Last week our car was in the shop. I had been backed into by someone, and had enough damage we thought it was worth getting fixed – on the other person’s dime, of course. We were provided a rental van – a 2010 Chrysler Town and Country with Sto-and-Go seats in the back.
As Emmy does not do well on a bucket seat – and it REALLY isn’t safe for her – I stowed the bucket seats in the back, attached her seatbelt harness to the heavy hook in the floor, and off we went.
Within 4 blocks Emmy was starting to whine – which she NEVER does. Thinking I had missed a cue somehow, I stopped in a parking lot, and walked her to the grass. She just “read the newspaper” and never did anything. Hmmm. Something else. Recently fed. I brought her over to the van thinking to put her in and check her over while she stood there. She balked at getting in, but eventually did with much encouragement. Hmmm, again. She was whining before I got her harness on and latched. I pulled her extra blanket over for her to cuddle against, and her towel to chew on (or vice versa – whatever she wanted to do) and firmly closed the door.
We drove the rest of the way home with whining and squealing going on. When we got home, she was trying to stand up and get out. I had to get the Ol’ Curmudgeon to come down and wrestle her into position so the harness could be unlatched! Once out of the car she slunk upstairs and into her crate. She didn’t come out until she was SURE we were not going anywhere. Then she was her sunny, goofy self – as if nothing had happened.
Each time we went out, she was apprehensive and unhappy, whining a lot. She would slink down the stairs with her head down, not want to get into the van, and then whine the entire time she was in it.
Finally, the day came to turn in the van and pick up our van. I left her at home with the Ol’ Curmudgeon. There was just no point in setting up our van again down there at the service center in the cold (22deg) weather. I just slipped from one car to the other.
The next time we went out, she was apprehensive and unhappy until she saw her own van! Then she was happy again.
We are NOT looking forward to 2012 when we have scheduled the purchase of a new van! None of the current crop of mini-vans (2008 forward that I’ve researched) have a bench seat in the back – only in the third seat. I can’t get in and bend enough to fasten her in to put her there. So the Ol’ Curmudgeon will have to devise something that will let her be more happy. We are thinking about it, and will try to devise it for her to try out before we actually change cars.
I don’t like it that she can be tossed about a little. The bench seat provides some stability and security for her. We’ll see what we can do.
In the meantime, however, she is happy again riding in HER car!