Wednesday, September 9, 2009

My Labor Day Weekend

I hope that everyone had a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Mine was relaxing, and very enjoyable. I started by leaving work early on Friday, and parking my car at the Roosevelt Island parking lot and walking/jogging to Hump Back Bridge and back (approximately 4 miles). I had been planning on doing this with Milly, but it was surprisingly hot that day, and I didn’t want to overdo it with her exercise wise. It was nice to workout along the water, and to be able to admire Washington, DC’s beautiful monuments from the Virginia side with the Potomac River in the foreground.

When I got home from my four mile jaunt I took advantage of the beautiful weather and bathed Milly outside. Our outdoor water spicket produces lukewarm water (don’t ask why, because the water in the house is cold), and I want to get in as many outdoor baths as possible before the cold weather sets in. I would love to one day get the Booster Bath, or better yet, have a built in dog bathing tub in my basement (I’d have to own a house first), but for now it’s either clogging my shower with her hair, or doing it outside on hot days. I gave her a complete bath and grooming including trimming her paws and ears, brushing her teeth and cleaning her ears.

For about a year I have been lusting after a professional dog dryer, and in June decided I would give up taking Milly to the groomer and put the saved money towards a dog dryer. I am almost there and think I will end up splurging for the more expensive Kool Dry Dryer (it comes in pink!), because it has gotten rave reviews from breeders, show handlers and groomers. Right now, I just use my human hair dryer on the cool setting, and it takes me over an hour to dry Milly. It literally is back breaking work. Not having a Booster Bath or grooming tub means I spend the washing part of bathing bent over her. Not having a grooming table means I sit on the floor with Milly or stand bent over her. Not having a professional dryer means all of the bending over during drying is very time consuming. Needless to say, at the end of bathing my back is killing me!

I have been using the Furminator shampoo and conditioner all summer, and while I was thrilled with these products at first, I’m starting to notice Milly’s coat is a little dull. Her diet has not changed, and I really wonder if it is the shampoo. I will say, these products do work great at removing the dead/loose undercoat, but I’m concerned about her dull coat.

The rest of the weekend was pretty relaxing. Milly and I went on a few walks, and we went to Bill’s parents’ house for a nice dinner. Milly is always such a flirt when she goes to Bill’s parents’ house, and wagged her tail incessantly to get dinner guests to pet her. As always, her cuteness paid off for her, and one guest spent most of the cocktail hour on the floor rubbing Milly’s belly.

On Sunday I went to CarMax to test drive some cars I saw on their website. If you are in the market for a new car, I highly recommend going to CarMax. They do an excellent job screening cars, and their quality control is top notch. Sales people also only get $250 commission for each car sold, and so they do not pressure you to buy a more expensive vehicle. They will get the same commission selling a Kia as they will a Range Rover. The vehicle prices at CarMax also were much lower than the pre-owned vehicle rates at local dealerships that I had looked into.

Anyways, I test drove two cars, a Volvo station wagon, and a Subaru Outback XT station wagon. I drove the Volvo first, and it was a smaller wagon that came with a pre-installed dog grate in the back – clearly the car’s first owner was a dog person. I loved this car. It was a blast to drive, all wheel drive (important for me because my parents are moving to Vermont), and seemed to have enough room for Milly. I then test drove the Subaru, and while I liked the Volvo more from a driving standpoint (the Volvo was a much zippier car), I felt my visibility in the Subaru was much better. I wasn’t quite ready to make my decision, and decided to sleep on it, but before I left I asked the salesman if it would be okay to come back with Milly in the morning. I am getting a station wagon to have more room for Milly, and so I can keep her separate from my backseat human passengers, and wanted to make sure she fit well in the back of both vehicles. When I came back, in true Milly form, she flirted with everyone at CarMax and was an ideal canine citizen. When it came time to test her car she fit very nicely in the Volvo, but had even more room in the Subaru. Because I want to get another Golden Retriever I went with the Subaru. I am thrilled with my new car! It is a 2005 Subaru Outback XT with 39,000 miles. My family encouraged me to go with the Subaru, as my brother and his wife have an Outback, and my mom is about to purchase one herself – they are supposed to be excellent cars for the Vermont winters!


  1. Trust me, I understand! My back kills me after I get through with my dogs. And...only one of them likes the drier...the other one tries to get away from me as fast as she can!

  2. Wowzer! we tried a professional dryer on Brownie once and she freaked out... I guess it's a small blessing: more $ in my wallet!