Haddie accompanies me to pickups. She knows the routine that by 2pm if I say, "Car Ride" she is headed to pick up her favorite teens. She gets just as excited as if I were going to lay down her bowl of food. It is adorable.
Haddie started riding in a kennel from day one. But when her kennel continued to switch to the next size up, my car did not change in volume to keep up. Eventually, the kennel was too large to fit into the cargo area and have room to spare for anything additional.
I am a safety-conscious gal by nature, and especially when it come to things that are not mine. Haddie does not belong to me and one of my biggest heartbreaks would be something tragic happening to her. I would be letting down not only my family, but an entire Organization! Car safety without a kennel to me meant buckling her up in a safety-approved pet harness to the clips in the back of my car.
(side note: I know that Service Animals need to know how to ride in the car at the feet of people, or on the bench seat. And I know many pets that have free roam of the car while traveling. Both ways honestly do not make me nervous, I don't even think twice about it. But my own responsibility, and comfort level, in addition to our Trainer's opinion, helped make this decision.)
Haddie was not a fan at first. It took many
repetitions months for her to want to jump in the back of the car, for her to accept the harness, and for her to get the gist that she could still get up and reposition herself. Those first few tries she would hold perfectly still until that harness was released. Poor girl.
Now, she will jump into the car, turn around to face me, Sit, and hold up her left paw so I can slip the harness around her shoulder. Then, while I'm reaching in and across and behind her, she will sometimes nuzzle my ear, or stare me down with her eyes about three inches from my face. She makes me laugh.
Haddie will then wait for the door to close, and then she will disappear. She will lay down and not sit up again until we have stopped. And then I get to see this ...
I'm gonna miss these Rear View Mirror moments with Haddie.