The Duncan Banner


July 7, 2013

Some ‘drivers’ should be put in the doghouse

DUNCAN — You’ve seen them stopping at an intersection: Lil’ Lhasa Apsos with their front paws draped over the steering wheel. You’ve passed them out on Highway 81, petite Peekapoos giving their owner a tongue bath as the human drives.

You’ve had a long day dealing with humanity and on the way home a car pulls up beside you. Suddenly, a cranky Chihuahua appears from the driver’s lap, sticks its head out the window and starts yapping at you. Makes you want to stuff a doggie treat up the animal’s nose, and another up the snout of the driver.

Doggies behind the wheel are drivin’ me out of my ever-lovin’ mind!

It’s a personal problem — a peccadillo. We’ve all got something seemingly innocent that makes us irrationally irritated, and dogs assisting drivers is one of mine.

According to a small, informal survey (I was the only one involved), there’s been a sharp rise in the number of doggies behind the wheel. Everywhere I look these days, people are cruising the highways and byways with dogs as co-drivers, and most of the critters are lap dogs.

There are rat terriers tucked into some middle-aged woman’s tummy.

There are precocious pugs, their inverted little snoots pressed against the driver’s side window as a teenage girl strokes them lovingly. There are blue-haired grandmas wiping off dog drool, while a Pomeranian slobbers on their shoulder.

Yuck! Double yuck! But before this sounds like a sexist rant, male drivers with dogs in their laps are equally annoying.

The other day I pulled alongside a physically-imposing, 40ish dude in a pickup truck. He was a rugged looking chap — weathered face, cowboy hat, Mo’ Betta shirt, bottom lip full of snuff. He had a “Cowboy Up” sticker on the back window.

But as I sat there thinking this guy was a reincarnation of John Wayne, a punky Pekingese popped up from his lap. As they drove away, this hunk of macho was rubbing noses with the animal and the dog was licking the guy’s eyebrows!

All I could think was: Yeah, dude, let’s see what happens when you have to brake suddenly and Bowser flies into the windshield. Don’t cry to me when you rear-end somebody and Fido becomes a canine air bag.

You see, gentle readers, my angst is actually based on safety — safety for the animal, the driver and the rest of us.

Most law enforcement officers have more important things to do than patrol for doggie drivers.

But let me take on the role of gendarme for a few days. Give me a chance to stop a few of these doggie drivers and our jails would overflow. Our dog pounds would be packed with Bichon Frises forced to study the “Rules of the Road.”

It’s not that I’ve got anything against dogs. I grew up with dogs, love dogs. They really are a human’s best friend and wonderful companions.

But I dig cats, too, and you won’t see me driving around with my 8-year-old Russian blue in my lap. Geez, about the first time I had to brake quickly, Lou would sink all his nails into my thighs and other, uh, sensitive areas, and I’d be headed to Duncan Regional for cat claw extraction and blood transfusions!

Nor am I a perfect driver. I can be distracted and I know there have been times I was careless and created a hazard for other drivers.

Every so often, I see something interesting on the side of the road and I get “the gawks,” momentarily forgetting there’s a steering wheel in my mitts.

Once in a while, I get to jammin’ with Springsteen or the Stones and lose sight of the fact I’m driving, not performing at Bonnaroo.

My wife will tell you when she’s sitting in the passenger seat reading a paper, my eyes drift over to the headlines and off the road ahead.

Karen also doesn’t like the idea that I occasionally eat while driving. She’s afraid I’ll get distracted by a sandwich and not see the 18-wheeler pulling into my lane.

I appreciate her concern. But, doggone it, my sub sandwich doesn’t squirm in and out of my lap. My curly fries don’t wrap their paws around the steering wheel. I’ve never had a fried pie lick my face while motoring!

As caring, safety-conscious Americans we must do something about doggies behind the wheel — and we must start with the lap dogs.

If we don’t nip this dangerous trend in the bud, the next thing you know there’ll be German shepherds driving taxies, Russian wolf hounds with jobs as chauffeurs and Great Danes shiftin’ gears on big rigs all over this great nation!

580-255-5354, Ext. 172. Kaley is managing editor of Waurika News-Democrat

Text Only
  • Modern version of ‘Telephone’ hangs up on the truth

    Couple weeks ago, I stopped at a popular morning spot to get a caffeine infusion and encountered a meeting of a chapter of the Coffee Club Geniuses of America.

    July 20, 2014

  • taylor.armerding.jpg Zamperini, the Olympian and POW, was a hero because of his faith

    Louis Zamperini collected many accolades as an Olympic distance runner and brave bombardier who spent a month adrift at sea and two years in a Japanese prisoner of war camp. But faith and forgiveness are what truly distinguished him.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sheriff's helicopter could be put to good use in water crisis

    A story the other day in which Stephens County Sheriff Wayne McKinney explained the advantages of having a helicopter gave me a chuckle.

    July 15, 2014

  • Technoman offers help on combating viruses

    Good day, Earthlings and others inhabiting the third rock from the Sun. Once again, 21st Century Technoman has dropped in to see what condition your condition is in. So, how are you surviving in cyberspace?

    July 15, 2014

  • Territory impressive as well

    For the next seven days, the world of golf will focus on Edmond, Oklahoma in general and Oak Tree National in particular as the revitalized club and course hosts the prestigious 2014 U.S. Senior Open.

    July 6, 2014

  • Our division is not as dire as some insist

    Am having an Independence Day hangover — and no, it’s not because of any libation I may have consumed during the holiday weekend.

    July 6, 2014

  • Election shared few surprises

    There were no significant surprises or huge upsets in last Tuesday’s election,  but there were some twists and turns of interest locally and statewide.

    June 29, 2014

  • Other voices talk about us and our nation

    It’s almost Independence Day and I could wind philosophic and poetic about this country I love and into which I was lucky to have been randomly spawned.

    June 29, 2014

  • Technoman is relishing art of daydreaming

    Friends and neighbors, greetings again from 21st Century Technoman, and please forgive me if it seems I’ve been ignoring those of you who need a little human contact in their otherwise techno-dependent lives.

    June 22, 2014

  • However dubious, Cooter is a famous American

    His name is indelibly etched in the American experience. For generations, his reputation has crossed political, social, ethnic and regional lines.

    June 15, 2014


Should the date for The World's Largest Garage Sale be changed from the third weekend in July to sometime in October to take advantage of cooler weather like we had this past weekend?

No. It's better in the summer cause kids are out of school.
Yes. More shoppers would come during nice fall weather.
Either time is fine.

     View Results

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.