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Florida Dog Takes Hour-Long Joyride In Reverse, But Gets Nowhere

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You’ve probably heard of dogs chasing cars, but have you ever had to consider chasing a car with a dog in it…and no one else? That’s a scenario that presented itself to folks in Port St. Lucie, Florida, at about 8:00 a.m. on November 21, 2019.

A Beautiful Thursday Morning For A Drive

Resident Anne Sabol happened to see someone backing up their 2003 Silver Mercury Sable in her neighborhood, and thought nothing of it. Until, that is, the car kept backing up. In a circle, while still going backward. Then another circle, and another. Yes, while still going backward. For an hour. Yes, backward in circles for an hour. Oh, did we mention that the car happened to take out several trashcans and a mailbox during its orbits?

Anne wasn’t sure what to make of it. Neither were the police officers who eventually attended the scene and observed from a distance. Surely their training included how to handle this basic car-going-backwards-in-circles-for-an-hour-scenario? The officers and members of the fire department stood and observed the bizarre scene from a distance. The car’s owner gave the officer a spare key fob, but, as luck would have it, the battery was dead.  Finally, the car slowed down to the point that officers could open the door using the keypad on the driver’s side door. It was at that point that things became even more interesting. Out jumped the driver, a large black Labrador retriever.

The car, mailbox, and trash cans sustained minor damage, but the driver was unharmed.

How Does That Happen?

The car’s human driver had left the car running in the street and in the dog’s care. Somehow, that retriever managed to put the car into reverse, to swing the steering wheel over, and to keep the car tracing its loops. For the record, the car’s human owner asked to remain anonymous, but the dog proudly goes by “Max.”

No word on whether the car was an automatic or a standard, which would really raise the level of difficulty. No word, either, on whether the car’s emergency brake was engaged, which seems like a reasonable precaution to keep in mind. The good news is that neither the human owner nor the canine driver was charged with any offense. The human agreed to pay for the damages caused.

We don’t know anything about Max’s past, like whether he was a rescue dog, or whether there was something he was trying to escape from. We don’t even know where he was going, but it’s safe to say he didn’t get there. Unless his destination was internet fame, that is. Video proof of the event is everywhere online. Collectively, news reports and stories about Max’s joyride have been viewed, liked, and shared tens of thousands of times on Facebook and YouTube. A post on the Port St. Lucie Police Department’s Facebook page has been viewed over 230,000 times alone.

Anne Sabol was impressed. So impressed, in fact, that she thought, “They should give that thing a license.” Interesting idea, Anne. After all, the Auckland, New Zealand Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals ran a dog driving school. Their objective was to change people’s opinions about rescue dogs and to show their intelligence was intact despite being sheltered. No word on whether Max was from — or headed toward — New Zealand on November 21, 2019, but he would probably approve.

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