Friday, September 12, 2008

A Few Words From Zoe:

Safe Car Travel:
During my first long-distance vacation with my family I made a serious breach in travel etiquette. As a result, I have the following piece of advice to share with those who are planning a vacation involving car travel with their humans:

Don't jump out of the window of a moving car no matter how tempting the scenery.

This should be especially heeded when you are hundreds of miles from home, driving up the side of a mountain surrounded by thousands of acres of wilderness. No matter how un-spontaneous your humans may be, they usually have your best interest at heart and it's no fun to see grown people completely lose their minds.

Riding in the car is serious business and one should always observe rules of safe travel. However, please note that while canine seat belts are generally beneficial and help to set your humans' minds at ease, they are not foolproof against the occasional cosmic moment of serendipity. Human technology was no match for the series of precisely-timed magical events that converged to create the perfect moment of opportunity while on vacation at Shenandoah National Park a few years ago.

In the few seconds it took Nina to slow the car just enough so Craig could snap a photo of a deer strolling casually along the shoulder of the mountain road, I was out and running full speed away from our direction of travel – several of the deer's friends fleeing in front of me, and Nina, momentarily stunned with confusion over what she was seeing, gaping at me in the rear view mirror. In my fervor to get a better look at the unfamiliar animals, I hopped around a bit on the seat and managed, by sheer luck, to step on my seat belt release button and launched myself out of the open window.

I ran as fast as I could after a small group of deer who eventually jumped over the side of the road a few hundred feet from the car in an attempt to elude me down a steep slope through the thick forest. I skidded to a halt and faced a moment of indecision. It looked exciting down there; should I follow? I heard my human companions' quavering, watery voices screaming and pleading with me to please, please stay. Indecisive, I inched a bit closer to the edge and looked over. I sniffed all sorts of things I had never smelled before in the vastness in front of me. But now there was more begging and something being said about treats distracting me from behind and I turned around to see my family looking extremely distraught. At this point I realized I must have made a blunder and allowed them to swarm upon me, sobbing.

Once back in the car their shock was replaced by hysterical laughter and joking. They howled over the idea of firmly strapping me to the seat like someone named Hannibal Lecter and something was said about a face mask, but I didn't understand the joke. All I know is that my window remained barely cracked from that moment forward and when other exciting situations presented themselves, I was in no position to take advantage.Although it was understood that this incident was no more than a freak occurrence, it was a long time before I was trusted with more than a few inches of flowing air. Ultimately it was my decision to leap from the window no matter how much blame I would like to put on fate, the cosmos, and paranormal phenomena. Tempting opportunities will present themselves, but by remaining in the car whenever it's moving you will earn your humans' trust and preserve their fragile sanity. Crazy people tend to act erradically, neglect their hygiene, eat poorly, and hoard cats. You don't want that.

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