I went down to the dealer to "look at" this particular van because it had the options I wanted, and lacked the ones I didn't. I'm not big on paying for things like a DVD player (for the dogs?) and other things I don't need. But I'm old enough and sore enough now that I do want things like a fully adjustable seat, and back seats that fold like magic into the floor (so I don't have to carry and store them).
It's not my favorite car color. It's not funky. It's not cool. But it was reasonably affordable. It's new. And it will fit ALL of my dogs in safe, strapped down crates, while still being kind of, sort of economical, at least on the highway. (I SO wish we had the European diesels!)
I still have to pick up a few accessories for it - some cheap rug scraps to line the floor and keep the original flooring somewhat cleaner. I need to buy 2 more Large Ruff Tough Kennels, and I might need a few more of the sturdy cargo straps to tie them down with. But by the time we go to a trial or a seminar, they should be all set up. I'll post pics of the finished set up when it all comes together, but I don't use a platform (I like the dogs being down low so they can't look out and tend to get more shade), so it's nothing really fancy.
I also took Drifter to the vet today to run a geriatric blood panel and a urinalysis. The blood panel I had planned to run anyway, just so I can make sure that, at 11 years old, everything is working properly and I will have something to look at and compare to if he starts to feel ill later on. And then twice this week he's started to pee in the house, which is highly unusual for him even when he drinks a lot, so we're checking that out too. He seems to be feeling perfectly normal and the quick check of his urine looks good too (no blood, pH is OK, etc). I was also really pleased that when the vet listened to his heart he had to work hard to find the murmur, and said he would have graded it a 2 at most, it was very localized. Previous workups at the specialist graded his murmur as 3/4. Clearly it is not getting any worse, which is great to hear!
|Throwback: 2010, my first trip across the Atlantic and my first international team. Drifter and I reading the map in London, I think this was Kensington Park?|