Sedan or Hatchback? Which Is Best in Case of a Dog Emergency?

November 1, 2009
This may all sound like a far-fetched concept (pardon the dog pun) but if you own a medium to large sized dog what would you do if that dog became utterly immobilized or passed away at home? Would you feel comfortable locking him or her in the trunk or trying to open the folding pass thru seats so they could breathe on the way to the vet? Or would you be forced to turn to that neighbor with the SUV you swore you would never drive? Take time to consider this question because if you do own a dog it could very easily happen to you as it recently did to me.

After a routine day of play and frolic at the dog park my 7 year old Boxer Willow laid down in the backyard and never got up again. I came out to find her alive but unable to move (a ruptured tumor on her gall bladder was filling her body with blood I would find out later). Now Willow was never a small girl, a few cheeseburgers shy of 90 pounds at the time of her death. Even to get her to my car I had to get neighbors and a wheelbarrow.

As I brought her to my 2006 Acura TL I realized I could not squeeze her physically into the back seat. It was recommended that I put her in the trunk and lay down next to her but I just foresaw going over a bump at 35 miles per hour and my dog and I both being flung from the trunk. I knew one of us was going to the hospital so I didnt want to end up there as well.

Thankfully a neighbor had an Acura MDX with a hatchback. It was easy to load Willow and I suddenly realized how invaluable a hatchback could be in time of an emergency. I felt like my car had well and truly let me down.  That may sound like a harsh assessment but in harsh circumstances it felt true.

Sadly Willow passed away shortly after arriving at the veterinary clinic. The gifts her life gave to me, however, will live on as long as I do. Although you may find this story spurious and unrelated to your life just give Willows final moments the slightest pause (or paws, sorry, I cant help it). Then perhaps you, like I, will vow to never buy another sedan again.

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