Wednesday, October 25, 2006

How to Ride in a Car: A Guide for Dogs Who Can Read

Poke your head out of the window. Pull head back into the car. Shake head vigorously, making sure to fling your rabies and name tags against the metal buckle of your collar for maximum clatter. Flip your ears inside out and right side out several times, or, if your ears are, say, short and pointy instead of long and floppy, shake head, neck and body vigorously enough to rattle the entire chassis. Repeat, until the humans in the front seat appear near seizure.
When spotting certain people and animals on the sidewalk or crossing the street, bark viciously and claw the window and door panel, to the point of foaming at the mouth and damaging a good portion of the car’s interior. Make these demonstrations as random as possible, so that some pedestrians go by unnoticed, while others incite you to bark and growl so hard that your head actually leaves your body. Then, wait.
When the driver picks up her cell phone to make a call that uses one of those voice-activated menu, make sure to bark or whine at every prompt in which she tries to speak. This will ensure that the computer on the line says, “I’m sorry, I did not understand your answer—please hold for the next customer service representative. Your call will be answered in the order in which it was received.” Know that your human’s call is important, and may be monitored or recorded to ensure quality customer care. Lie quietly.
When approaching a destination of any kind, be it the Lowe’s parking lot, the Wendy’s drive-thru, or your own home, emerge head from one window and then the other, squealing and whining so loudly that it convinces passersby that the black Subaru sedan is parading Anna Nicole Smith about town—pre-methadone.
Once back at home, run into the first available bathroom for a long drink at “the magic well” and hit the sack. You earned it.