I am starting to understand why my dogs like to occupy the driver’s seat every time we get in the vehicle. “Happy” dogs have an innate sense of a pecking order and etiquette between senior and subordinate dog. They refrain from peeing on an Alpha-dog’s car. They respect which dog gets fed first. They understand which dog gets into and out of the dog-car first. Self-assured and mentally-balanced dogs tend to ignore fools. Compared with dogs, people are far more unpredictable in behavior and generally do not comply with the canine pack code of conduct.
Perhaps this unpredictability only applies in California. Every workday, I join a couple million drivers on San Diego County freeways making the slow progress to work. Though not terribly unusual to have a long commute, “rush hour” is a game of jostling for position among my fellow drivers. We all sit in traffic for a hour or two, twice a day. Most are polite, even resigned to Fate; most are just making the best of it Yet every day, several drivers play a game that causes even the most reserved driver to get irritated. And at least three or four individuals every day cause an accident, breakdown, or catch fire on the highway. Many reports ascribe this to “losing control of the vehicle”.
Sometimes it involves a routine, “I didn’t realize that all thirty of you were waiting in line at the light to turn- as I drive on the berm to cut into the front of the line”. Other times it is “I don’t see a cop, nor ambulance lights nor that ramp “Merge” sign- so I am not letting you merge into my lane”. And then there is the ever -popular, “I drive a rolling dent-magnet with loud mufflers and a duct-taped spoiler” who don’t believe in etiquette.
In contrast, dogs rarely pile up all over themselves when they are coming or going. Out the front door, eager for a walk, they seem to have all worked out who goes first. Most dogs I have observed do not try to occupy the same patch of dirt, nor pee on the same bush or light pole at the same time. Dogs may be excited to get to the dog park, but they don’t step all over themselves to get there. And dogs never seem to be generally rude to one another. Dogs don’t question your intentions or respond to your objections by waving a finger or barking insults about your parentage.
I always wondered why a bus company used a greyhound for a logo. I don’t think it is necessarily about speed. Dogs, may have more respect for one another than people do. Of course, were going more places besides the pet store, the groomers, the beach or the park I probably would “leave the driving to (them)”. It’s foolish to think a dog can use in-car navigation or a phone app for directions.