Local motorists may have done a double-take Thursday afternoon when they saw a dog — yes, a dog — driving its owner’s car on U.S. 93 North, according to Kalispell Police Department Sgt. Chad Fetveit.
While the dog was left in a running vehicle in the Asian Buffet parking lot, the clever canine “somehow took the vehicle out of park and it rolled into the roadway,” Fetveit reported.
Fetveit estimated the dog, apparently a resident of Canada, made it about 50 feet in a White Ford Explorer with Alberta plates before rolling into the highway divider and coming to a stop.
The “panicked” owner then came and got the dog and the vehicle. Fetveit, who responded to the incident with his partner, reported “the dog is just fine” after its first trip behind the wheel.
“There were no injuries, no crash, nothing,” he said. According to a Kalispell Police report, there was “no damage to property,” either.
The police were notified of the unlicensed four-legged driver when someone nearby noticed a vehicle “running into signs and the side of the road.”
Fetveit said the observer called KPD upon seeing “a pooch in the driver’s seat.”
The vehicle briefly blocked one lane of highway traffic before the owner collected the dog and vehicle and departed the scene.
Fetveit said the dog, “didn’t receive any tickets.”
Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 758-4459.
This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Sgt. Chad Fetveit’s name.