If you think talking on a cell phone while driving is dangerous, just wait until you're trying to calm a dog who's bouncing like a ball around your moving vehicle. It's up to you how to make room for Maddy, but it's safe to say your attention will stay more focused on the road if you don't have to worry about her lunging out the window to flirt with the good-looking collie airing his hairdo one lane over.
In the pre-crate days, as in the pre-seatbelt days, you just hopped in the car and drove. But now we have choices, box-like and otherwise. If you use a crate, be sure to line the bottom with a towel, blanket or pad that will provide familiar scent and help keep your furry friend from sliding around. And don't be surprised if she gets anxious on her first long trip: Even dogs habituated from puppy-hood to sleeping in plastic dens can become fearful and whiney when they sense motion all around but can't see the human behind the wheel.
Leave it to pet manufacturers to pose a multitude of less bulky solutions, from simple seatbelt leashes
to ziplines, safety harnesses
, booster seats
and other devices that let dogs ride safely, communicate visually and enjoy some reassuring strokes from family members as the highway miles tick by.