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Man Arrested After Police Chase With Dog Driving The Car

You knew there would be some strange stories coming out about this whole COVID-19 stay-at-home weirdness. Well, we at Motor Biscuit aim to please. A man in Lakewood, Washington, was jailed after multiple 911 calls about a car driving erratically. According to authorities, numerous parked cars were hit. When the Washington State Patrol attempted to stop the Buick Park Avenue sedan the driver sped up and a chase ensued. Speeds of over 100 mph were reached. At one point a patrolman got close enough to the Buick to see a pit bull apparently driving the sedan. In the passenger seat was the dog’s owner.

Driving dog | Getty

Owner “was only trying to teach the dog how to drive”

After numerous attempts, the State Police were able to throw down a spike strip. When the car hit it the driver lost control and drove into some bushes. Unbelievably, after his arrest, the car’s owner said he was only “trying to teach the dog how to drive.” 

Trooper Heather Axtman said, “I wish I could make this up. I’ve been a trooper for almost 12 years and wow, I’ve never heard this excuse. I’ve been in a lot of high-speed chases, I’ve stopped a lot of cars, and never have I gotten an excuse that they were teaching their dog how to drive.”

The Shaggy Dog, poster, Fred MacMurray, 1959. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

The authorities said the dog was a “very sweet girl”

The man was arrested for driving under the influence, felony eluding, hit-and-run, and reckless endangerment. The dog which authorities said was a “very sweet girl” was turned into a shelter. A bond of $8,500 and a court date was set.

The driving became quite erratic during the chase, hitting two cars but not stopping to exchange information. Supposedly, the owner was steering the car from the side.

At one point the chase continued on a popular bike trail in Snohomish County. Luckily, everyone must have been at home watching the Tiger King on PBS since the trail was almost empty. “The fact that there wasn’t anybody on the trail is nothing shy of miraculous,” Axtman said. “We are very thankful.”

No time is ever good to teach animals how to drive

Bull Dog drives | Getty

No time is ever good to attempt to teach an animal how to drive. With the roads seeing unusually light traffic as a result of orders by many Governors to stay home it is believed the sedan’s owner felt the timing was good to try this. 

All of this reminds us of the Disney movie The Shaggy Dog. An Old English Sheepdog drives a hot rod roadster through town being chased by the police. Eventually, the hot rod with the dog driving winds up at a boat dock. This was the first live-action movie made by Disney. 

It came out in 1959 and made over $7 million. The Shaggy dog was rereleased in 1967 and did well the second time around. It was the most profitable film Walt Disney Productions made to that point. It starred Fred MacMurray, Tim Considine, Tommy Kirk, and Annette Funicello.