I wanted to send you my story about my dog and my Ford. In 2000 I bought my Ford Escort brand new off the lot. It was my first new car, and it meant the world to me. But there was someone else who was more excited about my new car, and that was my 4 year old Chow mix dog Cooper. He always loved car rides, but he especially loved them in the new car. I would always open the back door and he would hop in, but by the time I got to my door, he was already in the passenger seat ready to go. Instead of standing in the seat, hanging his head out of the window like you see most dogs do, he had his own way of sitting in the passenger seat. I had to scoot the seat all the way forward, and he would lean his right front leg on the passenger door, and prop his left leg up on the dash, and sit upright on his hind legs. The window was always rolled down of course, so he could feel the breeze, and sniff the air as we drove.
As he grew older, hopping in and out of the Escort became more difficult for him, so our car rides together became few and far between. He spent a lot of his days lounging in the backyard, but it was uncanny that when I pulled down the alley and looked over the fence, his fuzzy head raised in recognition of the little red Escort pulling in the drive, and he would come to meet me at the garage door. He recognized the car, and knew when we were home.
This past winter, 2011, Cooper’s health started failing. He couldn’t get around like he used to. Wasn’t eating like he should have. And I knew it was time to say goodbye.
On January 10,2012, I had to let Cooper go to a better place. I got his leash out, and he struggled to rise to let me put it on. I carried him out the front door, and down the front steps. I set him down to let him walk around in the grass on the boulevard and smell the smells that only dogs find interesting.
And when he was done, for the last time, I lifted him into the back seat of our little red Escort.
He didn’t jump into the front seat this time, but chose to ride in the backseat, his old bones not willing to cooperate.
As we headed to the vet’s office on that cold Tuesday morning, we rode with all the windows down.
As I looked back at my 16 year old dog, in the backseat, it brought me back to when he was a pup. His brown hair blowing in the breeze. His nose straight up in the air, smelling. That look on his face that dogs get, that let you know they’re smiling. Although this time he was laying down in the backseat, not able to get close to the windows.
When I left the vet’s office, I was alone, with just his collar and leash in my hands, and got into the Escort. I cried for the loss of my dog, riding in the car that we had spent so many travels in.
It’s almost time for the Escort to go down too, it has also started to fall on some hard times. But the point of this letter is that Ford’s belong to an ENTIRE family. Pets and people alike.
I hope that when I get my next Ford, and my next dog, both will bring me as much happiness as my Cooper and my little red Escort have.