Early on in our venture with greyhounds one thing became clear. We needed a bigger car. Since Mike had a big SUV company car (and yes, it is justified because he hauls around mass quantities of camera equipment) that could only be used for work, I had an aging Toyota Corolla. That was fine with me. It got me there and back, it had long been paid for and that’s all I cared about.
Indeed, when we adopted 1st grey girl Lola, she hopped into the back seat of the Toyota looking totally dignified, and off we went. But we knew it was less than ideal and also a bit dangerous for such a large dog.
We talked about it and agreed that we would try to find a good mini van with decent gas mileage. We also decided we were not going to buy a new vehicle just to haul muddy, shedding, drooling dogs around in. So we set ourselves a budget and set out on a quest for the perfect doggie van.
I am not a patient shopper. I want to walk in, find what I want, pay the money and walk out. And I prefer to do that in about 10 minutes. After walking around the first lot we found a possibility but the seats didn’t go down exactly flat. After walking around the second lot we found a car but it really didn’t look in very good condition and it was a few years older than we wanted.
So now I’m getting grumpy. And the grumpier I get the nicer my husband gets. He’s very patient and just keeps me on track, talking me down every time I start growling and gnashing my teeth.
We get to the third lot and I am loaded for bear. As the salesman approaches, smiling, he asks, “How may I help you today?”
“We’re looking for a used mini-van, no older than a 2006, with good gas mileage and seats that fold down perfectly flat,” I say.
“Well, I can definitely help you with that, but I’d also like to show you a new model that I think you would love. And with the economy right now I can put you in this vehicle for a lot less than you think.”
Mike gets extremely quiet as I look the salesman dead in the eye and say, “We don’t want a new van, we want a used van with good gas mileage and seats that fold down perfectly flat.”
“But I really think you’d be a lot happier with the new mini-van. It has so many new and updated features that you’re not going to find on the older vans.”
Mike now seems to be taking a great interest in the sticker price of the nearest car as I reply, “We don’t want a new van. We don’t need a new van. We want a used van with decent gas mileage and seats that fold down perfectly flat. It’s for the dog!”
Totally perplexed, the salesman looks at me and says, “The dog? You’re buying a car for a dog?
“Yes,” I say through clenched teeth. “She just got her driver’s license!”
Forty-five minutes later we left the dealership with the perfect mini-van for hauling dogs and a salesman who, I am sure, couldn’t wait to tell his cohorts about the nutcase he had just encountered.