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The New : Drive Carefully, Spot Said

November 28, 1985

You've probably seen those "Baby On Board!" and "Child In Car" signs in car windows. The idea is that drivers, alerted to the news that offspring are in the back seat, will refrain from tailgating a car that seems to be going too slowly.

Now, however, Valley dog owners have gotten into the act. Vince's Pets in the Sherman Oaks Galleria has been selling signs for two weeks alerting drivers that a particular breed of canine is in the car. These range from the prosaic ("Beagle On Board!") to the egalitarian ("Mutt On Board!") to the exotic ("Bichon Frise On Board!," "Akita On Board!") to the slightly threatening ("Dobie On Board!").

Do people think that letting traffic know a particular breed of dog is in the car will make other drivers more careful? Probably not. Mike Farar, one of the pet shop managers, guessed that the signs are simply a new twist on the old "I My Golden Retriever" bumper stickers, a way of proudly announcing one's brand--or breed--loyalty. The signs are made by an Ojai company called The Canine Answer and cost $3.95 each.

They've been selling pretty briskly. "Let's put it this way," said Farar, pointing to a half-empty rack, "last week that rack was full."

No "Cat In Car!" signs were on display, though. Of course, cats usually go for car rides only under protest. Presumably anyone who has to play chauffeur to a yowling feline has no desire to advertise his problem.

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