Driving into work today I let my mind wander as I often do. How nice it would be, I thought, to be one of those fancy people who has a driver — you know the kind, the ones on television who say things like, “I’ll call my car to come pick me up,” or “Driver, take me to the such and such.” I could walk out of the house each morning and there would be my driver holding the car door open for me as I slide into the back seat. They would wear a little hat and gloves and drive me deftly through morning traffic as I read or nap all the way to work.
Sigh. Even if I was a fancy kind of person I don’t know if I’d want to spend money on a driver. Unless, of course, I could pay them in ...
You’ve thought about it. Maybe you’ve even dreamed about it — surely I’m not the only person weird that way. But now it’s coming true. Dogs can drive. They really can. And if you doubt it, then just ask the folks who recently taught rescue dogs how to drive a car.
There was Porter, a bearded collie mix, and Monty, a giant schnauzer mix, driving around a race track in New Zealand on the news this week. At first I thought, how silly. A dog driving a car? But after watching Monty carefully turn the corner, his paws on the steering wheel and his eyes firmly on the road, I thought… Yes! My dog can drive a car!
This opens up a whole new world for me ...
There must be careful consideration on my part, however, when deciding just which of our two dogs I will teach to drive. Buddy, the bassett hound, may be a hazard. Let’s admit it, he can’t walk from one end of a room to the other without having to lie down and take a nap. The ears, too, may pose a problem because they do on occasion flop over his eyes. Thank goodness bassett hounds look good in hats. That should solve the problem.
Then there is our cocker spaniel, Baxter. His driving concerns me because, quite frankly, the dog just cannot focus. I can see him now, on the bypass driving me to work, when suddenly we end up in the ditch near the Nottingham Exit. When I ask him what happened he would most assuredly say he saw a squirrel or an empty water bottle on the side of the road and lost all control. And yes, I do realize I just said my dog could talk but I am confident that if I can teach him to drive me to work I can also teach him to talk. How else is he going to order food at the drive thru?
Our good friends, the Gillespies, would certainly see their lives change if their dogs learned to drive. At any given time they have six to eight dogs living at their house. The family would never have to get behind the wheel again.
My husband chuckled as he read the news the other night, then announced how amazing it is that they taught those dogs to drive. I told him my great idea of how I was going to teach our dogs to drive. I could see the wheels turning, practically churning, in his head and I knew that one of two phrases was about to come out of his mouth.
Either (1) “But who is going to teach you how to drive?” or (2) “The dogs will probably be better drivers than you are.”
It was the Door No. 1.
Ha, ha, I said. Then I let my mind wander, as I often do. How nice it would be, I thought, to be one of those wives who could think of a catchy comeback when he is a smart aleck. But, sigh, I seldom can. Maybe when I teach the dogs to talk they will be able to help me.
Right after I tell them to drive to Chick-fil-A and get me a milkshake.
Man o’ man. This dog driving thing is going to open up a whole new world.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.