Cody Ogden

Car Ride

Published on
Shot from above, a black goldendoodle wearing an orange and white checkered bandana is laying on the ground amongst Autumn leaves.

There are few things that bring me more joy than seeing Olly’s eyes light up when I ask if he wants to go for a car ride. A slight tilt of his head lets me know he’s listening and focused, but he wants to hear it again. Just confirm it, but say it differently so I know. “Ride in the car?” After an excited, extraordinary leap, he lands with a hushed, nearly whispered woof of confirmation. After we “up up” into the car, we head…somewhere. For him? It’s always a surprise.

Sometimes it’s a destination we’ve been to many times before, like the dog park or doggy day care. Often it’s an adventure, like a walk around the lake or roaming around a park. On rarer occasions, we’ll end up at ‘Disneyland,’ the term I use for quite literally any pet store. His favorite attraction at ‘Disneyland’ is sitting in front of the small critter displays, his tail brushing back and forth along the ground, back and forth to show he’s very happy; back and forth contently sweeping; back and forth. Quietly and intently he sits there watching the critters on their wheels and moving around their glass-faced enclosures. Every once and a while he’ll break away and glance up at me, mouth agape, full of joy.

Other times we’re simply along for the ride as we become wanderlust in our travel to nowhere and everywhere all over the city. Side streets, business districts, Uptown, Downtown, North, South, East, West. Olly contently sits in the back seat watching our small slice of this world move by through the window. He watches the people along the sidewalks, and dogs we encounter are sometimes met with a single, playful, friendly bark. When the windows go down his nose gets to work planted firmly out the window picking up every whisp of scent we pass.

When he’s ready to go home, he’ll plop his head onto my shoulder and we’ll head back home. His thirst for the mysterious and exciting adventure that is every car ride now quenched. There are few things that bring me more joy than seeing Olly’s eyes light up when I ask if he wants to go for a car ride. We can only aspire to treat each of our days with the same optimism.