Dog trains man

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Driving Miss Zerline

"Woof!" I looked in my rear view mirror.
We were driving on the highway and the car behind us was so close it could almost touch our towing hook. Another case of an Audi in a hurry.

"Thank you Zerline," I said and she quickly looked over her shoulder at me. As if she wanted to stress the urgency of the situation, "did you see that!"

Zerline continued to bark at the driver until he finally moved to the other lane and drove passed us. Some cars are equiped with a collision alert. I have Zerline. Anything that comes within a meter of our car is noted. And warned.

She loves to ride in the car. Anticipating that we would spent a considerable amount of traveling, I wanted to make sure she would always appreciate a car ride. Already from when she was a puppy I took her on at least one ride every day. It could mean we would run a small errand, or took the car to the beach or the forest. I always made sure something interesting would happen at the end of the ride. Like a short walk in a new place or a visit of a friend.

Zerline was soon taken by our car rides and was looking forward to them. She hardly slept but sat upright, studying the people and things we passed by. She is so curious at heart, it soon became clear she became fascinated by observing the world outside her car window.

The car became her throne too. She wouldn't allow anybody to pass by within a meter without barking at them. The surprise on people's faces, when they came closer to our car when it was parked, drawn in by that cute puppy face behind the window, only to be met with a firm message to keep on walking.

She has become that happy for a car ride, when we leave for a walk she runs to the car first, jumping up and down, "open it, open it!" First when she sees me walking down the driveway she understands we go for a walk and quickly follows, "just as good," she seems to think.

I have to take care to open the rear first, because if I would open a door, she jumps in right away and refuses to leave. She earned a couple of rides on the front seat that way.

Her love of cars is not limited to our own car though. One day we walked towards our parked car after finishing an errand. We almost reached it when the car parked beside us rolled their windows down. They were tourists, probably wanting to ask for directions I thought. In that split second where I was not alert Zerline jumped up at the car and tried to get in through the open window.

Zerline doesn't necessary only love our car, for her any car would do. An understandably very shocked tourist cried out. Her partner jumped out of the driver's side to take care of the situation. Luckily Zerline had already given up her attempts to get in and she sat down like nothing had happened, ignoring the commotion around her.

After the couple calmed down a bit, realizing this was not a case of a vicious dog attack, their attention went to the possible damage of the car. We were both studying the door. Those were scratches. "Oh no," the men said, "I just bought it. The car is new." His brand new Mercedes was scratched. Once again I found myself in a situation where I had to deeply apologize for my dog. Although for a change, this time it wasn't Tilde.


We found out of a good solution in relative harmony. When the couple came back to their home country, they let a body repair shop appraise the damage. I paid them the amount they needed and the car looks brand new again.


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