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Karen B. London
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Head in the Wind
I liked acting like a dog
Putting my head out in the wind felt great!

I stuck my head out and caught the wind on my face and began to enjoy myself. My inspiration was a strong desire to alleviate seasickness during a boat ride between the Indonesian islands of Lombok and Bali, and it worked. My stomach felt good. I felt good. The breeze on my face was refreshing, the smell of the ocean was invigorating and I felt cool for the first time in almost two weeks. The whole experience was better.

A side effect was looking like a dog.

I’ve always known that dogs like to put their heads out of the window on car rides to feel the breeze and smell the smells, but this was the first time I shared that feeling. It really is a fantastic way to experience a journey. I did not expect to feel a kinship with dogs on this particular outing, but I felt just like a dog as I leaned out past the boat’s protective shield and experienced high-speed windy travel.

Of course, I am aware of the dangers to dogs of riding with their heads out. Their eyes are at risk of damage from rocks, dust and any other kind of debris. Their ears can be hurt by flapping in the breeze. Dogs can even fall out of the window, though luckily that’s rare. Dogs who are restrained in the car are safest, and if properly restrained, they can’t reach the window in the first place. So, I am not recommending this mode of travel for either people or dogs, but simply commenting on a new understanding of how enjoyable it can be.

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Karen B. London, PhD, is a Bark columnist and a Certified Applied Animal Behaviorist specializing in the evaluation and treatment of serious behavior problems in the domestic dog.

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Submitted by Anonymous | November 21 2012 |

I absolutely love when I see dogs with their heads hanging out the window, they always alway always have the look of pure joy and I wish that we all had that experience. There is a basset hound in my area that you can hear coming a mile away as he bays out the window but it makes me die laughing everytime to see his big smushy face and his ears flying in the wind. Oh to be a dog!!

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