For those who know me now, it’s common knowledge I drive a mini-van. But in days gone by, I always drove a pickup truck. An old Nissan truck with a pristine body, long bed, and an engine that was replaced in 2003 to be exact. I loved the 30+ mpg mileage on that thing, but eventually, it just became impossible to find a mechanic who wanted to work on it. Reluctantly, I accepted the fact it had to be replaced, and I was no longer going to drive the Banana Boat…it was a sad, sad day for me (and Red Dog too!)
But, as the driver of a pickup truck, I would often have someone want a ride or to come along on some adventure. When I had a passenger, Red Dog would ride in the middle, and the passenger would get the seat by the door. She didn’t like sharing the seat because it meant she had to sit up the entire time, but she’d take it in stride.
The passengers, on the other hand, seemed to have issues with their free ride. They sometimes would dare to complain about Red’s presence, particularly about her hair when she would be blowing her coat…and without air conditioning, it often meant that clumps of it were “blowing in the wind.” They’d occasionally gripe about her panting and the steady dripping of drool on a hot day. They’d complain more if a cat appeared on the passenger side and she would make a rapid movement for a better look (and assessment of her chances of chasing it.)
With the bed of the truck empty except for the seat belts behind the cab (it used to have seats in the back) and a spare tire, they would suggest that Red Dog be put in the back. Red had never been trained to ride in the back of the truck, and it was unthinkable to me to put her back there. I didn’t even like putting a crated dog in the back of the truck, let alone a loose one!
I’d tell them that they were actually riding in Red Dog’s seat…and if they didn’t want to share it appreciatively, they had a couple of options:
- a) get out
- b) get in the back themselves
Some people would get huffy about it. What did it matter to me? After all, I was the driver, the owner of the truck, and the one buying the gas too. Was it going to hurt my feelings if they opted to get out?
Red was my best friend, and you couldn’t ask for a more loyal companion. Why would I make HER ride in the back?