Dear Doctor Mallei,
I hear that you are well trained in the art of knowledge and advice. I also hear that you have spent much time riding in cars of all shapes and sizes. I seek some answers...
What sort of car do you think is best to ride in, when you get to go out and about on weekends or even during the week? Where best do you like to sit? And how important is that 'movie-star head and tongue out the window in the wind' look to most dogs?
And lastly, what is the best/most comfortable car you've ever got to ride in?!
I don't know where you get your rumours from, but you may wish to check your sources before making assumptions. As Doctors, we're trained to research and confirm information- it doesn't seem like you have ever written a thesis* or similar, because I'd say that I have only ridden in a few cars in my life and, if you'd done your research, you may have been aware of this. Regardless, I shall do my best to answer your questions.
The best sort of car, in my opinion, has little to do with the make or model of the car itself, but what is inside the car. I'm not talking about motors, either. No, what makes a car particularly special are those extra touches- a no-spill water bowl, full to the brim. A comfortable bed. The sorts of gear that one would associate with a grand adventure, which serves to heighten ones anticipation. Ideally, the traveling area should be kept cool, for optimum sleeping, and it should be spacious, to allow one to stretch out and fully enjoy the sleep while on the road. It should have windows, to watch the world passing by, and so you know when you've arrived just be looking out. I'm fairly changeable when it comes to where I sit- mostly in the boot, to ensure nobody is sneaking up on us from behind. Occasionally on the back seats, which I take up entirely - 3 seats is barely enough for a dog. And, if we're stopped and everybody has left me to guard the car, I do this best from the driver's seat, where I'm in control, and can see anybody coming. Of course, I graciously give this up again when everybody returns.
The head-and-tongue-out-window phenomenon is one that has long been studied by many academics, and unfortunately they have come to no solid conclusion pertaining to its import. I can only offer my own personal experience which is this; occasionally, at low speeds, it's pleasurable to place ones snout out the window to experience the scents of the world. However, I would fear that if my whole head were to be out the window, I would get bugs and grime in my eyes and fur - not what I would call an enjoyable experience. But I suppose it depends on the dog - some like this kind of thing, they wear it as a badge of honor, if you will. I, personally, don't need to give Reya any more excuses to lick my fur than is necessary.
As for the best, or most comfortable car, I did enjoy traveling in the Subaru Forester, but only because the space I had in the back was large, and if the back-seats were folded down, I could easily lick the driver on the ear.
Hope this answered your question today, anon. Thanks for writing in.
The back of the Forester, set up for an agility trial with gazebo & tent blocking the windows, for extra shade. I think it was about 37 degrees that day.
*This was a bit of a joke for Nic, since he has actually written a dissertation.