Assigned Travel Seating


Our Goldens love to take a ride. Our ten year old minivan has seen its share of vacations, college trips, and hauling virtually anything our children have needed on their frequent moves into their now adult worlds. The van, though weathered and scratched, is working toward the 150K mile mark without a complaint or hiccup. Like a pair of comfortable shoes, I don’t worry about the dirt or dog hair anymore. The girls and I just load up and go. It still amazes me that this vehicle can fit more stuff than our Suburban. It just can’t keep up though when you need to get through a big snowstorm or the slippery mountain rodes to our cabin in Vermont.

Everyone has a seat of their own choosing, and like the creatures of habit that we humans are, the dogs may change now and then, but will soon revert to their most favored seat. The captain’s chairs allow everyone a little space so there will be peace among the family members.


Riley above likes to have the shotgun seat. She is alert to the goings on of everything and everyone passing close by the van and lets out throaty growls to make herself known.


Solo, being the most alpha, (except when her mom Emma is pregnant), stakes out her claim by lying next to me in the center. She is content to have me scratch her head as we drive along. If I have to leave the van for a moment, she sits in my seat. With Riley on the passenger side, this usually stops passing people seeing what looks like Mr. and Mrs. Golden out for a drive.

Lily is content to sit in the second row along with Emma. They quietly look out the windows with their heads on the window sills.


Our youngest, Lucy, loves to walk back and forth on the third row bench seat.


Of course, all these seating arrangements are very fluid. If I leave the van for a moment to run into one of my offices or stop to get a Dunkin coffee, when I return, everyone is in a different place. However, once we start moving, everyone finds their usual spot. One of their favorite trips is to the bank drive up window. The teller is always amazed to see the five dogs sitting in their own places. For their good behavior she always rewards them with a treat.

Above, Emma is now sitting next to me.. While below, Solo is visiting her younger sister.


And here Solo is hamming it up a bit.


By bringing everyone along on even the most mundane task, we bond as a dog family. And all that matters to me anymore when I am not working, is how wide a smile I can have doing even the most simple task. That is now how I take the measure of my life.

As you can see by the size of the smile on Riley’s face after our morning run today, the day is off to a very good start.