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Latest health and behavior news and advice from the veterinarians at Tufts University.

News & Views September 2014 Issue

Car Talk

The dog who doesn’t like having her harness put on, and other stories.

Rosie (rear) and Franklin are ready for the drive to the dog park.

Rosie hates having her harness put on before we get in the car for the drive to the dog park. I literally have to chase her around the house to get the thing around her. One of the things she probably resents most is that Franklin, my other dog, gets to roam freely once we reach the park while she must remain tethered to me the entire time. Franklin, a border collie, is a herding dog, and is generally happy to come back when I call him. But Ro, with her high predatory drive, darts off in a flash as soon as I relinquish my hold on the leash. Squirrels, chipmunks, leaves scattering in the breeze, water trickling from a fountain — they’re all prey animals to her, waiting to be chased and pounced on. The few times I’ve let her loose, I’ve practically needed the crash cart and paddles to bring me back once I finally caught up with her, completely spent and struggling for breath. 

Speaking of riding in the car to the dog park, Rosie often climbs up on the ledge just behind the back seat and curls up right next to the rear window while Franklin sits next to me in the front. They’re companionable driving buddies, never complaining about my steering or speed and also never rolling their eyes at my choice of radio station. They seem happy enough to listen to whatever I feel like listening to. The reason for that you’ll learn in an accompanying article.

For those who might like to take a longer ride with their dog than just to the park, another article describes a website that talks about some of the best places in the United States to visit with a pet in tow. The woman who runs the site ought to know. She has crisscrossed North America with her dogs, taking them everywhere from San Diego to Washington, DC, through Canada’s Banff and Lake Louise, and to many other breathtakingly beautiful destinations. Her and her husband’s firsthand experiences with their pets allow them to give the true skinny on what it’s like to take a dog to, say, the Grand Canyon (pet friendly) and Yellowstone (not pet friendly).

You can plan your own trip, too. The site gives helpful details on hotels and dog-friendly restaurants throughout the country. 

Happy tails to you,

Lawrence Lindner
Executive Editor

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