DEAR ABBY: On my way to work today, I followed a pickup truck with a beautiful husky dog in the back. As we sped along, he moved anxiously from one side of the truck to the other. Suddenly, the dog jumped out, hit the pavement and began tumbling out of control. I was driving a full-size van at 60 mph. I slammed on the brakes and was able to keep from running over the poor animal.
I pulled off the road and saw the dog had gotten up and was hobbling across the grassy median toward oncoming traffic. Fortunately, I was able to coax the animal into my arms and I held him until the driver of the pickup returned. I will never forget his stupid explanation: "Why, he has never done this before!" It took all my willpower to keep from smacking the driver up against the side of his head.
Please, Abby, pass this story on to everyone. If just one person reads it and decides to keep his or her pet inside the cab with them, it will have been worth it. -- JOHN C., DAYTON, OHIO
DEAR JOHN: Thank you for an important letter. Not only should pets not be allowed to ride in the back of a pickup truck, neither should human beings. As your story illustrates, animals can be unpredictable. And should the driver get into an accident, there is absolutely no protection for the passengers in the back.