Sunday, June 30, 2013

Happy (one-week-late) 14th Birthday, Maggie!

Lookin' good for 14 years old!

Last Sunday Maggie turned 14 years old.  We didn't have any sort of celebration for our girl, but I am saving her favorite treat - a "bullwinkie" for her.  I just need to find a time to give it to her when Rip is on a walk - to avoid Rip's frustrated barks.

Physically, Maggie is doing very well.  She sleeps a lot, but remains in pretty good shape, and doesn't seem to be in pain.  She even romps down the hall in the morning when she wakes up.

Mentally, she is definitely an old lady, and her mind is going a bit.  Some days are good.  Some days not -- she seems disconnected from the world.  We have started crating her at night -- otherwise she'll get up around 4:30-5am and just wander around the house - back and forth in the kitchen or our bedroom.  Sometimes she greets me with a wag at door when I return from work; sometimes she just wanders over as the boys run to meet me and stares at me like "hmm - there's a person."  The content and "with it" times currently outnumber the disconnected times and she isn't in pain.  We're happy to have our old lady dog still with us.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Wheels for Me (or Dog Crates in a Honda Pilot)

Since my beloved Honda Odyssey didn't make it through the accident, we were forced, unexpectedly, into buying a new car.  

I didn't want another minivan, as Honda has redesigned the van since we bought ours, and the style is just too "mumsy" for me.  I may be deluding myself, but the old Odyssey was at least a little sporty.  The new one is not, and I'm feeling too much like middle-aged soccer mom to buy another minivan.  So what to buy?

My rental Explorer.  Loved it!

We had a Ford Explorer as our rental car, and I loved it.  Loved how it drove, loved the styling, especially loved the touch screen controls.  I thought maybe we'd just buy one of those.  Then I realized that, with the back seat up, I could barely fit 2 small crates in the back.  With my larger (24"x 36") crate - I could only fit one crate in the back.  No way.  A car that size should fit much more in the back, so the hunt was on.

We test drove and measured the behind-the-back-seat-area of:
  • The Ford Flex (43" long x 40" wide)
  • The Subaru Outback (42.5" long x 33" wide) - with slopey back window
  • The Volvo Wagon (43" wide x 44.4" wide)
We were all set to buy a Volvo Wagon, when we found the Honda Pilot.  It combines good Consumer Reports ratings, decent gas mileage, adequate sportiness, and a dog-friendly rear storage.

Here's a picture of the one we test drove - 
on the left is a 30"x19" crate
on the right is a 24"x36" crate.

So here she is.  Awaiting dog hair.

Ziggy got to be the first canine passenger.
Lucky boy!
I think he likes being able to see the driver from his crate.

And here he is in the 30"x19" crate.
Plenty of room for his wheels, too.
I added pieces of 3 rubber mats under the front of the crate to keep it level.

So far we love the Pilot.  Now I need to find a dog show or clinic to attend so I can really put her cargo space to the test.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Ode to a Honda Minivan

About seven weeks ago, my minivan and motivation both took a hit.  I was driving home from work, and the traffic was stopped on the bridge.  I stopped, but the guy behind me didn't.  My van was hit from behind and thrown into the car stopped in front of me.

Unfortunately for me, my two-and-a-half-weeks-post surgery knee smashed into the dash/front console of the van on impact.  The accident set the healing of my knee back significantly - it changed (for worse) the trajectory of the healing, and put "Project Stay" on hold, as I was back to rest and ice.  So, no dog events to post.

Unfortunately for the van, it got smooshed from both ends, resulting in too much damage to make it a repair job.  So, the insurance company totaled out the van, forcing me to say goodbye to my lovely silver Honda minivan much sooner than I'd planned.

Here are some pictures of my (formerly) lovely silver van.

I miss you, silver minivan.  The whole family misses you.  

Here's a poem by The Husband titled "So Farewell Then, Silver Honda"

So, farewell silver Honda
You hauled a lot for us - dog shows
And trips to Lowes
School pick ups, the Target run
Genesis emergencies, family fun
We'll miss you silver Honda
Good luck
On your final Odyssey

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