About Dogs Don’t Drive!

“Dogs Don’t Drive!” is based on the question “What if dogs could drive?” Would they do everything that human drivers do? The book was created to be enjoyable for children and parents, and appeal to dog lovers and car fans. While fun, it’s the opportunity to open the conversation with young children about the difference of a kind driver.

Partial illustration from Dogs Don't Drive
Vanessa Wood © 1999

Creating the Book

I had been driving on the left in England. When I returned to the US I stopped at a red light and look into the car ahead– There was a dog in the right hand seat! In England drivers sit on the right side and in the moment as I tried to figure it out, my brain screamed, “DOGS DON’T DRIVE!”

A British driver, begginings of Dogs Dont Drive
Vanessa Wood © 1999
Early drawing Dogs Dont Drive
Vanessa Wood © 1999

Dogs Don’t Drive! took shape while I was handling auto accident claims for a rent-a-car company. I only had one accident report of a dog behind the steering wheel– so that must mean they’re pretty good drivers? People drivers did some very bad driving and of course bad accidents. I began to wonder if dogs really could do a better job at driving. My first drawing was on a sticky-back-note (I blocked out an old policy number on the note).

Inspiration for Dogs Dont Drive
Vanessa Wood © 1999

One hot summer day I read an accident report: “I was removing my pantyhose when I ran into the back of the car in front of me…” The thought of dogs doing the stuff people do behind the wheel seemed pretty funny.

Learn more about the author