Travel Bound

Ever since I first traveled to Nashville, Tennessee to pick up Chase when he was a mere six weeks old, he has been a road warrior. For Chase, the proper place for him to be in a vehicle is not necessarily in line with where he prefers to be. In my truck, he had no choice but to ride up front on the split bench seat, happily resting his furry white head in my lap. That is his preference in all modes of transportation...unfortunately. It is not a pleasant or safe experience while navigating the twists and turns of a southern back road to have a flash of white fur pounce into your lap like an oversized cat without the grace or agility of one. Legs dangling down the side of my seat, his toes will press into the buttons that control the seat moving it to press against the steering wheel or in the opposite direction away from the pedals below.

Solution? Off to the pet store to continue my financial support. A barrier or gate in my car was not an option. Chase was also too big for a booster seat doggy restraint.

I decided to explore the seatbelt systems that worked with your existing vehicle seatbelt. My first choice was a lambs wool harness system that attached to your dog in an intricate manner across his chest and then to the seatbelt. Satisfied that this was "the one", I muscled my dog into place and headed off on a short two hour trip to Atlanta to visit my sister. Twenty minutes into the trip, Chase was in my lap. He had successfully twisted and turned and squirmed his way out. In Atlanta, I visited the pet store to return the seatbelt and tried a similar version in a smaller size. Chase chewed through it in five minutes on the interstate. He kept me warm the remaining way home.

I found success with a much simpler design. It looks like a short leash of approximately 12-14 inches in length. One end has a typical dog leash clasp and the other end holds two types of universal seatbelt buckles and is guaranteed to fit your car. This is used with a regular dog harness and you can have the dog leash and the seatbelt attached at the same time. It is especially useful when pulling into a rest stop or other destination. I am able to detach Chase from the seatbelt while holding his leash. Chase is able to ride in a seated position or he can lie down. The only difficulty I have with this dog seatbelt is that sometimes it can be difficult to remove from the car if I have an additional passenger that is planning on being in the middle seat. It is also not for use with your dog collar as this will not keep the dog safe in an accident. It is best to splurge on a decent harness which is also good to use in walking the dog.

Now accustomed to the routine of travel, Chase will bow his head to insert it through his harness and wait patiently on the backseat to be clipped into place. After leaving several nose prints on the back window, he settles down to happily slumber until our destination is reached.

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