By Laurie Yarnell of Embedded in the 'Burbs on iVillage.com
I pick up my Freshman, home for spring break, from the train station. His greeting? “Where’s the dog?”
Oops. My bad. “The dog” (in this case, our yellow Lab, Maggie; our other dog gets carsick) was a permanent fixture in the car as I schlepped my children through their suburban childhood. Indeed, it was the rare vehicle on the carpool pick-up line that didn’t sport its own panting pet slobbering out the back window.
In my case, it started out innocently enough. The dog would hurl herself at the car and barrel her way past me to get into the back seat when I would try to leave the house. It was easier not to wrestle 85 pounds of panting Lab flesh, so pretty soon, Maggie became my de facto permanent passenger/carpooling companion. (She was good company, too. Not once did she hiss at me not to sing along to the radio 'cause I was embarrassing her in front of her friends.)
Of course, the Freshman’s been driving himself around for quite awhile now. And because my boss frowns on my showing up with a colleague, no matter how cute, who spends her day napping on the floor and not, say, doing any work, I had gotten out of the habit of taking Maggie with me every time I got into the car. But no sooner had my son deposited his dirty laundry at our house, he was out again, to cruise around his old stomping grounds. And yep, you-know-who was riding shotgun.