I especially appreciated the accounts of harrowing near-tragedies with automatic windows. Yes, vehicles with roll-your-own windows are still made--or at least they were in 2010. One of the finalists in my search was a 2010 Pontiac Vibe, which looked like a great dog car, had roll-your-own windows, and whose salesman, Woody, was an avid dog-lover who had rescued his dog from the arms of animal control when she was confiscated from a house in Florida where she'd lived three days in a crate with no food or water.
In the end, Woody notwithstanding, we decided on a 2010 gray Honda Fit, with a (theft-deterring) manual shift and (hopefully dog-safe) automatic windows.
It's a little car with a large interior space, a little-big car. As we were looking at cars, we asked about fuel efficiency and we looked for rear compartments that would accommodate a dog, a large dog.
The Fit won us over because not only is it reputed to get fuel economy in the upper thirties or more, but we could easily envision Lamar comfortably reclining in the rear hatch.
It won't be deluxe camping accommodations like we had with the van, but it could house all of us in a pinch, I think.
We have not yet had time to break it in with a journey to a hiking trail with all the dogs. The real test will come once Florian learns how to drive the stick shift.
Will I be subjected once again to the singular pleasure of a road trip with two dogs sitting on my lap, with heads hanging out the window?
Or will they content themselves with the rear seat and windows all to themselves?
I am a little worried about the automatic windows, but it would be hard to imagine a situation less safe than some of those we had in the van.
Are YOU a stickler for safety when you travel, or do you let the dogs all hang out there? Do your dogs enjoy car rides, or tolerate them?