Monday, March 17, 2014
It's official! Today I brought home a new dog-mobile! I have lusted after a mini-van for at least the last two years now -- probably more, because things started to really get cramped in the Vue when Secret arrived. Due to various (mostly economic) reasons, I just couldn't stomach a car payment. I'll still likely be looking to pick up something part time to help with the bills, but I feel fortunate to be at a place now where I don't feel like having a car payment will cripple me financially. Without an extra source of income I'll definitely have to be more selective about our trialing choices, though, so I am hoping to find something that will help keep the bank account a little more thriving.
This morning I ordered a cargo cover that will cover the entire back end with all of the Stow-n-Go seats down and I'm going to wait until that arrives before I start playing with crate placement. I'm curious to see what ends up working best. I should probably start shopping for a Luke-sized wire crate one of these days, although I'm sure one of the big soft crates would probably work well enough. We'll have to do some testing to see what everyone likes.
I'm super excited for our AKC trial over in Oshkosh April 4 & 5 now! It will be our maiden voyage and there is a good chance we may just crate out of the vehicle if the weather cooperates. Crating is so tight in that building anyhow, and what with Kizzy's screaming and all I think it might be easier on everyone. I'm thrilled that we even have the option!
I'm also looking forward to being able to relax and not worry that my car is falling apart on me. The Vue was a good ride for the seven years I had it, but things were starting to go on it and it got to the point where it was going to cost more to fix it (bearings & brakes) than it was worth.
The new ride is a 2013 Dodge Grand Caravan with just 9,500 miles on it -- so in my world that's practically brand new! It's the SE model, so it doesn't have any of the "frilly" stuff like auto doors or power seats. I think the only feature I would have really liked in the better model was the power windows in the back. On this model the side door windows don't roll down at all, which would have certainly been a nice feature when crating out of the vehicle in slightly warmer weather. I figure, though, that everyone will be in crates and I can always open both side doors for ventilation if needed.
Now comes the most difficult part -- picking out decals for the new van. :o) After what I just went through in removing the magnets from the back of the Vue I know I won't be looking to replace those. We'll go with just the decals this time to make it our own, as I've been told those are actually really easy to remove when you apply heat. The hardest part will be color.... The color of the van is "cashmere," which I have labeled a "silvery-tan" color. Unfortunately I think pink would look horrible on it, so I'll have to do some thinking there. lol
Not too much else to report here. There has been melting occurring, but not at a super fast rate. This is actually probably for the best, as it means we aren't overwhelmed by mud every day and things are re-freezing each night. The ice is gone from about 30% of the yard, I'd say. We're getting there. In the meantime, though, we've been getting out and walking every day. I think we could probably start doing our morning walks again, too, which the dogs will love (I'll have a harder time getting back into that schedule, I'm sure).