My car is a dog car. Many more dogs ride in it than people, and much more frequently. Puppies get their first lessons in travelling in the car, and seeing the big world out there, adults accompany me to all the places that dogs are allowed to come to. The car is well equipped with a supply of water dishes, water bottles, leashes, collars, a few folding crates, newspapers, towels, paper towels, blankets, an old raincoat covered with dog footprints, just in case the weather changes, and anything else that I might deem necessary. Everything is also well upholstered with dog hair in various colors and lengths. When the windows are open, the hair circulates around the car in the breeze, sometimes escaping through the window and leaving a furry trail behind.
I do have one of those little rollers somewhere in the car, that are meant to clean lint and hair off of clothing, but I am really not sure just where it is, and I think that it is totally covered with fur anyway.
The car has a familiar, pleasantly doggy aroma, which I think must be very comforting to the dogs – it smells like home and friends.
People travel in the car on those rare occasions when someone accompanies me to a dog show, when I have to pick up one of my grandchildren from an after school activity, or when there is a guest from abroad that I am showing around the country or transporting from place to place. Since these guests are almost always dog show judges or dog breeders, the hairiness of the car is a natural state for most of them. My daughter, however, who although a doggy person is also an extremely fastidious housekeeper, is not enthusiastic about travelling in the car on those rare occasions when her own (which is spotless and smells like flowers) is not available.
About once every six months or so, I take the car in to be washed. This is usually when the dust on it is so thick that it is impossible to tell what color it is and the side mirrors don’t reflect anything anymore. The last time was after I discovered that the local mice had decided that the car was a natural landmark, and began to store their acorns in it. After hearing terrible noises when I started the engine, I discovered a pile of half eaten acorns in the air filter. Only after I thoroughly cleaned and washed it were they discouraged and decided that it did not smell like a hill of dirt.
The guys in the car wash are not at all enthusiastic when I show up. The first time I went to my current car wash, the guy took a look inside and asked me if my dogs lived in the car. I always get charged the highest possible rate for the job, since they say that cleaning it takes them as long and as much work as doing three or four normal cars. I have to say that they are right, I don’t begrudge paying them for their work, I certainly wouldn’t want to do it myself.
A few days ago, the time came to have the car washed. When I picked it up and drove out onto the street, I had a very weird feeling – it felt as if there were no windows. I felt quite disoriented. The windows were so clean that I could see through them without seeing them, it was like driving with nothing there between me and the scenery. Weird!!!
Of course, by now things are getting back to normal…