Jinba ittai: Horse and Rider (and Dog?) As One.

Kimi the Dachshund riding in the Miata
Text and photography by Bryce Womeldurf

When the original Mazda Miata was being designed, it was created with the idea of the “horse and rider being one” or “Jinba ittai” in Japanese, where the car was made around the premise that it would handle as though it were part of you. That idea has been pervaded up through the new 4th generation Miata, which will soon be offered in 2016. Last night, I decided to take a little joy ride in my NA Miata, as I often do in the evenings, but this time I decided to take my little dachshund, Kimi, with me to share in the top down experience (she’s named after our favorite F1 driver, Kimi Räikkönen). I moved her little doggy car seat from the Volkswagen to the Miata and strapped her in with her pink harness, and off we went. She was a little nervous at first, trying to figure out which way to face, but not long into the drive, she was perched up next to the door, trying to smell the air as we zoom zoomed through the back roads near home, sneezing as the wind went up her nose. I wonder, if we do this regularly, if she’ll learn the words “do you want to go for a drive, Kimi?”

[As a quick disclaimer, this photo was taken at low speeds while I had my eyes and attention on the road and with my hand on the wheel (which is why it’s a little blurry). I wanted to preserve the memory, so without looking at the screen, I took a few photos and this one came out well enough that I decided to share it. I was also very careful to have her strapped into her seat which straps to the passenger seat, so that she would be safe. If you’re going to take your dog with you, keep them safe.]

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