I KNOW I’m not the only guy whose wife won’t leave town without the faithful family pooch tucked snugly into the custom dog car seat covers in the backseat of the Jeep. A while back we decided to take a trip across the great state of Florida and see some family on the opposite coast. We would spend a few days and then head on back. Simple, right? Nope, not even a little bit. Seeing as how we have no kids there isn’t much to worry about when traveling you might think. One couldn’t be further from the truth. After I tossed my items in an overnight bag then there is the daunting task of loading my loving wife’s 3 suitcases in the back on top of our trust seat covers. Mind you this is only a 2-day trip. All the while leaving room for the four-legged child as well as our trusty car cover folded neatly into its car cover storage bag.
Here’s where the story gets a little lengthy. So, if you’re the type that likes a good story about the family dog, read on. If we rewind about 2 years or so, that puts us around summer 2014. That’s when a small black lab named Bubba came to be part of our family. Bubba was an 80-pound black lab mix-up that we rescued. Bubba had the bubbliest little personality that any family could ask for. He quickly grew into our routine and became an inseparable part of our family. Bubba (or the Buster as my wife referred to him as) went everywhere with us. Again, tucked into his custom car seat covers for dogs, off to the grocery we’d go. Bubba sporting his infamous “service dog” in a training vest. Was he a “service dog in training” you ask? That’s kind of a gray area...
He was, however, our best pal that we wanted to experience all of our excursions with, even down to the simple grocery store run. The Buster quickly became known around our small town and thus was welcome at most of the establishments we frequented. One fall day we were laying around on the couch loathing the half yard of leaves that we’d raked and trying to gamble our way out of raking the other half. We discussed how maybe, just maybe if we leave them long enough that a good blustery wind would take them and make them our neighbors responsibility. Alas, back to raking we went.
Later that evening while tussling around with bubba on the kitchen floor we noticed that a small spot on his face above his eye looked swollen. We quickly diagnosed it as a bee sting from the yard activities of the day and dismissed it and move on with our evening. Fast forward a couple of days and the swelling had significantly worsened so, into his favorite car seat cover he went, and off to the vet, we go to see what this little furball could have possibly gotten into. A few follow-up visits later we came home with the disheartening news that our baby boy had an inoperable tumor on his skull above his left eye.
Our world was dimmed, to say the least. So, keeping our chins up we gave our baby boy the best care we could until the tumor came to a point where we knew it was his time to go. December 23rd, yes, two days before Christmas we took our Bubster for his last ride in the car to the vets’ office. That day and the following few days were some hard times and not quite our favorite Christmas Day on record, to say the least. The house was a lot quieter when we came home. No one rushing to the door to plow us over and give us all of his love and affection. That was the toughest part.
It wasn’t but a few weeks that had passed and we found our conversations drifting further and further toward the possibility of finding another four-legged family member to bring home. Off to google, we went. Two or three evenings later there we were, in the car, headed to a lovely lady house where there was a brand-new litter of black lab snuggles to be had. And that I had. A lot of.
Fast forward three weeks and the car seat covers are filled with puppy toys and the smallest collar the pet store had and we’re on our way to pick up the newest member of our family “Drake”. Drake very much enjoyed his ride home in his brand new car seat covers that we had custom-made for him. As the months wore on, Drake grew into being just as big a part of our home as Bubba ever was. In fact, I think Drake likes the checker at the grocery store a little better than Bubba did. (She’s not a dog person).
So now we find ourselves headed out. Drake tucked snugly in his dog car seat covers. What the road holds ahead only the Dog may know.