The dog component of Brunhilde's merry band of travellers consists of Suzie and Nell. Suzie is a collie-based mixed breed, going on 15 years old. Nell is a pure bred Border Collie and is 7 years old or thereabouts. They are well used to travelling in the back of our LWB Land Rover, where they are unrestrained.
Brunhilde offers the dogs a very comfortable travelling space but not a very safe one. Nell enjoys travelling at one of the double table seats. She sits up at the table and looks out of the window. Suzie has settled into a routine of settling on a doggie duvet by the door, behind my front passenger seat. They are calm and travel well and are now trained not to leap off the bus the moment that the door is opened - though the potential for that to happen remains and, as Bruni is left-handed, they may leap straight into traffic.
In addition to control and training issues there is the prospect of the damage that a propelled through the air on impact in a collision can do to itself or any local Human. Also, in a collision, the door might burst open and a pair of frightened dogs embark on a hairy motorway adventure. It does not bear thinking about.
Brunhilde is fitted with seat belts on the double forward-facing table seat. The table itself can be dropped, to form a double bed. It is at an ideal doggie height, actually.
We bought a pair of dog travel harnesses and they arrived this morning. Both dogs have been fitted with them and one has been a model on the trial bed arrangement. It's not ideal, as the seat belts are the lap strap kind - clearly the harnesses would be more comfortable for the dogs if the seatbelts were the full and retractable kind. The job will be done however. That's the main thing.
The harnesses can be used for walking too, and are usefully reflective. We took Suzie and Nell for a brisk stroll down the road this morning to see if they would walk with them on. Both seem reasonably happy in their new restraints. We are leaving them on all day, so that the dogs become accustomed to wearing them.