Sequoia Is A DogCar Of Dramatic Proportions

Dogs and trees seem to go together. I’ll let your imagination fill in that picture.

And since the Giant Sequoia Redwood is known as the largest tree in the world, it only makes sense for the 2008 Toyota Sequoia to be one of the largest DogCars on the planet.

After seven years lumbering atop the Toyota tree, the Sequoia has been totally redesigned for 2008. It now is bigger, roomier and more powerful than the previous version.

Bigger? More powerful? Doesn’t that sound like overkill? Perhaps, but Toyota also has made the new-and-improved Sequoia more fuel efficient and considerably cleaner (better for the environment) than in the past.

As a DogCar, the Sequoia is stellar. With lots of interior room, seats that fold flat and plenty of ground clearance, this mammoth SUV is a true dog-lover’s delight.

But this perfection comes with a price, and the $55k needed to shepard a Sequoia off the lot may scare away many DogCar devotees.

Dodge Journey Is The Jewel of Las Vegas

2009 Dodge JourneyEvery now and then automakers introduce their newest models to the car-covering media by inviting journalists to attend a sneak peek preview to learn about the hot-off-the-line vehicle in an up-close and personal fashion. They go over every fine detail about the car, from its exterior and interior design, to safety features, entertainment options and engine sizes.

By the time you are done with these presentations, you are so well-informed that you are ready to build the car yourself.

Well, not quite.

This week, the venue was Las Vegas and the vehicle was the 2009 Dodge Journey. It’s a crossover vehicle that looks more like a full-sized station wagon than it does an SUV. Chrysler calls is a “right-sized” crossover.

Following on the successful launch of the “Stow ‘N Go” storage system and the new “Swivel ‘N Go”family seats, Chrysler has continued the same basic naming theme in the new Journey. Positioned around the pool at the Four Seasons Las Vegas (a.k.a. the Mandalay Bay’s hidden hotel), we learned about all the cool nuisances of the Journey, including in-floor storage bins called “Flip ‘N Stow” and  second row seats that “Tilt ‘N Slide” to allow easy entry into the optional third row of seats.

Kinda sounds like the Journey is part amusement ride, doesn’t it?.

And while we can’t say for sure that the Journey fits the bill as a true DogCar, we do know that the rear seats fold flat and the tailgate opens wide enough to be easily accessed by eager pups.

Heat-Detection System Keeps K-9 Officers Cool and Safe

In the dead of winter, I always find my mind drifting toward warmer times. So today, let’s imagine it’s summertime and the day is blisteringly hot. A police officer and his K-9 partner are making their daily rounds to protect and serve their community.

Suddenly, something happens that draws the officer’s attention away from the patrol car for an extended period of time, leaving the crime-fighting K-9 alone in the hot car with no way to escape.

Is this the end of a beautiful partnership? Not if the patrol car is equipped with a special device that detects rising temperatures and takes action to divert a disaster.

It’s a system called the Ace Hot ‘N Pop and it can be a life-saver for police dogs. Read the full story of electric dog fence systems and training.

If the patrol car interior temperature gets near 95 degrees, the system will activate the patrol car sirens, page the officer, roll down the car’s back windows and activate a fan.

Click here to read the full story.

It’s a great idea, but why restrict use of this device to law enforcement officials? Aside from the sirens (which seem a bit much), this seems like it would make a great accessory for any car that routinely carries canines and their companions.

Lookout Below! Raised Seat May Curtail Carsickness

Pet Car Seat Lookout It’s fun to travel with your dog, unless your pup easily gets carsick and ends up tossing her cookies every time you take her for a ride.

We may have stumbled upon a car seat for pets that cleans up the pesky problem. Since fresh air and a view of the road often help people overcome motion sickness, why wouldn’t the same be true for dogs?

So we found a sturdy, comfortable pet seat called the Pet Car Seat Lookout by O’Donnell Industries that offers our pup Twyla the safety of riding in a secured seat, along with enough height to allow her to see out the window. Great dog food review website can be found here  when using a car seat be cautious of dog stress. General dog nutrition facts can be found on Flexpetz.com great pet blog.

The Real Super Bowl Champ? A Dog, Of Course!

DalmatianSuper Sunday presented a huge competition between monster corporate powerhouses spending millions of dollars to outshine each other for coffee-break bragging on Monday morning.

And the big winner? A dog and a horse, of course.

Those of us who managed to tear ourselves away from the hilarious Puppy Bowl IV on Animal Planet in order to watch the Super Bowl, were treated to a multitude of bizarre and sometimes incoherent advertisements during the breaks in the big game. There were pigeons, squirrels, hot air balloons, a couple of automakers, and celebrities galore. But the overall advertising winner, according to USA Today’s overnight advertising ratings, was a dog and pony show . . . literally.

The beer commercial featured a Cockapoo who takes on the task of being a personal trainer for a young Clydesdale who dreams of making the Budweiser team next season. The musical theme from Rocky plays over a variety of scenes in which the Dalmatian oversees the horse’s training sessions. We see him lifting a hay stack, running through a snowy slalom of trees, and pulling a freight train — until the final scene when the buffed out Clydesdale is dramatically chosen for the honor of pulling the Budwagon.

The final shot: A “high-five” between the Dalmatian and the Clydesdale’s hoof.

It is a commercial that is uncomplicated — simple and dramatic — with a warm-and-fuzzy theme about how the underdog — or in this case, underhorse — rises to the top of his game through hard work and perseverance.

And it’s all because of a dog.

This is the 10th straight year that a Budweiser commercial has been voted the top rating of all the Super Bowl commercials by the football-viewing public. Only four automakers ponied up the big bucks to advertise, but few fared well in the overnight ratings. Toyota’s ads ranked 19th (Corolla) and 31st (Sequoia), Audi’s spoof on the old Godfather horsehead scene to promote its high-powered R8 garnered a 42nd place, Hyundai’s Genesis plugs placed 43rd and 49th, and GMC’s Yukon hybrid entry rated 51st out of 55 total ads.

Perhaps next year an automotive company will realize that the path to winning a Super Bowl Ad Poll is to appeal to our compassionate hearts. And the best way to do that is to include a dog in their spot. Or, as in Budweiser’s case — some spots on your dog.

I Love It When You Talk Doggy To Me

Winter is traditionally the time that the world’s automakers showcase their brand new, up-and-coming models to the automotive press and the general public by putting on big, splashy auto shows all over the world.

The biggest and most prestigious of these shows takes place in Detroit, naturally, in the most inhospitable of months, January. There are also shows in Los Angeles, Tokyo, Frankfurt, Geneva, New York and, this week, in Chicago.

And while these shows spend much time focusing on vehicles for singles, couples, families, off-roaders, campers, racers, and the occasional billionaire business tycoon, they rarely, if ever, talk about DogCars.

So it came as a pleasant surprise today when I saw that David Kiley, senior correspondent for BusinessWeek, chose to open his preview of this week’s Chicago Auto Show with a reference to dogs.

If the string of international auto shows between September and April were dog shows, this week’s Chicago Auto Show would be known as the competition of the working dogs — retrievers, herders, hunters, and pack dogs. For automakers, it’s the place to show trucks, sport-utility vehicles, and vans.

Imagine my excitement as I prepared to read about what sort of dogs the other auto shows represented. Perhaps Detroit was more of an agility competition, while the LA show is for Poodles, Tokyo is for Terriers and New York is for Boxers. Or something like that.

Sadly, this was not the case.

What followed Kiley’s opening was an actual preview of the autos being rolled out for the show, sans any further references to dogs. He mentions the GM crossover vehicles (Buick Enclave, GMC Arcadia and Saturn Outlook and Chevrolet Traverse), and the Denali XT SUV. He also points out that Volkswagen is bringing the minivan back in the new Routan (pictured here), while Ford has discontinued is minivan, the Freestar, in favor of a cargo van called the Transit Connect. You can also transport your dog for camping purposes and use an invisible dog fence for containment at a temporary campsite. Check out underground dog fence reviews. Check out great invisible fence reviews on Amazon. If you do decide to invest in such a device, it is also helpful to get some invisible fence batteries as well.

So, while there are many choices of DogCars on the automotive horizon, there appears to be only one location where the two worlds to come together to coexist in peace and harmony: DogCars.com