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Hartselle Enquirer

You can’t teach an old dog…

By Staff
Leada Gore, Editor
There’s a joke around our house that our dog, Spike, does not realize he’s a dog. The best I can tell, Spike thinks he’s a human, albeit an 8-pound, furry, gray one.
We do draw the limit at some things, however. We do not plan to send Spike to college or let him date. He is confined to our house and yard and doesn’t plan to travel anywhere on his own anytime soon.
Some people, however, don’t subscribe to this theory of limitations. And that brings us to the story of Li of Hohhot in China’s Inner Mongolia.
A Chinese news agency reported last week that Li decided her dog should learn to drive. The woman told the newspaper her dog was “fond of crouching on the steering wheel and often watched her drive.”
For some reason, Li took this as a sign that her dog, which for some reason the news report didn’t name, wanted to drive.
Li decided she would operate the accelerator and brake and let Rover steer the vehicle. The news report also fails to mention what type of dog was behind the wheel, though you have to guess it was a small breed as he could not reach the accelerator.
Surely a large animal such as a Doberman or Labrador could have managed the gas and the brakes, though I imagine not having a thumb would make operating a manual transmission rather difficult.
It’s probably not surprising that shortly after Li’s pooch took control of the vehicle, it crashed onto an oncoming car. Both cars suffered slight damage, but no one was injured.
I guess the dog was wearing a seat belt.
It turns out that no matter how much a dog likes to watch you drive, they are not too good at actually navigating behind the wheel. In the end, Li’s dog probably just liked going for a ride in the car and wasn’t aiming to take control of the entire process. You can imagine Rover’s surprise when he learned his owner actually expected him to drive the car, as opposed to just hang his head out the passenger-side window.
People put a lot of stock in their pets. I, too, am guilty of assuming my dog understands me when I ask him how his day was and then wait for a reply. I also have been known to describe my dog as depressed because he knows he has to go to the veterinarian the next day.
I guess I put too much stock in a wagging tail.
I have not and will not, however, assume my dog wants to drive, no matter how much he stares at the steering wheel. Sometimes you just have to admit a dog is a dog is a dog.
Besides, everyone knows Spike is more of a red convertible dog anyway.

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