacation. ever!”
Thanks, Cynthia! Get back in touch with us for your prize. I’m sure Jack would love for you to buy him some biscuits and toys.
Thank you to all who entered! On Wednesday, November 7th, we will begin another contest. The prize for the next contest is for the seat/couch cover below. This item has been discontinued by the manufacturer so this is the only one left. The winner for the very last one ever will be chosen at random on November 30th. Come visit us again on Wednesday for the contest details.
I’ve had a lot of people tell me it is silly to make a dog wear a seat belt in the car. This has been an especially hot topic lately since New Jersey passed the new law. Many people, including political officials, are calling it stupid. “Absolutely ridiculous…..like NJ doesn’t have other issues to deal with that are more important than SEAT BELTS FOR PETS!” or “Seriously? Do dogs really cause car accidents?” or “For a free country, we sure are losing a lot of freedoms of choice” or “Next thing you know they will make laws requiring us to strap in Kleenex boxes”.
Most people seem to be upset that New Jersey is wasting tax dollars to make such a law. Maybe New Jersey is doing it for a good reason, or maybe it is just a way to make extra revenue. I won’t get into that debate. But I will say that many laws are made because people aren’t using common sense. Remember when states started making seat belt laws for people? There were nearly the same arguments for freedom of choice and a waste of tax dollars. But let’s consider some common sense reasons and real life examples of why dogs should wear seat belts in the car (or at least be in a pet travel crate).
1. Do unrestrained dogs in cars really kill people? The answer is yes. On September 15th of this year in East Brunswick, New Jersey, it is suspected that a dog in the vehicle was a distraction which caused the driver to lose control, crash, kill two pedestrians, and injure three others. TWO people are dead. Read the article HERE.
2. Do car accidents kill dogs? Again, yes. While the answer to this question might seem obvious, consider this relatively minor accident in Lakewood, Washington where the two occupants suffered only minor injuries but the dog died. The Pomeranian was killed when it hit the windshield. This dog could have survived if he had been restrained in a pet car harness or pet carrier. Read the article HERE.
3. What happens to a dog after an accident? Consider the terror a dog feels after the car that it is in goes out of control. The instinct of a dog in a traumatic experience is to run. And if given half they chance, dogs WILL try to run away from the accident – even if it is just a fender-bender. Consider Bella in Clinton, Montana on August 5th of this year. She and her family were in a terrible accident, a fatal accident. Bella survived. But when someone opened the car door, Bella bolted. She was so scared that no amount of calling for her or looking for her would bring her out. She ran and hid for several days, only coming out at dusk or dawn. It took a community coming together and a live trap to capture Bella. She was finally caught on August 31st… 25 days later. Imagine her fate if the community hadn’t helped. Read her story HERE.
All these stories happened within the past couple of months. And these are just a few of the stories we have come across. Multiply these three by at least 10 more recent stories we’ve found. Then multiply that by how many stories we didn’t find and how many stories never made it to the web. I bet the number goes into the hundreds. Then multiply that again by several months and I bet you have well over a thousand per year. Since there is no formal reporting system for dogs in car accidents, this is just a guess.
We all think it will never happen to us. But if it does, let’s be prepared. Consider the many well-tested dog seat belt brands. If you don’t think your dog will tolerate a seat belt, consider training him to get used to it or consider a secured pet travel crate or pet vehicle barrier. Your pet is family. Treat him/her like family.
It is now the law in New Jersey to keep your pet restrained in your vehicle. They have passed this law for a number of reasons but the primary reason is for the safety of people. As important as it is to protect our pets, New Jersey was able to enact the law in order to protect people. How does restraining your dog in the car protect people?
1. Dogs can be a distraction in the car just as much, if not more, than a cell phone.
2. Too many drivers allow their little dogs to sit in their lap which is even more of a distraction.
3. An unrestrained dog in the car can cause a person serious injury in the event of a car accident because the dog becomes a dangerous projectile.
4. In the event of a car accident, an unrestrained dog in the car might be able to get out of the car and run into the road causing another accident.
5. A dog who hangs their head out the window could jump out or accidentally fall out of the car and cause an accident to other drivers on the road.
New Jersey didn’t just enact these laws to protect people, they felt compelled to enact these laws because too many people were not using common sense when traveling with their dog in the car. Too many people allowed their dog to sit in their lap when they drive, allowed their dog to hang out the window, or got into a car accident because their dog was a distraction.
If you think the new laws in New Jersey are too harsh, use common sense when you drive with your pet. If your dog won’t wear a dog car harness, at least consider a pet car barrier. Other pet travel safety products include the BreezeGuard window screens, car seats for dogs, pet car barriers, and pet travel crates. For a variety of pet travel safety products to choose from, click HERE to visit our pet car safety website.
Our source for the info on the New Jersey law is PetSide.com.
We were recently invited to join this new website for animal rescue. It is called www.PetCommando.com. And I have just had the wonderful opportunity to speak to the Pet Commando himself.
Louis Pollaro is the Pet Commando and he works with a team of other dog lovers including Jana Arnold and Damir Perge of Madman Interactive (producers of Pet Commando), Robert Lucian the groomer, and Dale Butler who provides discounted veterinary service for rescued animals.
When I had spoken to Louis Pollaro, he and some other team members had just rescued a lost dog who was wandering and heading towards the highway. The dog was nervous and kept running away from him and the others. But eventually Robert was able to entice the dog with Chicken McNuggets. A home was found for him almost immediately after his rescue. Perhaps this will be on the next Pet Commando episode.
Louis Pollaro has been rescuing animals for years. He is also a professional videographer. But it wasn’t until recently that he combined his talents and made episode 1 on Cleo the cat. Louis’ aim for making the video wasn’t to gain publicity, but to inspire others to rescue animals. Instead of driving by that poor dog wandering the streets and hoping someone else rescues him before he gets hit by a car, stop and do something. Instead of ignoring the sick or injured cat, take a moment to get him help. Our society does too much looking away and hoping someone else takes care of it. Is it really too much trouble to help a dog or cat and be a little late to work? I don’t think so and neither does Louis.
Most of the pets that Louis has owned over the years have been rescues. This includes his co-star Yoshi. Yoshi is an adorable and well-mannered Shih-Tzu who sometimes accompanies him on his missions. Louis also told me about his Poodle, Babette, who he had from when he was a teenager to adulthood (Babette lived to be 18). Babette was not a rescue but she was the runt of the litter and had to be bottle fed in order to survive.
As Babette got older, she also gradually lost her sight. Louis had rescued a cat sometime during Babette’s lifetime and the two became inseparable. This cat, by the way, was rescued and was first named Pandora – that is until Louis discovered she was a he and changed his name to Winston. Louis told me about a time when Babette had accidentally gotten outside. She could have wandered off and been lost or killed. But Winston somehow sensed the danger and kept Babette in the yard. Aren’t animals amazing! Just imagine poor Babette’s fate if Louis hadn’t stopped to rescue a cat.
It is obvious that Louis loves animals. If you love animals too, join the Pet Commando and take a stand in helping homeless and/or neglected animals. You too can be a Pet Commando. Do you have to be a videographer too? No. Do you have to have a team of vets and groomers? No. Do you have to keep the animal you rescue? No, but you should be responsible for getting him to a rescue group or a good home. To be a Pet Commando, all you have to do is stop and do the right thing.
Below is episode 3 of the Pet Commando. To view episode 1 and 2 and any future videos, be sure to check out the Pet Commando website. Sign up and be a member too! I did.