People who drive around with their pets in their cars don't realise that seats covered with pet hair can force even the biggest animal lovers to flag down a taxi instead, Jasmine writes.

I love my little Isabella to a bone-crushing point, and she is constantly at my side, except when she's out rummaging in the garden, chasing the neighbour's cat, snoozing under her favourite tree, or in my car. Yes, she goes wherever I go, provided of course, the destination is within walking distance.

People are often classified as "cat- or dog-people" which is fine with me, although I have yet to see someone who piles his/her cat into the car for mountain walks and the occasional drinks date at everyone's favourite street café.

It could be argued that cats and dogs are fundamentally different animals and therefore have very different characteristics. I really don't care what the differences are, just so long as I do not have to stand behind another lady in Woolies, staring at her black pet-hair covered sweater, while clutching my litre of Ayrshire milk.

It often happens that people will drive off to town or a shopping mall, pile the five dogs and the kids into the car, and then whiz off to the shops, only to leave the dogs in the car. What is the point of that? Well, the dogs now have free rein in the car (where previously they could only trample the little brats under-foot) leaving their hairs clinging to everything, especially the seats, which have been left uncovered!

It’s strange that many people seem to like that warm doggy vapour against them when they drive. A friend of mine owns a Bull Mastiff, and whenever those pick-up doors open, Robby rushes for the cabin, where he will tightly squeeze himself up against my poor friend for most of the ride. This in turn will leave both the seat and my poor compressed pal completely covered in prickly hairs.

Personally, whenever I need to lug my pooch about, I usually cover my entire back seat and the floor with Isabella's "special sheets" and issue firm orders for her to remain at the back. There is absolutely nothing endearing about carting a violently ill dog about and then nearly passing out when faced with the prospect of cleaning the back seat. As loving as she is, I have also been completely distracted one too many times by a warm, wet smooch while negotiating a busy traffic interchange.

Alternatively, if we're going somewhere beyond walking distance (for Isabella, of course), I merely "loan" the boyfriend's car for a few hours, drop the rear seatbacks, and stuff her into the boot. In fact, I don't even think he's ever realised just how hairy his rear seatbacks are . . ..