Canine safety

Tom and Dick,

I am appalled with your laughing about the dog on the top of the cab!!!

Not funny, and actually very stupid on the part of this young lady who should be turned over to the Police and the Humane Society for cruelty to animals.

Why, WHY did you not tell her NOT TO LET THE DOG RIDE ON THE CAB???

I always listen to your show and enjoy, however, not today. After that young lady was on, I wanted to cry. I still cannot belive that you guys laughed.

I am now wondering if I will ever listen again!

I’m sorry that I called you Tom and Dick, I meant to say Tom amd Ray! Or, maybe I was right the first time??

The young lady checked the dog’s restraints with the Humane Society before starting her trip. If Humane-Society-approved restraints still allowed the dog to climb onto the roof…

I too, was in disbelief about your answer regarding the girl thinking it was perfectly fine to let her dog ride on the top of her car cab because that was where the dog wanted to be. Did you notice that she never asked the Humane Society she first contacted, if this situation was a good idea? If she had, I am positive they would have told her to stop this immediately or to return her dog as she is endangering it’s life (and obviously lacks the common sense to realize this herself). If she was letting a 3 year old CHILD ride on the top of the cab because the child WANTED to, would you guys have had the same response? At least you eventually told her to get a harness, but NO DOG should ever be allowed to even ride in an open truck bed due to many dangers including carbon monoxide inhalation. I worked for a vet for 2 years, and some of the worst cases of injury I saw were due to dogs being thrown from open truck beds. If the dog isn’t immediately killed, it often suffers terrible injuries, sometimes causing the dog to be euthanized, or living out the rest of it’s life with severe mobility problems and mental instability due to brain injuries. Dogs tied incorrectly can hang themselves to death over the side of the truck.

Just like children, our animal companions need proper supervision and they suffer the consequences if we are irresponsible or too stupid to understand their needs. After hearing this response, as well as your blanket “just get all B’s” to fix Lea’s world, which could be harmful to her, I suggest you keep your suggestions to car repair issues.

A really uncaring woman.Cross country with her dog in the back bed! A camper shell(used and cheap and will hold and protect her crap) would have been my priority for the move.The dog rides shotgun.I wonder if,God forbid, her kids will also be harnessed and riding in the bed.

I’m in the “not funny” camp as well, but prefer to inject a practical note here. A phrase which flew past in the on-air discussion and was lost went something along the lines of

"So you’ve got the harness attached to the toolbox…"
THAT is Problem One, as I see it. The harness/leash/restraint needs to be anchored to the lowest place available, and needs to be kept as short as possible. In this case, that means an eyebolt affixed to the bed of the truck, preferably near the middle of the bed, so that at maximum extension her mutt can just recline against the side of the toolbox but not climb up onto it or the cab.

Consider also that in the event of maximum braking deceleration or impact that the dog will be hurled forward and fetch up at the end of his restraint; this had better be a full-body restraint on a very short tether, as the alternatives are uniformly bad:

  • Leash and collar only --> broken neck.
  • Tether too long --> tether loops around neck or limb, strangles or severs the entangled body part.
  • Tether anchored too high --> dog becomes airborne, then is yanked to 70g halt by restraint and is sliced open in numerous locations.

Problem Zero, of course, is that the dog isn’t riding in the cab with Hope or staying home altogether. (Hint: damage to eyes and ears from wind-blast and airborn particulates is cumulative, expensive and ultimately debilitating, even if the symptoms do not manifest at once.)

Hope: I hope you’re reading these and taking notes. Take care, both of you.

i[/i] clammppit above has an eminently useful suggestion: camper shell! Helps keep your dog within the truck’s convex hull and also keeps the wind down to a dull roar. Add some padding to the front of the bed and cover any sharp edges and your dog’s life might actually be safe.

Here’s a pic of me, taken by my wife who is obviously also in the truck, with our two dogs DinkyDog and Baloo, riding in the cab of our '78 F-150 with a standard cab and bench seat. Crowded? very. But so much fun.

What a great picture.Thank you for sharing.


ceramic DOGS RULE!


As do bobbleheads flyin

I ABSOLUTELY agree ---- as much as Car Talk is a light-hearted show, that woman should have been told that a dog should NEVER be tied up in the back of a truck being driven anywhere, especially cross-country. Securely tied down crates (preferably inside the vehicle) are one of the safest forms of transport for an animal. I find it hard to believe that she actually spoke to someone at the Humane Society because I don’t believe that they would ever condone what she did. And to have asked her to take a picture of the dog on top of the cab and send it in — come on, that was absurd!! She sounded stupid enough to actually try to recreate the event so that a picture could be taken and possibly risk killing the dog again!! This was far from funny and I can only hope that you guys never support such utter disregard for the safety of animals in the future! They deserve better!

I think people are getting a bit too worked up over this. Tom and Ray did suggest several times that the dog should ride in the cab. They didn’t at all suggest he was safe on the roof. Yes, it was a funny image to contemplate. Apparently, the dog chose to jump up there and preferred it for some reason, and she did make it all the way across country without harming the dog. The woman was asking how to make him stop doing that. Some of you folks need to lighten up a bit.

She doesn’t want the dog in the cab. Fine. I’d suggest a travel kennel. But, the image of this dog standing on the roof is pretty funny to think about.

thanks for the KIND words .

BOBBLEHEAD,just as DOGS fly around the car in a crash,and not to mention the dogs people keep on their lap,just to be killed by the airbag.

not to mention the dogs running around the car,while the driver is on the phone.

DOGS ARE ANIMALS AND SHOULD BE LEFT AT HOME ,with access to the outside world.NOT OUR WORLD.


That woman is a terrible person. She was more worried about gas mileage than the safety of her dog. Get a pet carrier. Let the dog in the front of the truck(with a harness on.) Give the poor dog to someone who cares. Problem solved. Dogs give you all that they are, respect that by keeping them safe.

As some have commented, in some states this is a criminal offense. How can we take this lightly. That dog was in danger. I was behind a pickup truck with a dog in the back on the freeway once when the dog was thrown out. It was not a ?funny sight!!!

Seeing a dog actually being harmed is not funny in any way. Imagining a dog standing on the roof of a truck is not at all the same as seeing a dog being harmed. Especially, since the dog in this particular situation was apparently unharmed and the person was looking for a way to prevent the situation. Nobody was laughing at or finding amusement in harming a dog.

Unfortunetly, there’s no such thing as “Humane Society Approved Restraints”. Someonewith SPCA gave her a false sense of security.

As a SafeKids Worldwide nationally certified, under NHTSA’s curriculum, Child Passenger Safety Technician, I was pleased with Tom & Ray’s response. It was obvious to me that it was obvious to the caller than they were joking about letting the dog ride on the roof. It was obvious they were trying to think of a solution. However, this is a situation ideally put to CPSTs.

An unrestrained dog inside the vehicle is not safe. That’s simply not an acceptable option worth entertaining. As much as I love my hairy babies, my human babies are a higher priority. I harness my dogs in order to keep my children safe.

These are the only 2 pet restraint systems that CPSTs trust & recommend: > made by the makers of LATCH & emergency vehicle restraint systems > crash tested to, I think, about 2000 pounds of force (or the rough equivalent of a ~50 pound dog in a ~40 MPH crash)

Her dog was about 100 pounds, right? I don’t remember exactly, but a large breed dog sitting inside a vehicle traveling at highway speed is doing to crash into the driver with all its weight multiplied by the speed that the vehicle was moving before the crash stopped it. That 100 pounds will continue to fly at the driver at about 55-65 MPH. That’s about 500-700 pounds of force impacting the driver.

Unrestrained pets inside the vehicle is just as dangerous as dropping a cement block on someone’s head from the 2nd floor. Neither one is wise. A dog on the roof isn’t the best idea either, but it’s a lot smarter than puting an unrestrained dog inside the vehicle.