Pawlitically incorrect as it might be, I do permit my dog to stick his head out the car window from time to time.
While there are those who say that’s putting him, and particularly his eyes and ears, at risk, I can’t bring myself to forbid him from sticking his nose out the window. To ban him from that activity would be the equivalent of taking someone to an art museum and blindfolding them.
So when traveling at reasonable speeds, and once in a while traveling at unreasonable speeds, I power down the back window halfway to let Ace sniff in the surroundings for a minute or two, usually at his urging — as in, “If I keep smushing my greasy nose into this closed window, he will open it a bit.”
I, unsafe and risky as it is, love to see the dog head protruding from the car window, almost as much as dogs seem to enjoy sticking their heads out the window.
To me, the dog head protruding from a car window, while maybe not as iconic as that torch Lady Liberty holds up, is a symbol of freedom and possibilities and soaking up all life has to offer. I have even tried it myself, but I got something in my eye and no longer take part in that behavior. Ace still gets to, though, within limits.
Admitting that will probably bring some criticism my way, just as I’d expect this new ad from Volkswagen might take some heat.
The ad features more than 15 dogs — all hooked up to seat restraints, it is said — but still managing to get their heads out the car window, in some cases well out the window.
(If you’re wondering why some dogs appear to be in the driver’s seat, that’s because the ad was filmed in the UK, for the British market.)
Twenty-two dogs were involved in the filming of the ad, and none of them were equipped with doggy goggles.
Thus those dogs, like my dog, were exposed to the danger of dirt, rocks, dust and debris that could harm their eyes; or ear damage that can result from them flapping too fiercely in the wind; or the possibility of falling out of the window.
The ad makers, judging from this behind-the-scenes “making of” video (below) seemed to exercise care and take precautions with the dogs.
But I’d be interested in hearing what you think. Will the ad be viewed as putting dogs in danger, or letting dogs be dogs? Is it joyous, or worrisome, and do you think it’s going to sell many Volkswagens? As for me, I was too busy looking at the dogs to notice the cars at all.
Posted by jwoestendiek October 29th, 2013 under Muttsblog, videos.
Tags: ad, advertising, animals, automobiles, breeds, car windows, cars, commercial, dog, dogs, dogs in advertising, hanging, head, marketing, nose, open, out, pets, sales, smelling, volkswagen, window, woof in advertising
The most recent case was Monday night, when someone threw a blue-nose pit bull named Dallas from a brown Cadillac, Harrisburg police said.
Cpl. Deric Moody said a witness saw the dog thrown from the car and called police. The dog suffered an apparent broken leg and other injuries, and was being treated at a veterinary hospital near Mechanicsburg, according to the York Dispatch.
Shortly after officers arrived to interview the witness, Dallas’ owner showed up at the scene. He told police that the dog disappeared after he let him out earlier. Police believe the unattended dog was likely stolen.
On March 5, someone threw a dog from a speeding silver or gray pickup truck on Route 30 in East Hempfield Township, Lancaster County, near the Marietta Pike overpass. That dog, a shiba inu later named Sherman (pictured above), was taken to the Humane League of Lancaster County and is recovering from his injuries.
Posted by jwoestendiek March 30th, 2011 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, animals, blue nose, cadillac, car, cruelty, dallas, dog, dogs, harrisburg, investigation, pennsylvania, pets, pit bull, police, sherman, shiba inu, thrown, tossed, vehicle, window
Breed: Chihuahua or Chihuahua mix
Encountered: At a stoplight in Tillamook, Oregon
Backstory: I’m not sure what this little dog was so upset about, but when I pulled up alongside, he or she barked away — right up until the light turned green.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 16th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, barking, breeds, car, chihuahua, dog's country, dogs, dogscountry, encounter, oregon, pets, roadside, roadside encounters, stoplight, tillamook, travel, traveling with dogs, travels with ace, window
When Hudson, a 10-year-old chocolate Labrador was diagnosed with cancer, the Piper family of Irvine, California, put together a “bucket list” of his favorite things — from eating popcorn to riding in the car with his head out the window.
Their vet had predicted the dog had only a month to live, but Hudson survived three more months — long enough for the Pipers to check off every item.
Jenny and David Piper got Hudson the day they moved into their first home. After that, they moved on to children — four girls, including a set of twins, according to a story in yesterday’s Orange County Register.
After notifying their children of Hudson’s pending demise, the family came up with a plan to make the most of the time he had left — a bucket list.
The first item on it was a popcorn movie night, Hudson got his own sleeping bag on the floor with the kids to watch “Hotel For Dogs” and eat a bowl of buttered popcorn.
Next came a pancake dinner – a bowl of cheerios and pancakes. They would check off the list as they went. He had the car ride with his head out the window, more walks around the neighborhood, and extra hugs and kisses.
On the night it became clear that the end was near, the family all said their goodbyes, and the next morning David Piper stopped and got Hudson some doughnuts on the way to the vet’s office, where he was put down.
In addition to fulfilling all the items on the bucket list, the Piper family left a gift in his name for canine cancer research.
Daughter Maggie, 8, after hearing a story at school about Terry Fox, who attempted to run across Canada to raise money for cancer research — and decided to something similar.
She asked the school if she could sell bracelets on campus for animal cancer research. In all, she earned $1,300. The family dropped the money off at the veterinary school at UC Davis last week.
Posted by jwoestendiek April 13th, 2010 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bucket list, california, cancer, canine, car, chocolate, david piper, death, dog, dogs, donation, dying, family, goodbye, grief, hudson, illness, irvine, jenny piper, labrador, movie, news, ohmidog!, pancakes, parting, pets, popcorn, research, window
My outlaw art exhibit, a scheme dreamed up in a bar two months ago, came to its last-minute but highly successful fruition, in that same bar, last night.
Here’s the story. Two guys own a bar on Fort Avenue in Baltimore. Long ago it was called the End Zone. When they bought it five or so years ago, they reopened it as the Idle Hour, a more upscale — but not annoyingly so — establishment. I passed by it everyday on my way to the park, and the owners became friends with my dog Ace. I became a semi-regular customer.
As a semi-regular customer, I, like a lot of other customers, noticed that a man often appeared in a window across the street — staring out, often for long periods of time, from his second-floor room above what was until recently a hardware store.
While nobody knew much about the man — commonly referred to as The Window Guy — he became, among customers, an instant legend, and a source of intrigue. His frequent appearances at his window led customers, who could see him through the Idle Hour’s front window, to start speculating — both on what he was up to and what his story was.
Often, he’d appear in his T-shirt or no shirt at all. While a lot of upscale establishments might be mortified and embarassed by such a spectacle, in full view of their customers, the owners of the tavern, though part of the gentrification that has and continues to take place in the neighborhood, took it in stride. As they’d shown by giving the bar, which had been through several incarnations, its original name back, they’re they types that have some appreciation for the neighborhood’s history, for its traditions, and for the curious mix of textures — from polyester to silk, from knit Izod to “wifebeater” T – that is south Baltimore
They also have an appreciation for art, and every month or so they feature the work of a new artist on their nail-hole riddled, wood-paneled walls.
How cool would it be, I thought to myself, and then shared with a select few others, to sneak in an exhibit, without the owners’ knowledge, in which every picture on every wall was one of The Window Guy?
For the next couple of months, I took my camera with me, and surreptitiously photographed the Window Guy when he was at his window, and out on the street. Conspiring with the bartending staff, I learned there would be a lull between exhibits — Lindsay Petrick was taking her work down, and agreed to do so a couple of days early, leaving a small window of opportunity until Jes Contro puts her art up.
On Friday, while the owners were out, I put up more than 30 framed photographs of The Window Guy, managing to get them up in an hour thanks to help from some friends — particularly the Baltimore Sun’s Sam Sessa , who I’d invited to see the exhibit but instead ended up hanging much of it, and Beau Seidel, who earlier Friday helped build the set for Bruce Springsteen’s concert.
As a practical joke, it went off without a hitch. Both owners walked in to see the previously bare walls covered with Window Guy art. While I was a little worried about how they might react to the unauthorized exhibit, both seemed to get a good laugh out of it. More surprisingly yet, it was a major hit, with about a third of the photos being sold on opening night — almost enough to recoup my investment.
One person even called it “very post modern,” which, since I’m not sure what that is, I will take as a compliment.
The exhibit is entitled “John: The Man in the Window.” Other than knowing his first name, I intentionally didn’t research John’s background, or talk to him, because the exhibit was more about mystery, speculations and assumptions than about the reality. But I’m thinking the reality — learning about the man behind the enigma — might make for a good sequel.
Though I intended it as a one-night-only exhibit, the owners decided they will keep it up for a few more days — so feel free to drop by and see it. Chances are, while looking at the photos of The Window Guy, you’ll see the actual Window Guy as well, who, at this point, isn’t aware that there is an exhibit hanging in tribute to him across the street.
The Idle Hour is located at 201 E. Fort Ave.
Posted by jwoestendiek November 21st, 2009 under Muttsblog.
Tags: art, baltimore, bar, beau seidel, bruce springsteen, exhibit, fort avenue, guerrilla, idle hour, imagination, jes contro, john, john woestendiek, lindsay petrick, mystery, photography, photos, sam sessa, south baltimore, speculation, the man in the window, unauthorized, window, window guy