Articles Index/Travel
Posted 07/26/06

By Sheila Foran

Dogs and crates; exercise pens, chairs, grooming tables, tack boxes, coolers, pooper scoopers, tote bags, bowls, containers of food and water, sunshade, tent, pocketbook, suitcases, camera bags, agility equipment, obedience jumps, and goodness knows what else. These items and more are routinely transported in the vans, cars, trucks and SUV's of those of us who participate in dog-related activities. In addition to their utilitarian function, almost all of the above can be turned into something else: a lethal weapon.

Recently I was following a thread on one of the internet discussion groups I belong to, and one writer recounted an accident she had experienced on the way home from an event. Her point was not that she had walked away unscathed, but that what helped save her from injury was that everything in her van was securely tied down.

I don't know about the rest of you, but when I am traveling to a show or event, I'm usually pretty organized and everything goes in its place in my van often the night before. On the way home, though, when I'm apt to be tired (and thus more likely to have slower reaction time and be more at risk for an accident) I often put the dogs securely in their crates and just toss everything else in willy-nilly. My reasoning is that I want to get home as soon as possible and I'll have all week to put things back where they belong.

What this is, however, is a recipe for disaster. If the vehicle you are driving comes to a sudden stop, anything not tied down and secured can become a missile. Whether it hits you or a passenger, or slams into a crate and injures a dog, getting hit by flying objects within the car can do as much or more damage than the accident itself.

It's worth it to take a few extra moments to use bungee cords, tarps, and built-in storage space to make sure that the entire contents of the vehicle are securely anchored.

ANTIC, March, 2006

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