When Sarrah was around eighteen months old I made an investment, mostly out of vehicular protective necessity; I got a divider for my Blazer so Sarrah could ride along, in the back. This was a Big Adjustment as she was used to riding up front, sitting on the passenger side of the bench seat in Leah’s old mini-pickup truck, but it was better than staying behind. I began taking her on many errands and to visit some parks in the area, but too far to walk. These parks were places that I had driven by countless times, but never stopped to experience. Sarrah gave me the motivation to redirect some time and go experience taxpayer sponsored gifts to the community. She delighted in the hunt for parks and recognized the roads that led back to them; vocal anticipation and occasional disappointment turned these stops into regular habits.
A few months later I started taking her with me to construction jobsites (most of which have rules against dogs so she stayed inside my vehicle), usually coordinated into Friday daylong trips. She loved joining me. Her company became ‘a perk’ of how I worked, many days the best part. Some days the perks are all that there is. Sarrah would rail with barks and then heart crushing howls of disappointment when she assumed or figured out the rare occasion that she would have to stay behind, at home. On these lone trips I’d look into my empty rearview mirror and for a moment, dread the day…
Around then our routine had evolved to where Sarrah rode with me in ‘the car’ everywhere, almost every time. Sarrah was always up for a ride, to anywhere. She sat up and looked around most of the time. When I was out of the car; taking care of something, working, whatever, she would mostly stand guard or occasionally just snooze in the back. When we were out on a day trip I would take breaks to walk a few times, usually at a park or a trail, both of us enjoying the escape from daily routine. Obviously, a day of riding around running errands was better than solo guard duty at home.
After a year plus of driving around with the ugly penal enforcement looking device, Sarrah proved worthy of not needing it (‘cept for the time that she stealthily devoured the sandwich I absent mindedly left on the dash and returned to her area, had she eaten All of the wrapping paper I may have chalked it up to an unknown mystery or simply forgotten about it).